Links: SEC Week 1, radio, predictions & more
Published on Friday, 8/29/14, at 3:39 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
LAS VEGAS – I moved over from LVH to the Hard Rock on Wednesday and damn, I forgot how sweet this place is. I’m in the Paradise Tower with a pool view. Once I post this article, I’ve got to put the finishing touches on my Louisville-Miami preview for Monday night — and then I’m done! Nothing but bets, ballgames and Budweisers until I catch the red eye back to Florida on Sunday night. And I think I’ll go play some blackjack in the pool today (dealers in bikinis are cool).
This is my first time at the Hard Rock in 2-3 years and I was thrilled to see the improvements made to the sports book. However, by expanding the sports book, they had to get rid of the legendary Side Bar. The circular middle bar is still standing, but the Side Bar is where many hours (and hundreds of Budweisers) were consumed during my two favorite all-time bachelor parties (for Kelly Campbell and Brian Turner).
Anyway, the new sports book rocks. Great TVs! Enjoyed watching the games last night with Brady Kannon. Here’s a few picks, tidbits, opinions, etc. as Week 1 is finally upon us.
—Here’s my take on this week’s SEC action via Chris Smith’s column at SaturdayDayDownSouth.com. Smith will be featuring my handicapping thoughts on the SEC each week at SDS.
—My interview from yesterday with Mitch Moss on ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas.
—My Tip Sheet for three pivotal Week 1 games at VegasInsider.com.
—My pick for tonight’s UConn-BYU showdown.
—My SEC preview at VegasInsider.com. Note that I have Alabama losing twice, yet making it to the College Football Playoff nonetheless. Also, just above the editor’s note in bold, you can click for my previews of the other Big Five power conferences.
–It’s not too late to get down on my three season win total suggestions: Michigan St. ‘over’ 9.5 wins, Mississippi St. ‘over’ 7.5 and the Philadelphia Eagles ‘over’ 9. With that said, I’m a little less bullish on the Mississippi St. play because I have (had?) them beating Texas A&M at home in a game the Bulldogs have two weeks to prepare for. (More on the Aggies below.)
–Ole Miss took the cash in its season-opening win over Boise St. last night at the Ga. Dome in Atlanta, but it wasn’t nearly as easy as the 35-13 final score suggested. Bo Wallace threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but the Rebels can’t afford for him to throw three interceptions in SEC play.
–Wow! What else can you say about Texas A&M’s absolute shellacking of South Carolina in Columbia last night? Steve Spurrier’s team had won 18 straight at Williams-Brice Stadium. Kevin Sumlin can coach and Kenny Hill looks special. Add another legit contender in the SEC West. That division is so stacked. Every team except Arkansas has the talent to get to Atlanta.
–That’s a big late-night win for Kyle Flood and Rutgers at Washington St. The Scarlet Knights rallied at crunch time to knock off Mike Leach’s squad.
–BYU has suspended three defensive starters and star RB Jamaal Williams for tonight’s game at UConn. The line has dropped from 16.5 yesterday to 15 and as low as 14.5.
–Man, I just don’t think Derek Mason could have possibly scripted his debut at Vanderbilt any worse. Temple, which went 2-10 last year, trounced the Commodores by a 37-7 count. The Vegas books got crushed on this game. The line was Vandy -13.5 yesterday morning, but it dropped all the way to eight before the game kicked. That’s a monster line move for a game where there were no last-minute reports of injuries or suspensions.
–Jessica Ashley makes her BE Sports debut…