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College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

BYU (7 - 5) at SAN DIEGO ST (9 - 3) - 12/20/2012, 8:00 PM

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
BYU is 1-0 against the spread versus SAN DIEGO ST over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 1-0 straight up against SAN DIEGO ST over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

BYU is 16-6 SU in its last 22 games
BYU is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing San Diego State
San Diego State is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Diego State's last 6 games

BYU vs. San Diego State
BYU: 8-0 ATS after winning 3 of their last 4 games
San Diego State: 12-27 ATS off BB ATS wins

8-0 ATS last 8 after winning 3 of their last 4 games.
7-0 ATS last 7 vs. MWC.
10-4 last 14 in series.

San Diego State
12-27 ATS off BB ATS wins.
6-1 ATS last 7 overall.
5-1 ATS last 6 following a SU win.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

Poinsettia Bowl Preview
By Matt Fargo

BYU Cougars vs. San Diego St. Aztecs (+3/48.5)

How BYU Got Here

The second season as an Independent did not go as good as the first for BYU but it can still be considered another successful one. The Cougars finished the regular season at 7-5 but losses to Utah, Boise St. and Notre Dame were by a combined seven points and all of those came on the road. But BYU really had only two quality wins this season so it could be out to prove something here against its former MWC foe. The Cougars have now gone to a bowl game in each of head coach Bronco Mendenhall's eight years at the helm and they are currently riding a three-game bowl winning streak.

How San Diego St. Got Here

With only six starters returning on each side of the ball, expectations were not very high in San Diego. After starting the season 2-3, it looked as though it was definitely a rebuilding season for the Aztecs but they reeled off seven straight wins to claim a share of the MWC regular season title. Four of those wins came against poor competition but the other three victories came against other bowl teams so the winning streak has some validity to it. Having an eight-game winning streak before going to the Big East (or maybe back to the MWC), would be huge for next season.

Interesting Stat

BYU and San Diego St. have met 35 times with BYU holding the edge 27-7-1 including winning the last five being by an average of 18.6 ppg


It is game number 13 for BYU and the quarterback controversy still lingers. Backup quarterback James Lark led the Cougars to an easy win over New Mexico St. in the season finale but Riley Nelson is healthy again so a decision needs to be made and BYU may keep San Diego St. guessing for a while. While the offense is ranked 56th overall, BYU brings in the nation's third best defense, allowing only 266.3 ypg. The Aztecs have scored a lot but the total offense is ranked only 57th in the nation so they could have some issues against the Cougars stop unit. San Diego St. has allowed 28 or more points five times but 14 or fewer points five times so this game could be decided on which one of those defenses shows up.


BYU is 0-6 ATS this season following a win while San Diego St. is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a win.

San Diego St. has gone under in 18 of its last 22 games after outgaining its last opponent by 175 or more yards.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

Poinsettia Bowl Preview

Home game for San Diego State, which won this game 35-14 in '10, then lost New Orleans Bowl LY; Aztecs won last seven games after 2-3 start, winning SU as underdogs at Nevada/Boise St. State is 3-1 as an underdog this year. BYU lost four of six road games this year, with only wins vs Ga Tech/New Mexico State; they won their last four games with former MWC rival Aztecs by average score of 38-22. Cougars are 6-0 if they score 30+ points, 1-5 if they don't; they're 3-4 as favorites this season. Aztecs held five of last seven foes under 20 points. BYU won last three bowls, scoring 40 ppg. MWC underdogs are 16-5 vs spread this season, 3-0 at home. BYU coach Mendenhall is 5-2 in bowls, San Diego State's Long 2-4. Underdogs covered four of last five Poinsettia Bowls, with Aztecs only one of the five favorites to cover. San Diego State is only team to beat Boise/Nevada in same season, since they've been I-A teams.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

Poinsettia Bowl Betting Preview
By Teddy Covers

BYU vs. San Diego State
CRIS Opener: BYU -3 O/U 50
CRIS Current: BYU -3 O/U 48
Rob Veno's Power Rating: BYU -3

This was somewhat of a down year for BYU off last year's 10-3 season as Bronco Mendenhall's squad found more ways to lose tight games than to win them. Four of their five losses came by six points or less, and the lone blowout defeat (at the hands of Oregon State) was a tight game into the fourth quarter before things got ugly. Much of their mediocrity can be blamed on quarterback injuries and ineffectiveness.

Mendenhall has not yet named a starter for the bowl game, and he's not expected to choose between multi-year starter Riley Nelson and late season sensation James Lark until game day. Lark, a senior, was buried on the QB depth chart for most of his career, but he started the season finale against New Mexico State and threw for 384 yards and six touchdowns in the 50-14 rout of the the Aggies. Nelson battled injuries for much of the season, starting ten games, but failing to live up to the promise he showed as a junior last year when he threw for 8.5 yards per pass attempt with a 19-7 TD-INT ratio. This year, Nelson's sacks were up, his interceptions were up, his touchdowns were down and his yards per pass attempt were down as well; a fairly dramatic drop-off for a senior QB.

The Cougars were not a great running team either. ACCU-Stat numbers show that the Cougars rushed for more than a full yard per carry less than San Diego State, notching a mediocre 4.75 yards per carry, although leading rusher Jamaal Williams did have eleven touchdowns on the ground. This offense scored only 17.7 points per game in their six games against other bowl bound foes.

So how did the Cougars win three of those six games on their way to a seven win regular season? Simple – good defense, particularly in the red zone. BYU led the nation in red zone efficiency defense, forcing turnovers and field goals on a consistent basis, as opposed to allowing touchdowns. They finished the season among the nation's leaders in rushing defense, total defense and points allowed, while holding five different opponents to their season low in total yards.

San Diego State knows a thing or two about playing good defense, holding five of their last seven foes to 19 points or less following a string of September shootouts. The Aztecs won all seven of those games, going 6-1 ATS in the process. But the Aztecs unique 3-3-5 defense was a difficult matchup for many of their opponents; not so for BYU. Bronco Mendenhall was San Diego State head coach Rocky Long's defensive coordinator for five years at New Mexico before taking the BYU head coaching job he knows Long's mindset and the intricacies of that defense as well as any opposing coach in the country. And these two teams were Mountain West Conference foes until the Cougars went the independent route following the 2010 campaign. In ten meetings from 2001 through 2010, BYU went 9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS.

Offensively, the Aztecs are a run-first squad, led by Adam Muema (1,355 yards, 6.4 yards per cary and 16 rushing touchdowns). The season ending injury to Oregon State transfer QB Ryan Katz was essentially a non-factor. Katz's replacement, Adam Dingwell, led San Diego State to its signature win of the season, at Boise, while posting comparable stats.

There's no significant motivational edge for either team here. This is BYU's eighth consecutive bowl berth, but their first trip to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego during that span. They've won and covered against Tulsa, UTEP and Oregon State in their last three tries. San Diego State appeared to be quite content with the idea of staying home for their bowl game after losing to Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl last December. The Aztecs beat Navy by three touchdowns in the Poinsettia Bowl two years ago, although they were particularly excited for that game; their first bowl appearance since the Marshall Faulk era ended in 1991.

I'm not inclined to take a run-first squad against BYU's stout defense. But I'm not particularly excited about laying points with BYU's spotty offense; a unit that scored 14 or less against four of their six bowl-bound opponents. The early money here has come on the Under, and that's really the only way I can look in this one.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

NCAAF: Streaks, Trends, Notes

BYU vs. San Diego St. Aztecs

The 2012 Poinsettia Bowl features San Diego State Aztecs (9-3, 8-4 ATS) vs. BYU Cougars (7-5, 6-6 ATS). The Mountain West Co-Champion Aztecs playing in their own stadium (6-1, 4-3 ATS) bring to the contest a huge dose of momentum having won it's last seven games by a margin of 15.6 points/game (6-1 ATS). Aztecs are bowling for the third straight year losing to Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl last year but defeating Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl the previous year. The Cougars off an up-down season did close on a positive note slamming New Mexico State 50-14 giving the squad three wins in the last four outings. BYU will be participating in it's eight consecutive bowl under head coach Mendenhall and are currently riding a three-game bowl winning streak. BYU has won five straight (3-2 ATS) vs SDSU and nine of the past ten encounters (7-3 ATS).

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

Poinsettia Bowl Preview
By Brian Edwards

Two familiar foes from their days in the WAC and Mountain West Conferences will collide Thursday night at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego for the Poinsettia Bowl. San Diego St. will be bowling at home for the second time in three years, while BYU is in the postseason for the eighth straight season under Bronco Mendenhall.

Most books opened BYU (7-5 straight up, 6-6 against the spread) as a three-point favorite with a total of 49 ½. As of late Tuesday afternoon, most spots had the Cougars favored by 3.5 with the total down to 48 ½. Gamblers can take the Aztecs to win outright for a plus-155 return (risk $100 to win $155).

Since losing back-to-back games in September, San Diego St. (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS) has won seven consecutive games while compiling a 6-1 spread record. Rocky Long’s team is gunning for the first eight-game winning streak in school history. The Aztecs closed the regular season with a 42-28 win at Wyoming as seven-point ‘chalk.’ Sophomore running back Adam Muema was the catalyst against the Cowboys, rushing for 255 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries.

Muema enjoyed a banner campaign, rushing for 1,355 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Senior RB Walter Kazee is also productive out of the backfield, tallying 822 rushing yards and eight TDs.

Oregon St. transfer Ryan Katz was the starting QB until sustaining a season-ending ankle injury in an Oct. 20 win over Nevada. Katz had thrown for 13 touchdowns compared to four interceptions, but the Aztecs haven’t missed a beat with sophomore Adam Dingwell.

Dingwell has completed 61.7 percent of his throws for 795 yards with an 8/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

The San Diego St. offense will face a stout BYU defense which is ranked third in the nation overall and second against the run. The Cougars give up only 84.3 yards rushing per game and 14.7 points per contest.

BYU lost four of its six games against bowl-bound teams, going 3-3 ATS. The Cougars’ best wins came over Utah St. (6-3) at home and at Ga. Tech (41-17). They have been single-digit favorites four times, limping to a 0-4 spread record.

BYU won three of its last four games, including a 50-14 win at New Mexico St. as a 28-point road favorite. Senior QB James Lark made the most of his first career start, throwing for 384 yards and six TDs without an interception.

Mendenhall has been playing coy about who will get the starting nod under center. Riley Nelson (ribs) will be available after sitting out the regular-season finale but according to Jay Drew, BYU’s beat writer for the Salt Lake City-Tribune, he will be ‘stunned’ if Lark doesn’t start.

Nelson, the senior starting QB for most of the year, has a 13/12 TD-INT ratio. Meanwhile, Lark has eight TD passes without being picked off.

Junior WR Cody Hoffman is BYU’s best player on offense. Hoffman hauled in 90 receptions for 1,134 yards and 11 TDs. He is a physical wideout with excellent speed and an NFL future. Jamaal Williams paced the Cougars in rushing with 744 yards and 11 TDs.

San Diego St. went 3-1 ATS in four underdog situation this season, winning a pair of those games outright.

San Diego St. faced six bowl-bound squads this year, winning three of those games while going 4-2 ATS. The Aztecs won a pair of nail-biters at Nevada (39-38) and at Boise St. (21-19), and they also drilled Air Force by a 28-9 count as seven-point home ‘chalk.’

The ‘under’ has gone 6-5 overall for both teams this season. However, BYU has seen the ‘over’ hit a 3-1 clip in its last four games, while San Diego St. has watched the ‘under’ go 3-1 in its last four outings.

BYU has won five in a row over San Diego St. and nine of the last 10. The Cougars went 3-2 ATS in the head-to-head showdowns from 2006-2010, including a 24-21 triumph two seasons ago.

BYU has won three straight bowl games both SU and ATS, including last year’s 24-21 win over Tulsa as a 2½-point favorite in the Armed Forces Bowl.

San Diego St. lost a 32-30 decision to UL-Lafayette as a four-point favorite in last season’s New Orleans Bowl. However, the Aztecs won the Poinsettia Bowl two years ago by mauling Navy, 35-14, as three-point favorites.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 12/20

Poinsettia Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know


1. Two former conference foes renew a rivalry that is much more important to San Diego State. The Aztecs are seeking their first 10-win season since 1977 and playing in a third consecutive bowl game for the initial time in program history. Brigham Young attempts to add on to its dominating 27-7-1 edge in the all-time series and is 5-2 in bowl games under eight-year coach Bronco Mendenhall.

2. Mendenhall has an interesting decision to make at quarterback between Riley Nelson and one-game sensation James Lark. Nelson has been maddeningly inconsistent and his absence because of injured ribs presented Lark with the opportunity to pass for 384 yards and six touchdowns in the regular-season finale against porous New Mexico State.

3. Mountain West Coach of the Year Rocky Long of San Diego State and Mendenhall are highly familiar with one another. Mendenhall was defensive coordinator under Long for five seasons (1998-2002) at New Mexico and considers him a mentor. The Aztecs’ atypical 3-3-5 defensive alignment doesn’t prompt an uncomfortable adjustment period for Mendenhall and the BYU staff, who have previously coached against it on several occasions.

LINE: BYU opened between a 2.5 and 3.5-point favorite while the total has moved from 49 to as low as 48 before settling in between.

WEATHER: The forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures in the mid 50s. Winds are expected to blow NNW at 2 mph.


* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in San Diego State.
* Cougars are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 meetings.
* Home team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.

ABOUT BRIGHAM YOUNG (7-5, 6-6 ATS): No matter who starts at quarterback, junior receiver Cody Hoffman is a big-time threat with 90 catches for 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns. Hoffman caught a school-record five touchdowns in the season finale. Freshman Jamaal Williams rushed for a team-best 744 yards for an offense that averages 29.2 points. The Cougars shine on defense, led by junior Kyle Van Noy. The dominating linebacker has 11.5 sacks and five forced fumbles for a unit that ranks third in total defense (266.3 yards per game) and fifth in scoring defense (14.7). BYU’s stout rushing defense (84.3) ranks second nationally as it goes up against a strong San Diego State rushing attack. The Cougars often land an edge in field position with senior Riley Stephenson, who ranks second nationally in punting at 47.3 with a 42.2 net average.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE (9-3, 7-1 Mountain West, 8-4 ATS): The Aztecs have won seven straight games and haven’t lost since September. San Diego State has set a school-record with 2,750 rushing yards – the old mark of 2,476 was set during Marshall Faulk’s freshman campaign in 1991 – with sophomore Adam Muema leading the way with 1,355 yards and 16 rushing scores. San Diego State will be without senior Walter Kazee (822 yards), who injured his knee in the regular season finale. The strong running game has aided sophomore quarterback Adam Dingwell (eight touchdowns, four interceptions) after he became the starter for the final four regular season games because of a season-ending injury to Ryan Katz. Senior cornerback Leon McFadden (three interceptions) will be called on to help slow Hoffman, while junior safety Nat Berhe (team-best 87 tackles) and sophomore middle linebacker Jake Fely (86 stops, team-high seven sacks) are top-notch defenders.

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