This is the weekend I look forward to more than any other during the college football season. Not because of the Red River Rivalry (who cares). Not because Iowa hosts Indiana (boring). This is my birthday weekend, and the last I can celebrate in my 30's. This weekend is the lone weekend I have successfully negotiated as a weekend dedicated to all things me. Gambling, drinking and barbecuing are the agenda items replacing the normal weekend itinerary of soccer, groceries and honey do's. If you are young, single and reading this then savor these moments. Grab your friend, hug him and whisper in his ear how you never want this feeling to end.
Well, maybe not so much that last part (not that there's anything wrong with that), but certainly cherish your freedom while you can because I'm telling you; shit doesn't last forever. Case in point, I wanted to get a bounce house for my party this weekend because, you know, it's a bounce house. And what better way to cool down after a day filled with gnawing on smoked meat washed down with heavy hopped beer than to bounce around in a plastic castle that smells of a thousand kid's unwashed feet? My wife, let's call her "Lady Hitler" because I clearly will not share this post with her, said she found it ridiculous that a person turning 40 next year would actually want to have a Spiderman (I was totally going to get Spiderman) bounce house at his birthday party. To justify my position, I brought up the fact that I had once celebrated a friend's 25th birthday with a private table inside Chuck E Cheese, complete with a visit from Chuck E himself. This neither helped my immediate position nor our relationship.
Last Week's Results:
Iowa State 20 - Oklahoma State 37
Bet Iowa State +17/$11 (T)
Cash - $11
Screw you, refs.
Oklahoma 33 - TCU 37
Bet Over 53.5/$22 (W)
Cash - $42
Sooners got boomered, if boomering is a thing. How does one "boomer", Sooners?
Baylor 28 - Texas 7
Bet Baylor -16.5/$55 (W)
Cash - $105
Let's hope Petty just had an off day or it could be a long day offensively for us in Austin next week.
Kansas 14 - West Virginia 33
Bet Under 54.5/$11 (W)
Cash - $21
Nothing surprising here, other than Kansas scoring twice.
Texas Tech 13 - K-State 45
Bet K-State -12.5/$22 (W)
Cash - $42
I'll be honest, I'm still tracking my money, but I'm not confident that you care much about that specific element of the post considering I left it out last week and no one seemed to notice. Last week, I netted a nice $100 profit, bringing my yearly total up to $300 or so in winnings. Of the seven weeks encompassing the 2014 college football season, I have had one lone losing weekend. I consider myself to be a decent handicapper when it comes to college football, and the Big XII specifically, but this is amazing even to me.
Parlay Pick 4
North Texas +13.5 (L)
East Carolina -41 (L)
TAMU +2 (L)
San Jose State -10.5 (W)
Strangely (perhaps) I feel better winning only one than losing only one.
To the games:
West Virginia @ Texas Tech - Saturday, October 11th @ 11:00 AM - FS1
Line WVU -6
Holy offense, Batman (Batman was my second choice for bounce houses). At least that's the perception from the books. This is West Virginia's largest Total so far this season and two points higher than the Red Raiders have had, (they covered the first). Tech's defense does not seem to exist, giving up an average of 40 PPG. West Virginia's offense, conversely, is scoring at a rate of 36.6 PPG including 40 in their lone road game against Maryland.
What does this tell us? From these numbers, one can assume that West Virginia is going to be good for roughly 60% of the Total line here, leaving 40% (roughly 30 points) to the Texas Tech offense. 45-30, 48-27, 50-25; all of these scenarios seem plausible and all give you the over. But, do they look reasonably realistic? I'm not sold on that idea. Six points on the road against a team struggling to find an identity? Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.
My bet $33 WVU -6
Texas @ Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl) - Saturday, October 11th @ 11:00 AM - ABC
Line Oklahoma -14.5
Last year was a wild one for Texas fans. I assume, I don't actually know any Texas fans (by design). They started the season losing in humiliating fashion to both BYU and Ol' Miss before stringing together back to back wins* at K-State and Iowa State. This brought them to the Red River Rivalry showdown with Oklahoma with a different Defensive Coordinator than they started the season with and a coach who had seemed to overstay his welcome. Their surprising 36-20 victory probably save Mack Brown a Kiffin welcoming party when he arrived back in Austin after the game. His "resignation" would come after the season had ended instead.
The 2014 Longhorns, similar to 2013's team, suffered a humiliating defeat to BYU, this time in Austin, and followed that up with a 20-17 coin flip fail against Pac-12 contender, UCLA. Oklahoma, however, has likely already given their lone sacrificial game to the Big XII gods; leaving Dallas last weekend with the "L". The only question remaining is how badly will Oklahoma bloody the Longhorns?
Did somebody say brisket?
My bet $11/ Oklahoma -14.5
Toledo @ Iowa State - Saturday, October 11th @ 2:30 PM - Cyclones.tv
Line Iowa State -3
It appears Vegas has finally tired of betting on the Cyclones. The line, which opened Monday at -5 sits at -3 with one day remaining. I've seen this line move up as high as -6.5 and as low as -2.5 so there is definitely a lot of money being thrown around, most of it against the home favorite early.
Frankly, I don't blame them. Iowa State has played one of the toughest schedules to date but has not shown the ability to get out of their own way to secure a victory against an opponent not named Iowa. In fact it seems we're really good at beating teams with "Iowa" in their names but not really anyone else.
Toledo, like our non-conference competition before, is no pushover or easy win. They are a team that apparently has a very good offensive line and decent offensive attack. Why couldn't we schedule someone like Central Arkansas or Middle Western Maryland Tech? Why do we have to compound our misery with non-con opponents that have an opportunity to win their conference if not a national fucking championship? WHY? Hell if we could I say let's play Kansas twice, at least then we'd be guaranteed two wins a season.
I was warned by my brother if I didn't "bet the farm" (neither of us own a deed to an actual farm, I should add here) on this game, he would disown me. He feels insulted Iowa State is only a 3 point favorite against a MAC team at home on Homecoming. I fail to see the indignity as Vegas doesn't play politics and the only game we have lost ATS was the season opener against NDSU which is also the only other game we've been favored in. So I say let's get more money on Toledo to get us into the Home Dog category. The only spread I honestly care about is the one on the final scoreboard. Plus, my brother lives in Oklahoma, so I've already disowned him.
My bet $220 (yes two hundred and twenty dollars)/ Iowa State -3
TCU @ Baylor - Saturday, October 11th @ 2:30 PM - ABC
Line Baylor -8
TCU had probably their biggest victory in program history (B1G schools don't count, even if it is the Rose Bowl, sorry Wisconsin) in Dallas last weekend, upsetting #4 Oklahoma. I, personally, wasn't surprised or affected by this outcome, even hinting last week of its possibility. But I'm not in my early 20's (well established at this point) nor do I play football for Texas Christian University. Their players probably spent the majority of this week high fiving (among other activities I'm sure are frowned upon on a Christian campus) the co-eds and professors on campus celebrating the win. These emotions can be a dangerous elixir providing all the ingredients necessary to complete the recipe for disaster.
Next up, Baylor. Baylor is probably not the competition you want to face the week after Oklahoma. I don't care if you were able to beat OU or not. That is just tough and is usually reserved for the Iowa State's of the world. And to have to take them on in Waco is an even bigger challenge. TCU is a team that is, on paper, up to the challenge. But do they have enough maturity to prevent the letdown game.
My bet $22/ Baylor -8
Oklahoma State @ Kansas - Saturday, October 11th @ 3:00 PM - FS1
Line OSU -20.5
Oh, Oklahoma State. How I envy you and your mid-season matchup. Kansas has not had an over since opening weekend. In fact, in their last four games, Kansas and their opponents have combined to average only 37 total points per game. They also have only lost to their opponents by an average of 19 points since Charlie Weis left the building. Granted, that has only been one game, but it was on the road to West Virginia, a team I find similar to the Cowboys.
Therefore if you're betting along at home feel free to take either the under or the points. I like them both. I just happen to like the under more.
My bet - $22/Under 50.5
Parlay Pick 4
This week, in honor of my birthday, I give you three parlay cards to choose from. These are the three cards I actually have live money on, so I'm hoping my parlay curse will take a one week hiatus because, you know, I'm worth it.
Friday Night Twofer
Washington State @ Stanford/WSU +17
Leech is sucking every point out of his team he possibly can. In hindsight, the Over of 52.5 was probably the better play, but what's done is done.
Fresno State @ UNLV/ Fresno +10.5
I have forced SMU back into his cage to consider the wrongs he did last weekend. UNLV is my Gimp this week. Do not anger me.
Saturday Parlay A
Texas @ Oklahoma/OU -14.5
Oklahoma State @ Kansas/ Under 51
Read above. 51 was the total I got at the window (not all sportsbooks were created equal).
Alabama @ Arkansas/ Arkansas +9
This is not Alabama's year. Arkansas has been impressive. SEC will screw me here.
Georgia @ Missouri/ Over 60
Missouri sucks, and their team isn't much better this year. I see a 38-27 type game here.
Saturday Parlay B
Toledo @ Iowa State/ Clones -3
Going against policy to get this undervalued bet.
West Virginia @ Texas Tech/ WVU -5.5
I liked it above at -6. -5.5 is even better.
East Carolina @ South Florida/ ECU -15
The Pirates are 4-1 ATS this season with the lone exception being the SMU game last week. I forgive you, Pirates.
Georgia @ Missouri/ Georgia -3
Editor's note: Shortly after placing this bet and writing this piece, I hear the news that Georgia's best offensive weapon, running back Todd Gurley, has been suspended indefinitely. Fantastic.
Happy Birthday, to me.