The Cardinal have dominated the Spartans in this Northern California series when opening up a new college football season, but they now begin life without the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft. Let’s take a closer look at this Friday night tilt from a college football betting perspective.
Out of Luck?
The Stanford Cardinal will be
replacing four players that were taken among the first 42 picks of this year's
NFL draft, but the only name out of that group that you’ll likely hear about is
quarterback Andrew Luck. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with
the first overall selection in April, after leading the Cardinal to an 11-2
season and Fiesta Bowl berth a year ago. Dating back to 2000, I’ve
uncovered that teams have gone 0-5 against the spread (ATS) when opening a new
campaign as a home favorite after losing a signal-caller that was taken first
Sports bettors will certainly notice
that the college football odds page has made an adjustment in this matchup, as
the Cardinal were 30-point home favorites in last year’s 57-3 series win. San Jose State has failed to cover the last seven meetings at Stanford Stadium,
but has been out-gained by an average of just 144 yards in the last three
contests since 2008. Stanford has gone 18-6-1 ATS in its last 25 games,
something that’s impossible to keep up.
This is Sparta!
San Jose State is certainly
outmanned in terms of talent in this matchup between the Pac-12 and WAC, but it
can gain strength from watching the movie 300, as King Leonidas battled
Xerxes to the end. The Spartans are 14-50-1 all-time against the
Cardinal, with their last series victory coming in 2006, while earning just a
single win in 20 chances when opening up a new season against Friday night’s
Taylor figures to lead the Cardinal
Stanford is still a capable offense
with six starters returning from a unit that scored a school-record 561 points,
as they possess one of the more talented backfields in the country. Senior Stepfan Taylor is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, running for
1,330 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011.
The visitor is known for keeping
Don’t get blinded by the 54-point
setback the Spartans were handed in last year’s meeting, as the defense allowed
just 141 yards on 40 rushes. Without Luck’s experience under center, San
Jose State is in a better position to keep things close down the stretch. The program faced a fourth-quarter double-digit deficit just three times last
year, while seven of their 12 games finished with a point differential of seven
Senior Josh Nunes will be one of the
most-watched quarterbacks in the country this weekend, as he’s set to take over
the controls at Stanford. I’m going to recommend picking against him,
especially with San Jose State owning a 17-7 ATS mark in its last 24 road
College Football Pick: San Jose State Spartans