9-3-1: You have to like slamming home 75% of your bets – this was my best college week of the year. I had previously thought college ball to be a little easier than the NFL, but the start to the season has been 50/50 and it was nice to get a big week out of my College picks. It was a big week for all my picks, winners everywhere! Here’s the review!
Bowling Green Falcons (+3.5) @ Buffalo Bulls: (WINNER) “I just think Bowling Green plays well on the road. They lost to Missouri and Marshall away from home, 7 points separated them in each loss. They recently won at Kent State, be it by just a single point, before beating Ball State by two touchdowns on the road. They’ve done this all through the air, using their passing attack to efficiently move the ball and create big plays. The Bowling Green Falcons have out-passed every opponent outside of Boise State so far this season. Now, they have been out-rushed in almost every game, so they definitely go how their passing attack goes.”
So their passing attack didn’t really hit the gold until the 4th quarter, but that was enough for Bowling Green as they snaked out another one-point win this season. They couldn’t run the ball, but when it came down to it, they sure could throw it. A big stop late gave the Falcons a chance, and they cashed it in. Big win to start the week!
Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (+14) @ Temple Owls: (WINNER) “Alright, it’s your lucky day, the Redhawks have moved from a 13 point dog to open, to a 14 point dog when I made my pick, to a 17 point dog right now. That’s a huge move, and it might be because 67% of the public likes the Owls. It also might be because the Redhawks have their fair share of injuries while Temple is basically injury free, healthy as a night owl, if you will. It also might be because people are realizing Miami’s 1-8 record to start the season. You could say they are the favorite. But 14 points? (17 points for you if you’re betting now)? The Owls haven’t been a two touchdown favorite since 2001. Now, they covered in that game, but as you can see it has been a long time. It’s almost 2010.”
The Redhawks made it tough on me, waiting until the last quarter of each half to get their game right. After 19 straight and unanswered points to grab the lead late in the 4th, Temple hit a last second field goal to secure the win. What a game of swings. I still got my win, though, and I know you got yours. Nobody said it would be easy, but the points were too much for a team that hadn’t been a big favorite in, well, just under forever.
Purdue Boilermakers (+4) @ Michigan Wolverines: (WINNER) “Luckily for you, this spread has made a change for the better since Monday Night when I made my selection. I have the Boilermakers at +4 but they are already getting +6 at almost every book. Still, 75% of the public likes Michigan to cover at home in this one. Fortunately, I think the public is confused, and the man is happy as a clam at high tide about the whole thing. See, the public (or so I guess) sees 5-4 Michigan hosting 3-6 Purdue, and they think, “favored by less than a touchdown, give me that football powerhouse, Michigan” – but that’s where they’re all wrong. Sure, the Wolverines got the Fighting Irish when they were on the other side of that luck thing, and that was a good win. But their other four wins have come against less than stellar competition, Delaware State, Western and Eastern Michigan, and good old Indiana. How’s that 5-4 resume looking now? And Michigan has really struggled lately, losing 4 of their last 5, including a beat down last week at the hands of Illinois, of all teams. Purdue may have 6 losses, and on any given day they can play like piss, but aside from last week, they’ve been very competitive against some pretty good teams. Purdue has lost by more than a touchdown just twice this season, losing to Notre Dame and Oregon by 5 points combined. They got kicked around last week by Wisconsin, but that puts them in a good place to come out and fight hard against Michigan. I’ll take Purdue, the better team of the two.”
A lot of you thought I was full of it when I labeled Purdue the better team of the two – but I’m not looking so silly now am I? Neither team is what one would call good, but Purdue’s tough schedule makes them an interesting team to look at every week, while Michigan’s patty-cake start has them close to aut0-fade status.
Washington Huskies (+4.5) @ UCLA Bruins: (WINNER) “The public actually slightly likes Washington in this one, and that kind of surprises me, but I’m proud of them, maybe they see what I see. I see that UCLA has a pretty good defense, but they can’t get anything working on offense. They have quarterbacks that can’t seem to step into any throws, and a rushing attack that doesn’t produce much. They’ve been out-rushed in each of their last 5 games, all losses. Washington can play with any team that can’t efficiently run the ball, or won’t commit to running the ball early and often, and in all those cases they are a good bet to cover.”
The Huskies managed to lose this game, but that’s what the Huskies do. They covered the spread nicely though, and that’s the perfect recipe for me. After all, it’s not like I need a win to get a win, you know? And one for the public! Go team!
Oregon Ducks @ Stanford Cardinal (+5.5): (WINNER) “Stanford is one of the best teams in the Nation that nobody knows about. What does that mean to you? It means they are a great bet. They’ve had a couple tough losses over the last three games, going just 1-2 during that stretch. But this spread is not right. First of all, it’s even better (for Stanford side) now than it was when I made the pick. The Cardinal are now getting a full touchdown at home. They are a physical team that matches up well with Oregon, and the Ducks are just coming off a huge emotional high after upsetting the Trojans. Regardless, the value is in Stanford’s corner. Andrew Luck is a very good quarterback that nobody knows. The Cardinal have a very physical offense line that should give Oregon’s defense lots of trouble. Both these teams run the ball very well, Stanford doesn’t have as many big plays, but they get first downs, shorten games, and end up on top more often than not.”
It was what I thought it was. They were who I thought they were. And nobody let anybody off the hook. The Cardinal came out and did what they do. They ran the ball with great success, as Toby Gerhart got the ball 38 times, rushing his team to victory with 223 yards and three touchdowns. Both teams did their thing, and Oregon tried to fight hard late to get the win, but they came up just short in stopping Gerhart, and a late field goal by Stanford sealed the deal. The Cover was rarely in question, as Oregon couldn’t stop Stanford’s powerful run game, and QB, Andrew Luck was solid as usual.
Kansas Jayhawks (-3) @ Kansas State Wildcats: (LOSS) “64% of the gambling public agrees with me, they’re taking Kansas. Not the greatest feeling when you’re betting on a team that has lost 5 straight against the spread yet they’re still getting public love, but it is what it is.” Yeah, so, like I said, not the greatest feeling. The Wildcats pretty much shut Kansas down from the get go. A 2nd quarter touchdown and a very late field goal made it a 7 point game, but K State didn’t really make any mistakes, and Kansas wasn’t good enough to create for themselves. Missed this one.
Illinois Illini (+7) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers: (WINNER) “Once again, I love these late season games where 2-6 teams that have struggled but are still better than 5-4 teams finally get a chance to try and make things right. I’m a strong believer that when Illinois travels to Minnesota to play the Gophers, that’s exactly the type of game they’ll be playing. Illinois has stunk this year, no doubt about it. But despite their stinking, they had lost 3 games by two touchdowns or less before beating the piss out of Michigan last week, 38-13. That was their second straight win against the spread, and probably the first game they played up to their talent level.”
The Illini continued to play the football many expected them to be running from the beginning. I had this was spot on, as Illinois looked like the much better team from the get-go. I wonder why it took so long, but no matter, hopefully they continue getting good numbers from the books.
Navy Midshipmen @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-11): (LOSS) “I normally don’t think much of Notre Dame’s chances to cover double digit spreads. They play heaps of close games, are greatly overrated, and spend way too much time throwing the ball, which, if you’ve noticed, is a good way not to cover spreads against lesser teams. Now, Navy is a run-centered team, they hardly ever throw the ball and use the ground and pound style to shorten the game and get tough yards. That’s good for covering double digit spreads as well.”
Why in the hell I just ignored this is beyond me. I know, the QB injury, well he played and he ran – 31 times for 100+ yards, and while his yards per carry weren’t much, that grind it out styled kept the Irish off the field. That Notre Dame defense couldn’t stop anything the Midshipmen ran at them. It was glorious. What did I learn here? A couple things; 1 – ever if I pick Notre Dame, I love it when they lose. And 2 – I need to listen to myself, and when I have an overrated favorite with many reasons to go against them, I definitely need to follow that reasoning!
Virginia Tech Hokies @ East Carolina Pirates (+13): (PUSH) This was a push. What more is there to say? The reasons I went with the Pirates were there. The reasons I should have gone with the Hokies were there. It was a push. I hate ’em, but they rear their ugly heads from time to time. The Hokies really shut down that Pirate offense, putting their offense in good places to succeed. They rarely did, but a late field goal was enough to push. Blast!
Nevada Wolf Pack (-12.5) @ San Jose State Spartans: (WINNER) This one wasn’t even as close as I thought it could be. Nevada dominated from the coin flip, what can you say, tails never fails! It was nice to get a big Sunday win to top off a very nice week. Yay us! Winning is good! How close was this? San Jose scored their first points in the 4th. Four Nevada players rushed for at least 112 yards, 5 rushed for at least 1 touchdown. Believe it.
LSU Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide (-8.5): (WINNER) I definitely was sweating this one out. The Crimson Tide had to ride a 2nd 4th quarter comeback to cover my spread, and they did it just by the slimmest of margins. Those half points can certainly come in handy from time to time. If you got this game late, you likely had a little more room to spare, but you still needed that last push from the Tide. I’m sure glad we got it!
Boise State Broncos (-20.5) @ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs: (LOSS) What should have mattered to me here was Louisiana Tech’s solid play to start the season, especially when going up against big favorites. Boise State did enough to win, and it looked like an easy cover after the first half, but the Bulldogs came out fighting like, well, bulldogs, and they made the Broncos sweat it out a bit indeed. This was one of a couple losses on the day, and it could have gone either way.
Oregon State Beavers (+7) @ California Golden Bears: (WINNER)”This one is a little weird to me, because when you break down these two teams, I think it’s overwhelming that the best team between the two is Oregon State. I know the Beavers are on the road in this one, but they’ve played well away from Beaver-town this season, losing by a score to USC and beating up ASU outright. They’ve only lost to good teams like USC, Cincinnati, and Arizona. Cal’s wins are unimpressive, that’s the bottom line. The best team they’ve beaten is either Arizona State or Minnesota – maybe UCLA?”
If you watched the game you saw that Oregon State was better, everywhere. It didn’t help the Bears when their best player had to be carted off the field (Jahvid Best was released from the hospital with a concussion, but it looked bad). The Beavers didn’t have that feared rushing attack working at it’s best in the first half, but with Canfield completing just under 75% of his passes, taking advantage of the Bears shaky defense, the Beavers were running the show in Cali, just as I imagined.