Thursday, September 13, 2007

Weekend Betting Preview: NCAA Edition

This week we’re looking at the “Battle for the Bluegrass,” as Louisville and Kentucky meet to decide the winner of the Governor’s Cup. Louisville and Kentucky have one of the fiercest rivalries in college sports, most of the credit for that is due to the basketball teams, but these schools hate each other in general. This is going to seem like a very “square” pick, and I guess it is, but I don’t care Louisville is going to kick the shit out of Kentucky.

I’m not going to bother talking about the teams' defenses, neither is good, and if they were, it probably wouldn’t matter too much. This game comes down to the fact that Louisville has the extreme edge in talent, is equally motivated (even on the road), and Louisville is in a bounce back scenario.

Despite Kentucky’s emergence as an offensive power recently, Louisville’s talent is still miles beyond that of UK. I don’t care that Kentucky’s WR Keenan Burton was 1st team all SEC last year, if Mario Urrutia and Harry Douglas were playing for UK, they’d be starting. At quarterback, Andre’ Woodson has been awesome, 2nd team all SEC last year, but he just does not stack up to Brian Brohm, potential #1 NFL draft pick. The offensive lines might be the biggest difference, UK lost three of their starters from last year, 2nd team all SEC Rt Michael Aitcheson (a 2 year starter), C Matt McCutchan (3-yr starter), and G Trai Williams (2-yr starter). This isn’t a completely dire situation as UK had multiple O-line injuries last year and played a lot of people, but it’s definitely not a strength. On the other hand, Louisville returns seven of their top 10 lineman and adds two JUCO transfers, it’s their strongest group in a long time.

I really believe that the Middle Tennessee game was a look ahead for Louisville. Even though Kentucky isn’t the most difficult opposition they face this year, it is their most hated. Louisville hasn’t shown anything, especially on defense. They have not used any of their blitz packages, etc. They are not as bad as they looked against MTSU, looking at the final score does not tell the whole story as MTSU only scored 7 of their 42 points in the second half. That shows that this team has talent, but needs to be motivated, and motivated they are.

If the rivalry wasn’t enough to get the defense excited for the game, Kentucky has provided some bulletin, or should I say billboard, material for the Cardinals (good one). The University of Kentucky has posted 17 UK Football billboards around the Louisville campus. That’s a lot, and the Louisville players have definitely noticed. Defensive tackle, Earl Heyman, had this to say: "Doesn't bother me, they can stick their signs wherever they want to stick them." I think he means "up their ass,"he went on about the rivalry, "The rivalry means a great deal to me personally and as a player, I'm from Louisville, and I've been around it my whole life. I've been all over Kentucky, and it's all everybody talks about." This defense will be ready to play, I think both defenses will be, but UL’s talent will prove too much.

I thought I should mention the home field advantage thing too, it hasn’t mattered in this series. Over the last eight years, Louisville has won by an average of 15 pts at home and won by an average of 19 pts at Kentucky. I’m not arguing that it’s better that Louisville is playing away, just that it doesn’t matter in this rivalry. So, in summary, Louisville is going to be looking to destroy someone coming off that embarrassingly close win versus MTSU, their first chance happens to be against their most hated rival, they have more talent, Kentucky has given them extra motivation, and the line is under a touchdown … count me in.

Louisville -6.5 @ Kentucky


Louisville -6.5 @ Kentucky

Ohio State -4 @ Washington

Miami (OH) +8.5 v. Cincinnati


Michigan -7.5 v. Notre Dame

Oregon -16 v. Fresno State

Arkansas/Alabama Under 47

Big Lots

Indiana -13.5 v Akron

Georgia Tech -6.5 v Boston College

Louisville/Kentucky Over 77


Georgia Tech -6.5 v Boston College

USC -9.5 @ Nebraska

Duke/Northwestern Under 51.5


Guy said...

Whoever wins, you know, good for them. But it doesn't change the fact that they are from Kentucky. Wow that was cliche.

sammich said...

pretty bitter rivalry. go cards

Buzzsaw said...

There are a lot of awful bets on here ... Louisville wasn't one of them, that was complete fucking bullshit. I'm alright though.

Guy said...

My Ark/Bama Over was bullshit, too.

Buzzsaw said...

Haha, yea it was