A perfect weekend puts me back in the black. Nice.
Week 5 Record ATS: 5-0
Overall Record ATS: 18-11
Beginning Bank: $414
New Bank: $504
(3) Baylor Bears @ Kansas Jayhawks - Saturday, October 10th @ 11:00 AM - FS1
Line: BU -44
The biblical story of David versus Goliath is widely alluded to in sports writing in an effort to lift the spirits of the underdog's fans, or instill some sort of excitement into a game that should otherwise be a slaughter.
I will not be doing this even if Baylor is an offensive behemoth, their top-ranked offense scoring what has become a standard in Waco: 63.75 points per game. If I did, and Kansas were David in this analogy, I'm not sure he would even be able to get a rock into the slingshot before Goliath pummeled him with his massive club.
You don't have to be religious — I certainly am not — to pray for the Jayhawks this weekend. But I don't think even divine intervention could help them secure a win.
My bet: $110/Over 77
(10) Oklahoma Sooners @ Texas Longhorns (Cotton Bowl) - Saturday, October 10th @ 11:00 AM - ABC
Line: OU -17
The Red River
Shootout Rivalry Showdown, much like the Cotton Bowl where the game has been played since 1932, is a relic of its former self. Oklahoma has shown signs it is ready to return to its vacated throne atop the Big 12 this season with impressive wins in Knoxville and against previously unbeaten West Virginia last weekend in Norman. However, on the other side of the river, Texas has seemingly regressed during Charlie Strong's second season.
This is still a rivalry game, and Texas should still be considered a threat regardless of their record or recent behavior.
Get better, Bevo.
My bet: $11/OU -17
Iowa State Cyclones @ Texas Tech Red Raiders - Saturday, October 10th @ 2:30 PM - FSN
Line: TTU -12
I'll be honest, I'm not a believer in this Texas Tech squad. It is almost certainly due to my extreme prejudice against the Red Raiders and that particular asshole Tech alumni that was my boss one fateful summer, but I feel this team has overachieved thus far and their recent gauntlet has left them battered, bruised and exhausted.
Conversely, Iowa State, a team I also happen to carry a biased opinion towards, has played two games in the past three weeks — one against an undermanned Kansas team that appears to simply be going through the motions. For these reasons, toss in Tech's horrible run defense and a Cyclone offense starting to find its groove, and I have no problem envisioning a Cyclone outright victory.
Also, it's my 40th birthday on Saturday. Iowa State has never lost a road game in Lubbock on my birthday, so really, it's destined to be.
My bet: $22/Iowa State +12
(21) Oklahoma State Cowboys @ West Virginia Mountaineers - Saturday, October 10th @ 6:00 PM - ESPN2
Line: WVU -6.5
I know Oklahoma State is supposed to be good this year - they are undefeated after five games - but I just can't jump on the bandwagon yet. Between their close call against Central Michigan (24-13), their controversial victories the past two weekends and their record against the spread (1-3-1), the Cowboys have seemingly failed to live up to expectations — not that that is terribly upsetting to me.
Enter 3-1 West Virginia. The Mountaineers got off to a hot start with three dominating victories over less-than-impressive competition, allowing only 23 points in the process. Oklahoma changed their defensive narrative slightly last weekend in Norman, however, by scoring 24 points before halftime. By the end of the game, the Sooners had more than tripled the West Virginia's total allowed points, thrashing the Mountaineers 44-24.
Both teams are actually quite similar on paper so this should be a close game. As long as the refs don't interfere, I believe West Virginia is a touchdown better.
My bet: $11/WVU -6.5
(2) TCU Horned Frogs @ Kansas State Wildcats - Saturday, October 10th @ 6:30 PM - Fox
Line: TCU -9
Does anyone know who is starting at quarterback for Kansas State this weekend? Seriously, I heard through some internet rumor mill that their long snapper may see some action under center this weekend as the Wildcats take on #2 TCU in Bill Snyder Stadium. That can't be right, is it?
Regardless of who is taking snaps for the home team, Trevone Boykin and his second ranked offense have been unstoppable this season; scoring almost 51 points per game over the first five weeks of the season. Even with a defense ransacked with attrition, injury and dismissals* (*sourced from the same internet rumor mill), the Horned Frogs should win this game by two touchdowns.
My bet: $22/TCU -9
Narber's Best ATS Bets
Last week: (3-2-0)
Rice @ Florida Atlantic (-1.5): Oddshark has Florida Atlantic projected to win by 10, and I think that might even be conservative. In its last two games, Rice is being outscored by 46 points per game, and FAU has a passing attack competent enough to continue to exploit them. ATS trends favor Rice, but I see a must-win here for the (home) Owls with Marshall lying ahead.
Minnesota (-2.5) @ Purdue: This is the third time in six weeks Minnesota has appeared in my best bets, and they have yet to make me any money. I'm looking at two things here: Purdue has lost 10 of 11 and both teams fail to hit the over on a regular basis. This is going to be a low-scoring affair, and the Gophers just need a field goal advantage to cover against a Boilermaker team that hasn't won a Big Ten game at home since 2012.
Akron @ Eastern Michigan (+9): When you consider Eastern Michigan beat the spread last week against LSU by 23 points, covering nine at home against Akron doesn't seem like too tall of an order. EMU gives up 378 yards a game on the ground, but fortunately the Zips don't have much of a run game. Akron is 4-21 in its last 25 road games. EMU is 8-1-1 ATS in its last 10 against Akron. Eagles cover.
California (+7) @ Utah: I like California outright in this game. Aside from Heisman hopeful Jared Goff being a lethal weapon at QB for the Golden Bears, here are two of Cal's current trends that will be working in his favor: 6-1 ATS in its last seven roads games, 4-1 straight up in its last five road games. Simply, Cal competes away from home in the Pac-12, and Utah has covered just twice in its own building in the last calendar year. Lots of points, Bears knock off the 5th ranked Utes.
Texas State @ Louisiana Lafayette (-5): UL-Lafayette won both matchups against Texas State in 2013 and 2014 and look to continue that success at home — a place they've won nearly 80% of their games over the last four years. Both team tend to hit the over, and if we're looking at a possible barnburner, I'm betting heavily against a Texas State team that allows 585 yards and 50 points per game. ULL by 10.