CFB: Missouri at Nevada (9:00 PM ET, ESPN)

CFB: Missouri at Nevada (9:00 PM ET, ESPN)

Nevada finally opens its home schedule, but the assignment will be anything but easy. The opponent is Missouri, who is off to a 3-0 start despite having to move on this season without several of its major offensive stars that graduated last spring. Not su


2009-09-25

Nevada finally opens its home schedule, but the assignment will be anything but easy. The opponent is Missouri, who is off to a 3-0 start despite having to move on this season without several of its major offensive stars that graduated last spring. Not surprisingly, the Tigers are the 7.5-point favorite in this battle of undefeated vs. winless clubs. Over 90% of bettors at Sportsbook.com aren't afraid to lay the points either.

The Wolf Pack brought back 14 starters and a number of key reserves that were supposedly ready to move into starting slots. Junior quarterback Colin Kaepernick was ready for breakout junior season after promising first two years in Reno. However, offensive-minded Nevada hung a zero on the scoreboard in South Bend and much of the reasoning given was Notre Dame's attacking blitz-scheme coming to fruition with bigger and faster players. That theory has been discarded with the Fighting Irish allowing 68 points in the next two games.

Nevada's pass defense was the worst in the FBS last season and there wasn't much reason to believe they were going to be a whole lot better in 2009, unless the front seven could rush the passer better and stop the run with greater aplomb. After being gashed for 178.5 yards on the ground and surrendering seven touchdown passes thru the air, it doesn't look like defense will be a strong suit for Nevada.

Coach Chris Ault prides himself as an offensive coach but his team has been "offensive" in committing eight turnovers and scoring only 20 points this season. Kaepernick hasn't shown the same accuracy as before and has been somewhat less inclined to take off and scamper. Maybe putting on the blue uniform will help the Wolf Pack (0-2, SU & ATS), who are 7-3 ATS at home in non-conference play.

After pounding Furman, Missouri (3-0, 1-1 ATS) gets back to the business of playing real football teams, traveling to Reno. Coach Gary Pinkel knows the offensive problems that arose against Bowling Green have to be avoided because the Wolf Pack are very dangerous at home.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has quickly grown into the Tigers offense, being on the mark to receivers Jared Perry and Danario Alexander. He's benefitted from excellent protection from his offensive line and an adequate running game churning out 4.2 yards per carry.

Sportsbook.com has Missouri as 7.5-point road favorites, with a rising total of 60.5. The Tigers are 6-2 SU & ATS in true road games and are 8-0 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 10 points over the last three seasons. One would expect the talented Kaepernick to raise his level of play and make good on national TV after the Notre Dame debacle. Playing before a friendly home crowd, Nevada is 19-8 ATS under coach Ault and 10-2 ATS at home when the total is between 56.5 and 63.

Nevada's biggest issue is going to be stopping the Tigers' attack since they are only 1-9 ATS when allowing 28 or more points over the last two seasons. At the very least, the Wolf Pack ought to peeved after being shellacked 69-17 in Columbia last year.

ESPN has this Big-12/WAC clash starting at 9 Eastern. Sportsbook is the home for the real action though, with numerous wagering options for you to consider.

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