Missouri Tigers +10 Earn The Title Of Big Dog Of The Week For NCAAF

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, September 2, 2016 10:13 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 10:13 PM UTC

Expert Capper Joe Gavazzi takes a look into the NCAAF Odds and cherry picks the Big Dog Of The Week.An underdog of 7 points or more that has a good opportunity of pulling the upset. 

Welcome to our 2016 College Football analysis on this site!  As this bureau begins its 37th consecutive year of football analyses, we look to use our experience and expertise for yet another in a long line of successful winning seasons.  

Each week on these pages, I will isolate a “BIG DOG OF THE WEEK.”  It will be an underdog of 7 or more points, who I believe has the opportunity to either win this game outright or remain competitive throughout the game.  Many times, it will be the team with the superior defense, or often it will be a game in which there is a huge situational advantage to our BIG DOG.  


Missouri vs West Virginia (-10) 12:00 ET FS1
It seems strange to view this as an SEC vs Big 12 matchup after each of the teams has changed Conference affiliations in recent seasons. Missouri, under first year HC Barry Odom, is going through the bigger transition. He replaces the departed Gary Pinkel, the 15 year HC of the Tigers who retired due to health concerns. He does so in the wake of a 5-7 SU, 3-8 ATS season, which included a single SEC victory and an offense averaging just 14/302. Odom, the former DC at Missouri, was chosen because of his outstanding defensive work on that side of the ball. In the last three years, the Tigers have improved defensively going from 28 to 16 PPG LY, a year in which they allowed just 302 YPG. With 8 returning starters having the continuity of Odom, this will remain one of the most superior defenses in the nation. If Missouri is to substantially improve, it will come with the hiring of OC Josh Heupel, a QB star at Oklahoma, who last year was the OC at Utah St. With the expulsion of last year’s trouble maker Marty Mauk, it paves the way for QB Lock to set the tone from the beginning, along with key skill position transfers from Alabama (WR Black) and Oklahoma (RB Ross). Should an inexperienced OL gel early, substantial improvement will follow.


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West Virginia has never reached the heights expected under sixth year HC Holgorsen. They have topped out at 8 wins (last year) and were never better than 5-4 in Big 12 play. Though 9 returning starters with experience led by senior QB Howard, and new OC Joe Wickline, a longtime assistant at Oklahoma St and most recently the OC at Texas, this is clearly an offense that has the potential to at least match the 200 Club offense of last year that averaged 34/480. The question is whether one of West Virginia’s least experienced defenses can continue the improvement against a powerful slate of Big 12 opponents. With numbers that have improved from 33 to 28 to 25 PPG the recent three years, that will be quite a challenge. In this opener, it figures to be the veteran offense of West Virginia vs the sterling defense of Missouri. It’s a game where we will have an opportunity to learn, if not profit. 


Certainly, the team point spread profiles support our case.  Missouri is 12-5 ATS as road dog for the last 5 years, while under HC Holgorsen, West Virginia is 9-15 ATS as home chalk and 6-9 ATS vs. non-con foes.  I invite you to put the College Football odds in your favor and join me in my College Football pick on Missouri tonight.


Free NCAAF Pick: Missouri +10
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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