Recreational and Degenerate Gamblers Alike:
Each week this page will be dedicated to my NCAA Football Picks against the spread. The games posted are in no means locks of the week but are definitely worth a look. Games in which I have a vested interest in will be labeled with Mr. Moneybags:
Week 3 Recap: Mr. Moneybags was a dismal 2-8 last week. Losing the pick of the week does not help either. I do not understand how Stanford’s Hogan always plays a solid game against USC. The Trojan’s defense was nonexistent as well. Goes to show you though that when the public is riding high on a team, USC, and the line is moving the other way be weary of the outcome. Now not always, but most of the time – especially a pick of the week where you are going to lay some bills down. Dukies were also disappointing blowing their game in the second half. That line was a solid win for Duke with the reverse line movement theory. I think Vegas is not too happy the public made out like bandits. Temple stinks, as I thought, so putting money on them was a bonehead play too. On a positive, Notre Dame at home as dogs is always a good bet! In the end, you will lose when you gamble, so two great weeks and one bad one should still keep you in the green. Let’s stay focused and kick some ass this week. NO TILT!
Boise State @ Virginia (+2.5)
Virginia, at home, as dogs usually is money. Boise State’s starting QB is also out with an injury. Couple that with it’s Friday night, under the lights and it may rain quite a bit, The Cavaliers are the smart move.
What a joke game. 3 interceptions by Virginia, two on pick sixes. A fumble, a safety. They gave up at least 21 points off turnovers. Games like this make me want to stop betting money….
Stanford @ Oregon State (+15.5)
I do not think Oregon State can score much against Stanford’s defense. But, after an emotional win on the road mixed with the Beavers at home during prime time – I’ll take the points. Public money is all over Oregon State here. I usually go anti-public, but they do have to win sometimes. Is this one of those times? I think so, for a small wager.
As I said Okie State stinks. Stanford covered by just a few points. Disappointing they couldn’t keep the game competitive in the second half.
12 – Central Michigan (+27) @ Michigan State
Michigan State has yet to cover in 3 games this season. I like Central Michigan to score at least two touchdowns in this game for the cover. The bets on this are split right down the middle with line movement going to CMU’s favor. I’ll take almost 4 scores for the battle of Michigan any day.
12 – BYU (+6.5) @ Michigan
I love BYU yet again coming out the gate with some fire. Taking the trendy pick here.
12 – Bowling Green (-5) @ Purdue (going Purdue if it goes higher than 5)
Bowling Green has played as competitive as any team in the FBS this year. They beat a Big Ten team in Maryland, held their own in a loss to SEC Tennessee and just lost a high scoring affair against Memphis. This line has also flipped from +2 to 2.5 in the early goings of the week and is now up to 5. Purdue on the other hand just got destroyed by Vy Tech. I like what Appleby is doing with his arm this year for the Boilermakers but it won’t be enough against a BGSU team that is playing with a lot of go at the moment. Buyer beware: this line has moved so much it may not be a definite cover for BGSU. If it goes any higher I like the home, BIG TEN dog to cover this one
12 – Southern Miss (+21.5) @ Nebraska
Nebraska came back strong last week to almost beat Miami after being down by 17 at the half. This line has moved down almost 4 points since opening so I like So. Miss in this scenario. However, the over @67.5 may be a stronger play due to the lack of defense on both teams and the 24 point spread. Nebraska wins this 45-27.
12 – LSU @ Syracuse (+24.5)
Syracuse stinks, no denying that. But after an emotional win vs Auburn at home expect the Tigers to let their foot off the gas just enough for ‘Cuse to cover this game. Also, playing in the Carrier Dome is tough for visitors. LSU wins, but not by 25. Better beware: ‘Cuse is starting some trash dump at QB (a walk-on 5th string dumpster fire). Expect them to run the ball and kill the clock. Hell, LSU may feel bad when they are up 30 at half and just take all their starters out on the road.
12 – Kansas (+14.5) @ Rutgers
Kansas stinks. Rutgers is in turmoil. I like Kansas after the bye to at least keep this game within two scores by just running the ball and killing the clock. They have lost 31 straight road games, streak needs to end sometime and maybe this is it.
3:30 – Tennessee (pk) @ Florida
Another trendy pick with a flipped line. The Vols opened this one as 1.5 point dogs but it has moved to almost -1 in places. Florida is solid on D but once again their offense is stagnant. This game is gonna blow to watch – In the end I like the Vols to come out on top 13-7. Buyer beware: this game is going to be as good as talking to your elderly grandma – Florida could win this one by a field goal.
3:30 – Oklahoma State @ Texas (+3)
If the Charlie Strong era is going to survive they need to beat a ranked opponent. Texas showed some fire last week in a comeback against Cal. I do not like it but I’ll take the Longhorns here as long as their QB takes control and runs in and out of that pocket! Also, public money is crushing Okie State due to the perception that Texas stinks, yet the line has moved down in Texas’s favor. Expect an outright on this one – money line small.
3:30 – Virginia Tech (-10) @ ECU
This line has jumped even higher since opening. With a huge win at Purdue last week, VY Tech is rolling. ECU lost in terrible fashion to Navy – expect more of the same this week.
3:30 – Marshall @ Kent State (+7)
Marshall has a back-up QB going on the road against a descent MAC defense. The Thundering Herd has also struggled mightily against the MAC in the past. Bets are 60/40 in favor of Kent, hence the line drop from 9, but I like Kent at home to put green in the pockets of the public.
4 – Middle Tennessee @ Illinois (-6) and the over 61.5
The fighting “Lion Eye” laid a big terd in UNC last week, mustering 14 points. Holes were exposed in their defense, especially against a duel threat QB. Middle Tennessee historically puts up points in monster wins (they only mustered 10 vs ‘Bama this year though). I like Illinois to bounce back with not only the win but by the over @61.5 as well.
4 – ULM @ Alabama (-38)
Saban teams do not fair well at covering the spread against garbage opponents, especially after an emotional loss last week vs Ole Miss. HOWEVER, I like the team to take their frustrations out on ULM. Here is some history: ‘Bama loses to Ole Miss last year, week after plays like shit against the Razorbacks (14-13 win). The state of Alabama has a piss fit, Saban then blows out the Aggies the week after 59-0. If you follow this same pattern, they could play like crap against ULM and then in turn blow out Georgia next week. However, I like them being a week early this year and demolishing ULM at home. Since the public is going the other way by a rate of 70/30, I love it even more.
The over of 55 is also worth a look – ULM scored two TD’s vs Georgia so there is no reason they cannot do the same here. Bama wins 52 – 10
4:45 – TCU (-6.5) @ Texas Tech
What a great match-up to open Big-12 play. I expect a shoot-out with two stud QB’s in Boykin and Mahomes going head to head. However, I cannot stomach the over at 80 points. This spread has climbed low, low, low on Tech opening at 9. That’s public money and I expect the sharps to hit TCU on Saturday. Tech’s defense still is not there, give me TCU by a 10 spot.
NOTE: Revenge game for Tech – should be fun to watch. Public is all over TCU and and line still drops in Techs favor. I am staying away, but you take the analysis as you please.
7 – Arkansas State (+7) @ Toledo
This is a classic case of reverse line movement. 60/30 split with bets coming in on Toledo but yet the line still has dropped 3 points since opening. Ark State is out their starting QB also….weird line. Taking Ark State due to the line itself.
7 – Vanderbilt (+24) @ Ole Miss
Let down game for Ole Miss? Maybe not, but it has to happen sometime and no better time than after a big Alabama victory. Vandy only mustered 14 points against a Georgia offense who is not as explosive (31-14). I like the same result here. Line has dropped 3.5 points since opening and all the money is on Ole Miss.
7:30 – Mizz @ Kentucky
I initially wanted Kentucky here because they are favored against a ranked team. However, this line could be due to an overreaction to Mizzoo’s terrible play @ Uconn last week. I am staying away.
7:30 – Akron @ UL – Lafayette (-7.5)
Making this one of two PLAYS OF THE WEEK!!!
8 – UCLA @ Arizona (+3)
8 – Texas State (+16.5) @ Houston
Anything where 80% of the money is on a team and the line has not moved screams take it the other way. Houston is great but Texas State can score. I hope they keep this one close because THE BOBCATS will be my PLAY OF THE WEEK 2/2 solely based on the line.
BUYER BEWARE: Eye this one up before game time. If the line jumps to +20 or something ridiculous, then back off. My plays are based on the current market.
8:30 – Utah @ Oregon (-11.5)
Utah is the trendy pick here but I am not 100% sold. The Utes will play the Ducks tough but this game will start to pull away in the 4th. Utah will have plenty of scoring chances against a poor Oregon defense but expect returning starter Vernon Adams to throw one more TD late to make this a 12 – 17 point game.
Counteracting Note: Utah won both games last year as double digit dogs to Stanford and UCLA.
10:30 – USC @ ASU (+5.5)
Can USC screw me two weeks in a row. Oh boy I hope so! I want to believe the Trojans will come out firing and put up points but I am not sold. ASU is not as good as they once were but at home, under the lights, I expect them to keep this tight. Especially against a USC defense that has some problems. If I am drunk enough, I will be taking the over as well.
Last Week Mr. Moneybags: 2 – 8 – 0 (20%)
Season Mr. Moneybags: 15 – 15 – 1 (50%)
Picks of the week: 2-1 (67%)
Follow me on twitter for up to the minute picks! @MrK_japery
Also, check out my guide to surviving the season: Sports Gambling: Surviving the Season