Remember when I was good at this? It seems like it was only a couple of years ago. Time really flies.
Of course, if I'd put Auburn-Jacksonville State on last week's platter, I'd have picked up another win. But I've been eschewing the easy money so far this season. Well, no more. After all, if we were gambling real money here rather than just bloviating For Entertainment Purposes Only, the entire purpose would be finding those value sure-bet picks.
So with that, here are five games you could theoretically make some cash on, if that weren't probably illegal wherever you are so don't do it.
|Saturday, 2 p.m. Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA|
JM: I'm absolutely blown away here. Massachusetts is a bad football team. Cincinnati and Penn State might not be good, but they're also not speed bumps. Temple handled them both, and easily. If Temple can beat Cincinnati by 8 in Cincinnati, they can beat Massachusetts by 11 in Foxboro. Owls cover.
LT: Yeah, I picked against Temple last week, and it didn't work out. I'm not making that mistake again. Also, did you know UMass lost to Colorado by 34 points last week? Colorado! Owls cover.
|Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Ohio Stadium, Columbus OH|
JM: Ohio State is really, really good. Really. It makes me sick. And this is not your Orange Bowl-bound Northern Illinois Huskies, either. But Northern Illinois is a good football team, and Ohio State only beat Hawai'i by 34 points last weekend. Are we seriously suggesting Northern Illinois is only a half-point better than the Rainbows? The Buckeyes win easily, but they don't cover.
LT: Whether it's an oversight on his part or just bad luck, I've seen Jon get this cocky and get games wrong (which is why I try not to do this, btw) to know I need to go against him at least once or twice this week. The trick is knowing which game to go for. Well, as it turns out, Jon took this same tack almost one year ago, when he went searching for the "value on the board." In that very post, Jon assured us Arkansas could not cover a 14-point spread against Northern Illinois. I disagreed, and Arkansas won by 38.
This year, Northern Illinois is not as good, and Ohio State is much better than Arkansas. Naturally, the point spread is much higher, too, but I don't really care. The Buckeyes are due for a blowout and they have all the talent necessary to do it. Ohio State covers.
|Saturday, 6:00 p.m. Mile High Stadium, Denver CO|
JM: This game opened at Colorado State -1, and now Colorado's a four-point favorite. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a pure case of "betting on the name". Joe Punter thinks Colorado is a Pac-12 team and Colorado State is a MWC team, so Colorado should win. I have news for you. Both teams stomped competition they should stomp for their lone wins; in their losses, Colorado State lost by a field goal to a decent Minnesota team while Colorado lost by a touchdown to Hawai'i. Rams cover.
LT: As I alluded to above, Colorado is not a good football game. I'm not as impressed as Jon by a field goal loss to Minnesota (in overtime because the Rams fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in the extra period, I should add), but I've still seen enough to know Colorado State can handle this one. Rams cover.
|Saturday, 7:00 p.m. Glass Bowl, Toledo OH|
JM: I hate to pile onto the abject misery of our Farmageddon Brothers at WRNL, but look. Arkansas isn't a bad team. They're just not a great team. And Toledo went into War Memorial and punched the physical Razorbacks right in the mouth. Iowa State hasn't shown anything except their ability to beat a really good FCS team. Toledo's going to cover that spread.
LT: Oh, Iowa State. Jon and I both picked the Cyclones to cover last week against Iowa, and look how that worked out. They just haven't beaten a good team in a while, and yes, Toledo looks to be fairly decent. Phillip Ely passed for 237 yards against Arkansas, so he might hit 300 against Iowa State. Rockets cover.
|Saturday, 7:00 p.m. The Coliseum, Los Angeles CA|
JM: Okay, so USC hasn't actually played anyone. They destroyed Idaho, and they destroyed... ummm... sorry, Luke. I didn't mean to hit you with transitive backsplash. Stanford's not very good this year, and no, beating UCF 31-7 is not meaningful. Not after UCF lost to Florida International. One of two things is true: either USC is grossly overrated (again), which is entirely possible, or USC's going to cover. For now, we'll assume the latter.
LT: I'm not worried about the transitive property as it relates to Mizzou winning. Really, I'm not. Anyone who didn't think there would be growing pains with all the inexperience at receiver and defensive line, not to mention a new defensive coordinator, is crazy. As long as they don't suffer another stupid nonconference loss, I'm happy. But anyway, this isn't about Missouri.
It's true that Stanford isn't that good, but then again, that hasn't stopped the Cardinal from giving the Trojans trouble in the past. USC hasn't won this game by more than 3 points since 2008, when No. 6 USC was still tied at halftime with a Stanford team that wouldn't even make a bowl game. Maybe it's the physicality or the powerful running attack (yes, barely averaging 3 yards per carry against both Northwestern and UCF is troubling) but Stanford seems to have USC's number. The Trojans may well sneak away with another narrow win here, but I don't think they're covering that spread.