Season picks 4-4
After a brutal 0-3 record in week 2, I’m back! 2-1 in week 3, with the only loss coming in the Memphis-Middle Tennessee game, where the Tigers still lost, but covered the 6.5 point spread. Oh well, going 2-1 all year will make a guy some “units” either way, so I’ll take it. The other two games were really in doubt, and while Louisville only covered the 13.5 points they were giving to Kentucky by a half a point, let’s be honest here, if you bet on Kentucky to cover that spread, you probably hate money. This is the last week before the conference season in most leagues kicks into full swing, and to say the schedule is a little rough looking is like saying that Cameron Diaz has aged well. On to the games!
The first game I am looking at in this week slim pickings is Western Michigan getting 16.5 points at Iowa. I know I said last week that Iowa is a pretty awful team, that didn’t change even though they travelled out of Ames clutching the Cy-Hawk trophy last week. W. Michigan is 0-3 on the year, and yes one of those losses was an inexplicable home loss to Nichols State in week 2. But looking at the other two losses, a 13 point loss to Michigan State in week 1, and a 21 point loss last week to Northwestern, they didn’t get blown out by two B1G teams that are far better than Iowa. Western Michigan gives up a lot of yards on the ground and Iowa will surely run the ball left, right and up the middle against them. Iowa also likes to give up a decent amount of passing yards, so the thinking here is that the Broncos will try to air it out a bit to keep the game close. Iowa doesn’t put up a ton of points, so if Western can channel their inner MACtion and score a couple touchdowns, I think they cover the 16.5 in Iowa City this weekend.
The next game I am looking at is Indiana getting 3 points at home against Missouri. Indiana scores quickly and in bunches. Even in a loss to Navy they scored 35 points, so scoring shouldn’t be the issue. Missouri, on the other hand, is a SEC team in name only. They are not very good, and haven’t played anyone of note yet this year, with a win over FCS Murray State and a win over lowly Toledo two weeks ago. The one thing Missouri has going for them is the bye week last weekend, so they should be well rested. Regardless of time off, Missouri should never be a road favorite against anyone from a BCS conference, even if it is Indiana. Missouri struggled against Toledo a couple weeks ago, and gave up 23 points in doing so. Indiana gives up a lot of points, but should be able to put up enough to offset that and beat Missouri this week.
The final game I am picking this week is Kansas State getting 6 points on the road in Austin, Texas against the struggling Longhorns. I’m not big on betting trends, especially in college football, and that isn’t really what I am doing here, but one of the most bizarre stats I have heard regarding this game is that KSU has covered the spread against Texas the past nine games. For the record, they have also beat the Longhorns the last five times they have met, and hold a winning record against UT all time. What I am saying is that Bill Snyder seems to have the number of Texas, and things shouldn’t change this weekend. The book is obviously out on Texas, run the football and run it a lot. The Longhorns struggles against the run are well documented by this point, and the weak defense has now been exploited two straight weeks. Speaking of well documented, everyone by now knows that K-State dropped their season opener in Manhattan to FCS powerhouse North Dakota State. Since then they have played a couple more warm up games and have handled them rather easily. Texas is in panic mode and they need a win in a bad way down in Austin, but keep in mind they are still under a new defensive coordinator, and after playing a decent first half last week against Ole Miss, failed to make halftime adjustments and got blown away in the second half. Look for more of the same at Darrel Royal Memorial Stadium this weekend, with the Wildcats from Kansas State covering the spread.
This week’s wagers:
Western Michigan +16.5
Kansas State +6
I am just now realizing that I picked all dogs this week, which wasn’t my intent, but take a look at the slate of games this week. Go ahead, do it, I’ll wait. Ok, thanks for coming back. Now tell me what you see. The only game this week that matches up top 25 teams is Arizona State at Stanford, which should be a good game, but the Sun Devils getting 7 points against the Tree’s doesn’t exactly make that game tempting. If you feel like rolling the dice, Miami is getting 60 points at home against Savannah State. I will let that sink in for a minute, because that is a huge number. Now before you call me crazy, the two game this year that Savannah State has played against D1 teams they have score a total of 9 points, while giving up 143. Miami could easily score every time they touch the ball, so if you are really the degenerate gambler you say you are, lay a few clams on Miami and see what happens. Good luck this week.