Freshman quarterback Nick Sherry is in no way responsible for UNLV being college football’s worst road team in recent years. But he seems to represent the best bet for stopping an ugly trend.
The Rebels are 0-15 on the road in coach Bobby Hauck’s three seasons, and what really puts that miserable streak in perspective is their 1-14 record against the spread.
UNLV’s lack of success on the road is underscored by a string of lopsided results. The Rebels were outscored by 497 points (33.1 per game) in those 15 games, and 14 of the losses were by 22 points or more.
In the only road game UNLV covered under Hauck, it was a 35-point underdog in a 51-17 defeat to Wisconsin in the 2011 season opener. The Rebels were favored only once, by 7 points at New Mexico last season, and lost, 21-14.
Sherry’s first road start came last week in UNLV’s 35-13 loss at Utah State, which was a 21-point favorite. Sherry, who has passed for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns in five games, gives the Rebels hope they soon can break through on the road.
Las Vegas handicapper Bryan Leonard (Footballwinners.com) said it could be tempting to bet against the trend with UNLV getting 27 points at Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
“I originally made this line 25½, so I wasn’t interested in the side, but now that 27s are showing that’s the only side I would look at here,” Leonard said. “The only concern for UNLV would be the lookahead to hosting (UNR) next week. The Rebels’ offense is much improved, as they are no longer one dimensional and you always know you are getting value on the road because of their past troubles.
“Louisiana Tech is fat and happy right now off a 4-0 start and has a big rescheduled game on deck against Texas A&M. I could see the Rebels staying under this number.”
BY THE NUMBERS
74½ – The highest totals on the college board this week, in the Georgia Tech-Clemson and West Virginia-Texas games.
24½ – Points Georgia Tech was favored by in its 49-28 loss to Middle Tennessee last week.
14 – Consecutive games that Western Kentucky has covered the spread. Only three other teams (Fresno State, Northwestern and San Jose State) are 5-0 ATS this season.
8-16 – Combined record ATS of the top five teams in The Associated Press poll (Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Louisiana State and Georgia).
Notes from handicapper Bruce Marshall of GoldSheet.com:
Washington at Oregon – The Ducks have dominated this series by winning and covering the past eight meetings.
Georgia at South Carolina – Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier defeated Georgia the past two years and is 4-0-1 ATS in the past five in the series. The Bulldogs are 0-5 as road ‘dogs since 2010.
Denver at New England – The Patriots covered easily in 41-23 and 45-10 victories over Tim Tebow and the Broncos last season. Peyton Manning has covered five of his past seven against New England.
Buffalo at San Francisco – 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is 9-1-1 ATS at home since last year. The Bills are 2-5 ATS in their past seven on the road.
Betting tweets from the past week:
Why has neither Baylor nor West Virginia attempted an onside kick? Aren’t your recovery odds better than chance at getting a legit stop?
There were 19 touchdowns in the West Virginia/Baylor game. That’s more touchdowns than the St. Louis Rams scored in all of 2011. And 2009.
Saints -3 vs. Chargers – Biggest winless Week 5 favorite over team with winning record in 20+ NFL seasons.
Last 24 Cowboys games, favorite has covered 4 times; underdog has covered 20 times (83%).
When it comes to betting football, treat each team like a stock: always make sure to buy low and sell high, capitalize on public perception.
COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL