It was the best of times, it was the not so best of times. Conference season brings us more intriguing football but it also brings more unpredictable outcomes and stronger lines. Everybody knows TCU is vastly superior to Southern Methodist, so laying money out to cover a 32 point spread is not too uncomfortable. However, who would have imagined Texas Tech, with all of their inner turmoil and lackluster play to date, would be able to keep it within two touchdowns of Oklahoma State on the road? Not this guy. Every season I start out strong only to regress once conference play arrives. Sometimes I’m able to pick up the scent again. Sometimes I’m not. The good part is I’m working with house money for the next few weeks at least, so there’s that.
Last Week’s Results
TTU 35 – OSU 45
Bet OSU -13.5/$55 (L)
Pay - $0
Damn you, Taco Tech, with your scoring points and ugly helmets.
UTEP 28 – K-State 58
Bet UTEP +26.5/$22 (L)
Cash - $0
Damn you, K-State, with your non-conforming windbreaker and 3.5 point cover.
TCU 56 – SMU 0
Bet TCU -32/$33 (W)
Cash - $63
Thank you, SMU, for sucking so badly. You are a shining example of how 32 point underdogs are supposed to play at home when I bet against them.
Texas 23 – Kansas 0
Bet Kansas +13.5/$11 (L)
Cash - $0
Damn you, Kansas, for doing Kansas things. Thank you, however, for still being the ugly one in the room.
Baylor won (do we really need to know by how much?)
Bet Over 69/$11 (W)
Thank you, Iowa State offense, for scoring and thank you, Iowa State defense, for preventing Baylor from scoring enough to cover the over by themselves.
To the games
Iowa State @ Oklahoma State – Saturday, October 4th @ 11:00 AM – FS1
Line Oklahoma State -17
The last time Iowa State defeated Oklahoma State in Stillwater, I had recently moved to Las Vegas, Sage the Rage was under center and the Iowa State program was still trending upwards. Now, Sage is blogging about the NFL, I’m blogging about the Cyclones and the program is trending neutral at best (I’m an optimist).
As KnowDan reported yesterday, we have a chance here as it exists on paper, but we have felt that way since we inexplicably defeated the Cowboys' most talented team probably ever. Since this is a gambling piece, let’s look at those numbers.
Historically, OSU does not score a lot of points against Iowa State, at home or on the road. The only outliers are last year’s 58 point performance in Ames and a 2008 59-17 drubbing in Stillwater. Remove those two games and their offense has averaged only 26 points against the Cyclones since 2000. Factor in the 59 point game in 2008 and they still only average 38 points in Stillwater over the same period. That isn’t a horrible fact considering the offensive firepower they have had most years under Gundy.
ISU, on the other hand, has averaged a measly scoring output of 12.5 points per visit since the turn of the millennium which, in turn, has led to a 0-4 record ATS in Stillwater.
In their four home games so far, Oklahoma State has scored 40 (Missouri State), 43 (UTSA) and 45 (Taco Tech). We may not have the league’s strongest defense, but certainly I have to feel we are better than those three opponents. The question then becomes, "can our offense score 38 points?" If we do, I think that will be enough to win. If our offense sputters? Well…
My bet – $11 Iowa State +17
Oklahoma @ TCU – Saturday, October 4th @ 2:30 PM – FOX
Line Oklahoma -5
As a fan of the Big XII and college football in general, this game excites me. Both Oklahoma and TCU have solid defenses and both also showcase powerful offenses as well. Oklahoma owns a slight advantage over the Horned Frogs by having played a conference road game already. TCU, to date, has not played anyone unless you count Minnesota as someone which I do not. So TCU has not played anyone to date.
As a fan of betting, I hate this game for much of the same reason I can’t wait to watch it Saturday afternoon. Until proven otherwise Oklahoma is still the Alpha Male of the Big XII and TCU, as the young challenger, must earn his right to run with the pack. TCU, I believe, is ready to challenge the establishment. Tomorrow’s test will either validate my opinion or not.
My bet - $22 on the Over
Baylor @ Texas – Saturday, October 4th @ 2:30 PM – ABC
Line Baylor -16.5
I have a growing distaste for Baylor. Call it jealously if you want, because deep down I know that is what it is. I had a similar feeling when Magenius was coaching Kansas out of the doldrums of college football. Programs like Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas are not supposed to be relevant on the national scene with regularity. A run at a conference championship with a seasoned group of seniors leading the way is allowed, but that should immediately give way to a season of disappointment for their fans while the team "rebuilds". But, Baylor isn’t following the script and this pisses me off. Their fans, while I’m sure are nice and giving people, don’t deserve the success. There was little support for the program before Briles came to town and there will probably revert back to the same when he is lured away by Notre Dame, Texas or some other program with deep pockets.
I’m not a huge Texas fan, either, but it just doesn’t feel right having Baylor be such a large favorite. That being said, Texas has zero offense at this point and I may be jealous of Baylor’s success but that doesn’t make me blind to their talent.
My bet – $55 Fucking Baylor -16.5
Kansas @ West Virginia – Saturday, October 4th @ 3:00 PM – FSN
Line West Virginia -26
I gave Kansas some obviously unwarranted credit last week, thinking the 2-1 Jayhawks would be able to keep pace with the downtrodden Longhorns. Truth be told, I probably would have bet the money line had I energy enough to actually want to cheer for them. In the end, however, I took the points but lost anyway. I will not make that mistake again.
West Virginia has done nothing to take away the respect I earned for them in the opening game. Their lone two losses are against two of the top programs in college football history and even though I didn’t have a chance to watch the OU matchup, 12 points hardly seems worthy of a hanging your head.
What scares me in this matchup is the unknown effect an interim coach can have on a team’s emotional level of play. I’ve stated before that emotions play into college football outcomes much more than they do in the pros. Keep your eyes on the Arizona game next week if you don’t believe me. They are setup for the big letdown game after their stunning victory last night. Will Kansas be motivated by the firing of their coach or will this be the point they pack it in for the season and start planning their transfers? I honestly don’t know so I’m going to play it safe here.
My bet –$11 on the under
Texas Tech @ Kansas State – Saturday, October 4th @ 6:00 PM – ESPNU
Line Kansas State -12.5
Texas Tech looked resurgent against Oklahoma State Thursday night. Does this mean Texas Tech is stronger than originally thought, or Oklahoma State has more issues than previously noted? This is another example of why I hate it when a team changes coaching in the middle of the season.
K-State is the beneficiary of being the second team to face the Red Raiders (is it just me, or do the Red Raiders and Crimson Tide seem like names for perverse secret societies?) with their new coordinator and seem to be immune to the emotional swings of college football teams. These teams have not faced each other since the last time when the team with the most points won. I expect a similar outcome this week.
My bet - $22 K-State -12.5
Parlay Pick 4
North Texas @ Indiana – North Texas +13.5
Indiana has shown themselves to be an inconsistent team so far losing at home to Bowling Green while beating Missouri on the road. You can do it, Mean Green!
SMU @ East Carolina – East Carolina -41
When you find someone who is broken inside, you strip them down, dress them in a leather body suit and place them in a box. SMU has become my Gimp.
Texas A&M @ Mississippi State – TAMU +2
Last time the Aggies were underdogs on the road to an SEC opponent, it was opening weekend. I’m betting this will be a similar result.
UNLV @ San Jose State – San Jose State -10.5
UNLV is a similarly pathetic program as SMU. If SMU and UNLV played each other this year, all of college football would have to tune in to witness the gigantic clustershit of proportions it would create. I image it would be reminiscent of electronic football where the players just vibrated around the field until someone eventually wiggled the ball across the goal line. It sounds pathetic but would probably draw more eyeballs than the Baylor/ISU game.
Bring out the Gimp.