NCAA FB Cheat Sheet

NCAA FB Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet - A to E
By Scott Rickenbach

Being thorough is a key to making money in the College Football Season. However, at the same time, many bettors have limited time to do all the necessary research. Also, even the most “seasoned” bettors like to have a handy “quick reference guide” or “cheat sheet” available that allows them to hone in on potential value spots throughout a season. That is the intent of this article. While this is not an all inclusive listing of all the teams from A to E it is indeed a “value guide” for most of the teams in this range. Next up I will take a look at teams from F to J and so on…

This six part series effectively breaks up the 120 teams into groups of roughly 20 each and while I certainly will not write about value for every single team, I will indeed indicate the teams for which there could be value going with or against them. I will notate why I feel this way and, again, this is not intended to be an all inclusive list nor is it intended to be a detailed list. It’s a quick reference guide for early in the season to help you look for spots where, as an example, a “play on” team is matched up with a “go against” team.

That is the type of “value play” that you definitely want to be a part of! Now, let’s take our first look by starting with the A to E group!

Air Force – The Falcons surprised a lot of people by winning six of their last seven games before then falling short against California in the Armed Forces Bowl. However, don’t expect such a surprise this season. The Falcons return just eight starters and they lost two key players on offense in QB Shaun Carney and Chad Hall. Yes, much of the Falcons success is the system but this still looks like a down year compared to 2007.
   
Army – We stay with the ‘military theme’ for team number two to watch this season. The Black Knights certainly don’t appear to be an “exciting” team but exciting to us is making money! That said, there could be some nice opportunities to play on Army this season. Their schedule is much softer than it’s been in recent seasons and that should help prevent them from getting worn down as they have in seasons past. Also, coach Stan Brock has decided to bring back the option offense and we feel the right personnel is in place to execute this offense with success. Lastly, because they were just 4-6-1 ATS last season there should be some value to be had in playing on Army this season!

Ball State – The Cardinals offense was very dangerous last season. In 2008, they return the entire group on offense and their defense has a “fighting chance” too as they return eight starters. Note also that Ball State’s special teams game is solid with both the punting and kicking games appearing to be in good shape. Even though they play in the MAC this is a team you should plan to keep an eye on as they could be a money maker.

California – Finally, a “big school” for you to take a look at and we feel you won’t like what you see! The Golden Bears disappointed last season and, with a lot of key personnel losses, 2008 is quite likely to be another disappointing season for the Bears. Since California is still a Pac Ten “big name” school we could still get some value in facing them at times this season and we certainly will be looking to do just that. The Bears lost a lot of key personnel on both sides of the ball and the losses at the skill positions of WR and RB could be particularly hard to overcome early in the season.

Clemson – The Tigers did lose four starters from the offensive line but this team is so talented they had to make this list! We’ll be looking for spots to play on Clemson once the offensive line proves that it has gelled as a unit. The offensive backfield looks great, the defense is rock-solid, they’ve got solid talent at the wide-out spot, etc. Keep in mind only a very tough loss to Boston College kept this team from taking the Atlantic Division in the ACC. This team will be “up there” in the standings once again this season and though we may proceed with caution early on, this team should end up being a moneymaker as the season goes on.

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Re: NCAA FB Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet - F to J
By Scott Rickenbach

Being thorough is a key to making money during the college football season. However, at the same time, many bettors have limited time to do all the necessary research. Also, even the most “seasoned” bettors like to have a handy “quick-reference guide” or “cheat sheet” available.

This allows them to hone in on potential value spots throughout a season. That is the intent of this article. This is my second installment of six and while this is not an all-inclusive listing of all the teams from F to J, it is indeed a “value guide” for some of the teams in this range. Next up, I will take a look at teams from K to M and so on…

This six-part series effectively breaks up the 120 teams into groups of roughly 20 each and while I certainly will not write about value for every single team, I will indeed indicate the teams for which there could be value going with or against them. I will notate why I feel this way and, again, this is not intended to be an all inclusive list nor is it intended to be a detailed list. It’s a quick reference guide for early in the season to help you look for spots where, as an example, a “play on” team is matched up with a “go against” team. That is the type of “value play” that you definitely want to be a part of! Now, let’s take a quick look at the F to J group!

Florida State – The Seminoles should be very tough to score on and they have a very impressive secondary. Offensively they return a lot of talent at the skill positions and that should help this unit to finally start to lift up out of the doldrums they’ve been stuck in. Because the 'Noles have only finished at 7-6 each of the last two seasons, they are still flying “under the radar” a bit and, as a result, there should be some good point spread value with this team this season. The Noles defense keeps this team in games and the bad news for opponents is that the offense is starting to catch up!

Georgia Tech – The Yellow Jackets won the ACC Coastal Division in 2006 and, with most everyone back for 2007, there were big expectations. Things “went south” in a hurry, though, and now this will truly be a rebuilding type year. With new head coach Paul Johnson (from Navy) the emphasis will be on the ground game for the Jackets. That’s going to take awhile to get clicking on all cylinders and Georgia Tech has just four starters returning on offense and defense, so this certainly appears to be a season of transition. It’s going to take time for all the personnel to get on the same page at Georgia Tech.

Hawaii – Teams didn’t like reading all about the Warriors last season and, after going undefeated in the regular season, Georgia pummeled them in the Sugar Bowl. Now, in 2008, things will get very tough for Hawaii. QB Colt Brennan is gone and the offense is going to try and change its system and employ more of a running game. Good luck! Also, the defense was more of a key than people realize last season, and the Warriors lost a lot of key players from this unit. A tough road scheduled means that Hawaii could be buried early this season and we’ll be there to try and make some money fading the Warriors while all that is going on in the first two months of the 2008 season! Hawaii only has four home games from late August until late November. That is not going to help this team rebuild!

Iowa – Last season the problem for the Hawkeyes was their offense. They had a solid defense but the fact that their offense often sputtered is what ultimately left the Hawkeyes home during bowl season. That is also what insures that coach Kirk Ferentz and company will be very hungry for the 2008 season. The defense will once again be rock solid, especially on the line. The offense also returns most of their starters and will also be solid on the line. We love teams that can perform well in the trenches and the Hawkeyes seem to fit the bill on both sides of the ball. This would indicate that Iowa could certainly be a good ATS team this season as we feel they may still fly “under the radar” because of the recent history of their underperforming offense. The Hawkeyes also benefit from an easier Big Ten schedule than what most of their conference foes are dealing with. This adds even more value to an Iowa team that is well-coached. This is a “play-on” team!

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Re: NCAA FB Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet, K to M
By Scott Rickenbach

Being thorough is a key to making money during the college football season. However, at the same time, many bettors have limited time to do all the necessary research.

Also, even the most “seasoned” bettors like to have a handy “quick reference guide” or “cheat sheet” available, allowing them to hone in on potential value spots throughout a season. That is the intent of this article.

This is my third installment of six and while this is not an all-inclusive listing of the teams from K to M, it is indeed a “value guide” for some of the squads in this range. Next up, I will take a look at teams from N to R and so on…

This 6-part series effectively breaks up the 120 teams into groups of roughly 20 each and while I certainly will not write about value for every single team, I will indeed indicate the teams for which there could be value going with or against them. I will note why I feel this way and, again, this is not intended to be an all-inclusive list, nor is it intended to be a detailed list. It’s a quick reference guide for early in the season to help you look for spots where, as an example, a “play on” team is matched up with a “go against” team.

That is the type of “value play” that you definitely want to be a part of! Now, let’s take a quick look at the K to M group!
   
Kent State – When looking for teams that might provide pointspread value early in the season, we like to focus on teams off of poor seasons that are poised to bounce back, and teams off of good seasons that are set for a fall. In this particular case, the Golden Flashes fall into the former group! They were just 3-9 last season but there is reason to believe that they will bounce back big this season. Keep in mind that the Flashes were 3-2 last season before losing their last seven games. However, keep in mind that the downfall for Kent last season occurred in large part due to QB Julian Edelman getting hurt. This has the entire team focused on bouncing back this season as Edelman is back as well as RB Eugene Jarvis (ran for nearly 1700 yards last season). The Flashes do have good QB depth this season and, overall, eight starters are back on offense. On defense, it’s nine starters returning for a unit that was one of the best in the MAC last season. As you can see, it is with good reason that the Golden Flashes should be on your radar screen for early pointspread value.

Louisiana Tech – This Bulldogs team is on the rise. After getting just three wins in 2006, they upped that total to five last year and another jump of two wins to seven in 2008 would not surprise us in the least. Head Coach Derek Dooley is now in his second season at Louisiana Tech and that is when a team can see it’s most marked improvement. Adding QB Taylor Bennett from Georgia Tech is a big help. This team has playmaking receivers and a solid ground attack. That means this offense could be tough to stop! The offense is ahead of the defense but don’t overlook this team when it comes to “value” spots on the schedule. They should stay ahead of the “ATS” game early on!

Memphis – A lot of people knew, or found out about, the Tigers passing attack last season. However, what we really watched for (and we’re happy with) was the signs of future progression for this defense. With defensive coordinator Tim Walton on board, look for a defense returning nine starters to take some big steps this season. Offensively, the Tigers have a very experienced offensive line and they also have some of the best receivers in CUSA. Even though the QB spot was one in which a battle ensued, whomever is under center will end up being happy with this solid offensive line and talented group of receivers. Couple the continued offensive success with improved defensive play and this team should be making some more noise in 2008.

Michigan – The Wolverines had a tumultuous season last year and, after defeating Florida in the Capital One Bowl, they parted ways with coach Lloyd Carr. While his replacement Rich Rodriguez will eventually enjoy success here, it’s not likely to come easy nor is it likely to come early! This looks like a “transition year” for Michigan. Coach Rodriguez takes over a team that returns just two starters on offense and only four starters on defense. Sure the “talent pool” tends to run deep at Michigan but playing in the Big Ten Conference means rebuilding is never easy. Not only do the Wolverines have a lot of personnel issues, they also have to get use to the new schemes as a result of the coaching changes. This will likely still be a good defense but Michigan is likely to struggle early on both sides of the ball. We’ll look for spots to fade them and this will be especially true early in the season.

Mississippi – The Rebels went 3-9 last season including 0-8 in the conference but keep an eye on this team in 2008. Look for the coaching change from Ed Orgeron to Houston Nutt to pay immediate dividends for a team that needed to “shake things up”. Ole Miss has a very solid offensive line and also a talented group of wideouts. With QB Jevan Snead transferring in from Texas, this gave an injection of energy to the signal-caller position. The Rebels also are very strong on the defensive line and remember what we said about the offensive line above! As you can see, Ole Miss should be strong in the trenches and that is something that is very important, and yet, often overlooked. The secondary and linebacking units are not near as strong as the defensive line but because the Rebels had such a poor record last season, it will take awhile for the odds makers and public money to adjust to this Mississippi team. That means value for us as we look to “pick our spots” with backing the Rebels.

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