Oh yeah, it’s good to be back.
While I’ve missed the dopamine of a bet cashed, it also comes with the return of the epic bad beats like Kent State at +28.5 against Texas A&M, only to miss two chip shot field goals of 24 and 25 yards field goal in the last 5 minutes of the game to lose by 31. There was also the second-hand stress of this person’s insane parlay. Ole Miss and Louisville did all they could to try to hit the over, continuing to run their offenses late in the game, but it cashed, so good for them.
If you talk to enough college football coaches, you’ll eventually hear them talk about Week 1. With no preseason baked into the sport, Week 1 is typically the time with the most anxiety because you just don’t know what you’ll get from a team of ~20-year-olds who haven’t faced anyone in a different jersey for nine months. That bleeds into wonky on-field results, which of course, bleeds into your tickets.
Oklahoma was -30 vs. Tulane in a game moved to their home stadium due to a hurricane, and won by five. Marshall was a -3 over Army and won by 42, Washington State was -17 vs. Utah State and lost by three. What I’m trying to say: it’s called gambling for a reason.
As for the SI Composite, Twitter user Andrew Percival runs an excellent metric consensus, and it seems like the numbers stacked up alright against other predictive models he tracked. It will take a few weeks for preseason projections to phase out of all of the various systems and normalize with the actual results of the 2021 season taking over.
Last week: 21-24-1, 46.7%
Season: 22-27-1, 43.9%
Composite Best Bets
The process behind the picks is briefly explained in my Week 1 column. Most of the time, the computer spits out something within one or two points of the real line (and at that point, sharp plays and whale plays are what’s moving the line anyway). But if the computer gives something more than three points, it’s worth a second look.
-Army (-6.5) over Western Kentucky
-Pitt (-3) over Tennessee
-Rutgers (-2) over Syracuse
-Memphis (-5.5) over Arkansas State
-Texas (-7) over Arkansas
-Utah (-7) over BYU
-South Carolina (-2) over ECU
-NC State (-2.5) over Mississippi State
-Missouri (+5.5) over Kentucky
-Vanderbilt (+7) over Colorado State
-Tulsa (+13) over Oklahoma State
-UAB (+24.5) over Georgia
-Buffalo (+13.5) over Nebraska
-Oregon (+14.5) over Ohio State
-Eastern Michigan (+26) over Wisconsin
-North Texas (+22.5) over SMU
-New Mexico State (+19) over New Mexico
-Toledo (+17) over Notre Dame
-Kansas (+26) over Coastal Carolina
-UTEP (+26) over Boise State
-Georgia State (+26) over North Carolina
-UNLV (+34) over Arizona State
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