NCAA football bettors beware

TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:11 PM ET

CALGARY - If you’re a college football junkie and love to gamble moderately on the four-down game, count your lucky helmet sticker-stars if you live in Ontario.

You’ve got it better than the poor SOBs out west, anyways.

The Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation has gone in whole-hog for pigskin pick-ems on the Pro-Line program.

The selection for U.S. college football games on any given Saturday is in the dozens out Ontario way. Last week alone, the list was 29-strong for Pro-Line and 35 for Point Spread.

That begs the question as to why can’t the Western Canada Lottery Corporation boast a bigger slate of NCAA games?

There’s a paltry eight games to pick from this Saturday.

Last week’s lot was just 11 games long, with one being mighty Marshall playing little-known Ohio U — not exactly a tilt to pique the senses.

The Saturday previous, there were 12 contests to choose from, with more than enough dogs — UConn vs. Vanderbilt, North Carolina State vs. Wake Forest and Purdue vs. Rice — to further buffer interest.

At least in Week 1, the list featured 18 games to wager on. But where do we go from here?

Give us Westerners what we want, WCLC folks — at least double the amount of tilts on a ticket. Even if it’s not an attractive litter of games, it’ll make it more fun for the bettor (and that’s more money for the government to build football fields).

Heck, the OLG gurus in the East have the added twist of being able to put down Pro-Line wagers of seven-plus points per game. That means instead of just betting a win by four points or predicting a three-point ‘tie’ game, bettors can gamble on a home or visitor team to win by seven or more points. That doesn’t happen out west.

Just saying, if you don’t give the people what they want, expect more customers to jump to the online sportsbook world.

Speaking of which, if you’re keeping track at home, yours truly is 9-of-12 against the spread after three weeks of predicting Best Bets and Games to Watch.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is the downward trend and what it means for the next two weeks since I began 4-for-4 in Week 1 before going 3-for-4 in Week 2 and 2-for-4 last Saturday.

Maybe I should quit while I’m still ahead.

Nah! Where would the fun be in that?

FIRST DOWN

Finally got the attention of a die-hard Fighting Irish fan I know after three weeks of bashing the program and for suggesting the team could easily lose to Michigan State and be wallowing in an 0-3 hole to start the season. It didn’t happen, as it got the timely 31-13 win, but it sure is fun to needle Notre Dame faithful. They’re a pretty prickly lot these days. Beware of Pitt this week, Irish eyes — the Panthers can put up the points … It’s good to be No. 1.

Just ask Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, who, with his Sooners ranked tops in the polls, inked a seven-year extension worth US$34 million … Big question for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers if they continue down a road to futility while boasting a 427-yards-per-game rookie QB in Auburn grad Cam Newton, the reigning Heisman Trophy holder — if they finish 0-16 and get the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft, do they take no-brainer No. 1 pivot Andrew Luck of Stanford with the top selection? … Is there any better pre-game show in sports than ESPN’s College GameDay? The network’s panel sets up to discuss the day’s action and NCAA goings-on amongst the student body of the host university for ESPN’s feature game every Saturday, making for a fun and vibrant show. Thank the football goods that we get it in Canada on TSN2 every Saturday morning,

FOURTH AND GOAL

Chuck tradition out the door in the NCAA. In the wake of the Big 12’s upheaval with Texas A&M leading a charge to another conference come to light two of the Big East’s original programs, Syracuse and Pitt, joining the ACC. In fact, reports say more than a dozen schools have applied to jump to the ACC. Rutgers and Connecticut could be next. Speaking of the Big 12, with the Aggies still chasing a spot in the SEC, big-wigs give the go-ahead to Texas and Oklahoma presidents to formally apply to join the Pac 12 — with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech hoping to follow suit. But the Pac 12 has since said, ‘No further expansion.’ Regardless, it seems ‘Big’ ain’t where it’s at anymore.

todd.saelhof@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNToddSaelhof


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