Throwing Money Around (Week 7)

$10,350!

Finally, after seven weeks I’ve managed to eek just slightly higher than I started by going 5-0 in the college game last week, then tanking a thousand dollar bet on the NFL.  You won’t hear any complaints over here.  Sorry for not hitting the usual Thursday deadline this week, but a fairly nasty virus had me sidelined… I’m the Kellen Winslow of online bet predictions.

So, enough pounding my chest and discussing the microscopic monsters invading my body… it’s 10:05!  I’ve got to hurry!

Colorado at Kansas

Line:  Kansas by 14

Bet:  Colorado

Why:  After the first two weeks of the season, Kansas managed to completely forget how to blow out an opponent.  They lost to South Florida (no shame in that) and just barely managed to sneak by Iowa State.  Colorado fired out of the gates, toppling a couple of cupcakes and then overpowering the Mountaineers 17-14.  Since beating WVU, the Buffaloes have lost two straight games… to an “on the rise” Florida State team and the #5 ranked Texas Longhorns (keeping both games fairly respectable).  Kansas is still Kansas, they won’t be hanging fifteen on the Buffs.

Wager:  $1000 on Colorado

Notre Dame at North Carolina

Line:  North Carolina by 8.5

Bet:  Notre Dame

Why:  This is probably the best North Carolina football team of my lifetime… I guess.  They’re the kings of the ACC in a year when ACC appears to stand for Almost a College Conference.  While the ‘Heels have some fine looking wins under their belt, Notre Dame still has the prestige, the tv contract and the recruiting prowess of the golden dome.  I’m expecting to see jitters in baby blue, and despite a top-notch UNC pass defense, look for the young Irish receivers to skew those numbers by the end of the day.  To me, the game is essentially a pick, and I wouldn’t touch one of those with a ten foot pole, but let’s be realistic about this 8.5 point line.

Wager:  $750 on Notre Dame

Michigan State at Northwestern

Line:  Michigan State by 1

Bet:  Michigan State

Why:  I’m not going to lie to you, folks… this one breaks my heart.  I hate going against my Wildcats, but there’s really no loyalty in gambling.  This game is going to be close, and I don’t have any rock-solid confidence in the Spartans to pull it out.  Had this game had a larger spread, I probably would have thrown the cash at Northwestern.  However, my gut tells me that MSU is going to pull this one out, and since we’re essentially dealing with a pick you just have to go with the instinct.  I’m going with Michigan State here, and I feel dirty…. just dirty.

Wager:  $500 on Michigan State

Penn State at Wisconsin

Line:  Penn State by 5.5

Bet:  Penn State

Why:  No way.  Just no way.  Penn State has the scariest offense in the country this year while Wisconsin barely slipped by Fresno State and lost to Ohio State and Michigan.  Don’t let the famous names fool you, Penn State is much, much better than any of those squads.  For all of the early-season fanfare surrounding the Badgers, they’ve been in free fall over the last three weeks.  There’s no doubt that this home game is their biggest of the season, a chance to legitimize the team or just become another under-performing Wisconsin squad.  We’ll know in just a few hours, as we all realize that they are, in fact, another under-performing Wisconsin squad… just like every other year.

Wager:  $1500 on Penn State

UCLA at Oregon

Line:  Oregon by 19

Bet:  UCLA

Why:  Don’t let the 2-3 record fool you, UCLA is probably the best 2-3 team in the country.  They opened up with what I’d argue is the toughest early-season schedule of any team in the country, facing Tennessee, BYU, Arizona State, Fresno State and Washington State in their first five games.  In those games, only one team was capable of blowing them out… BYU (who might secretly be the best team in the country).  Oregon has a good football team, but when you pair them against solid competition you’re looking at an average victory of six points… or a loss.  UCLA is good enough to play them within a couple of touchdowns, but not good enough to win.

Wager:  $500 on UCLA

Nebraska at Texas Tech

Line:  Texas Tech by 20

Bet:  Texas Tech

Why:  This should be the only stat that you need in this one:  Texas Tech has the number 1 ranked passing offense in the country (avg. 439 ypg) while Nebraska has the number 97th ranked passing defense.  Tech is winning games this year by an average of 29.8, and that’s with meetings with Nevada and Kansas State thrown in there, and Nebraska lost by 35 to Missouri… at home.  This is the first road game of the  year for the Cornhuskers, expect it to be a really, really miserable experience.  Tech passes for 450 yards, runs for 150 and whips the ‘Huskers by 30+ this week.

Wager:  $750 on Texas Tech

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins

Line:  Redskins by 13.5

Bet:  ‘Skins

Why:  Washington has caught fire recently, looking like the class of the NFC East and possibly the best team in the conference.  After an abysmal performance to open the season, Jason Campbell has adapted to his new offense and Clinton Portis has emerged as possibly the best back in the NFL.  On the other side of the ball, St. Louis might have managed to usurp the Bengals and become the absolute worst team in the NFL.  I’m actually really surprised at the Rams’ awfulness this year, but this isn’t their coming out party.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Portis reel in 3 scores this week… single handedly covering the spread.

Wager:  $1000 on Washington

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons

Line:  Bears by 2.5

Bet:  Bears

Why:  The Falcons have looked better this year than anyone could have expected (well, other than yours truly… and The Drake).  Granted, they’re still bad, but Matt Ryan and Roddy White are developing a rhythm and Michael Turner is one of the most lethal backs in the game when he’s at home.  However, the Bears still have one of the stingiest defenses in the country, and the remarkably surprising duo of Cowboy Kyle Orton and Matt Forte have managed to inject a little life into a Bears offense that struggled under Sexy Rexy and Cedric Benson.  The Bears are a different team this year.  Brandon Lloyd shows signs of potential, and even Devin Hester seems to be coming along.  The Falcons won’t stop Forte, Orton is bound to find the end zone at least once, and the Bears are capable of holding Turner to one end-zone appearance.  I’ll call it at Chicago by six.

Wager:  $1000 on Chicago

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