VegasTopDogs PAC 12 Preview


We head on out to the west coast to check on the PAC 12 and breakdown who can challenge the Ducks of Oregon.


OREGON DUCKS – Who knows how things would have played out last year if Marcus Mariota didn’t get injured. So we will take him at his word he is ready, and let the rest of the PAC 12 try to slow down this offense. October 11th is a huge road test vs South favorites UCLA. Ducks get Stanford at home with revenge and if they take care of business, a National Championship is possible.

STANFORD – Was as good as any team in the nation last year. But with just 12 returning starters, I don’t see 11 wins again. Tough schedule going on the road in the PAC 12 with 5 games where 4 of those teams combined to go 26-10 in conference play. They took care of Arizona State, Washington, Oregon and UCLA at home. They will all be licking their chops looking for revenge. Can’t leave out Notre Dame on the road.

WASHINGTON HUSKIES – I like where Sark has taken this program. I think new HC Chris Peterson will continue growing this team. What better coach to come in with a talented roster than a guy who went 92-12 at a mid-major, and had his Boise team get a pair of Fiesta Bowl wins. Normally I think teams lose a step when a new coach takes over, especially when they don’t even have their returning QB. But I feel this situation is different because of Peterson. The guy always get the most out of his players. Players who were probably a little below the talent he inherits here in Seattle. I can see them matching last years 9 wins.

WASHINGTON STATE – I’m putting the Cougars here. I like Mike Leach. He took over a crap program and looks like he has them on the right track. He won 3 games his first year with a garbage roster. 6 wins and bowl last year. Now in year 3 he has more of his scheme guys. 14 starters back, including 8 on offense. I think he can match LY’s win total and if things really go well, get 8 or 9 wins.

OREGON STATE – Sorry to say this, but I think it is time for HC Mike Riley to move on. 14 years is a long time. 5-7, 3-9, 9-4, 7-6. Not exactly setting the world on fire the last 4 years. The PAC 12 is getting to be a very deep, talented league. Maybe they catch fire and start 6-1 again and don’t lose 5 straight. I doubt it.

CAL BEARS – Can’t really get any worse for 2nd year man Sonny Dykes in Berkeley. They had a bunch of injuries on their way to a 1-11 season. They now have 15 starters back, 9 on offense. Granted their QB is a sophomore coming off a shoulder injury behind a poor OL. Bears have lost 16 of 18 in PAC 12 play so I really can’t see a huge jump here.


UCLA BRUINS – You know I like my HC’s entering their 3rd years. Jim Mora gets 17 starters back including Heisman hopefull QB Brett Hundley. This is a talented group. They lost back to back roadies last year to Oregon and Stanford. They get both at home here. They have to beat at least one of those teams if they think they are serious in their title hopes. The offense put up 37ppg and should be just as explosive and can make up for a weaker defense.

USC TROJANS – I do love me some Sark. I thought his hire to Washington was a great move, and coming home where he was a OC was just a matter of time. This is USC. There is NFL talent up and down this roster. Now they have a guy who will gel that together. It is his first season in LA, so I don’t expect perfection. The defense is always good and with Sark working his QB magic, the Trojans could steal the south.

ARIZONA and ARIZONA STATE – I will be honest. You can probably combine these two and not beat the teams above them here. I can’t really find a clear edge for putting one above the other. Logic says hey, Arizona State has a great QB who can put up points in a hurry (39.7ppg). In the next breath I see that the Wildcats have 2 returning defensive starters in a league that is getting some excellent QB play. Arizona is the more experienced bunch and should probably win more games. But I have zero faith in Rich Rodriguez as a HC. You will always get the truth with me. Maybe after watching some film I have find an edge or weakness here. For now, I think they are the second tier of the south.

UTAH UTES – Kyle Whittingham must be thinking why the heck did we come to this conference. Things haven’t been easy in Salt Lake in PAC 12 play. Back to back 5-7 seasons, 9-18 in league play the last 3 years. I think they Utes are in over their heads. I have said it before and will say it again. This conference is rapidly improving. The only reason Utah isn’t in the basement is because of the team behind them.

COLORADO – Oh the Buffaloes. Mike MacIntyre enters year 2 looking for more improvement. He took over a 1 win team and tripled that to 4. With 16 starters back, the roster is stacked with experienced players. I will tell you know that I see some real value betting these guys in spots this year.

Be sure to check  as we head to the SEC Conference next — SEAN HIGGS

2014 VegasTopDogs NFL Draft Predictions

Mock Draft
It’s almost here, that wonderful time of the off-season, we all look forward to like a special holiday for grown ups, NFL draft day. I know I am as excited as you are, waiting to see who my team is going to grab in the 1st round, who can we sneak out in the 3rd, and make it all come together. This HAS to be the year, right?

Draft season, brings everyone together as a unit, like a load of team colored, jersey wearing soldiers, to cheer, jeer, moan and groan at who picks up who, and who passes on who. Will your team be drafting who you are hoping for, or will they let you down? It’s a day, where we all are GMs of our teams, and looking at who we think our teams should be drafting. With all the teams and their hopes in the offseason, bad teams try to get better, teams like Cleveland and St. Louis are thought to be instantly teams that are expecting a great turnaround from last year simply from having 2 picks in the 1st round. But not so fast, it all comes out in the wash during the upcoming season.

So we will go through the 1st round, Mock draft style and let you know who they teams should be taking in their slots.

1. Houston Texans – Jadaveon Clowney, DE
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)- Sammy Watkins, WR
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Khalil Mack, LB
4. Cleveland Browns- Mike Evans, WR
5. Oakland Raiders- Greg Robinson, OL
6. Atlanta Falcons- Jake Matthews, OL
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Taylor Lewan, OL
8. Minnesota Vikings- Johnny Manziel, QB
9. Buffalo Bills- CJ Mosley, LB
10. Detroit Lions- Calvin Pryor, S
11. Tennessee Titans- Darqueze Dennard, CB
12. New York Giants- Louis Nix III, DT
13. St. Louis Rams- Justin Gilbert, CB
14. Chicago Bears- Timmy Jernigan, DT
15. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kyle Fuller, CB
16. Dallas Cowboys- Kony Ealy, DE
17. Baltimore Ravens- Xavier Su’A-Filo, OL
18. New York Jets- Odell Beckham, WR
19. Miami Dolphins- David Yankey, OL
20. Arizona Cardinals- Blake Bortles, QB
21. Green Bay Packers- Zack Martin, OL
22. Philadelphia Eagles- Merqise Lee, WR
23. Kansas City Chiefs- Gabe Jackson, OL
24. Cincinnati Bengals- Dee Ford, DE
25. San Diego Chargers- Anthony Barr, LB
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts)- Derek Carr, QB
27. New Orleans Saints- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S
28. Carolina Panthers- Cyrus Kouandjio, OL
29. New England Patriots- Ra’Shede Hageman, DT
30. San Francisco 49ers- Jason Verrett, CB
31. Denver Broncos- Kelvin Benjamin, WR
32. Seattle Seahawks- Eric Ebron, TE

What makes this draft so great is because it is so deep and so talented, on all levels. I think that this draft could produce a couple handfuls of Pro-Bowlers easily. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m right on, but we will find out soon enough. Looking forward to this Thursday, May 8th, so let’s do this!!

Written by TonyK of

3 Best Football Games this week


The bowl season continues this week, while the NFL arrives at the final weekend of its regular season. This is a week for football, which will continue to command the stage in North America.


NCAA Football: Poinsettia Bowl – Utah State Aggies vs. Northern Illinois Huskies


This is a game that should underscore the importance of having a healthy starting quarterback. Northern Illinois will send quarterback Jordan Lynch, a Heisman Trophy finalist, to the field in this game. Utah State will not be able to send its superstar quarterback, playmaker Chuckie Keeton, to the field in San Diego. This one difference between the two teams should loom large, giving Northern Illinois a noticeable advantage. The big hope for Utah State is that Northern Illinois will be depressed about failing to gain a spot in a BCS bowl game, which is what the Huskies would have done if they had defeated Bowling Green in the MAC Championship Game three weeks ago.


NFL Football: Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals


This is a game the Ravens have to win if they want to have any shot at the playoffs. Baltimore needs Miami to lose to the New York Jets. If that happens, Baltimore can return to the playoffs and defend its Super Bowl championship if it can win on the road in Cincinnati against the AFC North champion Bengals, who will host a wild card game in early January unless New England loses to Buffalo. Then, Cincinnati could get a first-round bye. Baltimore will be hurt by the fact that quarterback Joe Flacco has a bad left knee.


NFL Football: Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears  


This game is the NFC North championship game. The winner claims the division and moves to the playoffs, while the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention. Everyone will be waiting during the week to see if Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers can play in this game, but one should not expect him to be allowed to play.

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College and NFL Football matchups

Football fans and betting players alike should have a busy weekend lined up, and here is a look at the best matchups from both the NFL and the college ranks.


Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills – The Chiefs didn’t play great against Cleveland, but they did enough to stay undefeated. They’ll head to Buffalo to take on the 3-5 Bills, who are 2-2 at home, and all four games have been decided by three points or less.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers – The Panthers have won three in a row to go to 4-3, and they’ll aim to pile on the 2-5 Falcons, who have suffered some massive injuries this season. Carolina is a 7.5-point NFL betting favorite over their NFC South rivals.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers – In the Monday night game, the 5-2 Packers will look to remain perfect at home as they host the 4-3 Bears. The linesmakers could be waiting to hear word on Chicago QB Jay Cutler, who will likely sit because of a groin injury.

NCAA Football

Miami at Florida State – The third-ranked Seminoles are favored by a staggering 22 points at home against their rivals from Miami, and the seventh-ranked Hurricanes have dropped three straight in this Florida grudge match from the ACC.

Oklahoma State at Texas Tech – The #18 Cowboys have won four in a row over the #15 Red Raiders, but Texas Tech is favored by 2.5 points at home in this crucial Big 12 showdown between two teams flying under the radar.

Michigan at Michigan State – Last year, the #21 Wolverines snapped a four-game skid against their state rivals, the #22 Spartans. Michigan State is being tipped by the sportsbook as 4.5 points at home over Michigan in this Big Ten clash where bragging rights will trump the rankings.

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Football Betting Matchups From The NFL And NCAAF

The action is starting to heat up on the gridiron in both the NFL and NCAA, and this week is loaded with matchups in the sportsbook that will keep you busy on Saturday and Sunday.


Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions – A pair of 4-3 teams from the NFC meet in the Motor City, and the Lions are 3-point favorites at home. However, the Cowboys have won two in a row while playing some very good football.

New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals – The Jets got a hand to shock New England to go to 4-3, but they’ll be 6-point underdogs on the road against the Bengals, who lead the AFC North at 5-2 and have yet to lose in three home games this season.

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals – The 2-4 Falcons have fallen from Super Bowl contenders to being 1-point underdogs on the road at 3-4 Arizona. Of course, Atlanta has had to battle through some important injuries.

NCAA Football

UCLA at Oregon – #12 UCLA has lost five of their last six at #3 Oregon, who are favored by 22.5 points in Eugene on Saturday. The 7-0 Ducks are trying to keep their BCS title hopes alive, while the 5-1 Bruins are looking to keep pace in the Pac-12 South.

South Carolina at Missouri – The #21 Gamecocks dropped to 5-2 after being upset at Tennessee, and there is a good chance they’ll be the underdogs at Missouri against the #5 Tigers, who are 7-0. However, watch the betting line as both teams could be without their starting quarterbacks.

Texas Tech at Oklahoma – In the Big 12, 7-0 Texas Tech has quietly snuck up to 10th in the BCS rankings, but they’ll be underdogs by a touchdown at #15 Oklahoma, who are 6-1. The Red Raiders have won just twice in their last nine trips to Norman.

Football Motivating Factors

Motivation is such an enormous part of athletic competition, particularly in
college sports where young players aren’t always as self-motivated as pros, who
are playing for a paycheck. This is where coaches play such a huge roll, in
harnessing situational spots for opportunities to get their football team
supremely focused.

When Ohio State had its first Big 10 showdown last
month against Wisconsin, Buckeye coach Urban Meyer made it a point at a press
conference of referring to the Badgers as “King of the Big Ten.” That was a
reference to last season when Ohio State was banned from postseason play at
12-0, so Wisconsin represented the Big 10 in the Rose Bowl again.

year Wisconsin gave the Buckeyes all they could handle in Madison before falling
21-14 in overtime, and Ohio State won again last month, 31-24 (leading 31-7
after three). Even though Wisconsin has represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl
for the past three seasons as the conference champion, the Badgers are 0-2
against Buckeye QB Braxton Miller. Meyer saw an opportunity to provide some
extra motivation to his team against the Badgers.

Iowa State has been
involved with two huge motivational situations against Texas the last two years.
Two weeks ago the Cyclones, an 8-point dog, should have beaten the Longhorns,
but made several key errors and had an official’s call go against them late.
Coach Paul Rhoads blasted Big 12 officiating after a Texas fumble at the goal
line ended up being ruled down by contact.

“I’ve got the
privilege as the head coach of this football program to face my players, win or
lose, and look them in the eye and tell them how proud I am of the work they put
forth, the effort they gave,” Rhoads said. “And to make a play on the 1-yard
line, with their backs against the wall — clear to everybody — and have it
taken away from them … that’s hard to express. You don’t just put an arm around
a guy and tell him it’s OK when that happens to him. I’m so proud of the effort
my kids gave to win this football game tonight.”

It was as an emotional
speech as you could find in the best Hollywood sports movie. It also sent a
message to his players that he was behind them – an ‘us against the world’
moment that could pay dividends down the road when he asks them to give it their
all against another opponent, perhaps in a rivalry or revenge game.

State and Texas were involved in another emotional game in 2012. The Cyclones
visited the Longhorns the week Texas legend Darrell Royal past away. Coach Mack
Brown told the team in the middle of the week they would open the game in the
Wishbone as a tribute. The crowd went wild, especially when the play went for a
47-yard TD! It was an emotional Cyclone that Iowa State had no chance against
and Texas went on to win, 33-7, as 10-point chalk.

Sports handicappers
long to find information or situational spots where a team is more motivated
than usual, such as rivalry and revenge games. The rematch between Iowa State
and Texas certainly looked like a revenge spot, as Iowa State should have won
the game as a +8 home dog.

Notre Dame stuck it to Oklahoma a year ago,
winning at the Sooners in impressive fashion, 30-13, in a national TV showdown.
It was the seventh straight loss to the Irish, a fact that didn’t elude Bob
Stoops when they played in the rematch last month. Oklahoma won in South Bend,
35-21, and Stoops was well aware of the long history: “Now that it’s happened
this way, I’m pleased and I sure am glad for those older Oklahomans that have
been through all those games Notre Dame had beaten us. We get some level of
satisfaction winning this one.”

College football features countless
examples each season, homecoming games, revenge spots, conference showdowns,
angry coaches, teams that are holding grudges, all of which can show up on the
gridiron in a super-human team effort for a big win. Matchups, home field and
betting trends are all important to examine, but motivation can also be a huge
edge on game day, one that successful sports bettors are eager to find and
exploit at the betting window.

Written by Jim Feist for

No Shortage Of Football Matchups Out There This Week

Football is the dominant force at most online sportsbooks, and there is a slew of matchups this week that you should have on your radar.


San Francisco at St. Louis Thursday night NFL Network – The 49ers and Rams are both 1-2 heading into this Thursday night game, but San Fran’s struggles have to be the story as they have looked terrible in losses to Seattle and Indianapolis. The Niners are favored by three on the road in this NFC West clash.

New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs – The winless Giants are coming off a whipping at the hands of Carolina, and are four-point underdogs on the NFL betting lines against the unbeaten Chiefs, who had a long week off after a big win in Andy Reid’s return to Philadelphia last Thursday.

Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos – The Eagles’ fast-paced offense has been up and down in three weeks under Chip Kelly, leading to a 1-2 record so far. The Broncos will likely be undefeated after a Monday night game at home against Oakland, and they’ve been red-hot to start 2013.


LSU at Georgia –The sixth-ranked Tigers are 4-0 as they travel to Athens to battle the 2-1 Bulldogs, who are three spots behind LSU in the rankings. This will be Georgia’s third game against a top-10 team after a loss at Clemson and a win over South Carolina. UGA is favored by three.

Oklahoma at Notre Dame – This will be OU’s first road game of the season as the 14th-ranked Sooners are favored by 3.5 points at #22 Notre Dame, who are 3-1 after eking out a win over Michigan State at home.

Ole Miss at Alabama – The top-ranked Crimson Tide have a 16.5-point edge on the betting lines over the visiting #21 Rebels in this SEC tilt between unbeaten teams, and Ole Miss have played three of their first four away from home.

Saturday Preview: Alabama at Texas A&M

It’s the most anticipated game of the season and one Alabama has been looking forward to since last November as the Tide visit Texas A&M on Saturday. It’s likely to be the toughest game on Alabama’s regular-season schedule as it looks to win a third straight national title. ESPN GameDay will be on hand and the game is also the most expensive regular season college football game ever per ticket prices. Bama is a 7.5-point favorite on WagerWeb [1]. Johnny Manziel essentially won the Heisman Trophy on Nov. 10, 2012, when the Aggies went into Tuscaloosa and stunned No. 1 Alabama 29-24. Manziel staked the 15th-ranked Aggies to a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter, and Texas A&M held on. Manziel passed for 253 yards and rushed for 92, confounding the Tide defense with his ability to keep plays alive as the Aggies scored the game’s first 20 points. AJ McCarron nearly pulled off a scintillating comeback. He threw one touchdown pass and motored the ball downfield before Deshazor Everett stepped in front of his fourth-down pass at the goal line with 1:36 left. It was one of three Tide turnovers.

The Aggies had been 1-10 against top-ranked teams with the only previous win coming 30-26 over Oklahoma in 2002. Some people have explained the loss as one of three reasons: The Crimson Tide had just come off an emotionally draining comeback victory at rival LSU. Perhaps they weren’t completely ready for the offensive pace of Texas A&M. Maybe they took the Southeastern Conference newcomers a bit lightly. Texas A&M enters this game with a 2-0 record, having beaten Rice and Sam Houston State by an average of 58.5 points. Last time out, the Aggies accumulated 714 yards of total offense, which tied for the fourth-most in program history. Manziel has thrown for 520 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for another 55 and one touchdown this season. He missed the first half of the Rice game. Alabama recorded three non-offensive touchdowns in its season opener against Virginia Tech, marking the first time the Crimson Tide has done so in a game since Sept. 30, 1995, against Georgia. Christian Jones got the Tide on the board first with a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown and then went 94 yards on a kickoff return in the second quarter. Vinnie Sunseri scored the first touchdown of his career with a 38-yard interception return. The Tide were off last week.

Alabama has proven tough to beat when winning the turnover battle since the start of the 2008 season. The Crimson Tide is 41-0 in that time when the Tide has fewer turnovers than its opponents. WagerWeb trends: Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games. Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in September. Aggies are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Aggies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. Crimson Tide are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games in September. Crimson Tide are 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

Written by WagerWeb for

Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong

By JESSE SCHULE for Each week throughout the college football season, Vegas Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He’ll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most underrated Top 25 team: Washington Huskies (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) The Huskies showed signs of greatness last season, with upset wins over Top 25 teams Stanford and Oregon State. The season ended with a disappointing loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Washington avenged that loss in emphatic fashion in Week 1, blowing out the No. 19 ranked Broncos at Husky Stadium. Bishop Sankey ran for 161 yards and a pair of scores on 25 carries and Keith Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards and a pair of touchdowns. If the Huskies continue to play like this, they are going to be tough to beat.

Most overrated Top 25 team: Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) The Buckeyes won big over Buffalo in Week 1, but coach Urban Meyer wasn’t happy with the way his team played in the second half. With OSU clinging to a 10-point lead in the third quarter, Braxton Miller fumbled on his own 1-yard line but fortunately for Ohio State, it was nullified by a penalty. The Buckeyes are going to have to be better against tougher opponents and Urban Meyer knows it. “And then we rough a punter, and we have a fourth down (play) we don’t make and then we throw a screen and it goes the other way,” he told the media. “In a tight game, you’re going to lose.”

Unranked team that should be ranked: Baylor Bears (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) The Bears had the top offense in the country in 2012 (total yards) and they scored 69 points in a Week 1 blowout over Wofford. What’s even more impressive is that their defense, which couldn’t stop anyone a season ago, limited the Terriers to just three points. The Bears have a light schedule through the next two months, with six straight games against unranked teams.

Exposing the Top 25 in College Football

Most Underrated Top 25 Team – USC Trojans (7-6 SU, 3-10 ATS)

At this time last year, the Trojans were at the top of all the polls as an early favorite to win the national championship. Their season started to take a turn for the worse when they lost to Stanford in Week 3, and losses to Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Notre Dame would soon follow. After a disappointing season they lost starting quarterback Matt Barkley and star wideout Robert Woods.

It’s easy to see why everyone is down on the Trojans, but they return eight starters on offense and seven on defense from a team that came into 2012 with such lofty expectations. While they have plenty of questions at the quarterback position, Silas Redd and Marqise Lee will give them a pair of potent weapons on offense. They open the season in Hawaii, and then return home to host Washington State and Boston College. This team should cruise through September, and rise in the rankings.

Most Overrated Top 25 Team – Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS) The Irish ran the table in 2012, but along the way they were fortunate to win some close games that easily could have gone the other way. They lost Manti Te’o to the NFL draft, and it looks like they will also be without Everet Golson because of academic issues. Notre Dame has a tough schedule, hosting Oklahoma, Michigan State and facing Michigan on the road in September. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them fall out of the rankings during the first month of the season.

Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked – Virginia Tech Hokies (7-6 SU, 4-9 ATS) The Hokies have a nightmare matchup in Week 1, hosting the defending champion Crimson Tide. Once they get that out of the way, the schedule appears very manageable. They will have a new look offense and a defense that returns eight starters after finishing top 20 in the nation last year. Logan Thomas returns after a disappointing season, but Thomas finished the season strong with wins over Boston College and Virginia, and an overtime victory in the Russell Athletic Bowl over Rutgers. If the Hokies can find their running game, they should be able to win their share of ballgames in 2013.

Written by Jesse Schule for