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2005 Idaho Vandals Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


After a 1998 season in which they went 8-3 straight up, 7-3 against the odds and won the Humanitarian Bowl over Southern Miss 42-35 as 17-point dogs, the Idaho Vandals have been on a steady downward spiral that has resulted in consecutive straight up records beginning in 2001 of 1-10, 2-10, 3-9, and 3-9. Since 1999 the Vandals have also posted season in the black versus the sports betting line. In 2003 Idaho beat the sports betting odds in three of their first four games, seeming to be on their way to becoming a solid “value” and “sleeper” team in the sports handicapping world. They then proceeded to drop their next four games against the pointspread, however, before rallying to cover their final two games of 2003 for an even 5-5 split against the odds. While Idaho received next to no attention at online sports betting blogs entering the 2004 campaign there were a few quiet members of the sports handicapping fraternity who believed that since Idaho was both an obscure team and a poor team that they might bring extra value on the lines set by the sports betting odds makers who would post numbers based on an ignorant public’s perception.

Idaho could not have begun their 2004 campaign in a worse way than their 7-65 loss at Boise State as 31.5-point road dogs. This was not a way to impress sports betting bloggers who posted that the Vandals would be excellent “A” list material for “go against” football picks the rest of 2004. After getting the cash in a 7-14 loss at Utah State as 11.5-point dogs, the Vandals embarrassed themselves again with losses of 8-49 at Washington State, (as 25-point dogs), and 10-48 at Oregon, (as 34.5-point dogs). At this point Idaho was 0-4 straight up and 1-3 against the sports betting line with three horrible blowout losses. They did appear to be a great “go against” team for those wanting negative football picks.

At Eastern Michigan as 7-point dogs in their next game, however, Idaho won 45-41, if anybody happened to notice what was one of the week’s most obscure and least cared about games. Finally, after five straight road games the Vandals came home to split two games both straight up and against the odds before dropping three of their final four games against the odds.

Idaho finished 2004 with a record of 3-9 straight up and 4-8 against the sports betting line and on nobody’s list of football picks.






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