No. 23 USC Trojans at Arizona State Sun Devils
Saturday, 9/24/11, 10:15 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Arizona State -3
Current Betting Line: Arizona State -2.5
Opening Total: 53.5
Current Total: 54
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
California Golden Bears at USC Trojans
Saturday, 10/16/10, 3:30 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread: USC -2.5
Current Betting Line: USC -2.5
Opening Total: 55.5
Current Total: 54
Current Moneyline: USC -135 / California +115
Lane Kiffin makes me laugh. I can say that because he has never done anything to a team that I really care about. The Raiders mean nothing to me, I detest Peyton Manning so I clearly have no love for Tennessee, and don’t like USC because they are so sickeningly unlikable, but I certainly don’t hate them in any real way – it’s not like they are Ohio State or anything. Based on the amount of press he is getting these days, though, it seems obvious that I am the exception and not the rule when it comes to the degree to which his actions bother me. His actions over the last few years have been very circus-like, and the intense scrutiny the media has placed him under has given the circus at least three rings. I’m just amused by the whole situation but a whole lot of people aren’t. There is a great deal of intensity and bitterness, and people are reacting emotionally and not rationally to him. Anytime a great deal of emotion is involved in a situation bettors have to be particularly aware of what is going on, and what impact it could have on the teams and players involved and, more importantly, on the odds on the games in question. As you try to decode Kiffin’s impact on the college football betting lines this fall, and the opportunities that it will create, here are four things to consider:
This will be the final college football weekly recap now that the season is almost upon us. Any big college football news stories that need to be covered from a betting perspective will be featured on their own from here on out. The Maddux Sports handicapping team is locked and loaded for a winning college football pick season and we hope you have taken note of these stories over the summer and filed them away.
Here are eight things coming to mind tonight. Tomorrow we’re going to start our Super Bowl coverage, so we’ll get this out of the way first:
1. Michigan got the signing day miracle I was hoping for by signing Demar Dorsey. Not a bad class all in all – at least we didn’t lose anyone. Incidentally, Dorsey is an interesting example of how imprecise ranking recruits can be. Dorsey is the 12th ranked player in the country and the second best safety according to ESPNU. In contrast, Rivals has him at 167th overall, and 13th among the safeties. For the sake of my sanity I am going to believe ESPNU on this one.
1. The more I think about it, the more I become convinced that Lane Kiffin is the worst hire a major contender has made in, well maybe ever. He’s proven nothing as a coach, he has absolutely no loyalty or staying power, and recruits won’t trust him as far as they can throw him after what he did to Tennessee. Remarkably terrible decision.
The Colts may have got a win to move to 2-0 tonight, but I’m sure not convinced by them yet. They got very lucky to win that one given that they barely had the ball on offense, and they weren’t always impressive when they did. If Miami had any ability at all to manage the clock down the stretch then both of these teams would have been 1-1. I didn’t think that the Colts were going to be elite this year before the season, and I haven’t seen anything yet to make me change my mind.
There is a ridiculous amount of stuff going on today, so let’s not waste any time:
For a second there last night I thought I was going to look like a genius with the Nelson Cruz pick in the Home Run Derby. It wasn’t as exciting as it has been some years, but it was still an interesting way to spend a few hours. I was impressed with Fielder – I frankly didn’t think that a guy that massive would have the stamina required to win the marathon that the Derby is. I was also surprised by how little Pujols had to show for himself in the event. I thought he would rise more under the pressure for his hometown fans. I’m sure glad I didn’t get sucked into backing him.
We’ll delay our PS2 simulations for a day because there are just too many interesting stories bouncing around out there that need to be looked at:
1. Lane Kiffin – I can’t believe what a bizarre mess this has become, and given that it was the Raiders I expected it to get ridiculous. By leaving Kiffin twisting so long, Davis seriously damaged any progress his team could ake this year. BY getting rid of him in the ridiculous way he did – refusing to pay him what he is owed and then unleashing in a bizarre, barely coherent press conference – he has alienated any players that were still loyal to Kiffin, and has ensured a split in the locker room. It’s almost as if Davis doesn’t want to exist. I certainly won’t be touching this team in their next game, but my guess is that they are going to come out flat. I just don’t know how they can play well through this circus.
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