2012 CFB – Week 14 “Seven Out”

I have a close friend who tells a story about a buddy of his who was a Vegas blackjack dealer, who, as the story goes, would become ice cold 10 minutes prior to going on his break . He would simply announce to the table, “everybody, it’s winning time.” I witnessed this once myself, it was truly remarkable. He broke at least eight straight hands, he would show a six, with a five under, then buy an ace, king. It does need mentioning, but we need more guys like him. Not necessarily the giving money away, but a guy who knew his status and could accurately convey to the players.

I am thinking that the same is true for yours truly with college football, as I finally got over on the “house” last week with a stellar 6-1 record. Not to say that I have everything figured out, but last week was the first week this season where I felt like I was reading English, as opposed to some undeveloped language from a third world country.

Much like the dealer, I am about to go on break, so I look to continue my assault on the odds-makers during Championship week and on into the bowl season.


Wisconsin vs. Nebraska (-3.5, O/U 49.0) – Ok, so I was ready to hammer the crap out of the Badgers in this game for the obvious reasons – a. Taylor Martinez in a big game, away from Lincoln; b. Bo Pelini in a big game, away from home; c. the abysmal performance by the Huskers in the fight for the “Heroes Trophy”; and d. the Huskers recent history in championship games. But then I read this column about how the Huskers spent 18 hours undergoing extreme military training in the spring of 2012.

Now those refuse to quit, play to the final whistle crazy comebacks make sense to me. The funny part is that in the column the players admit to being borderline lazy, self serving, essentially horrible team-mates. Yeah, essentially the reasons I played against them in virtually every game where I felt like they would need each other backs.

Anyway, they learned to dig deep, find strength where they though none existed, trust each other, help each other and most of all love each other. Yeah, whatever, good for them, I am only concerned about what I can use to my advantage over my adversary, the bookie! Also, I would file all that “feel good” crap under #ThingsIWouldHaveLikedToHaveKnown prior to picking against in every big game this season.

Well, now I know. Early Sunday morning, when an admin at the B1G conference office edits the list of conference champions, I expect the 2012 entry to look like the following:

2012 – Nebraska *

Play: Nebraska -3.5

UCLA @ Stanford (-9.0, O/U 46.0) – The Bruins had absolutely nothing to play for last week against the Cardinal and the result showed as much. Think about it, win and they head to Eugene to face an angry Ducks team or, lose, play a Stanford team that will likely be, based on a little something called human nature, over-confident. It was a no brainer then, it’s a no brainer now, even if coach Mora won’t admit it.

Here are three points to make my case for the Bruins this week – 1. The line has moved in Stanford’s favor, despite almost 2 to 1 bets on Stanford. That’s “sharp” money, which is worth about as much as “dull” money, but still someone, in some sports book thought enough of a “sharp” bet on the Bruins to move the number against the public action; 2. The Bruins have essentially had two weeks to prepare, they showed nothing last week, yet were able to absorb everything Stanford did. While the flip side, Stanford has had a short week to prepare a complete new game plan or hope that UCLA doesn’t make adjustments to the existing game plan; and 3. Never in the history of the NCAA has a team covered one week against an opponent, then cover the next week against the same opponent. Ok, you got me it’s 0-0, it’s never happened. Until this week.

Play: UCLA +9.0

Northern Illinois (-7.0, O/U 58.0) vs. Kent State – Kent State is the higher ranked team, yet they’re getting seven points, in a championship game no less. Lines like this are for the suckers, suckers who look at such things like rankings and determine how to bet based on some overweight, constipated mediot’s vote.

Rankings systems are so flawed, that they should be abolished and college football should play an 128 team triple elimination tournament for the season. Now that would be awesome!

Here is my case for NIU, there has been a significant amount of hoopla surrounding the possibility of Kent State bouncing an “AQ” conference school from a BCS bowl game. Now, I admit I don’t know everything, but I know when a power conference is in danger of losing a BCS payday there is a good chance that the referees for this game will be alums of NIU, including the guy with the Michael Turner calf tat and the guy with the cat named “Novak.”

Play: Northern Illinois -7.0

Georgia vs. Alabama (-7.5, O/U 50.5) – Doesn’t it feel like everybody is backing the Bulldogs this week? I haven’t heard one good thing about Bama. It’s Bama’s defense struggles with dynamic offenses, Bama should’ve lost to LSU and not even be in this game, Bama can’t rush the passer, the Tide’s defense is well below past versions and Bama’s offense lacks explosiveness. Ya da da!

Now I would think that type of disrespect would make Alabama players madder than an “actor” playing Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland repeatedly getting kicked in the nuts by a crying toddler while the proud papa tries to figure out how use the new digital camera.

I tell you these situations where everyone is on the same side and that side happens to be the worse of the two teams, are golden. Roll Tide! Alabama big time!

Play: Alabama -7.5

Oklahoma State (-5.0 O/U 87.5) @ Baylor – Whoa, the total is 87.5? Most reasonable bettors would think to themselves, “Hey, all I need is maybe two turnovers and two stops for this game to go under.” That’s logical until you look at the following: (a). This is the highest posted total in history of college football. Now I don’t know that for a fact, but I do know that, since 2006, the highest posted total was 83; just guessing here but I highly doubt any of those “three yards and a cloud of dust” games bak in teh day were touching the 80s. It’s so high that I side with the odds-maker here even if it seems unrelaistic.; (b). The three 80+ totals since 2006 have gone over the total in regulation. See trust the odds-makers!; (c). The arrogance of both offenses dictate that neither would consider a style of play to “keep the opposing offense off the field.”; (d). weather will not be a factor; (e). These teams are ranked #1 and #3 in yards per play; (f). Both teams are in the upper tier (#26 and #33 in the NCAA) of “yards per point”, an offensive efficiency stat. One of the main reasons they’re are not higher is that both defenses are so bad that the offenses rarely start with great field position, therefore, 80 yard drive for seven points is deemed less efficient than a 50 yard drive for seven points.; and (g). The tempo of this game figures to be in the 170-180 play range, which calculates on the low end to 90.5 points and 96.5 points on the high end.

Good enough for me.

Play: Over 87.5

Cincinnati (-5.0 O/U 40.5) @ Connecticut – The “third game flat” rule applies here as UCONN has won back-to-back games against Pittsburgh and Louisville. The latter was a emotional, overtime win, therefore, the Huskies are spent. Let’s throw in the fact that I think Cincinnati is the best in the Big East and it makes this game a no-brainer.

Play: Cincinnati -5.0

Oklahoma (-6.0 O/U 60.0) @ TCU– How disgusted do you think former OU greats like Dewey Selmon, Lee Roy Selmon, the Boz, Tommie Harris and Roy Williams are with this watered down, sissy version of the Sooners defense? And is there anything better than curmudgeonly old former players bitching about how “if they were playing, this type of thing would never happen!” I love to drop the 2012 Oregon Ducks back in the 70s or 80s and watch them run circles around those slow footed, smallish defenders. Now that would be entertaining.

Anyway somehow the Sooners, with the great defensive minds of the Stoops’ brothers, have allowed 97 points in the previous two games. The last time that happened was during the very forgettable John Blake era when they accomplished the feat in back-to-back seasons. The biggest difference between then and now, is the Sooners were expected to lose big in those games. Now they’re still winning but getting gashed worse than an emo with a fresh supply of razor blades.

Now I ask you – can you trust a team that allows points by the bushel? No, you can’t. Because just when you exhale after OU takes a 10 point lead, that seems like you’re in the clear, TCU will take four plays to cut the margin back to three.

Plus, two more points for TCU – 1. The number seems light to me, so again I will side, and root, with the house; and 2. I can TCU springing an upset here because the most recent bowl projections have OU playing Oregon. Not one player on that starting defense wants any part of the Ducks.

Play: TCU +6.0

Best of luck this week, it’s 10 minutes until the bookies “break time”!

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB 2012 – Week 13 “Seven Out”, Part II

After a very Colin-esque, mediocre 1-1 start to the week, I attempt to finish off the “Seven Out” with a 2-2-1 record. Good luck!

Michigan @ Ohio State (-4.0, O/U 54.0) – Ask yourself this question – “Do you trust your money in the hands of Brady Hoke?” Me neither. Throw in the reality the Wolverines have nothing to play for. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes still have the undefeated season alive, as well as the ability to play this victim card, “woe is us, we went undefeated but the big, bad NCAA keep us out of our title shot.”

Play: Ohio State -4.0

Notre Dame (-5.0, O/U 46.0) @ USC – Trust me, there is no bigger fan of the Trojans this week than me as the thought of an Alabama/Notre Dame BCS title game, makes me want to puke. Unfortunately, I sat through the USC/UCLA game last week, if Lane Kiffen’s bunch can’t fight back when punked by their cross-town rivals, will they fight back against a significantly better Irish team? I highly doubt it. Plus, the Trojans will not have Matt Barkley, but they still have those atrocious offensive and defensive lines.

Actually, this game could be a adjusted line play of the day – Notre Dame -10.5 at +165. Translation, it won’t be close.

Play: Notre Dame -5.0

Stanford (-3.0, O/U 51.5) @ UCLA– I am not so sure Stanford wouldn’t be favored in this game even if the Bruins had some incentive to win this game. What a spot for the Bruins, huh? If they beat Stanford, they get a trip to Eugene and a date with the Ducks. No thanks, right, Coach Mora?

Lose to Stanford, and the Bruins head to Palo Alto to face the Cardinal next week. A Cardinal team that will show plenty today in a an effort to beat the Bruins, while UCLA can play a vanilla game, rest some dinged players and gear up for the Pac-12 title game.

The choice seems obvious, right?

Play: Stanford -3.0

Wisconsin @ Penn State (-2.5, O/U 45.0) – Wisky is in a similar position as UCLA this week, while Penn State has brought it each week of this season, despite the black cloud and, quite possibly, unfair bias against them. In what should be a close game, give me the team with more motivation.

Play: Penn State -2.5

Florida @ Florida State (-7.0, 42.5) – Sure, I over-value the SEC, but come on, why is Florida State favored by a touchdown in this game?

Play: Florida +7.0

Best of luck this week!

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

2012 Predictions – Thanksgiving, “Double Dip” Edition

A bonus combo pack of picks for Thanksgiving.
Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

The “Super Contest” picks:

Detroit (+3.5) over Houston – One of the drawbacks of a handicapping contest is that if you want to select a Thursday game, all of your picks for the weekend must be submitted early. That obviously allows an additional 48 hours for a key player from a team you selected to go all “Stanley Wilson” or “Barret Robbins” and end up AWOL a couple nights before a game. Therefore, I generally stay away from the Thursday games unless there is a spot that is too good to pass.

That is the case with the Lions this week. I know, I know coaching is an issue, but isn’t Jim Schwartz Gary Kubiak, before Kubiak became the Kubiak we know laud over? Think about the Texans back before Wade Phillips, loads of talent, a fantasy cornucopia, but unable to finish most game, which left them the poster children for mediocrity. Sounds just like the 2012 Lions.

So, why do I feel so strongly the Lions are the play in this game? Well, for starters the line is 3.5, so unless the Lions are down a point and fail on 4th down deep in their own territory with precisely enough time for the Texans to run three plays, fail to make a first down and kick a covering field goal, we should be ok with the hook. In other words, the 3.5 makes this a value play.

In addition, the Texans fall into gambling rule #872 – never trust a team with a huge division lead, on the road, as a favorite, coming off an emotional overtime win against a team from the opposing conference, on a short week.

San Diego (+1.0) over Baltimore – Speaking of gambling rules, here is another (#409) – never trust a team traveling cross country in between games against a heated division rival when the line looks too good to be true. Oh, and the heated division rival happens to be the Steelers. The Ravens are just 5-10 ATS after Steelers games since 2004.

And if you think I am crazy to back Norv Turner and Jim Schwartz, thats nothing compared to what’s coming up. . .

Carolina (+2.5) over Philadelphia – That’s right fans, let’s throw Ron Rivera into this three team, “I was a great coordinator, but suck ass as a head coach” bad coaching parlay.

The gambling rule for this game is as follows (#95) – never back a soft team, that has clearly quit on their head coach, when said head coach has been spotted checking out real estate on the opposite coast, in any situation, period! The corollary to this rule is as follows, “if the game in question comes after a Thanksgiving feast where the head coach consumes enough food to feed a third world country, then triple the bet.” Poor money management scheme there, but I don’t write the rules, I just follow them.

Tampa Bay (+1.0) over Atlanta – Despite this being a division game, when the Falcons look in the rearview mirror they don’t see the Buccaneers old rusted “Buffalo Bill” beater of a van, they see a brand spanking new black and gold Maserati driven by Drew Bress and the hard charging, Joe Vitt led Saints. Therefore, this game falls into the “huge division lead” rule, as well as the “look ahead” rule (pretty standard top ten rule, #9, that states be wary of the team with a big game looming).

Also, one of my theories that I never have had the resources to prove but seems true is that NFL coaches will gladly accept a loss in a “lose the battle, but win the war” way. Given all the factors mentioned above, I can see Falcons coach Mike Smith and his staff mailing this game in an attempt to bring a good old fashioned swift ass kicking down on his team that they can then use as a re-focusing point of instruction. Sounds logical, right?

NY Giants (-3.0) over Green Bay – Green Bay has revenge on their minds as they travel to New York to face the defending champion Giants! You want to know what happened to the last team that had revenge on their minds when they played the defending Super Bowl champs? Well, it was Last season, when the Falcons took on these same Packers, the Pack romped. And that was in Atlanta.
Gambling rule #645 – “Revenge is over-rated!”

The “Thanksgiving Day” picks:

Dallas (-3.5) over Washington – The rule (#18) – “never, ever back the Cowboys at home as a favorite” is trumped by rule #491 – “No way in hell all three underdogs cover on Thanksgiving.”

RG III is amazing but let’s not get crazy here – he is still a rookie having to go on the road (albeit in the equivalent of a library), on a short week with the rookie wall rapidly approaching.

NY Jets (-7.0) over New England – This game is the equivalent of a younger brother, who almost never is able to beat his older brother in the annual Thanksgiving day game of one-on-one, getting a crack at the elder after recent knee surgery and a battle with the flu (why didn’t he get the mercury laced, population control flu shot that was made mandatory by his employer, you ask? Well, grasshopper, that is an entirely different column). If he can’t get him this time, when will he?

Bonus “Seven Out” Picks:

And here is a Thanksgiving day bonus, my first couple “Seven Out” losers:

Texas (-7.5) over TCU – Given the picks above it just didn’t seem right not to include Mack Brown, who is the college football equivalent of a “great coordinator, horrible head coach”, as he should absolutely be in the NCAA hall of fame, in the recruiter section, but would not sniff the HOF as a head coach, if the criteria went beyond “I won most of my games because my talent was so far superior, I couldn’t lose.” So, yeah, why not, let’s throw him and the perpetually under-achieving Longhorns into the Turkey day selections.

Iowa (+14.0) over Nebraska – Remember last week I wrote that I am snake-bit when picking the Huskers? So, I went with the total instead. I lost by a single point!

Why do it again? Well, the most important factor is motivation. For the Huskers it’s the “bigger fish to fry” syndrome. Yeah, they have to win, but one look at the Hawkeyes and the Huskers are like, “next!”

For the Hawkeyes, however, this is a self-created rivalry, their “big game”, their “season saver”, their “bowl game” and this is for the “Heroes Trophy.” Little hayseeds in Iowa grow up dreaming about hoisting the “Heroes Trophy” triumphantly above their heads after a stunning victory over the far superior rivals to the west.

Side note – effing “Heroes Trophy!” Really? Now if I was tasked with creating a cheesy B1G trophy for this annual pillow fight, I would have done much better than this meaningless “Heroes Trophy.” This is a conference that has games with trophies such as “Pual Bunyan’s Axe” and “Floyd of Rosedale.” Despite being hokey, those trophies are freaking sweet. It’s almost like Iowa decided on the whole “Heroes Trophy” thing because they were like, “we’ll never have it anyway, so let’s stick them with this hunk of junk.”

Pathetic!

I mean shouldn’t the Iowa/Nebraska trophy have something to do with beef? What about a gigantic wooden butchers knife, simply called “The Butchers Knife.” Think about it, Husker players could then, legally, do the throat slitting gesture. Or what about a giant golden cow, wait that’s already been, unsuccessfully, done. You could also go with the “Our Beef is Bigger than yours” trophy.

It would have even been more creative to simply lift the Iowa/Iowa State trophy name, “CyHawk” and go with “CornHole” or “CornHawk” or “CornEye.” If they choose that cheap way out, my favorite would be “Husker Hawk”, with the trophy being a mythological half Hawk, half Human dressed in overalls and sporting the gayest grin in history.

I half expect when Nebraska wins, but fails to cover, they accidentally leave the trophy in Iowa City. And when Iowa calls to inform them, Nebraska responds with, “ahh, you know what we will pick it up next time we come to Iowa City, in two years.”

Good luck this week, and Happy Thanksgiving!

CFB – Week 12 “Seven Out”

Northwestern @ Michigan State (-7.5, O/U 45.0) – It’s official, Sparty and me are done. Yup, I woke up one day to the realization they had really let themselves go, coupled that with the fact they never reciprocated my love for them and that was that. In hindsight, we were doomed to fail from beginning with countless letdowns leading the burning of cash.

The reality for the Spartans is their high end talent is no longer in “let’s leave it on the field and win the Big Ten” mode, instead they’re in “let’s not get hurt prior to the end of the season, so we are ready for the combine” mode. The rest of the team simply isn’t very good or at very best is average for the conference. Plus, they haven’t played a game outside of four point margin of victory since beginning of Big Ten play, why should I trust them giving more than a touchdown.

The only concern over Northwestern covering is how they have been unable to finish games. In their three losses lead late in the 4th quarter, yet in each of those games they went into “come one Northwestern get off your knees, you are blowing the game” mode. Against Penn State they blew a 10 point 4th quarter lead in Happy Valley, at home against Nebraska they lost by one point on virtually the final play.

And last week they Wildcats found a way to lose a game where they had possession of the ball with 23 seconds remaining and the ball at the Michigan 49. Somehow, the managed to merely net 11 yards on the punt, which was seemingly a great play compared to giving up 53 pass completion on the next play. Of course, they lost in overtime.

Taking away the Penn State 4th quarter and the last few seconds against Nebraska and Michigan leaves the Wildcats undefeated. If that were true, what’s the spread in this game? Nowhere near 7.5. Which means there is value on Wildcats.

Play: Northwestern +7.5


Stanford @ Oregon (-20.5, O/U 66.0) – In last week’s Oregon/Cal, I dozed off for about 15 minutes right after Cal scored a touchdown to close within seven points of the Ducks. When I awoke, I was like “Is that a, a 52? No way, you are still sleeping; you are having a nightmare, wake up and look again! WTF happened? 52 points, only 17 points!” At that point, I was holding out hope for a backdoor cover, but I literally could not believe how fast the Ducks play, run, score and run. Goodness, they’re scary! Did I mention that the Ducks can run really fast?

For this game we have comparative recent odds that suggest Oregon should be a 30-34 point favorite. While that is outrageous and would never be posted without the Cardinal getting hit harder than “Little Bill’s wife in Boogie Nights, the posted line seems too low. This tells me that odds makers, who have been taking in the backside the past couple of weeks, are taking a position on this game. Essentially what that means is that the odds-makers like their side (Stanford) and are willing gamble on the game.

Being on the side of the odds-makers in a game with significant lopsided action means either one of two things – 1. The bookies are really, really smart and they know something the rest of us don’t; or 2. They simply fix the game. Either way, I think I will side with the house.

Play: Stanford +20.5

Minnesota @ Nebraska (-20.5, O/U 53) – So, I got dropped by a half point last week when the Huskers kicked a field goal with 18 seconds left in the game, which sparked a heated debate between me and a buddy of mine. Of course, I was biased, but I maintain that there is a better chance of losing the game by kicking the field goal, than merely going for the first down on 4th and 1. Here is my logic:

  1. Do you really want to put the game in the hands of a kicker, long snapper and some snot nosed kid whose main job is to tutor the “athletes” on the team and for that he also gets to be the holder on field goals? Or do you put the game in the hands of your best player, Taylor Martinez? Read that again, I just called Taylor Martinez the best player on the team, yikes!
  2. The Huskers had already successfully converted three straight first downs with one yard to go. Now I am no sabermetrician but I think 100% is pretty good. Ballgame if they covert.
  3. Not only is there a chance that the field goal is blocked and returned for a touchdown, but also kicker could simply miss the kick, which leaves you in a worse position than simply going for the one yard. Even if the FG has an 80% chance of being good and only a 1% chance of being blocked, I would rather not take that chance, when I have 100% chance (same sample size, but still) on converting the first down via power run.
  4. And if you felt like the Penn State defense was due for a stop, why not roll out Martinez, after a fake dive to the tailback, have him run for the first down. If he feels he can’t make the first down then throw the ball a mile in the air and out of bounds. Sure that is risky, but dammit Bo, we didn’t want to cover that spread!

I stared in disbelief at how this Husker team continues to fall behind, yet finds a way to not only win but also cover the spread. And what a way to cover, down 14, rally to take a 4 point lead, get a gift call that eliminates a Penn State touchdown, a safety and the ill fated field goal. I am snake-bit when picking this team.

Therefore, let’s go with the total this week – expect the Huskers to be somewhat flat, especially on defense this week and Minnesota has some talent on offense. Oh and I’ve seen the Gophers play defense. Ovah!

Play: Over 53.0

BYU (-3.0, O/U47.0) @ San Jose State – BYU failed to cover the first game after their alum Mitt Romney blew the presidential election. And yeah he blew it, given where Obama’s approval rating two years ago, he had a cake walk and pulled an Alabama. So, doom on you BYU for not preparing Romney to close the deal.

Play: San Jose State +3.0

USC (-3.5, 66.5) @ UCLA – My employer – yeah, believe it or not I do not make my living from these college plays – has finally decided that the cost of operating six different buildings to house employees is outweighed by the chance an employee might take a lunch hour to pick up groceries for the week and decided to institute a full-time work from home program. Welcome to the 21st century, fellas! Also we should welcome the managers to a whole new process called “managing”! You see a properly managed employee should be able to work on the moon, right? Right!

Anyway, the name of the program is aptly called “inTouch” which has three tracks – 1. inMotion (no set workspace, but remote office work four times a week and one from home); 2. inOffice (in the office five days a week, no exceptions!); and 3. inHome (full time at home, with office visits only when customer meetings require you to have a face-to-face or you need to sneak in a quickie with an inOffice co-worker). I have proposed a fourth track called “the Trojan” named after the USC Trojans, where you essentially show up when you feel like it.

I think this is a week they decide to show up.

Play: USC -3.5

Central Florida @ Tulsa (-1.5, O/U 56.0) – As I yo-yo back and forth each week from 3-4 and 4-3 it occurred to me that I need to implement some of the same rules I have for the NFL. One such example would be “don’t back a quarterback who thinks the world is against his college, on the road with nothing to play for when the opposing team is fighting for the conference championship.” In other words, don’t back a shaky quarterback on the road. I feel into that trap last weekend with Penn State’s quarterback Matt McGloin, who took to the microphone after the game to deliver one of the whiniest, bitchiest, most victimized post-game interviews I ever heard in my life. Now that is a sure sign that a QB is shaky and cannot be trusted. Oh and listen up, Matty , you had the opportunity to leave but you chose to stay, if you failed to realize during decision making process that there would be some, understandable, backlash at what was essentially an entire cultish community supporting a monster, well then you’re not very smart and you deserve to have the refs biased against the Lions. And if you did realize there would be “hell to pay”, then STFU and play for your dream college, then get job as a grad assistant, where can walk in on a child being sodomized and do nothing about it.

What does that have to do with this game, you ask? Well, two things, first off, I don’t feel I have taken enough shots at Penn State and secondly, I backed a shaky quarterback from UCF earlier in the year on an under bet and he single handedly killed the prospect of the game going over. So, the pick is Tulsa, right? Nope. I’ve seen massive growth in Bortles.

Well, I’ve seen enough growth to know he is slightly above shaky and his UCF supporting cast is much better than that of Tulsa. This is a great matchup for UCF, plus they have revenge from a home loss to Tulsa last season.

Play: Central Florida +1.5

Arkansas @ Mississippi State (-5.5, O/U 55.5) – It seems as though when a team starts strong, they tend to get a longer leash on line adjustment when things go south. The opposite is true of a team that is up and down throughout the early part of the season. And even though both example teams have the same record, the edge still goes to the strong start team.

The Bulldogs are an example of this, as the 7-0 promising start to the season has gone up in flames with a three game losing streak, yet they’re still giving Arkansas points. Albeit the Bulldogs have played LSU, A&M and Alabama, but they weren’t competitive in any of those games.

The Razorbacks have a significant edge in overall talent, but they have been terribly inefficient causing the inconsistencies in their results. Though you can’t trust teams like that when giving points, they can be good when getting points. You know the whole “disrespect” thing.

Here is a story that I will tell from personal experience – I was on a team that started the season 7-1, however, it was a bit of a mirage as our final three games were against the top three teams in a very competitive conference. The morale on the team was high going into the first of the three games, but we lost, and we lost again. Then we got drilled 34-7. We never recovered and ended up losing in the playoffs to a team we had beaten soundly earlier in the year. To this day, I still believe had we mixed those three games into our schedule at various non-consecutive points, we would have gone further.

There you have it – Arkansas outright winner!

Play: Arkansas +5.5

Best of luck this week, Colin is calling a winning week this week of no less than 5-2 or your money back!

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB 2012 – Week 11 “Seven Out”

Michigan (-10.0, O/U 52.0) @ Northwestern – Though it’s a long shot, Northwestern can still represent the Legends Division in the BIG10 championship game. So they got that going for them. For Michigan they will again be without Denard Robinson and while I must admit Devin Gardner is roughly a billion times better than Russ Bellamy, we are still a rolled up ankle, an unfortunate helmet-to-helmet concussing hit, a stray knee to the balls or pile driver sack which leaves Gardner’s arm looking like silly putty away from seeing an investors best friend, Russ Bellamy.

And yeah, yeah I know, Devin Gardner had a big game last weekend, but 1. It was Minnesota; 2. It was Minnesota’s secondary, meaning Gardner accuracy had to be the equivalent of throwing a football into a cruise ship’s swimming pool from the Lido deck; and 3. Minnesota’s coaching staff was completely clueless with their play calling. See failed fake field goal that wouldn’t work if they had 100 tries!

Them Cats going to raise some Kain on Saturday!

Play: Northwestern +10.0

Wisconsin (-7.0, O/U 55.0) @ Indiana – This game represents the Hoosiers chance to become relevant in the Big 10; in fact with half of their division ineligible for the division title Indiana could take a giant step towards that goal by winning on Saturday. I am sure that when the BIG 10 enticed Nebraska to join BIG10 commissioner Jim Delany envisioned an Iowa v. Indiana championship game matchup for the chance to be a 49 point underdog to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

I have to admit, I’ve been impressed with the Hoosiers effort this season. And Wisky’s starting quarterback is some guy name Curt Phillips, which, in terms of individual names is great – Curt like Curt Schilling or Curt Warner and Phillips like Wade or Lawrence, but together the names just don’t mesh. So, if that is the case can we really trust this guy to cover road BIG10 game? Answer – No.

Play: Indiana +7.0

Penn State @ Nebraska (-8.5, O/U 51.5) – So, I am going back to the well once more, and though it’s dried up, you just never know when your bucket will suddenly be full of water. You might be thinking, what an idiot. I would disagree as a true idiot is a person that, for example, reveals that they have a hidden immunity idol for no reason other than they were asked, and at tribal council no less. Goodness if Abi wins Survivor I promise that I will shit-can that show forever. Now that is an idiot. I would argue that Nebraska cannot continue this run of improbable covers, therefore, natural attrition is on my side.

But still I feel the need to justify the Husker plays over the past two weeks like the degenerate gambler asking Nicky Santoro for money so he could “turn on the heat.” Simply put, Michigan wins that game if Devin Gardner plays. And, really Michigan coaching staff after Bellomy stunk up the joint the first three possessions, why wasn’t Gardner at least given a chance. He wasn’t prepared, you say. Fine then put him in the game, run wildcat (which was already in the playbook) or four verticals on every play. Essentially that’s what Michigan did, successfully, last week against Minnesota.

Last week, I admit I over-valued the Spartans, but even at that the Huskers needed a miracle 4th down conversion to, of all players, a tight end (and how does the tight end get that open and then turn and leave the db for an additional 25 yards?) to pull that game out in the final 4 seconds.0

So, why do I like Penn State this week? Three reasons: 1. At 8.5, I merely need Penn State to keep the game close, essentially they can’t get blown out. One thing about this PSU team is that they play 60 minutes; 2. Penn State is well coached, Nebraska is not. That should be enough for the Lions to be in this game late; and 3. The HTM. What is the HTM, you ask? The “Human Turnover Machine”, aka Taylor Martinez. Three picks last week, along with two fumbles that Nebraska was to retain. It’s almost like Martinez and Michael Vick are having a contest to see how can turn over the ball more and keep their starting job. After this week – Advantage, Martinez!

Here is exactly how this game will play out – Martinez turns it over early, Penn State jumps out to the double digit lead, Huskers claw back furiously, Huskers take the lead and Penn State’s rally fall short. Nebraska 34-30.

Play: Penn State +8.5

Missouri @ Tennessee (-3.0, O/U 60.0) – Can Tennessee stop anyone? Now if the answer to that question on Sunday morning is “Turns out they can stop Missouri,” then this prediction went very, very wrong.

Hey, I haven’t lost a total prediction in almost two weeks (1-0 in that time). I am on a roll!

Play: Over 60.0

Oregon (-28.5, 67.5) @ California – There are so many angles supporting the Bears here that this game has to be my “Guaranteed LOCK of the CENTURY!” Ok, maybe I am not quite that confident, but here are four reasons why the Bears are a solid play this week – 1. The Ducks figure to be flat after the emotional win against USC last week. Even though it seems like the Ducks only expended about 5% of their usable energy, I still believe they have to have a bit of a letdown after that near perfect performance; 2. It is sandwich city for the Ducks, last week SC, next week Stanford, then Oregon State and then Alabama in the BCS title game. Wait, I am forgetting an opponent? See how I did that; 3. The former Oregon AD and head coach, Mike Bellotti, said this week that Chip Kelly would “inevitably leave Oregon for the NFL.” Huh? Chipper’s offense is not going to work in the NFL, Mike! And e tu, Mikey! What are you trying to sabotage the entire Ducks season? The players need to be focused on the task at hand, not whether this fast break style of football is going to leave for the NFL; and 4. The Golden Bears actually play the Ducks very tough in Berkley or at least they have the last two meetings. Sure they’ve been free falling the last three weeks, but their ceiling is a blowout victory over UCLA and a narrow lost i Columbus. I like them to play closer to their ceiling than their basement.

Of course I reserve the right to call this bet off if Oregon goes up 35-0 seven minutes into the game.

Play: California +28.5

Tulsa (-3.5, O/U 67.0) @ Houston – This game is a little like one of those “stock alerter” programs – I know very little about the company, but the metrics tell me to buy, so I buy. Tulsa took an SEC to the wire last week, while Houston was crapping themselves against a mediocre East Carolina team. Imaplay.com tells me it’s all Tulsa.

Play: Tulsa -3.5

Kansas @ Texas Tech (-26.5, O/U 56.5) – Once hoop season starts the Jayhawks fan focus shifts from Women’s soccer to Men’s Basketball, therefore no one in Kansas gives a rat’s ass about the Jayhawk football team.

Not that it matters with this game being played in Lubbock, but still think about it when no one gives a crap about what you’re doing, what do you do? Very little, right?

But the reason I am on the Red Raiders is the fact that they are 16-4 ATS the last 20 times they have played the second of a back-to-back home game. Book it!

Play: Texas Tech -26.5

Those are my official “Seven Out”, but here are five more that didn’t quite make the cut:

Kansas State/TCU – Kansas State -6.5

Wyoming/New Mexico – New Mexico +2.0

Louisiana Lafayette/Florida – Louisiana Lafayette +27.0

Colorado/Arizona – Colorado +29.0

Oklahoma State/West Virginia – Under 77.0
 

Best of luck this week, may none of your games end in the first quarter or in the final seconds!

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB – Week Ten “Seven Out”

Nebraska (-1.5, O/U 44.5) @ Michigan State – I admit that it’s tough to go against a team that completely dominated a Michigan team that was down to their 8th string quarterback last Saturday, but I am going back to the well once again this weekend on Michigan State. To be honest, the next road win over a quality opponent for the dynamic duo of Taylor Martinez and Bo Pelini will be their first. Sorry Northwestern, I don’t consider you a quality opponent. But even that soft one point win over the Wildcats stresses the shortcomings the have on the road.

Plus, my man-crush on the Spartans has reached stalker level proportions after that “ballsy” performance against the Badgers last week.

For grins, let’s list the “true” reasons why Sparty emerges with a victory Saturday afternoon:

  • Talent, Michigan State is more talented that Nebraska, period!
  • Blue chip players, in addition to having overall more talent, Michigan State’s high end talent is much better than that of the Huskers
  • You tell me who you trust in a big game – Bo Pelini or Mark Dantonio? Let me remind you that this is not a nostril size competition, it’s big time college football.
  • LeVeon Bell, give this kid 30 carries between the tackles and I guarantee carries 21 through 30 feature at least seven yards a pop and one long, back-breaking gainer.
  • Revenge – the Huskers stomped Michigan State last year in one of those classic “third game flat” situations. You think maybe the Spartans want revenge?

And I get a point and a half? Ok, where do I sign! Thanks to the “sharps” who either have a metric that completely dismisses turnovers or were so impressed by Taylor Martinez’ 4th quarter against Northwestern that they have hammered this game from Michigan State -2. Fair enough, now I can root for the Huskers to win by a point.

Play: Michigan State +1.5

Iowa @ Indiana (-2.0, O/U 56.0) – This Halloween I fortunately got the job of handing out the candy to some very poor costumed kids. Look, little punks, grabbing a mask at the store and throwing it on is not a costume.

Anyway there were a few good costumes, like the group of three little girls dressed as cheerleaders, with a boy as the football captain. That group happens to live next door to me, and since they’re die-hard Iowa fans, the kids were, shockingly in black and gold Iowa Hawkeye gear. Cute nonetheless, but after I give them candy and had a short conversation with mama, the girls do a little “Let’s go Hawks” cheer on my doorstep. Mama, looks at me with glossy eyes that could only come from two too many wine coolers, and states, “we had nothing to do with that!” However, I guess Iowan women don’t learn to lie until their thighs look like they just caught 180 straight innings, because the little girls tell me, “Our dad told us to do that cheer!” Meanwhile, mama waddles off with a sheepish look on her face like, “OMG, he knows I lied!”

That’s precious, the Iowa fans getting so excited about the potential of beating Nebraska three weeks from now so they can finish 4th in the “Legends” division and head to the Poulan WeedEater bowl to play some 3rd place team from the Mountain West. Honestly, I could give a flip about a loss to Iowa, other than probably having to cleanup black and gold toilet paper from lawn. The reality is Iowa is less relevant than Nebraska, so if you want to celebrate becoming bowl eligible by beating the Huskers, hell, who am I to stand in their way, go for it!

But you don’t send your kids to talk junk, especially on Halloween. It’s poor etiquette. And my guess is homie single handedly angered the football gods. That’s pal, this loss is on you!

Play: Indiana -2.0

Penn State (-3.5, O/U 51.0) @ Purdue –Purdue is like the college version of the Arizona Cardinals, I can’t win when picking their games. The obvious question is – in that case, why are you picking this game? Well, here you go – I think the life went out of Penn State last week in that loss to Ohio State. Especially considering how ugly it got at the end. Yep, it has finally caught up with Penn State, but kudos to Bill O’Brien he got about as much mileage out of that team as he could.

Plus, the Boilers play much better against higher end competition.

Play: Purdue +3.5

Vanderbilt (-7.0, 46.0) @ Kentucky – I’ve got Kentucky winning this game out-right, so the points are just a bonus. The balls play here is to take the Wildcats +230 on the money line. Done.

Play: Kentucky +7.0

Alabama (-8.0, O/U 41.0) @ LSU – Steve Spurrier claimed that the Crimson Tide could hang with, and possibly beat, an NFL team. I guess Stev-o is on prescribed medical marijuana, because the worst NFL team of all-time would destroy the best college team of all-time.

But, let’s think about it for a minute – the best college team might send eight players to the NFL a year, which means that they might have 32 NFL players on the current roster. Of course, at least half those players haven’t fully developed. So, even the optimistic estimates would have the NFL with 45 NFL players and the college team with maybe 24 players. Now if you told the 2012 Jaguars that they had to skim their roster to 24 players and then fill in with guys bagging groceries, what do you think the spread would be? Yeah, at least 30, right? Spurrier is insane, and this isn’t even a Lou Holtz tactic as the Gamecocks don’t play Alabama this year. Of course, maybe Steve is jealous of the Tide’s success so he decided to rile up the Tigers.

Either way, I get it, Bama is good, but come on, eight and a half points at night, in Death Valley? That’s too many points!
Play: LSU +8.5

“If the Trojans crap the bed Saturday, I’m going to kill someone . . .”

Oregon (-8.5, O/U 70.0) @ USC – Please tell me that I am not about to back Lane Kiffin.

Ok, here is the case for USC – 1. The Trojans have the speed to handle the Ducks offense; 2. The athletes on the outside for USC are better than anything Oregon has seen this year; 3. USC was looking ahead to this matchup when the Wildcats kicked them in the balls last week. Therefore, we can completely dismiss that game; 4. The Trojans are home, which means the ghosts of Marcus Allen, Reggie Bush, Ronnie Lott, Mike Garrett, Charles White and the double-murderer, aka OJ Simpson will have a presence on the sideline (side note- if you Orenthal on the sidelines with a knife – RUN). Think that doesn’t matter, think back to the 1985 Bears, when they played the Dolphins in Miami and those 1972 Dolphin players roamed the sidelines. It matters; 5. You don’t get into the hottest clubs in LA unless you win games like this. Barkley knows that and so does the rest of the Trojans!; 6. Back in 1997 Nebraska needed to run up the score to impress the voters in an effort to overcome Michigan’s stranglehold atop the polls. That actually created a weird pressure that adversely affected the Huskers, who barely escaped 27-24. Oregon is in a similar position, they need to impress and what better way than to whack the Trojans, of course a funny thing happen on the way to the Coliseum; and 7. Oregon’s quarterback is unproven in big sport and on the road against a quality opponent for the first time in his career.

Play: USC +8.5

Florida Atlantic @ Navy (-16.5, O/U 51.0) – What would the “SevenOut” college football picks be without the “weekly total loser?” I am here to serve. I don’t know much, but I know that the Pelini brothers are terrific at shutting down teams that are one dimensional, even teams with a dark ages “that’s still around?” offense, like Navy. Give me the under in a grind it out, 70s style game.

Play: Under 51.0

Those are my official “Seven Out”, but here are three more totals that you can take to the bank if you reverse them:

Houston/East Carolina Under 68
UAB/Southern Mississippi Under 63
Texas Tech/Texas Under 68

Best of luck this week.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB 2012 – “Seven Out” Week Nine

Michigan @ Nebraska (-2.5, O/U 57.5) – I have lost complete confidence in Bo Pelini’s ability to coach this Huskers team. Bo is an above average defensive coordinator, but is not a head coaching material. And yes, there are some sour grapes here, I am pissed that this program cannot get back to their mid 90s level, but let’s be honest, that run might never happen again for any program let alone a program on the plains of Nebraska. But the thing is the program right now is nowhere near even the early 90’s, when the Huskers were routinely getting trounced every time they ran into a top five team. The program is a train wreck right now and the reality is, it has been since Solich took over the program in 1998.

In fact, if you showed me a random set of games from each of the last three Husker coaches over the last 14 years, I would probably have a difficult time telling who the head coach was for the particular game. Need proof? Tell me the head coach in these three games:

Game

Points Allowed

Yards Allowed

Turnovers

Point Diff

Game #1

76

572

-5

-37

Game #2

62

582

-4

-26

Game #3

63

498

-3

-25

 

At first glance, you might be tempted to utter the words “Bill Callahan” for all three and while it is true that the Huskers were especially bad in Callahan’s final season the above are from Solich’s second to last year (Colorado, Game #2), Callahan’s last season (Kansas, Game #1) and Pelini’s, hopefully, final season (Ohio State, Game #3).

The interesting fact about those three games is each opponent was ranked in the top 15 at the time of the game, Colorado (#14), Kansas (#8) and Ohio State (#12). In other words, the Huskers have been stuck in neutral since the end of the Solich era. Ironically, Solich was fired after a 9-2, because the two losses were so egregious that the administration felt like the Huskers were “surrendering the BIG12 to those teams.” The irony is that the Huskers have not had a signature win over a top opponent since Tom Osborne left the sidelines for Washington D.C. sewer.

The translation to the current state of the program is that they are completely irrelevant on the national scene. If I were to make a comparison to the music industry I would call the Huskers Boyz II Men, who dominated the mid-90s but haven’t cracked the Top 100 since the new millennium.

I get that no program stays on top forever, but I guess I feel like the Huskers should be more like Brittney Spears, who went from dominate to complete train wreck to at least holding her own on the national scene. Saturday the Huskers get another chance to take a step towards national respectability, while telling the new athletic director they care about Pelini’s job. All they have to do is beat the 22nd best team in the country. Wow, how times have changed. Get ready for another #EpicFail from the Huskers.

Play: Michigan +2.5

Michigan State @ Wisconsin (-6.5, O/U 41.0) – You remember that old song by Percy Sledge, “When a Man Loves a Woman?” It was such a classic that the song was remade in the 90s by Michael Bolton, the singer not the guy from Office Space. One of the lines from that song sums up my feelings about Michigan State, “If she is bad, he can’t see it, she can do no wrong.” I love this team, despite the spitting the bit effort four times this season, I will steadfastly and blindly will back them when getting points. True, they have a shaky quarterback, but outside of that this Spartan team is solid across the board, in fact, in my mind, they are the most talented team in the BIG10. On defense they’re loaded with William Gholston wreaking havoc and causing opposing offensive tackles to piss themselves at the mere sight of him. Overall, the roster has four of the top 100 draft prospects according to my good friends at Drafttek.

Plus let’s look further at this line, it seems high but I guess beating up on Illinois and Purdue entitles the Badgers to give a better team close to a touchdown. Sure, Wisconsin seemingly has it figured out, but I remember less than a month ago a text message from a smart-aleck Badgers friend of mine, “How you doing?” after Wisconsin went up 17 in Lincoln. My response, “I’m fine, this Wisconsin team is garbage.” Truer wordswere never texted, as the Huskers rallied to handle the “garbage team.”

My buddy told mo last week, “I just wish we could replay that Nebraska game now that we have figured it out.” Uh, news flash, pal, everybody looks good against Illinois.

And if we look at Sparty’s losses, there is only one legit loss the season and that was to the eventual National Champ, Norte Dame – foreshadowing fella, foreshadowing. The other three losses were by two points to Ohio State (complete with horrific game changing call against MSU), two points to Michigan (where the defense gave up a late drive, but held the Wolverines to 4 field goals) and the horrible overtime loss to Iowa, where I firmly believe they slept walked through the second half because well, to be frank, they were playing Iowa. Now if they win those three games, no way in hell is Wisconsin favored by six!

Maybe the Spartans are playing me for a fool . . . and I am the last one to know.

Play: Michigan State +6.5

Texas Tech @ Kansas State (-7.5, O/U 61.0) – Texas Tech is the “third game flat” situation, two weeks ago they wrecked Geno Smith’s Heisman campaign and last week the Red Raiders won a three overtime thriller against TCU. This is my only total of the week, but I would be willing to make this my “Total of the Year,” guaranteed to win or you get the remainder of October absolutely free.

Play: Under 57.54

North Carolina State @ North Carolina (-7.5, 54.5) – I have these two teams equal so at most I would think this number should be Carolina -4, of course that assumes a normal home field advantage. We know that unless the Heels bring out Roy Williams’ boys for a special halftime show Kenan will be half filled with about a quarter of the fans being rabid college football fans. Therefore, this is more like a neutral field game for the Wolfpack. Given that, I feel like I am getting a free 7.5

Play: North Carolina State +7.5

BYU @ Georgia Tech (-2.5, O/U 51.0) – If this past week’s Presidential debate, and a certain candidate’s alma mater, is any indication of the outcome of coming weekend’s games, BYU is in big trouble. It’s almost like Obama was bored in the first couple debates but decided to “squash this annoying little troll” in the most recent debate.

I uncovered this little known fact about a college football in election years – the alma mater of the losing candidate is 6-0 ATS on the second to last weekend prior to the election.

Yeah, I made that up. . .but look for it to be 1-0 after Saturday and next Tuesday.

Play: BYU +2.5

Baylor @ Iowa State (-3.0, O/U 70.0) – Personally, I don’t see how Iowa State can keep up with Baylor. The posted total of 70 is the highest by a wide margin for the Cyclones this season, meaning they will likely need to accumulate many pointalones. Won’t happen.

Play: Baylor +3.0

Syracuse @ South Florida (-3.5, O/U 52.5) – South Florida had played fairly decent football this season, but that has not translated into wins. That’s ok because they need to focus on the process not necessarily the results. Or least that’s the message from the children’s soccer club. So, focusing on the process instead of results can be translated as “we suck, so we can’t use results as a way to measure our success.” Don’t worry I am not going to go off on a 1500 word rant about some arbitrary soccer club but the reality is South Florida has been competitive this season, but lost several close games, meaning they are getting the best of this line.

I made the case today that Syracuse often gets more respect in football simply because of their basketball program. It almost like everyone takes a glance at this game and thinks, “wow, Syracuse should win this game.” That opinion is based on the Orangemen hoop team and not the mediocre football team. Well, I am here to tell you the Orange are garbage.

Play: South Florida -3.5

Those are my official “Seven Out”, but here is onemore that didn’t quite make the cut:

Oklahoma -12.0 over Norte Dame – If the Irish fall behind the Sooners 14-7, they will blink and look up at a 35-7 deficit. A few too many points, but I will tell you that I almost always play against an “obvious” point spread that is mis-aligned with current rankings, for example, ND is #5 and catching almost 2 touchdowns, the play is OU.

Best of luck this week.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB Week Eight “Seven Out”

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.

CFB Week Seven “Seven Out”

North Carolina (-7.5, O/U 69.0) @ Miami – My first though on this game was “Wow, that is a low total for a college basketball game.” Because there is no way the Canes are getting that many points at home from the UNC football team, right? This is the same Tar Heel team that hasn’t won a road game and was beaten by Wake Forest earlier this season. That team is favored by 7.5 against the Canes, in Miami, no less? Yikes, that is way too many points, but after looking to see if the entire Canes offense was hit by a bus I uncovered this nugget – the line opened at 3.5. So a four point movement, over a key number like 7 means there is some serious sharp money on this game. And even though my numbers tell me the sharps are getting spanked this season, I prefer to side with the proven handicappers over the “bet my entire bankroll on this lock” fly by night guys.

Give me the Heels and the Over. . .

Play: North Carolina -7.5 & Over 69.0

Wisconsin @ Purdue (-1.0, O/U 50.0) – It would like Christmas every week if the Huskers would play road games against ranked opponents. Unfortunately, I have to look elsewhere this week. I know the Big Ten fairly well, at least enough to know that both of these teams are garbage. But Purdue is less garbage. Plus, the Boilermakers are celebrating their most famous alum Drew Brees’ consecutive touchdown pass record.

Play: Purdue -1.0

South Carolina @ LSU (-3.0, 39.5) – My “third game flat” rule will apply to both of these teams next week when the ‘Cocks head to the Swamp to play the Gators and LSU plays Texas A&M. This week though I expect both teams to come out as normal.

Though I am having trouble figuring out why the Tigers are favored. Here are some the reasons I think the Tigers are favored in this game – 1. It’s a night game in Baton Rouge, meaning the normal home field advantage of 4 points is like a 7; 2. Les Miles doesn’t lose back-to-back games; 3. The Tigers are mad about losing last week to Florida and will take it out on South Carolina; and 4. South Carolina is not road tested.

True those are valid reasons, but give me South Carolina; they simply are the better team. Plus, check out this total. In a year where a typical week features numerous totals in the 60s and a handful in the 70s, it’s refreshing to see an old school total. This game figures to be like an old school Ravens v. Steelers game, you know before both defenses got old and couldn’t cover mediocre receivers.

USC-East will play defense, run the ball and win a close game.

Play: South Carolina +3.0 & under 39.5

Utah State @ San Jose State (-3.0, 50.5) – With conference play underway, it makes it very easy to do comparative lines amongst conference opponents. My opinion is that Vegas will make adjustments to a power ranking but generally they are slower to react, while the public is quick to over-react. Therefore, from week to week, barring injuries, we should see fairly consistent numbers that line up with previous weeks. The public over-reacts to a previous week result and hammers accordingly and viola, billions dollar casinos are built!

Well the consistency is not there in this game. And we have a recent compare as both teams just played Colorado State. San Jose State was favored by 11.5 at home, translating to true advantage of 7.5 when removing the standard HFA. Utah State, a week later, was a 12 point favorite in Fort Collins, translating to a true advantage of Utah State +16. Comparing the two teams yields a Utah State advantage of 8.5, or on the road they should be favored by 4-4.5. Yet they’re getting points. Hmm, ok, I feel a trap coming, but give me the 7.5 points of value.

Play: Utah State +3.0

Alabama (-21.5, 44) @ Missouri – Projected score for this game – Alabama 32.75 Missouri 11.25. How the hell is Missouri going to score 11.25? The answer is obvious, they can’t, but you get the point, they will be extremely lucky to score 10 points against a well rested, hungry Bama team. Plus, my guess is the SEC “old man” teams want to destroy the Tigers this season.

As you can probably tell, I hate laying big numbers, but this is a mismatch.

Play: Alabama -21.5

Good luck this week.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB Week Six “Seven Out”

Nebraska @ Ohio State (-3.5, O/U 56) – Here’s a name for you all to remember – Cardale Jones. First off, you have to love anyone named Cardale, but especially this Cardale, who simply asked the question that most student-athletes have asked for ages: “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS.” For the record that Jones tweet lasted about as long as, the now jettisoned, Angie stayed underwater in this week’s episode of Survivor.

Who is Cardale Jones, you ask? Well, he is THE OHIO STAE Buckeyes third team quarterback. There is nothing I like more than when a guy, who doesn’t see the field, causes a stir right before a huge game. And, while I get that you only have 140 characters to tell everyone what’s on your mind, judging by Cardale’s grammar, he might want to take college a little more seriously. Of course, the world needs ditch diggers as well!

On to the game, here is my logic:

  1. A bookmaker one week ago tweeted his advanced lines for next week’s big games:

    Todd Fuhrman is the former director of the Caesars Palace Sportsbook, so he’s literally done this for a living. He had OSU at 7.5 last week, prior to the Buckeyes win at Michigan State. I am not sure how that win doesn’t at least keep the Buckeyes, in terms of power rating, right where they were. And I don’t know how that shitshow by the Huskers would warrant them getting a four point advantage this week but that’s what happened. Sure, the Husker won, but come on Wisconsin is garbage.

  2. Quick, tell me the Huskers last signature road win? Even those suffering from short term memory loss can tell you it hasn’t happened in the Bo Pelini era, unless you consider beating #21 Missouri on the road a signature win. I don’t! Therefore, you have to go back to 1997 when the Huskers went to Seattle and waxed the then #2 Washington Huskies. That was Tom Osborne’s last season as the head coach. I will take the 14 years of failure in this spot and pray that the Huskers don’t find a way to lose by 1 or 2.
  3. Nebraska struggles against teams with athletes. Ohio State has athletes. Therefore, Nebraska, will struggle. I love the transitive property.
  4. I don’t trust Taylor Martinez in any big road game. Sure, his throwing motion is better and he appears to be more confident leading the team, but at some point during this game, Husker fans worldwide will collectively say to themselves, ‘Welcome back, Taylor.” That reference is to the Taylor that Huskers fans have become accustomed to seeing in big games, when he routinely comes up small in games, especially those on the road.
  5. The coaching match-up is heavily in favor of Ohio State. It’s not really about Urban Meyer, it’s more that I don’t trust Bo Pelini in this spot. Again if this was a blowing snot out of your unusually large nostrails, Bo is your guy, but not when you need this guy to come up big on the road in a hostile environment.

Don’t get me wrong I would love to see the Huskers defecate on the “O” at midfield after slapping the Buckeyes silly; I just don’t see it happening.

Play: Ohio State -3.5

Northwestern @ Penn State (-3.0, O/U 47.0) – If Penn State had a field goal kicker they might be undefeated right now, at the very least they would certainly be 3-1. Last week they played their best game in quite a while by ass-raping – too soon, yeah too soon – severely beating down Illinois. But let’s not get too excited about beating a horrible Fighting Illini team that might be the worst team in the Big Ten. Somewhere Ron Zook is laughing his ass off.

Northwestern is by far the best team the Nittany Lions have faced this season. And at some isn’t the “rah, rah” nature of Bill O’Brien going to wear thin? Look the Lions wanted to beat Illinois badly because the Illini sent their entire staff to State College to lure players to transfer after the NCAA brought down the hammer. I hear it was like a bus load of pedophiles getting off at the elementary school stop right at the beginning of recess. Therefore, it makes sense that Penn State played great, those players who stayed, stayed because they’re loyal, so they would want a piece of the “Outlanders” trying to break up the cult.

Oh, and remember if it’s close and comes down to a field goal by Penn State, I like my chances.

Play: Northwestern -3.0

Colin’s 2012 CFB Record

Last Week: 3-4 (-1.4 units)

Season to date: 11-16-1 (-6.6 units)

 

LSU (-2.5, 42) @ Florida – Florida has been an underdog at home just 16 times since 1980. They’re 8-8 ATS in those games, but last year they went 0-2 ATS and 0-4 overall the last four times. What those numbers tell me is that the Gators are due!

Color me very unimpressed by LSU this season; this number is all about the ranking and pre-2012 reputation. Plus, I’ve just little hidden gem for you – it’s possible that LSU wants to lose this game to take a bit of the hype of the Alabama game, knowing that Bama is going to destroy them, if they lose this game maybe they can catch Bama sleeping on them. Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense, but trust me the Tigers are in trouble here.

Play: Florida +2.5

Washington State @ Oregon State (-15.5, 58.5) – One of the “plays” that has worked well for me this season is what I call the “third game flat” play – basically, my theory is that teams can get up two consecutive weeks for big games, but they will fall flat the third week, generally against a team they should beat handedly. This is the third week game for OSU and they should handle WSU with relative ease. And while they are 3-0, they have a point differential of only 13 points, which is less than what they’re favored by this week.

Honestly, this is a leap of faith given the Cougars ineptitude but I offer two points that serve as a parachute if you choose to take the leap: 1. The more time Mike Leach has with this team the more comfortable they will become with his proven effective system; and 2. No system play is 100%, there will be losses, but sports investing rule #65 – “you don’t cherry-pick games from a system, you play them all.”

Play: Washington State +15.5

West Virginia @ Texas (-6.5, 73.5) – Goodness, have you seen Mack Brown lately, dude has aged like he’s been the president of the US of over the last four years. I guess that’s what happens when you start pissing off the alums by losing to Oklahoma and finishing with less than 10 wins. The problem is they can’t fire a guy who brought them their only championship in the last 40 years (yeah, mother effing Texas fans, you have one lousy effing championship in 40 years), so instead they start making his life miserable which has caused the affable Brown to age like a dog. I can imagine the alums inviting him to dinner but the only allow him half of a meal, and giving him the friendly “pat on the back”, you know the one where they put the “kick me” sign. Those Texans can be so cruel!

Here is the key to the game for the Longhorns – hit Geno Smith in the mouth early. It’s that simple, hit him and he starts thinking about getting and not throwing to wide open receivers running all over the field. This might be a big enough game where the Longhorn defensive coaches install a bounty an incentive program, where the first player who gets a hit on Smith gets the 50K summer security job, where the primary function is watching an oil field to make sure it doesn’t get stolen.

Play: Texas -6.5 and Under 73.5

Washington @ Oregon (-24.5, O/U 63.0) – Washington has had 10 days to hear how great they are after upsetting the Stanford Cardinal. By the time they realize they’re not that good, the Ducks will be up 38-0.

I believe I have the right side on this game – but I will make this concession – if the Ducks don’t cover the spread this game goes way, way under the total. There is no way Washington wins a shootout with the Ducks. So, it’s up to you loyal follower, either the side or the parlay, one of them is a guarantee.

Play: Oregon -24.5

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.