The first week of the season is always a difficult one for gambling soothsayers such as myself. You're using last year's metrics to judge what are essentially new teams, sometimes running new systems, against teams some people have never even heard of. It is easy to get things wrong.
At least, that's my excuse.
Week 1 Recap
OSU 24 - CMU 13
Bet $22/CMU +23.5
(2)TCU 23 - Minn 17
Bet $22/TCU -16.5
(4)Baylor 56 - SMU 21
Bet $22/BU -36
Akron 3 - (19)OU 41
Bet $11/OU -31.5
Texas 3 - (11)Notre Dame 38
Bet $11/Notre Dame -9.5
Georgia Southern 0 - West Virginia 44
Bet $55/GSU +19.5
Beginning Bank: $500
New Bank: $441
Due to an unexpected error, we will not be using information from www.cfbanalytics.com this week. We hope to continue the experiment soon.
Week 2 Preview
With the exception of Oklahoma and Iowa State, there really isn't much to cover this week as the majority of the league hopes to pad their win column.
Well, except Kansas.
And maybe Texas.
Kansas State @ UTSA | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 11:00 AM - FS1
Line: K-State -17
UTSA traveled to Arizona last week and put up 32 points on the 22nd ranked Wildcats, whose defense allowed only 27.3 ppg in the high scoring Pac-12 last season.
Kansas State will have their hands full trying to keep this offense in check. Playing on the road, without their starting quarterback (lost for the season on the second play of the game last week) will not make things easier.
My bet $22/UTSA +17
Liberty @ West Virginia | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 2:00 PM - ROOT Sports
I am generally okay admitting when I'm wrong. Fortunately I do not have to do this frequently, but last week's matchup between WVU and GSU was that rare moment when I was completely on the wrong side of the action. There are two possible reasons for this: either West Virginia is far better than I expected, or Georgia Southern is significantly worse than the numbers projected.
Time will answer that question but I'll probably have to wait for next week's matchup with Maryland before the West Virginia shows me who they really are this year.
My bet: West Virginia is pretty good
UTEP @ Texas Tech | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 2:00 PM - FSN
Line: Tech -20.5
Last week, Texas Tech and Sam Houston State combined for 106 points. Meanwhile, UTEP gave up 48 to Arkansas; a plodding yet powerful running offense.
I don't foresee a defensive struggle in Lubbock.
My bet: $22/Over 65.5
Stephen F. Austin @ (3)TCU | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 2:30 PM - FS1
TCU's opening night game was a head scratcher to some. But, a win is a win is a win, and there is little shame in leaving the land of a thousand lakes with a tick in the "W" column.
Stephen F. Austin, whom I assume was a distant relative of Stephen A. Smith, should provide the perfect rebound game for a fan base looking to feel good again.
My bet: Stephen A. Smith will not be in attendance
Iowa @ Iowa State | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 3:45 PM - FOX
Line: Iowa State +3.5
Iowa State has won three of the last four in this series, including the last two in Iowa City. Iowa, however, won their last time in Ames and enters this contest full of high hopes and flush with timeouts.
If you listen to Hawkeye fans (I do not recommend this), you will fear we do not have the talent, history or facilities to compete with a nationally known school such as Iowa. But fear not, you clowns of Iowa State. Remember, this is the only game that matters to us, and thus we pull out all the stops in our effort to slay Big Brother. They do not care one way or the other, as the mighty foes of the B1G West lie ahead of them. This is but one of many rivalry games the Hawkeyes will play in this year, and the least important to the players and fans.
We, on the other hand, need this win, and this win alone, so our self-worth can be renewed for yet another season. This is our Super Bowl.
Plus, we really want a reason to keep Rhoads around.
My bet: $55/Clowns +3.5
(19)Oklahoma @ (23)Tennessee | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 5:00 PM - ESPN
Line: Oklahoma -1.5
In easily the biggest Big 12 game in Week 2 (sorry Iowa fans), Oklahoma looks to back up more SEC slander from players and coaches when they travel to Tallahassee to take on the Volunteers of Tennessee.
Tennessee, fresh off a 59-30 drubbing of MAC member Bowling Green, has shown a resurgence of late under the direction of Butch Jones, another quality coaching product of the Mid Atlantic Conference. Tennessee rebounded from three consecutive five-win seasons (and some in questionable fashion) to 7-6 last season capping it off with a 45-28 bowl win over the University of Iowa.
Winning this game, while certainly important to Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners, will be even more important to the College Football Playoff committee in December when considering the worthiness of the Big 12's One True Champion.
My bet: $11/Oklahoma -1.5
Memphis @ Kansas | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 6:00 PM - Jayhawk TV
Line: Kansas +13
Memphis demolished their Week 1 FCS opponent, Missouri State, 63-7.
Kansas tripped over their starship en route to a 41-38 loss to the Jackalopes of South Dakota State.
Might be worth watching if it were a basketball game.
My bet: $55/Memphis -13
Central Arkansas @ Oklahoma State | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 6:30 PM - FSN
Like TCU, Oklahoma State has a chance to ease the minds of the Cowboy faithful in their home opener. Central Arkansas is a team I have no interest in researching. I'm guessing you won't mind.
My bet: You don't mind
Lamar @ (4)Baylor | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 6:30 PM - FSN
Clap your hands everybody, and everybody clap your hands!
Baylor has never been known for their strong non-conference scheduling, but even the nerdiest group of effeminate 80s rappers know this is likely to turn into a blood bath as Baylor seeks revenge for their slow opening half in Dallas.
My bet: Many of you will not get the reference
Rice @ Texas | Saturday, Sep. 12 @ 7:00 PM - Longhorn Network
Line: Texas -14
I remember, not long past, when early season bets on the Longhorns were guaranteed winners no matter how large the spread. In 2008 a Texas squad, three years removed from a national championship that would lose only one game that season defeated, Rice 52-10. By 2012, that margin had narrowed some resulting in a 34-9 Longhorn victory.
Rice has emerged victorious in this matchup one time (1994) since 1966. Texas opened as a 16-point favorite but the public's confidence in the Burnt Orange is certainly not running high as they are a two touchdown favorite heading into Saturday's game.
My bet: $11/Rice +14
Narber's Best Bets
Last week: (2-3-0)
Friday: Utah State (+12) @ Utah.
Friday: Miami (FL) @ Florida Atlantic (+18.5).
Saturday: LSU @ Mississippi State (+4).
Saturday: Fresno State (+30) @ Mississippi.
Saturday: San Jose State @ Air Force (-6).