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In a similar position as last week, I’m coming off a 3-2 record. While it’s not the best record in the world, it’s still making money. Who doesn’t like money? In writing this week’s column, it’s not as if my back is against the wall in these picks, but I could really enjoy a 4-1 or 5-0 week to make the overall look a lot better. As for last week’s picks, Washington started off the week making me proud. I picked USC to win, but Washington to cover the 17-point spread. Not only did Washington take the 17 points, but they beat the Trojans straight up. While the USC coaching office has apparently turned into a fucking soap opera, they have fallen to a 3-2 record when they had playoff aspirations before the season.
Nice job, experts. I split my two MAC picks, with Toledo easily covering, and the Bowling Green/UMass game going WAY over, when I picked the under. Utah won by six when I picked them to cover seven, and Baylor was covering 38 points in the second quarter against the dumpster fire that is the Kansas Jayhawks. In my weekly special, I advised you to steer clear of Tennessee/Georgia. Tennessee ended up winning straight up (We finally got one, Rocky Top), but if you saw the game, you can understand why I was firmly against action on the game. Tennessee down by 21 in the first half, going up early in the second half, and Georgia dropping a sure TD pass with under a minute left. Yikes. Would have hated to watch that with cash on the line.
Onward to this week.
Lines provided by oddsshark.com
Missouri (+16) at Georgia
Georgia doesn’t have Nick Chubb and they generally don’t play well against Mizzou. Greyson Lambert has been BAD. Georgia has crumbled under preseason expectations. I know this game is in Athens, but I don’t see Georgia playing inspired football. They still have Sony Michel, the immensely talented running back, but Mizzou always has a hard-nosed, physical football team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Combine this with the fact that Drew Lock doesn’t play the mistake prone, gun slinging football that Maty Mauk plays, and that gives you the recipe to cover a 16 point spread. I honestly thought the line would be inside a touchdown, so giving me 16 points is like a gift. Tigers and the points.
The Pick: Missouri at +16.
Arizona (-8) at Colorado
Like a few lines I’ve written about, I fully expect this to move. As of Monday morning, 99% of betting action is on Arizona to cover the eight-point spread. This past week, Arizona got their QB Anu Soloman back from a head injury, and absolutely lit up the Oregon State Beavers. After getting up 34-7 at the half, Rich Rod took his foot off the gas, only scoring 10 more in the second half. U of A has weapons everywhere on offense, which should be able to make up for their mediocre-at-best defense, especially without reigning defensive player of the year Scooby Wright in the lineup. Colorado is Colorado, and is at a point in their program where sports radio personalities in Arizona refer to the conference as the Pac 11. Though the Buffs have looked respectable at times against Oregon and had flashes against ASU this past week, it won’t be enough. I’ll eat the point and take the Wildcats on the road.
The pick: Arizona at -8.
USC (+5.5) at Notre Dame
I will always encourage people to bet early in the week because the lines have yet to be affected by the bettors. However, a situation like this might be when you should wait. At time of writing, north of 70% of action is being put on Notre Dame to cover the 5.5-point spread. I’m sure this has everything to do with Coach Sark falling off the deep end, and the rumors of him being sloshed on the sidelines of September’s game in Tempe. Because of the action, the line will raise, my guess is it will end up in the neighborhood of seven points. Call it a gut feeling, but I like USC in this game. A senior QB led team with talent out the ass, and their backs against the wall against a rival. I LOVE games like this. I really like USC to rebound after that dreadful game against the Huskies, and even if they don’t win, they’ll keep it close. Trojans and the points.
The pick: USC at 5.5, wait if you can to see how high it will go.
Florida at LSU (-7)
I was actually thinking to take Florida when I opened my computer and started writing. However, right in the middle of the paragraph above this about the Trojans, news came out that Will Grier is out for the season for illegal use of PED’s. Money banks. Florida is one of the hottest teams in country, with a come from behind victory over Tennessee and a dominating win over then number three Ole Miss. Both of those wins, however, were orchestrated through great performances from the freshman quarterback. Florida will still have a dominant defense to rely on, but they will be playing against the best offensive line in the SEC and one of the best running backs to ever play college football (Come at me, bros). Fournette will do his thing, and it’s scary to think he didn’t even lead his team in rushing this past week against South Carolina. Get this line early, as it will indeed move with Grier’s departure. Treon Harris is a bad quarterback, and LSU is a legitimate contender. I’ll eat the points at take the Tigers in Death Valley.
The pick: LSU at -7. Bet now.
Nebraska at Minnesota (Pick Em)
This is an intriguing game. Minnesota is sitting at 4-2, where the Huskers are the opposite, at 2-4. An extremely disappointing record for the Huskers has come with better play than the record indicates. I’m not the Elias Sports Bureau, so I can’t pull obscure stats out of my ass, but Nebraska losing all of their games on the last snap has to be some sort of record. Minnesota hasn’t looked particularly impressive when playing quality opposition, namely being shellacked by Northwestern. I look to Mike Reilly to finally get his team over the hump, and finally get them to win a close game. If nothing else, they’re due.
The pick: Nebraska.
This week, I’ll give you a game to avoid, and a couple pieces of advice that will hopefully inspire you to hit the books, and hit them hard.
I personally want nothing to do with the Michigan State at Michigan (-7.5) line this week. I have no idea what to make of this game. Sparty has been a mainstay at the top of the polls this year, but has failed to look impressive in any game and has gone 0-6 against the spread thus far. Michigan, on the other hand, lost their opener to what we know now as a powerhouse in Utah, and have yet to allow a point in the past three games. Could Michigan win and announce themselves to the country? Absolutely. Would I be surprised if Dantonio’s boys go out and win by a couple scores? Not at all. This game makes my head hurt.
Gather ‘round Uncle Mel, everyone. I’m gonna teach you about life. I’ve heard many, many pieces of advice about gambling in my relatively short life. Most bad, but a few have had actual value. My favorite is something I heard for the first time in Vegas when I saw a friend walk into the casino and immediately drop $100 on black. I asked him what the hell he was doing, and he confidently replied with, “Scared money don’t make money.” While he went on to lose that $100 when it hit green, which is the shittiest way to lose on roulette, it really made me think about my gambling approach.
You can’t just bet minimums in blackjack and try to hit on spreads in sports and realistically expect to be swimming in cash. If you see a 7-point spread in which you like the dog, go ahead and bet the money line. Don’t go crazy and start betting money line on 30 point dogs, because you’re realistically going to lose a lot more than you’ll win, but you have to do it every once in a while. This leads me to the next quote, “Go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is.” You have to take chances. Bet money line on that dog, go ahead and parlay a couple games. Sure you might lose some, but if you’re smart about it and do your research, you’ll end up doing well for yourself. If you follow this advice within reason, you could end up rich by the end of the year. You could also be moving back to the ‘burbs with your parents because you can’t make rent on your own. Whoops.
Running Record: 6-4.