Our inaugural edition of T-Wire’s BetUS PICKS! Should have placed our bets last night since the lines have moved, but we are sticking to our guns, so, vamos a ver.
Three Team Parlay $50 to win $300
Ohio State (-22.5) over Navy
Penn State (-28) over Akron
Alabama (-7) over VA Tech
Straight Bet $50 to win $45.45
USC (-33) over San Jose State
Those Big 10 teams always seem to crush on the Little Sisters of Mary in the opening weeks. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call us Deacon Blues; we’re just trying to get some money back from the $95 tickets we paid to see Steely Dan play at Universal City Walk.
Everyone is telling us not to bet USC, which is why we’re doing it. F-it, we hate underdogs. Hey Barkley, hey McKnight, make us look good alright!
Actual statistical and analytical thoughts on the USC game after the jump.
From Dr. Bob:
USC (-34 1/2) 41 San Jose State 7
My ratings favor USC by 34 1/2 points, which is right on the number. I’ll pass this one.
San Jose State wasted a good year by the defense with a horrible offense that averaged just 4.5 yards per play and 19 points despite facing a schedule of teams that would combine to allow 5.9 yppl and 33 points per game to an average attack. The defense was 0.4 yppl better than average and the Spartans were 3-0 in close games, so they managed a 6-6 record despite not being a much worse than average team overall.
This year’s Spartans should be much better offensively with all 5 starters returning on the offensively and All-WAC WR Kevin Jurovich returning to action after missing all by 1 1/2 games last season. Jurovich caught 85 passes in 2007 and nabbed 15 balls in less than 2 games last season before getting hurt, and his return gives accurate quarterback Kyle Reed (64% completions last year) a target that can get open down the field. Reed only averaged 9.6 yards per completion last season (12.0 ypc is average) and the passing stats will become respectable with Jurovich back regardless of whether it’s Reed or Jordan La Secla throwing the passes. The rushing attack should also be much better than the pathetic 3.7 yards per rushing play that the Spartans average last season behind a bad offensive line. That line is still not good but at least they’re more experienced and should lead the way to better rushing numbers with highly rated JC transfer Lamon Muldrow and veteran Patrick Perry (injured the last 2 years) an major upgrade in the backfield. San Jose State was 1.4 yppl worse than average offensively last season but I rate the Spartans at just -0.4 yppl heading into this season.
While the offense will be better, the defense figures to drop off after losing 3 NFL draft picks in DE Gilbert (9.5 sks 12.5 tfl) and CB’s Owens and Francies. There are 7 returning starters, so experience won’t be an issue, but losing 3 NFL caliber players is tough for a school like San Jose State to overcome. There is still solid talent on the stop side of the ball and head coach Dick Tomey has a long history of good defensive teams (remember the Desert Swarm defenses at Arizona?), so I’ll still peg the Spartans as an average defensive team, which is pretty good by WAC standards.
The Spartans are a below average team on an national scale, but they’re much better than they were last season and could get to 6 wins again this season.
From The Skinny:
Prediction: I think it will be sloppy and San Jose State will come to play and keep it interesting for a half of football. SC pulls away in the second half with a 31-10 victory. If the defense shuts down San Jose State early and Mcknight breaks off a big run in the first quarter, this score could easily swell to 45-7. Dick Tomey is a great coach and San Jose State does have solid athletes and will be a stubborn team to put away.