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Betting the Big XII: Week 2

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Providing solid gambling analysis since August 2014.

The first weekend of college football has come and gone. Only 20 more weeks until she leaves us again. It may be a pessimistic view of the matter, but the season seems to slip by so quickly. On the positive, if we are in fact going to have a mirror image season of last, that may not be such a bad thing.

A brief recap before we seek out our fortunes for week two:

I started the season with a bankroll of $500. To those who have placed a bet, most house odds are -110 (bet $110 to win $100) for ATS and Over/Under bets. This ensures the house continues to have the advantage over the public on all action. Moneyline odds vary, but generally are relative to how large of a favorite or underdog your team is.

Beginning Bank                 $500

Wagered                             $97

Results

WVU @ Bama

Bet – Bama -26/$22 (Loss)

Pay - $0

Louisana Tach @ OU

Bet – Over 52/$22 (Win)

Pay - $42 (original $22 bet, plus $20 win)

Florida State @ Oklahoma State

Bet – ML OSU +650/$20 (Loss)

Pay - $0

North Texas @ Texas

Bet – Under 52.5/$11 (Win)

Pay - $21

SMU @ Baylor

Bet – Baylor -33/$22 (Win)

Pay - $42

Cashout                               $105

Bank                                      $508

I cannot begin to tell you how thrilling that Oklahoma State game was for me. First, I hate Florida State and needed to cleanse the taste out of my mouth for actually supporting them in last year’s Championship game (I loath the SEC and loathing > hate). Second, I loyally support all Big XII teams, especially when they help me support my constant ramblings about conference depth. Third, I seemed to be the only one who thought Oklahoma State had a chance. The only thing I love more than being right is making money being right. Winning that money line bet (65-1 payout) would have kept me in a good mood through Christmas.

Last week behind us, let’s look at this week’s action.

Oklahoma @ Tulsa – September 6th @ 11:00 AM – ABC/ESPN2

Line Oklahoma -24.5
O/U 57.5

Oklahoma came within 37 seconds of at least a push last weekend. In Vegas speak, Louisiana Tech got the Backdoor Cover with their garbage time touchdown. Fortunately for me when I placed my bet I mistakenly took OU to cover their first half line of -22, so that was a bonus.

Tulsa opened the season with a win and a cover (-5) against the Green Wave of Tulane while giving up 215 yards to Green Wave running back, Sherman Badie. I, along with most of the rest of the nation, did not see this game so I cannot tell you if Badie is a true Badass or if Tulsa’s defensive front is actually worse than ours. I’m guessing Oklahoma scouts were watching and certainly have the talent to exploit that perceived weakness.

Hopefully, this game will not be a premonition of what lies ahead of us in November.

My bet - $33 to win $30 on Sooners cover

K-State @ Iowa State– September 6th @ 11:00 AM – FS1

Line K-State -12
O/U 58

Coach Rhoads has, to date, two distinct careers in Ames, all games before October 13, 2012 and those after. Iowa State entered that weekend with a 4-1 record fresh off a stunning victory at TCU (welcome to the Big XII, fellas) and ranked 25th in some polls. Our team had earned a reputation as Giant Slayers with at least one big victory each year of coach’s tenure. The adrenaline of the Oklahoma State game was still coursing through our bodies and Cyclone Nation was on top of the world.

Enter K-State. Exit Hope. The next 23 months would see our football team go 5-15, including seven consecutive losses during the brutality of last season. Instead of getting excited over a thrilling road win in Austin, TX, we got a triple overtime win against a struggling team in West Virginia. Instead of storming the field after defeating the first place Cowboys, we got dancing Teletubbies during a dismantling of the last place Jayhawks.

Still, I am a man deeply rooted in the dark magic of superstition. If this game set us on the downward spiral we currently ride, then it is the only game that can break our precipitous fall. I want to believe again. I want to have hope!

But, I also need to eat at the end of the day, so…

My pick - $11 to win $10 on K-State cover

Missouri State @ Oklahoma State– September 6th @ 2:30 PM – FSN

Line – Off the Board

When betting college football, I always at least consider the fact that the participants are often barely old enough to vote, much less consume alcohol legally. This age group possesses a level of immaturity and makes teams susceptible to emotions. Professionals view football as a job and handle their business professionally. College kids view football as an outlet, as an opportunity and as a game, but rarely as a job.

This lends itself to the Letdown Game following an emotional loss such as what the Cowboys suffered last weekend. Thankfully, they do not play anyone with a realistic shot of an upset, and you cannot bet the game. Typically, I would look to bet against them, assuming their spread would be overvalued, but I do not have that option here, so I will instead watch the game with no vested interest.

Southeast Missouri State @ Kansas– September 6th @6:00 PM – JTV

Line – Off the Board

Kansas follows up an opening weekend non-loss by hosting a directional Missouri school.

The good? Kansas fans actually get to see their team in action this weekend. The bad? Other than Jayhawk fans actually having to care about football for two months, the Redhawks appear to have a very potent offense, scoring 77 points in very quick fashion last weekend. Yes, it was to a team whose mascot is probably a preacher or something (I did not research this), and possibly had a female kicker (I also did not research this and firmly believe it would have no ultimate bearing on the outcome of this game, so I’m not even sure why I brought it up), but their average time of possession on each scoring play was about 1:00 (I DID research this, but was too lazy to actually do that math so just accept they score quickly). I’m not sure the Jayhawk defense is up to that type of challenge.

At least, I hope not because I really don’t want to be worse than Kansas.

Northwestern State @ Baylor– September 6th @ 6:30 PM – FSN

Line – Off the Board

The potent Baylor attack slowed significantly after Petty suffered his back injury. This provides a little hope for me for the future of this program. I wish no harm on the Big XII’s best Heisman hopeful, but if his departure next year signals a decline in Baylor’s conference standings, then I say bring it on. I miss the days when Baylor was the Kansas of the conference.

As far as this game is concerned, it will do little to tell us how to bet this Baylor team the rest of the year. In fact, it will do little to tell me anything as I will not be watching it.

Towson @ West Virginia – September 6th @ 6:30 PM – ROOT Sports

Line – Off the Board

Also in line for a letdown game, West Virginia follows up its national exposure against this decade’s most decorated program with a FCS school a little closer to home.

Located slightly north of Baltimore, Maryland, Towson’s library contains almost 775,000 volumes of literature. Since I didn’t research how many volumes West Virginia’s library contains, I can only assume Towson wins this battle. But football is played on a field, not in a library so this fact is of little usefulness.

Also, you can’t bet this game so any sort of review is also of little usefulness.

BYU @ Texas – September 6th @ 6:30 PM – FS1

Line - Texas -3.5
O/U 48

Week two’s Big XII marquee matchup pits the Ash-less Longhorns against the Stormin Mormons of BYU. Before I continue, I must tell you that I went to see Book of Mormon this summer and have not stopped laughing since. If you haven’t seen this musical, even if you are not a fan of musicals, go see this musical.

Last season, BYU’s mission seemingly was to convert the few remaining Longhorn fans loyal to Mack Brown into believers of change. Unlike the traditional Latter Day Saints method of knocking door to door seeking converts (Hello!), they did it with a dominating offensive performance. The gods took notice, sacrificing Defensive Coordinator, Manny Diaz, shortly after the game was completed.

This year, the Cougars travel deep into the heart of Texas where the Longhorns have not still fully reclaimed their identity or powerhouse status. Does Texas have enough talent in reserve to handle the holy rollers?

All I know is that by the end of this one, someone will be shouting, "Hasa Diga Eebowai!" (Seriously, if you have the opportunity to see Book of Mormon, do it.)

My bet – Editor's note: as of Friday morning, BYU is a 1 point favorite in this game. This is mostly due to the Offensive changes Texas is going through. I typically will not update lines, but this late movement was somewhat unique. I have no choice but to side with the money; $11 to win $10 on BYU -1

Texas Tech @ UTEP– September 6th @ 10:00 PM – FS1

Line – TTU -19.5
O/U 65

Typically, the 10:00 start times are saved for West Coast teams and the Pac 12. I really don’t understand why this matchup, which could actually be a fairly interesting one, was scheduled so late.

I have zero proof or stats to back up this claim, but more points are scored when nobody is watching. In this case, it will probably be due to two bad defenses, but mostly because nobody is watching. Well, I won’t be watching.

My bet - $22 on the Over (65)

Please, don’t let us be worse than Kansas.