4* CFB LATE NIGHT MONEY MAKER
Minnesota vs. UNLV,
08/30/2012 23:00 EDT,
Score: 30 - 27
Point Spread: -8½/-108 Minnesota
4* CFB LATE NIGHT MONEY MAKER: Minnesota -8.5
Minnesota is coming off a miserable 3-9 season, but I was impressed with how well first year head coach Jerry Kill got his team to play.
The Golden Gophers nearly pulled off a huge upset in their opener at USC, as they lost to the Trojans by a final score of just 17-19. The same USC team that is expected to win the National Championship this season. That wasn't the only game Minnesota showed up to play. They knocked off Iowa and Illinois at home as double-digit underdogs and nearly upset Michigan State on the road (24-31).
Even though Minnesota is projected to finish in the bottom of the Big Ten Legends Division, I think this team is going to be even more competitive than they were a year ago. Kill has a strong track record of turning programs around in a short period.
A lot of people are going to look at Minnesota record from last year and see that the Golden Gophers didn't win a single road game, but not once did they play a team as bad as UNLV. The Rebels won just two games all of last season. It's not like they were keeping it close in their losses. Nine of their 10 losses came by at least 17 points and eight by 20+. In their two games against BCS opponents, they were beat badly. Falling 17-51 at Wisconsin and 7-59 at Washington St.
The big reason the Rebels were on the wrong end of a lot of bad losses, was a defense that allowed 40.4 points and 443 yards per game. They have just five starters back on the defensive side of the ball and must replace three of their top four tacklers. Minnesota is going to be able to march up and down the field with ease! BET THE GOLDEN GOPHERS!