|Can you feel it?|
I know it seems like it's a long way off, but college football season really isn't that far away. And you know how I know that? The Golden Nugget yesterday released point spreads for more than 100 of the biggest games of the 2012 season.
The Nugget's release of its Games of the Year numbers have become something of a holiday in the gambling community. It also represents an opportunity to watch the lines move and glean some wisdom from the sharp gamblers who drive the market at this time of the year.
The Nugget put lines on seven Oklahoma games this year: Kansas St., Texas, Notre Dame, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma St., TCU. Not surprisingly, Vegas favors the Sooners in all of them, so, by extension, OU will be favored in all 12 contests this season.
Back in early May, I tried to handicap all of OU's games this season. Let's take a look at how my guesses matched up with the Nugget's lines, how the lines moved and what it all might mean.
Kansas St. at Oklahoma (Sept. 22)
Golden Nugget: OU -16
Blatant Homerism: OU -9
Helluva start, huh?
Best of luck figuring out Purple Kansas this year. The Wildcats had an unbelievable run in 2011, but it was overachievement to the extreme. It makes getting a handle on K-State so difficult.
Texas vs. Oklahoma (Oct. 13)
Nugget: OU -6
BH: OU -7.5
Move: OU -5
That's more like it, although I'm kind of annoyed that I missed this by more than a point.
Texas looks like one of the sharps' darlings this year, as three of the Longhorns' lined games moved their direction. To everyone else, UT is a team that is just a game over .500 in the last two seasons. Out in the desert, they're one of the most talented rosters in the country, so getting points in just about any scenario seems like a gift.
Notre Dame at Oklahoma (Oct. 27)
Nugget: OU -12
BH: OU -8.5
Not bad, but not that good, either. I knew when I put these together the first time around that I'd probably be off here. The schedule definitely doesn't help ND. I think the Irish take a couple steps forward in terms of quality of play, though, even if their record doesn't reflect it at the end of the year.
Baylor at Oklahoma (Nov. 10)
Nugget: OU -17
BH: OU -18
I'm kinda surprised that this game didn't move towards the Sooners. People must have forgotten what Baylor was like prior to the Robert Griffin III Experience. Nick Florence could turn out to be a decent QB. RG3, however, he is not.
Oklahoma at West Virginia (Nov. 17)
Nugget: OU -4
BH: OU -3.5
Playing in the Big East, it's not out of the realm of possibility to think that WVU would be favored in every game this year, just like OU.
This game should scare Sooner Nation – check out how OU has performed as a small road favorite under Stoops lately.
Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma (Nov. 24)
Nugget: OU -8
BH: OU -8.5
Much like KSU, evaluating the Pokes is a tall order. I expect OSU to struggle a bit early behind freshman QB Wes Lunt. By this point in the season, however, he'll likely have the kinks worked out.
Oklahoma at TCU (Dec.1)
Nugget: OU -10
BH: OU -7.5
Move: OU -9
To be fair, I made this number prior to learning that Ed Wesley had left the team.
The Big 12 is full enigmas. Between TCU's roster issues and stepping up in competition, this all strikes me as guesswork.
I do think that 10 points are too many for the Horned Frogs to be getting in this match-up. Double digits in a conference road game in December, especially for a great coach like Gary Patterson.