I began writing this series 16 weeks ago with the intent to write a light hearted piece coving the weekly matchups within the Big XII conference from a gambler's perspective. There are plenty of other sources where you can get your daily dose of X's, O's and other such statistics that help form an opinion about who was going to win by how much and I felt no need to try and offer a redundant cheaper version of that. I thought my approach could be fun and different and fully expected to crash and burn most weeks allowing for plenty of self-deprecating humor to be generated in the process.
Unfortunately, I won. And then I kept on winning, at one point doubling up my fictitious bankroll, which led to my ego taking hold and my writing began to become more serious in its weekly prognostications. Sure, I kept my winnings intact, for the most part, but I lost the fun.
So in this, the final week of the regular season, I'm dropping previous pretenses of intelligent choice and am throwing all caution (as well as fictional dollar bills) into the wind. Win, lose or draw, we are taking our final stand on Saturday.
Buckle up, it's about to get kray-kray up in this joint.
Week 14 Results
TCU 48 - Texas 10
Bet $22/Over 56.5
Sad face, sad face, sad face, pick six, smile.
West Virginia 37 - Iowa State 24
Bet $22/Over 67.5
Happy face, Happy face, sad face, shit faced.
Baylor 48 - Texas Tech 46
Bet $22/Baylor -25
Kansas 13 - Kansas State 51
Bet $22 Kansas +28
Week 14 Profit ($ 46.00)
Current Bank $ 954.00
Season Profit $ 454.00
To the games.
Iowa State @ TCU - Saturday, December 6th @ 11:00 AM - ABC
Line: TCU -34
Moneyline ISU +9375/TCU -18125
At the beginning of the college football season, bettors were favoring the Cyclones, often pushing the line 3-5 points in Iowa State's favor immediately after opening. And that strategy was profitable as the Clones began the season 4-1-2 ATS. However, after four consecutive weeks failing to cover the Vegas line, the professionals have smelled blood and are attacking.
TCU opened up as a 30 point favorite after their display on Thanksgiving night and Iowa State's weak finish later in the weekend. It has grown by slightly more than a field goal since and honestly, I can't blame those putting their money on the Horned Frogs.
The money line action also warns the bettors away with the largest odds out of all Saturday action. In fact, the numbers are so outlandish, I'm surprised they are even offering them officially.
Let's put some context to these numbers:
If you were hoping to place a simple wager that TCU would win this game, be it by one point or forty, and wanted to earn a crisp Benjamin in the process, you would have to wager $18,125 to do so. The risk is small, but so is the reward.
However, to win $9,375 all you have to do is have that same crisp $100 bill , confidently walk up to the ticket window and bet that Iowa State can again play like it is 2011.
But, that would be stupid, right?
My bet $300/Iowa Fucking State/Money-fucking-line +9375
Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma - Saturday, December 6th @ 2:30 PM - FS1
Line: OU -21
As defined by Merriam-Webster.com, Bedlam refers to a lunatic asylum, or a place, scene, or state of uproar and confusion. I believe this captures the essence of the state of Oklahoma fairly accurately and is an appropriate name for this annual matchup of the state's two major universities.
I have visited Oklahoma three times in my life. Once to Norman. Once to Enid and the last to Oklahoma City. My brother is in the military and has been based in and around the state's capital since the early 2000's which is what brought be there. He met his wife there and is currently raising his family there. He tried escaping on many occasions but always finds himself back within the Sooner State.
One such escapade took him to Bahrain where he spent a full year in non-Oklahoma splendor. Surprisingly, he felt the climate was far superior to the muggy tornado filled air of his now home state. Gleeful calls on my Skype line were frequent and he seemed happy. Yes, he missed his family, but he seemed happy.
The next vacation was in Afghanistan where he put his civil engineering degree, earned at Iowa State, to use building good will and bridges in the region. Again, even in a desolate country ravaged by war and opium traders, thousands of miles from his family he can be seen smiling in all of his pictures.
But, he is home once again. Home, in Oklahoma where the winds come sweepin down the plain. Where a Crimson and Cream flag flips restlessly beside his garage. His children can be seen smiling ear to ear in their latest Christmas family photo, proudly wearing the same school colors of their mother's Alma Mater.
His smile is no-where to be seen. He loves his family, but Oklahoma has trapped him and it is eating his soul. I hear it in his voice. My brother lives in Bedlam. There's a game there this weekend.
My bet $440 Over 60
Kansas State @ Baylor - Saturday, December 6th @ 6:45 PM - ESPN
Line: Baylor -8
One of the Big XII's two championship games this weekend pits Kansas State and their immortal leader against the Baptist Baylor Bear's; also led by an immortal being although he is scripting his plays from far above the sidelines.
How does one game plan around an omnipotent and omniscient entity anyway? Is it still stealing signals if the other sidelines just knows what's coming next? I feel that is an unfair advantage the NCAA should certainly investigate.
The winner shares the Big XII title with, presumably, TCU.
Baylor could find itself in the playoffs if their recently hired PR staff can spin a loss to West Virginia on the road is somehow better than a loss to Baylor on the road and that Buffalo is secretly a Power 5 school. Art Briles has a 2-5 record in bowl games during his tenure at Houston and Baylor. This is not who we want representing our conference in the inaugural playoff. I have nothing personal against Baylor, other than I hate them, but Gary Patterson has won six of his last eight bowl games, including the oft talked about Rose Bowl in 2010. This is who I feel has the best chance of bringing the first trophy back to the Heartland.
K-State could save the college football world a lot of heartache by just winning this damn thing, sharing the One True Champion Trophy with TCU and preparing for their Pac 12 opponent in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
I'm rooting for you, ag brother. Just get er done. But, I'm putting my money on the over.
My bet - $214/Over 66
#1 Alabama vs #17 Missouri - SEC Championship Game
Line: Bama -14.5
Has anyone looked at Missouri's schedule this season? Well, they played in the SEC East and played TAMU and Arkansas from the West. They lost (big) to Georgia and also to Indiana.
I'm not going to elaborate here on how overrated Georgia was and you have probably already drawn your own conclusions about Indiana by now. If not, they were not good. In other words, Missouri got here by virtue of not playing an actual football game this season. I can say that because I hate Missouri and don't care much what they think.
Prediction - Missouri is humiliated in their first football game of 2014
#2 Oregon vs Arizona - Pac 12 Championship Game
Line: Ducks -14.5
Oregon is playing Arizona. Again.
They've already played this game and Arizona won in Eugene. But, because the Pac 12 has 12 schools playing in two divisions (Oregon's division was pretty awful, by the way), they have to play this game again to figure out which one is the One True Champion. Because, this time, the game counts more than the first one, apparently.
Pay attention, Big XII. This is how it's done. Apparently.
Prediction - Here. Watch this. I'm telling you, they've already played.
#3 TCU vs Iowa State - Big 12 Championship Game (a)
Line: see above
Technically, TCU needs to win this game to share the regular season title with either K-State or Baylor. Thus, this game could be considered a Championship Game.
We made a Big XII Championship Game, people! BE EXCITED!
Prediction - Well, I bet $300 on Iowa State to win, so let's go with that.
#4 Florida State vs #11 Georgia Tech - ACC Championship Game
Line: ‘Noles -4
Florida State has been doing just enough all season long to stay undefeated. Georgia Tech lost to Duke AND North Carolina.
In back to back weeks.
Not Basketball. Football.
Prediction - FSU is behind a touchdown at half, wins by 3