15* CFB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on UMass +24.5
Massachusetts vs. Connecticut,
08/30/2012 19:30 EDT,
Score: 0 - 37
Point Spread: +24½/-110 Massachusetts
The UMass Minutemen enter their first season as an FBC school in 2012. Because of this fact, I believe they are coming into 2012 obviously underrated. The betting public does not want to back them, but this is a great spot to against the overrated Connecticut Huskies.
Redshirt freshman QB Mike Wegzyn has earned the starting job by clearly outplaying the competition throughout camp. Many bettors are seeing that last year's starter, Kellen Pagel, is out with post-concussion symptoms. But I believe that Wegzyn is the better starter anyway, and even when Pagel returns, he likely will still keep his job.
The Minutemen return 14 starters in all, so this is an experienced bunch. Wegzyn will be working behind an offensive line that returns four starters and 85 career starts. Their starting five up front averages 308 pounds, so they certainly have good size. Michigan transfer Michael Cox takes over at running back and is primed for a big year running behind this line.
The defense has a whopping nine starters back, led by senior MLB Perry McIntyre (116 tackles, 6.5 sacks). Junior OLB Tim Brandt (33 tackles, 3 sacks) and senior OLB Chad Hunte (58 tackles) combine with McIntyre to form one of the most underrated LB corps in the MAC.
Connecticut really misses former head coach Randy Edsall, who always got the most out of his teams. That showed last season as the Huskies stumbled to a 5-7 finish. They do have 14 starters back, but only 31 lettermen returning. I'm just not sold on this team, and there's no way they should be a 24-point favorite in their opener.
The Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Roll with UMass Thursday.