Outkick’s Gambling Picks For Week 9 2014

Sep 27, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles against the New Mexico State Aggies during the second half of a game at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated New Mexico State 63-7. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Derick E. Hingle USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to feel good about a 4-6 gambling weekend, but after a two week run of 3-17 against the number I feel like I’ve stemmed the tide, reversed the curse, helped to staunch the bleeding. Now it’s time to go full steam ahead into winning territory. No screwing around, 10-0 here we come. 

Some of you ask me on Twitter why gamble? My response to that is simple — gambling makes everything about college football better. Even if I lose money I can’t think of a way I could make college football more entertaining than by gambling on it. When the rest of you non-gamblers are changing the channel on a game that’s already been decided from a win or loss perspective, guess who is watching every minute? This guy and his gambling buddies. I hate all you peole who get worked up about your fantasy football teams when it’s not real money. Put some real money on the line and actually back a team, losers. 

At this point in time I’m 35 years old with three kids under the age of six. I set our home security alarm by eight every night. Eight! What else am I going to do for fun? I have a decent amount of disposable income and leaving aside restaurants the only places I spend money right now are Costco and Amazon. Some of you think I’m joking, but this is 100% true. I haven’t bought an article of clothing that wasn’t from Costco in over three years. (Except for Outkickgear.com, which is, of course, an extraordinary place to buy your clothes). I mean, my wife can’t spend every dollar I make, right?

Right?!

Anyway, the point is, what else am I spending my money on? Worst case scenario, I’m spending not that much money to make the most awesome sport in America even better. Best case, I’m making some additional money, which I will also gamble. 

So that’s the answer to your question.

Why gamble?

BECAUSE GAMBLING IS AWESOME.  

Let’s get rich or die trying with this week’s games. 10-0, baby. (As always, feel free to continue to fade me). 

South Carolina +18.5 at Auburn

You know how I always bet on Gus Malzahn’s Auburn team to cover. Well, I actually think this line is too steep. South Carolina isn’t an awful football team. Sure, they aren’t particularly good, but they’re the only team in the country to have beaten two current top 17 teams teams this season. Plus, the Tigers are coming off a bye week and I just think sometimes Malzahn’s teams are more efficient in terms of timing without taking any time off. I’d take Auburn up to 14, but I think 18.5 is too steep. This just feels like a late cover game.

Mississippi State -13.5 at Kentucky

Did you watch LSU just physically manhandle Kentucky? The Wildcats aren’t ready for prime time. If Mississippi State wasn’t coming off a bye week, I could buy into the idea of a let-down performance for the Bulldogs, but this is their first game as the number one team in the country and they’ve had a week to revel in their accomplishment and then a week to prepare for Kentucky.

We’re talking about Kentucky here. State got two weeks for Kentucky. 

I think this game is over early, State wins big.

Also, I apologize to everyone who lost their homes betting on Kentucky to cover 10.5 at LSU. Clearly I’m an idiot.

Vandy at Mizzou -20.5 and the under of 47

Vanderbilt can’t score. Mizzou can’t really score either. So I love the under here. As long as Vanderbilt doesn’t score on special teams or defense, the Commodores have zero chance of covering this 20.5 spread. Hell, without special teams or defense I’m not sure that Vandy scores period. (The same could go for Mizzou, by the way). I think the final score of this game is going to be something like 24-3 so I’d be nervous giving very many points above three touchdowns. If you’re choosing between the spread or the over/under, I like the under the best. 

Alabama at Tennessee +17.5 and the under of 46.5

Tennessee can’t score, but the defense isn’t that bad. Alabama can score, but the Tide hasn’t scored much at all in road or neutral games. So far in three road/neutral games the Crimson Tide is outscoring opponents by five points. That’s five points total — a ten point win over West Virginia, a one point win at Arkansas, and a six point loss at Ole Miss. Lost amid all the fanfare over the Bama destruction of Texas A&M was the continued dangerous play of Blake Sims. He’s been flirting with a multi-interception game. If Tennessee keeps this game close it will be because Sims turns the ball over a couple of times and the Vols get a defensive score. If Tennessee doesn’t keep this game close then I’ll get nervous about losing the cover and the over. The only way this game goes over is if Alabama comes out and Texas A&M’s the Vols.

That could happen, I just don’t think it’s very likely. 

Michigan at Michigan State -17

I just keep looking at this line thinking it has to be a joke. So what if Michigan’s coming off a bye week? That helps if your coaching staff is actually good. Is Jim Harbaugh suddenly coaching Michigan? Because otherwise I think the Wolverines still have the clueless Brady Hoke walking up and down the sideline without a headset on.

Michigan State is going to disembowel Michigan. There is no way this game is remotely close. Take the Spartans, big.  

Ole Miss at LSU +3.5 and the under of 44.5

LSU is 43-3 under Les Miles at night in Tiger Stadium. The only three losses are to teams that attained a number one ranking in the season in which they won at LSU at night. Is Ole Miss a number one team? The Rebels may well have to be to win here.

I just see this game as being very close and low scoring. My projected score? Ole Miss 13 LSU 10. That’s why I love that I’m getting LSU +3.5 here. I’d avoid this game if the line drops back down to +3. I also love the under because I think both teams will run the football and play field position throughout and neither team will ever establish much offensive flow.

Confession: I believe I gave up on LSU too early. This is a young football team that took some lumps early in the year, but has gotten markedly better over the past two weeks. Granted that was against Florida and Kentucky, but Ole Miss isn’t that explosive on offense. I expect LSU’s game plan to be similar to Tennessee’s last week — stack the line of scrimmage and make Bo Wallace beat you with his arm. The Vols had good success with this game plan, they just kept turning the ball over on offense and could never score on the Ole Miss defense.

Worth noting, in addition to taking LSU +3.5 here I also took Ole Miss at 7.5 to 1 to win the national championship. So my ideal result is Ole Miss wins by three in a low-scoring game. This probably means Ole Miss is going to win by thirty in a game featuring 90 points scored.    

Ohio State at Penn State +14

This is a bet entirely based on my faith in James Franklin and his coaching staff. They’re coming off a bye week and have the eyes of the nation upon them. I think they keep it close against Ohio State.  

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

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