Videos by OutKick
We’re 64-69 on the season.
I know, that’s not good. But unfortunately it’s not good if you’re fading me either. We’ve been downright mediocre all season with the picks. But there’s always conference title game weekend and the bowls to right the gambling ship.
So here we go, once more into the gambling breach.
6-0 coming this week, baby, 6-0!
Oregon vs. Arizona +15
I know Todd Furhman says that Arizona is way overrated by the playoff committee and doesn’t belong in the Vegas top ten, but they have beaten Oregon twice in the last year. I don’t think they’ll win a third time in thirteen months, but how do you not think that Rich Rod and his crew have a pretty good understanding of what Oregon does on offense? Check out the box score from the 2013 beat down, these were two pretty even teams from a total yardage perspective. Arizona’s win at Oregon this year wasn’t flukish either, go look at the box score, these two teams were completely even all night long. In a little over a year Arizona has gone toe-to-toe with Oregon and won twice. Neither win was built on absurdly unlikely plays.
Vegas believes these two Arizona wins were flukes and expects the Ducks to throttle Arizona this time, but I’m putting my faith in the past two game results and rolling with the Wildcats here.
Iowa State +34.5 at TCU
I know, I know, TCU is trying to impress the committee and wants to score 80 points on another Big 12 opponent. But sometimes trying to crush a team makes the game closer than it would be if you just went out with your normal mentality in place. Getting nearly 35 points in a conference game is pretty insane, no matter who the opponent is. Oklahoma beat Iowa State by 45. Every other conference game Iowa State has kept it within 21 points or less. So this may seem insanely dumb, but I’m taking Iowa State +34.5.
Kansas State at Baylor, the under of 67
I have Baylor at 20-1 to win the title and I still think the Bears will make the playoff if they beat Kansas State, but I’m personally hedging my bet by taking Kansas State +8. (The best result for me is a nice seven point Baylor win with a late cover by Kansas State). But I think the best bet in this case is the under 67. What’s Bill Snyder and Kansas State’s number one goal with this game? Don’t let Baylor get out and run. They want to avoid a track meet and keep this game close. Only one Kansas State game against an FBS opponent has gone over 67 all year and that was UTEP, when the Wildcats scored 58 points. This is a huge number to hit and the only way you hit it is if one of two things happens: 1. Baylor blows out Kansas State or 2. The game turns into a track meet with both teams scoring 30 or more.
I just don’t see either of these results happening. So take the under. This is, cover your heads boys and girls, my bet the mortgage pick of the week.
Alabama -14.5 vs. Missouri
Missouri keeps this game close if two things happen: 1. Maty Mauk plays the game of his life 2. Alabama turns the ball over 3-4 times. Sure, both of these things could happen — after all Nick Marshall played the game of his career in the Iron Bowl and Alabama threw three picks — but I don’t think they’re very likely. The Tide offense is executing really well right now and I think they’ll score 28 or more points against Mizzou. Can Mizzou score 30 on the Tide? I don’t think there’s any way this happens. So Mizzou’s only chance is to win a low-scoring, ugly game.
If Mauk doesn’t play great and Alabama protects the football then the Tide pull away and win by three scores.
The one thing that has me nervous about this line is the .5 point. Because this kind of line always sets up perfect for the late score and cover. I’m not sure which way the money moves, but I don’t think it’s going to soar in Alabama’s favor from here. So it might be worth buying the extra half point or waiting to see if this falls back to 14 or 13.5 just before kickoff.
Florida State -4 vs. Georgia Tech
I was all set to bet on Georgia Tech, but I thought this line would be right around a touchdown, probably nestling in at FSU -6.5 or 7. Instead the line opened around a field goal and has stayed there all week. That’s just too low of a line for me to bet against FSU. What happens if Jameis Winston bets on his team to cover the first half line for a change and comes out gunning the ball all over the field? If FSU gets up a couple of scores early then Tech is in trouble. Of course, Tech will probably come out and score early to go up 10-0 and then the same old formula will play itself out all over again. We’ll expect FSU to lose and they’ll score a late touchdown to win. Then Seminole fans will head straight to Twitter to tell me I’m gay. Seriously, I’ve read this script too many times already to bet against FSU. For the rest of the season I believe that FSU is either going to win a close game or get blown out. I’m not sure who will blow out FSU — Georgia Tech, Oregon, or Alabama — but I’m really going to enjoy that game.
Wisconsin -4 vs. Ohio State
While all the focus will be on Ohio State’s new quarterback, here’s a bigger question — can the Ohio State defense stop Melvin Gordon and the Badger rush attack? I don’t think they can. The Ohio State defense hasn’t looked very good against vastly inferior opponents over the past three weeks. After a slow start I think the Badgers score 35 or more. By the end of the game the issue won’t be JT Barrett’s absence, it will be the Buckeye defense.