Okay, I’ve never had my own column for picking winners before. Alas, with my only column these days being the EPL wrap-up column every week, we had to figure something out to get me writing articles on a more regular basis [Editor’s Note: You can pitch and write on your own ideas too!]. So here’s my first ever gambling column going into tomorrow’s College Football games. If I do well, then we’ll continue it for the rest of the season. If it doesn’t go over well, then we gave it a shot. Still, it’s about time my gambling addiction came in handy.
I’ll have three “Big Money” picks this week, in addition to one specialty parlay.
Note: All picks will be against the spread, and all odds, unless otherwise noted, are -110 (or 10/11). That means you need to bet $110 to win $100, and the ratio stays the same for however much you bet.
Alright, here are my picks for this Saturday’s College Football action:
Kansas (+9) at Northern Illinois
Kansas is getting its leading rusher from last season James Sims back from suspension going into this game, but Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox have filled in for him rather well despite his absence the first three games. They’ve started off 1-2, but I think they’ve got enough here to beat the spread at Northern Illinois.
Miami (Ohio) (-24.5) v UMass
High-octane passing game at home against a team that’s coming off three consecutive spankings against BCS Conference opponents? I’ll take that. I’m weary about spotting 24 points, but willing to take the risk here.
Louisville (-13.5) at Florida International
Not exactly thrilled to be going with this pick, but Florida International beat Louisville 24-17 in their meeting at Louisville last season. Louisville’s starting off the season well, however, and should have that humiliation from last year fresh in its mind going into this one.
Washington State (-20) v Colorado
I’m going to sum this up for you rather sweetly: Colorado is fucking horrible. They’ve not only lost to Colorado State and Sacramento State in close games, but they’re also coming off a humiliating blowout to Fresno State. Lay the 20 points and expect the Buffs’ miserable season to continue in their first Pac-12 game of the season.
Arkansas (-9) v Rutgers
I know Arkansas’s got injury problems and has lost to UL-Monroe & Alabama at home, but they should be strong enough to bounce back here. Yes, Rutgers is 3-0 and coming off a big Thursday Night win at South Florida, but John L. Smith needs this game to somewhat salvage the season (and his locker room).
Under 59.5 UAB at Ohio State
The Ohio State offense has been out there for a little while, and chinks in the armor are starting to show in spite of their 3-0 start. While UAB might not get much going with the ball, they should be able to give Braxton and Co. a tough time as the Buckeyes play their last tune-up before the Big Ten schedule starts.
Three “Big Money” picks
Notre Dame (-5.5) v. Michigan
As much as I hate to say it: Notre Dame looks legit right now. The defense is playing very well, while the offense is carrying the load and doing its job so far. Michigan, however, hasn’t really had a conventional opponent since Alabama. Air Force is an option offense that Big Ten teams don’t usually run, and UMass is, well, UMass. So take Notre Dame here against the spread. Still, I’d love it if both of these teams could lose. Seriously, could we please try to make that happen?
Florida State (-14) v Clemson
Okay, before you all get started: Yes, Florida State hasn’t played anybody yet. But they’re kicking the shit out of whoever the hell they do play. I mean, you gotta be doing something right to win 69-3, 55-0 and 52-0 your first three games. Yes, Clemson is much tougher than Murray State, Savannah State and Wake Forest, but that defense is still suspect. Remember the Orange Bowl against West Virginia? I mean, that was only 9 months ago…
Auburn (+20.5) v Louisiana State University
This one is based on history more than anything. This is a massive rivalry game, with Auburn and LSU always playing tough (and close) games against each other in Auburn. Yes, Auburn has struggled in their early season games so far, but I have my doubts that this will be a blowout by LSU. Take the points and look for Auburn to give LSU a bit of a scare here.
South Carolina (-3 / under 55.5) v. Missouri (line: -130)
Alright, there’s my picks. Enjoy, and remember: if you’re dumb enough to bet your house on one of these recommendations, then you deserve what happens to you.
Follow Greg on Twitter @njny