Welcome to the hardest week to bet.
Now, I don’t have the data to back this up but I do have the vibe: I absolutely loathe betting rivalry week. First of all we have the classic “throw the records out” theory (fallacy?) of the fact that weird things tend to happen when teams that have played for 100 years get it on. You never know who’s going to be newly motivated after sleepwalking through the last month or so. The other thing is obviously the interim coach factor. We’ve had more of that than usual last year, but it can be hard to peg which coaching staffs are fully in it.
There’s also the fact that a hefty amount of teams have a relatively short week to contend with, with some potentially scrapping for bowl eligibility with others more or less ready to fold up the tents and pack it in until spring practice. There’s just far too much narrative this week and when you mix that with our, well, relatively poor composite results this season it’s enough to fill the belly with some heavier than usual butterflies while filling out bet slips this week. At least I’ll have turkey to soothe the queasiness.
LW: 28-34-0, 45.2%
Season: 307-342-6, 47.3%
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.
-Boise State (-2.5) over San Diego State
-Coastal Carolina (-14.5) South Alabama
-Cincinnati (-13.5) over ECU
-Louisiana Tech (-3.5) over Rice
-UTSA (-11) over North Texas
-West Virginia (-15) over Kansas
-Alabama (-19.5) over Auburn
-Clemson (-11) over South Carolina
-Buffalo (+6.5) over Ball State
-Eastern Michigan (+9) over Central Michigan
-Troy (+6.5) over Georgia State
-Charlotte (+9.5) over Old Dominion
The Big Dogs
-Missouri (+14) over Arkansas
-Colorado (+23.5) over Utah
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