Betting on Amateurs: The Best Early Lines Each Week
On Sunday I briefly broke down the lines on the Georgia games for the 2013 season. I promised I’d come back and help you with your
problem affliction hobby, so here I am. As a part-time college athletics employee, it is my civic duty to discourage gambling on college sports, so here’s a link to the gamblers’ hotline if this post causes you problems. DudeYouCrazy.net is not liable for any gambling losses. I promised in my first post a more meta view than just Georgia or the SEC, as I watch a TON of football every week, so here is the first truly nationwide post in my DudeYouCrazy time.
POST-FINISHING THIS POST NOTE: I realize these bets are road-team heavy. Mere coincidence. It’s still free advice.
Week 1: Boise State (+2) at Washington. SEE!?!? 3000 miles away, and they’re still playing FOOTBAWL. Here’s what I’ve learned in my time putting a little money on college football: never NEVER bet against Boise State. They officially have a plug-and-play formula for success, return a senior QB in Joe Southwick, and they’re playing a Washington team that has yet to lose less than 6 games in the Steve Sarkisian (autocorrect suggestion: Parisian) era. Boise also beat Washington in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl. Taking the Broncos, enjoying a nice Labor Day seafood dinner.
Week 2: Florida (-2.5) at Miami. In the previous write-up, I told you I wasn’t crazy about Florida’s chances this season. That being said, S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C! Gators win by double digits.
Week 3: Tennessee (+25) at Oregon. Again taking the SEC route here, I’m just banking on Oregon not quite having it together in the post-Chip Kelly era. And also this is the time of year where talking heads have, ad nauseam, the following conversation:
“AT 2-0, IS TENNESSEE BACK?”
“TENNESSEE IS BACK! I VOTED THEM #14 AFTER CONVINCING WINS OVER N.C. STATE AND GEORGIA STATE!”
“ROCKY TOP BLAHBLAHBLAH KENNY CHESNEY PEYTON MANNING”
/pretty sure this exact conversation took place on Game Day before they played Florida last year
The Vols aren’t going to win, but they’ll ride that strong start against Austin Peay and Western Kentucky to a solid cover.
Week 4: Michigan (-12) at UConn. Big Ten. AAC. If this game is not the noon ESPNU game, we have a problem. That being said, I like a Michigan team with (finally) a real QB over a team who went 2-5 in the Big East last year and is trending downwards.
Under the radar: Oregon State at San Diego St. (+6.5). Will be a really good game of football that I will probably forget to watch.
Week 5: Wake Forest (+21) at Clemson. You simply can’t count on the Yabba Dabo Doo’s to bring it every week. Sandwiched between road games against N.C. State and Syracuse, this could be a potential Tigers snooze. In 2011, Wake came within a missed field goal of knocking off an undefeated, top-5 Clemson team in Death Valley. In 2008, the Deacs brought about Tommy Bowden’s resignation. Also, do you want to bet against this guy?
Week 6: This is a tough week, as there are no comfortable lines. I don’t trust Texas -12 against Iowa St., don’t think Oregon can beat Colorado by more than 37, and think I have a tick of homeritis in thinking UNC will not only cover 6.5, but win at Virginia Tech. I explained why I don’t feel comfortable with Georgia at Tennessee in my last post. However, the people need answers, so I’m going to go with Baylor (-7) over West Virginia. They’re playing basketball on FieldTurf (Baylor/WVU football game, 2012, 133 points, average basketball game, 2012-13, 133.5 points), but am going to bank on Baylor getting 1-2 more stops while Geno Smith is holding the clipboard for Mark Sanchez, which is a hilarious mental image.
Week 7: Rutgers (+10) at Louisville. 2006: Undefeated Louisville catches a case of lemonbooty against Rutgers. While I’m not saying history will definitely repeat itself, look at this schedule and please inform me where else the Cards are going to be remotely challenged.
Week 8: LSU (+2) at Ole Miss. I mentioned this on Sunday. Please raise your hand if you really think the Black Bears stand a chance. Big recruiting class, 7-6 season in which their biggest win was a home win in the Egg Bowl (which, I mean…is called the Egg Bowl), yadda yadda yadda. Stone cold lock, in my opinion.
Week 9: Arizona (-20) at Colorado. I know I just said I didn’t think Oregon could cover 37 in Boulder, but…man, the Buffs are bad. I’m a sucker for a line that is just under a specific number of touchdowns (-20 is a WHOLE lot easier to swallow than -21), and 8 of Colorado’s 11 losses were by more than
20 25 points. Among their close losses: a 2-point thriller against Sacramento State.
Week 10: NOVEMBER!!! Also, another week where there’s no easy money on the board. As with week 6, there’s a tempting line on a Carolina game, and this time I’ll take North Carolina (-2.5) at N.C. State. State doesn’t have a quarterback for Dave Doeren’s QB-run-heavy system, and really doesn’t have a QB for anyone’s system. They’ve brought in Brandon Mitchell, a QB-turned-WR-allegedly-turning-back-to-QB from Arkansas, who will be immediately eligible. UNC will score a lot of points and force a few turnovers. I feel good about this one.
Week 11: Some good games this week, as Oregon/Stanford warms us up on Thursday night before another LSU/Bama showdown on Saturday. If history is any indication, this is about the time of year for another Lane Kiffin meltdown, so I’m gonna take Cal (+17) at home against USC. At this point, Sonny Dykes should have his crazy offense (La Tech led the country at over 50 points per game last year) going, and we should see a 52-40 type game in Berkeley.
Week 12: I’ve got two home teams not getting enough credit this week. Florida State (-16) should beat Syracuse by more than that (again, the ‘just under X scores’ rule applies here), and I don’t think Alabama is 23 points better than Mississippi State on the road. I just hope Nick Saban never reads this post.
Week 13: I already said I liked Kentucky +29 at Georgia, but not nearly as much as I like Nebraska (pick-em) at Penn State. The talent drain from the Sandusky fallout should be more evident with the Pedo-Bears this year, and you’ll kick yourself for not acting on this one when Nebraska is favored by 8-14 points by Halloween.
Week 14: Rivalry week, AKA the most entertaining weekend of shunning family Thanksgiving activity for college football each year. Your coffee table should consist of an ice bucket, a bottle of your favorite bourbon, a loaf of white bread, a few thick slices of turkey, a tupperware container of stuffing, and a vat of gravy. While making sandwiches and drinking bourbon, you should put money on Stanford (-5.5) at home against Notre Dame, Georgia (-9) at Georgia Tech, Kansas (+21.5) against Kansas State, and South Carolina (-4.5) against Clemson. Seriously, those ACC/SEC matchups are gold.
Giving you the business (and putting your hard-earned money to work),