by Jeremy Dennis
“What in the wide wide world of sports is going on here?!?.” -- Taggart, Blazing Saddles, 1974
Wow. All I can say is wow. Very hard to remember a betting streak like this one. Hopefully, y’all have been fading me up to this point because you would be making good money. How weird has the season been thus far? Underdogs are 21-14 against the spread. In those match-ups, the dog won outright 11 times and in almost half of those instances, they were double-digit dogs that won outright. Nothing epitomizes the season thus far than the Tulane-Navy game. In case you missed it: Navy, left for dead after being out-scored in their first six quarters by a combined 79-3, storms back with 27 unanswered to defeat Tulane last week (I picked Tulane of course). The only saving grace I have is that three of my winning picks this week pitted two teams that have already played. Just need to get the time for the data to sink in. Bear with me, it is going to turn around (or not and just fade me until it does--I don’t blame you).
Last Week: Top Picks: 2-1 (66.7%) Total Picks: 5-10 (33.3%) Betting: DOWN 11.5 Units
Year to Date: Top Picks: 4-2 (66.7%) Total Picks: 11-23 (32.4%) Betting: DOWN 23.1 Units
TIER ONE - FIVE UNITS
Texas (-18) at Texas Tech
Both teams got a week off to prepare for this showdown. Texas comes off a 59-3 walloping of UTEP and the Red Raiders win was a 35-33 thriller against….uh…..who is HBU? Hold on a minute….Houston Baptist? Oh boy.
Pitt (-2.5) vs Louisville
The Panthers looked great on defense against Syracuse allowing a long touchdown to the back-up QB and a field goal. Louisville had a lot of firepower on offense against the Hurricanes but employed the matador defense resulting in a 40+ point performance. This should be one of the toughest defenses that the Cardinals face all year and they are playing at Heinz Field.
Miami-Florida (-11.5) vs Florida State
During the Miami-Louisville telecast, it was mentioned that D’Eriq King has been the best QB at the U in almost 20 years. Whoa. Florida State, which is still licking their wounds after losing to rebuilding Georgia Tech at home, will need to shut down King and hope their offense can score 28 points or more. Probably not going to happen.
UTSA (-6.5) versus Middle Tennessee State
The Roadrunners are undefeated and beat a relatively good (by Sun Belt standards) Texas State team in overtime. Against Troy and Army, the Blue Raiders have scored a grand total of 14 points. At this rate, it promises to be a bad year in Murfreesboro.
UTEP (+9.5) at Louisiana-Monroe
This pretty much signifies where my mind is in 2020, putting this tickle-fight on the five-unit docket. Both teams are miserable. I think the real issue is the number. Will either team actually score 10 points? Who knows. It will be a tight one and probably less exciting than one of my co-ed flag football games I used to play-back in the day.
TIER TWO - THREE UNITS
Tulane (-3) at Southern Miss.
Can’t really explain what happened in the second half of that Navy game. However, this should be a nice bounceback. Southern Miss already has losses to Louisiana Tech and South Alabama. It will be interesting to see how the interim coaching staff does in its second game for the Golden Eagles. The guess here is, not well.
UAB (-6.5) at South Alabama
While South Alabama has played well in a victory at Southern Miss and a slim loss to Tulane, UAB is a totally different animal. The Blazers went toe-to-toe with the Miami Hurricanes before faltering in the second half in a 31-14 loss. UAB’s offense should be too powerful for the Jaguars to stop. Defensively, UAB is also faster and more experienced.
Boston College (-17.5) vs Texas State
Boston College had a good start to the season by rolling Duke 26-6. What was intriguing about this was that they actually threw for 300 yards in the victory. The new coaching staff and offense is already starting to pay dividends. Texas State has played well (for them) at 1-2 with the two losses being within a score each. However, those were against SMU and UTSA. Time to see how they measure up with the ACC.
Georgia State (-2.5) at Charlotte
The Panthers went punch for punch with a ranked Louisiana team last Saturday finally succumbing to them in overtime. Charlotte played App. State well and covered their number. However, they benefited from Mountaineer mistakes in the rain. Look for a high scoring affair in the Queen City.
Tulsa (+2.5) at Arkansas State
What do we make of the Tulsa-Oklahoma State game last week? Were the Cowboys underprepared or did we sleep on the Golden Hurricane? It is understood that Okla. State lost their quarterback in the first half, but Tulsa still only allowed 16 points. Of course, Arkansas State is coming off a victory against Kansas State a couple of weeks ago, so it is tough to gauge these two teams’ performance. One thing we do know: the Big 12 should shed Texas and Oklahoma and be regulated to the Group of Five.
Author’s Note: After getting my can kicked picking games where one of the teams has not played yet, all such games are now relegated to the lower betting units. SEC fans enjoy!
TIER THREE - TWO UNITS
Alabama (-27) at Missouri
Kentucky (+8.5) at Auburn
TCU (+3.5) vs Iowa State
Tennessee (-3) at South Carolina
Georgia (-26) at Arkansas
UCF (-27) at East Carolina
Florida (-14.5) at Ole Miss
Virginia (-5.5) vs Duke
Georgia Tech (-7.5) at Syracuse
TIER FOUR - ONE UNIT
N.C. State (+7) at Virginia Tech
Houston (-22) vs North Texas
Oklahoma State (-8) vs West Virginia
Army (+14) at Cincinnati
Kansas State (+28) at Oklahoma
Baylor (-16.5) vs Kansas
Liberty (-7) vs FIU
BYU (-14) vs Troy
Miss. State (+16.5) vs LSU
Alright folks, it is time to turn this ship around. Have a great betting weekend!