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Football action fast and furious, but protect your wallet

September 1, 2017 12:55 PM
saban
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban is 10-0 in season openers, so underdog buyers beware in Saturday's game against Florida State.
© USA Today Sports Images

LAS VEGAS — So much football. So little time. So let’s not waste any of it. ...

 

There’s a growing buzz about Florida State getting seven points versus Alabama in the marquee game Saturday night. Buyer beware: Taking a position against ’Bama coach Nick Saban in a season opener – and on a former Saban assistant – is a losing proposition. Saban is 10-0 in season openers, 9-1 against the spread and 10-0 versus former assistants. Yes, ’Noles coach Jimbo Fisher was his offensive coordinator at LSU. I’m not saying bet ’Bama, but I am saying protect your wallet. ...

 

Florida-Michigan at Jerry World lost its luster when the Gators suspended 10 players and counting, including No. 1 receiver Antonio Callaway and No. 1 running back Jordan Scarlett. Coach Khaki is licking his Wolverine chops at the prospect of taking down an SEC opponent. ...

 

Did you open the weekend by backing Ohio State? Did you run to the liquor cabinet at halftime? Urban Meyer caught his talented team peeking ahead to Oklahoma next week. But never fear. The second half revealed the Buckeyes’ talent to the tune of 36-7. So here’s our lesson: Don’t be afraid of betting an underdog in the first half while still holding the favorite for the whole game. ...

 

We have two gold stars for Thursday night performers. ... Buckeye freshman running back J.K. Dobbins: 29 carries, 181 yards. He dedicated this game to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Dobbins is from La Grange, Texas, which is very close to Houston. ... (By the way, kudos to J.J. Watt, who has raised $14 million and counting to help the thousands of victims who have been devastated by Harvey. Watt didn’t just send his prayers; he sent cash, getting things rolling with a $100,000 donation himself. And he and his Texans teammates are personally looking after semi trucks that are getting supplies where they are needed the most.) ...

 

Do not overlook Oklahoma State’s 59-24 drubbing of Tulsa. Our other gold star goes to quarterback Mason Rudolph: 20-for-24, 303 yards, three touchdowns. He jumped headlong into the Heisman chatter. ... When South Point’s chief bookie Chris Andrews put out the first college football win totals this summer, he told us Oklahoma State was attacked on the over right away at 8½. It’s up to 9 now, and Thursday showed us why. ...

 

West Coast fans can enjoy the best quarterbacks in college football this year: USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Washington’s Jake Browning and Washington State’s Luke Falk. ... Rosen has the quartet’s toughest opener versus Texas A&M visiting the Rose Bowl. Let’s call this the Hot Seat Bowl. Whichever coach loses – the Bruins’ Jim Mora or the Aggies’ Kevin Sumlin – can expect the drums and the boosters to start pounding. ... Darnold and the Trojans figure to have a much better opener this year than last. The first meeting ever with Western Michigan will be much more comfortable than playing ’Bama. ... Browning has the longest road trip of the quartet – off to Rutgers, where the Huskies figure to win big. ... Falk is home in Pullman to host Montana State. ...

 

Two SEC teams are laying too many points. Ole Miss minus-24 versus South Alabama, and Auburn laying 34½ against Georgia Southern. Gotta love the ’dogs. ...

 

The folks in Houston need good news wherever they can find it, and the Astros jumped back into the World Series picture big time with the acquisition of Justin Verlander from the Tigers. Since the All-Star break he is 5-2 with a 2.41 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. He has a Cy Young Award. He’s been to two World Series. And his career ERA is lower in September than any other month. This should please Dallas Keuchel, who was openly critical of his team’s lack of a move at the deadline a month ago. Verlander makes his Astros debut Tuesday at Seattle. And when he brings his fiancée Kate Upton, that should brighten the skies over Houston. ...

 

Memo to the National Football League: When Columbus police decide not to press domestic-abuse charges because they find too many inconsistencies with an accuser’s story, you might want to follow their lead. The six-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys after a year-long investigation is proving to be another travesty. Somebody in the league office better look up “due process.” ...

 

The revelation by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was this: The only NFL investigator who interviewed Elliott’s accuser Tiffany Thompson came away with the conclusion that no suspension should be handed down. Then we find out that she wasn’t allowed in the meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell when they decided the punishment. The players union used that to go after a court injunction to stop the suspension dead in its tracks. ...

 

The one member of the NFL quartet who led the push for Elliott’s suspension is a long-time season-ticket holder for the New York Giants. This woman should have recused herself from any investigation involving a Giants game – like the Cowboys’ opener. ...

 

Our own Gill Alexander from VSiN said the NFL’s whole case against Elliott was flawed from the beginning. He said it back in July, and he has been right about this all along. You have got to give somebody due process in a case like this. I have no idea what happened between Ezekiel Elliott and Tiffany Thompson. And neither does the National Football League. ...

 

It’s beginning to look like Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck is going to miss more than just the Colts’ opener in Los Angeles against the Rams. The way information is trickling out of Indy, his repaired shoulder may not be ready for the NFL until October or even later. ...

 

As for the NFL opener Thursday night between New England and Kansas City, go back to the top of this column. See that part about Saban? Replace that with the word Belichick. I love the points with the Chiefs, but there’s no way I am going against the Patriots when they are giving out rings. I learned my lesson in February. ...

 

Final betting advice: Don’t blow your bankroll the first week of the football season. Make it last, lads.

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