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Betting the Big 12: Week 3

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Bad news: We’ve lost two dollars.....Good news: We’ve only lost two dollars.

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Week Two Recap

Kudos to you all in the comment section. You the real MVP. We were ready to walk away licking around wounds for a $6 loss after Week 1 and you said "Not so fast my friends! We only lost THREE dollars." It’s nice to know you all have our backs. Here is the summary of Week 2 with what I hope is a correct use of mathematics. Don't spend that dollar in one place folks.

Pick Bet W/L
Central Mich. +20.5 $22 $20
CMU UNDER 61 $22 $20
Kansas -3 $22 ($22)
Kansas OVER 59.5 $11 ($11)
SMU +32 $11 $10
TCU -7.5 $11 ($11)
TCU OVER 58.5 $22 $20
UTEP +28 $22 ($22)
UL Monroe +46.5 $22 $20
Texas Tech +3 $22 ($22)
ISU +15 $11 ($11)
ISU UNDER 51 $11 $10
TOTAL $209 $1

Week 1: 2-2

Week 2: 6-6

Total: 8-8 (Jeff Fisher would be so proud)

Bankroll: $998


Baylor (2-0) @ Rice (0-2)

Friday, 7 PM, ESPN

Line: Baylor -30

O/U: 65.5

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Fourteen has been the magic number for Rice so far this season as they have scored two touchdowns in each of their losses thus far. Coming off a 46-14 loss at the hands of Western Kentucky and a 31-14 loss to Army, Rice doesn’t appear ready to put up much of a fight.

Baylor got off to a really slow start in their game against SMU and is probably lucky it didn’t stay closer, longer. Even with SMU giving them a game well into the second half, Baylor was able to come close to covering the spread.

Baylor gets their choice of fried or steamed Rice in this one.

The Pick: Baylor -30

The Bet: $33


Iowa State (0-2) @ TCU (1-1)

Saturday, 11 AM, FS1

Line: TCU -24

O/U: 61

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Woof. Iowa State is bad. That is no secret to anyone reading this. Unfortunately I think we will see several spreads over three touchdowns this year for the boys.

TCU has struggled recently on the defensive side of the ball. Patterson is known for his defensive prowess so it may not take long to get it figured out. They are still very capable of a scoring outburst on the offensive side of the ball. There will be plenty of breakdown on this one today and tomorrow, so let's keep this simple.

I will never bet a big amount on or against the Cyclones. It is just too hard to separate heart from head. Gambling is meant to be fun and it's not fun picking against your favorite team. Give me the Cyclones to cover.

The Pick: Iowa State +24

The Bet: $11


Kansas (1-1) @ Memphis (1-0)

Saturday, 11 AM, ESPNU

Line: Memphis -20

O/U: 59.5

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

It’s a trap! We were all fooled last week into thinking that Kansas was decent at football. After Ohio put up three early touchdowns we were once again reminded that they are not. They are improved from last year, but unlike Iowa State they actually managed to find a winnable FCS opponent for Week 1. Wouldn’t it be nice to be 1-1 right now instead of 0-2? I digress.

Memphis opened up against SEMO (Southeastern Missouri State) 35-17 in their only game thus far. Impressive? Not really. Paxton Lynch ain’t walking through that door and La Fuente (miss that place) has moved to Virginia Tech. Give me the Jayhawks to cover (again) and maybe I will learn next week.

The Picks: Kansas +20, UNDER 59.5

The Bets: $22 each


FAU (1-1) @ Kansas State (0-1)

Saturday, 1:30 PM

Line: Kansas State -22.5

O/U: 49

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State hasn’t played since their opening weekend 26-13 loss to Stanford two weeks ago. Iowa native Jesse Ertz is a "rich man’s" Joel Lanning. In fact, Joel probably fits better with Snyder’s scheme than he does Campbell’s.

Florida Atlantic has one win on the year over FCS opponent Southern Illinois. Last week they lost to Mark Richt’s Miami squad by a score of 38-10. The Owls kept it close for awhile before fading late to the Hurricanes.

The line has gone two points in Kansas State’s direction since opening and 64% of the public money is on the Wildcats. Based on the spread and total, a Kansas State victory of 36-13 could be expected.

A total of 49 is an awfully low total for college football these days but the under still appeals to me. I don’t like taking a big favorite and an under in the same game.

The Picks: FAU +22.5, UNDER 49

The Bets: $11, $22


Pittsburgh (2-0) @ Oklahoma State (1-1)

Saturday, 2:30 PM, ESPN

Line: Oklahoma State -6

O/U: 59

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

James Conner is one of the best stories in college football. That isn’t me being cliche, that is me recognizing that anytime someone goes all Mitchell Myers on cancer and returns to do what (I’m assuming) they love to do, it's freakin’ awesome.

It also turns out that Conner is really good at this game called football. Two weeks into the season, Conner has 39 carries for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also capable of catching the ball out of the backfield, and has seven receptions on the young season.

We are still waiting to figure out more about just who these teams really are. Will the 3-point win over Penn State look good at the end of the year for Pitt? Will the "call heard round the world" keep Oklahoma State from a magical season? It is tough to gauge right now and that's part of what makes betting early season games so mind-numbing.

Oklahoma State has surprisingly put the ball in the air 15 more times than they have rushed it. After two games, I’d expect their leading ball carrier to have more than 12 carries. Mr. Mullet Man (Mike Gundy) will get it fixed after he reads this blog.

The Pick: Oklahoma State -6

The Bet: $22


Louisiana Tech (1-1) @ Texas Tech (1-1)

Saturday, 6 PM

Line: Texas Tech -10.5

O/U: 79.5

Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

The Red Raiders are going to be really, really fun to watch this year for the casual viewer. Much like some ISU basketball teams of recent, they will score on anyone and let you score with anyone. Viva The Matadors asks "Could the offense be hurting the defense?" If you like formulas and football it is worth a read.

Louisiana Tech comes into Week 3 at 1-1 with a one point loss to Paul Rhoads and company at Arkansas and a 53-24 win against South Carolina State.

Combining the spread and the total, which is admittedly dangerous in some regards, you would come up with a score in the ballpark of 45-34. I have little doubt the Red Raiders will score a lot of points in this game. At this point, I’m not sure I can trust them to keep anyone out of the red zone enough to cover a 10.5 point spread.

Let’s take the astronomical over bet as well because it's a hell of a lot more fun to root for touchdowns than punts.

The Picks: Louisiana Tech +10.5, OVER 79.5

The Bets: $22, $33


Ohio State (2-0) @ Oklahoma (1-1)

Saturday, 6:30 PM, FOX

Line: Ohio State -2

O/U: 64.5

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 really needs Oklahoma to win this game to save a little face nationwide. Unless you consider Texas or Baylor to be legitimate playoff contending teams, the Big 12 needs Oklahoma to win this game to have a chance at getting a team in the College Football Playoff. It really is too bad the Sooners already have a loss, as this game hasn’t had the hype that it probably deserves. Kudos to both of these schools for making this game happen ON CAMPUS.

Bob Stoops has been know to piss away one game a year that they were supposed to win (we are hoping one of these years it is Iowa State). Houston just might have been that game for them this year. Urban Meyer is doing great things in Columbus and I’m already licking my chops for the Ohio State-Michigan game at the end of the season. After a slow start in Week 2, can the Buckeyes play up to their potential right from the start?

Oklahoma is going to win this game and it gives a good chance to describe the money line bet.

Traditionally, you are giving 10% juice to the casino on all cashed bets. You are still doing this on money line bets, but you can make a little extra money if you are willing to take a chance of losing on a one or two point Ohio State win. By taking the Sooners +110 on the money line, I can risk 20 dollars to win 22 dollars instead of risking 22 dollars to win 20 dollars. This might not be the smartest play to pass up the points, but because it’s WRNL’s money and not mine, we can be a little careless.

The Pick: Oklahoma (+110)

The Bet: $20 (to win $22)


Texas (2-0) @ California (1-1)

Saturday, 9:30 PM, ESPN

Line: Texas -8

O/U: 79.5

Photo By Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Texas. So hot right now. Before the season, most would have had them down as losing this game. Now? Over a touchdown favorite on the road to a Pac-12 team in a different time zone. Oh, how things change on a whim.

Texas is better than many thought they would be this year. It’s almost as if they still have a roster full of blue chip talent. The two quarterback thing is still cute and working for them, but they haven’t hit much adversity yet, even in the Notre Dame game.

This would be a big road win for Texas over a Power 5 team and would catapult them into the Top 10 and way too early playoff conversations. California is no slouch though. Even at 1-1, they have proved their mediocrity more than most have at this point by traveling to Australia to beat Hawaii and losing a 45-40 thriller to San Diego State on the road. The match-up with Texas will be their first home game of the season.

Phil Steele would tell you to take the Longhorns. CloneTeach is telling you that Texas should be on upset alert and that Cal will at least stay within a touchdown in a high scoring affair that will go over even what the experts have predicted. I’m going to split my side bet and put half on the spread and half on the money line.

The Picks: California +8, California (+260), OVER 79.5

The Bets: $11, $10, $33


Week 3 Summary

We have a total of 13 bets and $272 in play for this third week of action. There is a little action for everyone with some favorites, some ‘dogs, some overs, some unders and some money line bets. Here are the picks. Let’s make that money!

Pick Wager
Baylor -30 $33
Iowa State +24 $11
Kansas +20 $22
Kansas UNDER 59.5 $22
FAU +22.5 $11
FAU UNDER 49 $22
Oklahoma State -6 $22
La Tech +10.5 $22
La Tech OVER 79.5 $33
Oklahoma (ML) +110 $20
California +8 $11
California (ML) +260 $10
Cal OVER 79.5 $33
Total $272