Nebraska (-6.5, O/U 61.5) @ Northwestern – Usually this is the spot where I take what is rightfully mine – an easy winner by fading the Huskers on the road against a competent opponent. It’s practically my birth right as a Husker fan since I know this team very well. They have been extremely profitable since 1998 going against them in these spots. But this is not the spot. First off, while the Wildcats are 6-1, it’s an incredibly soft 6-1.
Secondly, the public will obviously over-react to the Huskers implosion in Columbus, while Vegas will stay the course by sticking to their guns, and not wavering, therefore the line is exactly where the power rankings dictate regardless of recent results.
Lastly, while the Huskers have been nothing short of hideous on the road they have traditionally performed well after a bye week regardless of the venue. Why? Well, they have time to adequately prepare for an opponent. One of the problems with this Bo Pelini-led coaching staff is the schemes are too complicated for college kids, therefore, instead of athletes making plays by being athletes, most of the Huskers players are thinking about their assignment and thus slowing down their natural athleticism. But when given time to prepare the players are comfortable with their assignments and play closer to their potential. Yeah, I figured that out, yet the “blue hair” Husker fans want to give Bo another decade.
So, those three reasons are plenty to turn my support to the Huskers, but this quote by Bo Pelini made it a “no-brainer”:
“As I just told the football team, we need to win out,” Pelini said after the 63-38 loss at No. 12 Ohio State.
Perfect! Bo is now out on the line, pretty much win out or get out, pal. The path to Indianapolis starts in Evanston Saturday, Git Er Dun!
Play: Nebraska -6.5
Michigan State @ Michigan (-10.0, O/U 43.0) – I have Michigan as even with Sparty, so something smells fishy here. Let’s not forget the following facts as well: (a). Michigan State is on a six game ATS losing streak, sure they’re due but this is the third week “they’re due”; (b). The Spartans lost to Iowa last week, which is the equivalent of the democratic presidential candidate losing Oregon, meanwhile the Wolverines spanked Illinois; (c). Michigan has lost four straight to MSU, so payback is on their minds, especially those fifth year seniors; and (d). Michigan State seemingly has not recovered from the tough loss to Ohio State.
Adding those facts together is what has given us the inflated line, that and the fact that Vegas has been taking in the shorts on Michigan State, so they finally have reacted. Normally this type of game would be a stay away for me, but this particular game is about personnel and matchups, not about over-thinking the spread. Not only does MSU have the personnel to hang with Michigan, but they match-up well on both sides of the ball with enough talent to force Denard Robinson into throwing and enough discipline to play conservative while featuring their best player, LeVeon Bell. Therefore, I am calling the outright upset here – Spartans 23 Wolverines 20
Play: Michigan State +10.0
Virginia Tech @ Clemson (-7.5, 62.0) – This game reeks of a Clemson blowout, with the Tigers well rested after a bye week and the Hokie being very, well, un-Hokie like this season. Plus, everyone is hammering the Tigers in this game. So, I should too, right? Sure, but first I just need someone to explain to me why the line has moved from -11 to -7.5, despite 70% of the bets being made on Clemson. Something stinks and it’s more than the Yankees ALCS cumulative batting average.
For just one Saturday this season, can we have “Beamer Ball”? Please Hokies! Let’s block a punt for a touchdown, return a fumble off a sack for another six and let’s run the ball to setup a couple of huge plays down the field. Just once in 2012, Frankie!
Play: Virginia Tech +7.5
Penn State @ Iowa (-2.5, O/U 42.0) – Game should be a pick’em at best for Iowa. I would have made Penn State a small favorite if I were a SportsBook Manager.
Look I can’t explain it, but the Nittany Lions are playing hard, despite having nothing to play other than pride. In addition, they continue fighting, which is uncharacteristic of a team that the grim reaper delivered the living death penalty to a couple months ago. And they’re a fairly efficient team on both sides of the ball. On the flip side, I am not sure I’m buying Iowa, in fact, I am certain that I’m not buying Iowa.
The only that scares me about Penn State is they have zero, ziltch confidence in the place kicker and as a result they refuse to attempt field goals. But all that means is that they are a 21st century advanced football stat geek’s wet dream.
Play: Penn State +2.5
BYU @ Norte Dame (-13.0, O/U 40.0) – Speaking of teams I am not buying, yep, Norte Dame is a pretender – chant with me for a moment, “OVER-RATED, OVER-RATED, OVER-RATED.” With a trip to Norman to play the Sooners next week it’s only natural for them to forget about the school that produced the country’s next president.
And give me the over. That’s right, damn the 2-10 record in totals, I refuse to give up. Plus, guess what, 40 points in college is like nothing. I mean two mediocre offensive teams, with staunch defenses, could potentially post a 40 spot in overtime. Imagine this game being a hard fought defensive game that is tied at 13-13, but it’s heading into overtime. They could trade field goals for the first two overtimes – sure BYU won’t kick a field goal because they don’t trust their kicker either, hey wait can we get a bowl game with them and Penn State? – and viola, game is guaranteed to go over. In a lot of ways, it’s crazy to invest anything real money on CFB. . .
Play: BYU +13.0 & Over 40.0
South Carolina @ Florida (-3.5, O/U 41.5) – Attention, attention, the “third game flat” rule is in play for this game. South Carolina is playing their third consecutive huge SEC game, on the road, in a hostile environment; they simply cannot get up for this game. That poor visor. . .
Play: Florida -3.5
Those are my official “Seven Out”, but here are a few more that didn’t quite make the cut:
Kansas State +2.5 & Under 73.5 – At West Virginia. Ok, so I admit, I fell for WVA after they beat down the Longhorns, but then when OU beat down the Horns, I realized they aren’t special, they’re whores. And ss there any other way to play this game – KSU and Under? There is no way KSU wins a shootout.
Utah +10 over Oregon St. – A few too many points.
TCU +1.5 over Texas Tech – Give it a few years Tech fans, you will figure out that every year a Tommy Tuberville coached team will have one of those “WOW” games, followed by several “R U EFFING KDDING” games. This is the latter.
Texas -8.5 over Baylor – I promised myself that I wouldn’t invest in the Longhorns ever again after they burnt me for the seemingly millionth time earlier this season, but come on, everyone is down on this team, no one believes in them, the line has moved from 13 to 8.5, I cannot resist.
Best of luck.
Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.