Welcome back. When we last talked, the college football season was a blank slate, kind of. Anything was possible, except for Arizona being any good. Speaking of not being very good, hi there, Nebraska. But I digress. From a gambling standpoint, the opening week is tricky because we’ve all had eight months to talk ourselves into liking or disliking certain teams, and this can heavily influence what we do at the window.
So now that we do have some tangible things from which to draw our inferences moving forward, everything should be easy, right? Hahahaha no. The easiest thing in the world to do - and the thing almost of us are guilty of - is overreact to the first week’s results. For example, even though Oregon fell victim to a monumental choke job, I still think they’re pretty good. If they played Auburn 10 times, I bet they win seven. In this sport, though, that doesn’t matter.
So now we’re on to week two, where there is money to be made, because even the professional odds-makers are prone to the same overreactions that can plague Joe Sixpack. The key is spotting those reactions and playing the other side. Piece of cake! (not actually a piece of cake).
Why I love gambling: Took me forever to take advantage of betting on the first half, and not the game. For example, let me point you to the Ohio State Buckeyes. They were a 28-point favorite against the Fighting Kiffins. Before any Ohio State fans even had time to assault their first Owls supporter, the Buckeyes were up 28-0. The first half line was Ohio State -16.5, and ended 28-3. Winner! But if you took Ohio State -28 for the game, you saw Florida Atlantic tack on two 4th quarter touchdowns against the Buckeye walk-ons, followed by your ticket going up in flames.
Why I hate gambling: *%^#!@&^#%ing Northwestern
What. A. Beat. pic.twitter.com/d3o9JutNqq— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) August 31, 2019
Last Week: 10-4-2
- ezcrew: 1-0
- .:R: 4-3
- Sloan353: 10-1-1 (!)
- stewak: 6-4
- BothwaysUphill: 6-2
- MSUCougar: 5-6
Northern Illinois Huskies at Utah Utes (-23): Hell I don’t know. Utah looked pretty good last week, even though I don’t think they’ll be that great. Northern Illinois beat and FCS team by 14. That’s all I got.
The Pick: Utah? I guess?
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Colorado Buffaloes (+4): This bad boy opened at seven and plummeted once everyone realized Nebraska still isn’t very good. Colorado isn’t that great either, but I won’t be surprised if they win this one outright, at which point we can all point and laugh at everyone who thought Nebraska should have been ranked.
The Pick: Buffs
San Diego State Aztecs at UCLA Bruins (-7): If anything was uglier than UCLA’s dreck-fest in Cincinnati, it’s San Diego State’s barnburner of a 6-0 over Weber State. It’s often said that every team’s biggest improvement is between weeks one and two. Rocky and the Chipster sure better hope so.
The Pick: UCLA / Under 46.5
Nevada Wolfpack at Oregon Ducks (-23.5): One team coming off an emotional win traveling to face a team coming off a gut-wrenching loss. Give me the guys who are pissed off.
The Pick: Oregon
Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans (-1.5): Future pro J.T. Daniels (shouldn’t he still be in high school or something?) versus future (XFL) pro K.J. Costello. Hang on, I’m being told that both Daniels (knee) and Costello (brain) won’t appear Saturday. This is supposed to be one of the Pac-12’s better games. Like the conference as a whole, it’s gone south in a hurry. After what they did to me last week, I may never pick Stanford again. Starting next week.
The Pick: Stanford / Under 45
California Golden Bears at Washington Huskies (-13.5): When we last saw these two teams play, Cal won despite not scoring an offensive touchdown. They did score on defense, courtesy of a great Evan Weaver pick six. Well young Mr. Weaver decided to pop off in advance of this week’s game.
Cal LB Evan Weaver today, on next weekend's game at Washington: “We’ll fly up there and we’ll beat ‘em Saturday. It’s what we do. We win games.” https://t.co/v7CbAQV62N— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) September 1, 2019
Excuse me, Evan? You’re sort of right. I mean, since you started playing in 2016, your Golden Bears have won 18 times. One problem...you’ve lost 20. So if you think about it, you lose games. It’s what you do. And on Saturday, you’re going to lose another one.
The Pick: Washington
Oregon State Beavers (+6) at Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors: The Rolovich shady recruiting revenge game! I have been see-sawing on this pick all darn day. OSU can score with Hawaii, and the Rainbows don’t exactly give me confidence in the ball security department. Still, weird things happen on the islands, and I can’t pick the Beavers until they give me a reason to do so.
The Pick: Aloha
New Mexico State Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide (-55): Anecdotally, it felt like Saban has rarely covered these gigantic spreads. Cue gambling shaman Chris “The Bear” Fallica, who confirmed my suspicion.
The four times the Alabama has been a 50-point favorite under Nick Saban, as is the case here, the Tide is 0-4 ATS. Last year the Tide beat The Citadel by 33 as a 54.5-point favorite the week prior to the Auburn game.— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) September 3, 2019
The Pick: Aggies (and if Bama wins by 50 or less it’ll mean the Cougs are better than the Tide because reasons)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Iowa Hawkeyes (-19.5): Rutgers is still terrible until proven otherwise.
The Pick: Hawks!
Tulane Green Wave at Auburn Tigers (-18): Let. Down. City.
The Pick: Wave!
SUNY-Buffalo Bulls at Penn State Nittany Lions: Over 55.5
First Half sucker bets sure to ruin me:
West Virginia Mountaineers at Missouri Tigers (-7): Missouri isn’t as bad as they looked, and WVU stinks.
The Pick: M-I-Z...
Illinois Fighting Illini (-12.5) at Connecticut Huskies: How bad are you if you’re catching nearly two touchdowns, at home, in one half, against Illinois?!
The Pick: Illini
Army Black Knights at Michigan Wolverines (-13): If you find yourself saying, “Army was right there against Oklahoma last year so they should hang with Michigan too!” gambling isn’t for you.
The Pick: Michigan