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Sports Then and Now



The Best Bets In College Football 1

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Jim Hurley
Central Michigan may have only a 3-4 overall record, but they are undefeated against the spread so far in 2015.

Central Michigan may have only a 3-4 overall record, but they are 6-0-1 against the spread so far in 2015.

Guess who the best bet in college football has been so far in the 2015 season. They’re a program that’s never been to a major bowl game. They have serious problems on offense. There’s only a couple marginal NFL prospects on defense. Heck, they don’t even have a winning record. Meet the Central Michigan Chippewas. Their 6-0-1 against the spread (ATS), making them the only team in major college football not to lose a bet for their backers in Las Vegas.

Central Michigan is 3-4 overall. Their quarterback, Cooper Rush, plays a high-percentage game, completing 68.5% of his passes with a 16/6 TD-INT ratio. Rush only gets 8.02 yards-per-attempt, a nice average. But there is no running game to speak of—the team’s leading rusher has just 228 yards. The result is an offense that’s 131st in the country in scoring in spite of playing almost half their games against fellow Mid-American Conference members, a league noted for its wide-open styles.

That’s what makes Central Michigan so interesting from a handicapping perspective. ATS records have a strong tendency to find their way back to the middle as bettors adjust and the oddsmakers shift the line. But Central Michigan’s low public profile and the fact they won’t play any signature games the rest of the season means the betting public is not going to be in action…which means they might continue to slide under the radar.

This coming week is going to be a test case of Central Michigan’s continued ATS viability. They have to go on the road as a favorite—more than a touchdown no less, giving (-7.5) at Ball State. It’s not against good competition, as Ball State is 2-5, but quietly covering a game like this would be a good sign that the Chippewas will continue to be a good bet.

Central Michigan might be the only unbeaten ATS team, but there are five others who have only lost one game against the number. Here’s the rundown…

Notre Dame (6-1 ATS, 6-1 overall): We move from a low profile school to the school with perhaps the highest brand-name recognition. Because of that, Notre Dame usually isn’t a good bet. But years of subpar performances and a collapse at the end of last year’s regular season finally took the wind out of the Irish’s sails. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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