For Entertainment Purposes Only- Week 2 Letdowns, Lookaheads, & Overreactions

Note:  We use this column to examine the college football landscape and the weekend ahead.  The use of gambling numbers helps to show the public perception of a team and of their respective conferences.  Even if you don't gamble, or are against gambling, this is worth a read solely because it will keep you informed of the happenings with many of college football's teams.  Think of this as your weekend primer!

Welcome to another edition of For Entertainment Purposes Only!  Last year, this rather informal column went 251-190 (57%) +41.0 That's 251 wins and 190 losses for a winning percentage of 57%.  If you were wagering $100 fake dollars per game, you would have netted $4100 at season's end.  But since these are fake wagers, we refer to our wager amount as "units."  First though, a disclaimer: 

I want to emphasize that we don't endorse gambling at this site, and anything on here is for entertainment purposes only.  Always check with your local, state, or federal laws to determine the legality of wagering.

First we discussed some wagers for conference and division winners.  Since then, the odds on Clemson have gone from +1000 to +300, and Ole Miss went from +350 to +200.  No odds went against our decisions.  

Then we went over season win totals.  Vegas set the number, we called it over or under!

Last week we went 20-24 (45%), -6.3 Units, and that's where we sit right now going into week 2.  

We like to play a lot of games to grind out the variance.  The swings over 500 games aren't nearly as dramatic as they are over 100.  It's as simple as grinding out the sample set.  

This week, we have a theme:   overreactions.  Everyone wants to make a huge deal out of what happened in week 1 and throw everything we knew about a team out the window.  That's dumb, but we can take advantage of it with our wagers.  

We start first with Clemson +4.5 (+100) @ Georgia Tech.  I think highly of both teams, as frequent readers know.  Clemson is the more talented team, though the public is still down on them after they fell far short of expectations last year.  Clemson played Georgia Tech's option game very well last year and I think the Tigers have an excellent shot to win this Thursday Night road game.


On Friday, we have Colorado @ Toledo +4 .  I love Thursday Night home dogs, particularly when they are of the non-BCS conference variety.  Colorado is reeling after losing their huge rivalry game to Colorado State.  This is more of a bet against a Colorado team coming cross country after the emotional letdown than it is for a Toledo team which really isn't anything special.  

On to Saturday, where first up are Iowa -6 @ iowa State and  Iowa/ Iowa State Over 45.5.  Everyone is overreacting to Iowa's struggle with Northern Iowa on Saturday, and while that troubles me as well, there is little doubt in my mind that Iowa was looking ahead to this rivalry game.

A glutton for punishment?  Maybe so, as we are back on Ohio -3 (+100) @ North Texas Purdue @ Oregon -11 and Miami (OH) +37 @ Boise State.  I'd still make the Ohio play over again if I could go back to last week (Ohio lost to UConn by a TD), but the Oregon play was a dumb one.  I don't think much of Purdue, and look for Oregon to be vastly improved this weekend.  That line is majorly deflated because of their performance against Boise State.  Speaking of Boise, they are now a bit overrated and Miami (OH) is as well.  Boise just came off their biggest regular season game in program history and history says they come out unfocused.

Speaking of teams coming off a letdown, South Carolina +7 @ Georgia definitely qualifies.  Georgia is without their starting Left Tackle, but since that's not a sexy position, people don't care.  I do care, and this is often a low scoring game in which points are valuable.  Also, letdown angle is here after UGA lost their mega-game against Oklahoma State.

I think Washington will be on a bit of a letdown after losing a game they should have won against LSU.  Idaho +21 @ Washington.    The Huskies' offense looked great against LSU and I think this total is low, so I played Idaho/Washington Over 52.

Probably the most embarrassing team of last weekend was Virginia, who lost at home to William and Mary (seriously).  So why am I playing   TCU @ Virginia +11.5 and TCU/ Virginia Under 41 ?  Simple really, Virginia had some really bad luck, with 7 turnovers.  As we know, fumbles aren't random, but fumble recovery is, and UVA lost 4 or 5 fumbles.  They might beat TCU outright, but TCU is going cross-country to play a defensive minded team.  Expect an ugly, low scoring game.

Speaking of ACC disappointments, Wake Forest qualifies here as the Deacons lost at home to Baylor.  Still, I like playing teams hosting cross-country flyers, so I am going with Stanford @ Wake Forest -3 and Stanford/ Wake Forest Over 43.5.  Riley Skinner must play better if Wake is going to be any good, and I expect a 30-24 type game.

I have had a great feel for Louisiana Tech over the past two seasons, playing either on or off.  Last year, I had them beating Mississippi State outright in the season opener.  Last week, I had Auburn to cover over the Bulldogs, which they did.  I really liked what I saw from the dogs in the first half, however:  

Auburn Drives
1st Quarter
Start
Time
Time
Poss
Drive
Began
# of
Plays
Yards
Gained
Result
14:53 5:29 Aub 23 13 69 FG
4:53 3:20 Aub 34 10 66 TD
 
2nd Quarter
Start
Time
Time
Poss
Drive
Began
# of
Plays
Yards
Gained
Result
11:32 2:15 Aub 11 5 19 Punt
8:44 1:37 LT 32 5 26 Fumble
0:18 0:18 Aub 39 3 29 End Hal

Louisiana Tech Drives
1st Quarter
Start
Time
Time
Poss
Drive
Began
# of
Plays
Yards
Gained
Result
9:18 4:18 LT 27 8 73 TD
1:26 4:54 LT 25 9 27 Punt
 
2nd Quarter
Start
Time
Time
Poss
Drive
Began
# of
Plays
Yards
Gained
Result
9:17 0:33 LT 23 2 9 Fumble
7:07 6:44 LT 6 18 91 FG
 

The game was 13-10 Auburn going into halftime.  In the 2nd half, La Tech just got tired against a bigger, faster, and deeper team as Auburn ran a warp-speed 46 plays in the 2nd half.  The final score was 37-13, but that I watched the game and La Tech is a good football team.   That's why I am playing  La Tech +7.5 @ Navy.  We also have two other great angles here.  First, Navy is off a huge emotional letdown after coming oh so close to beating Ohio State.  The public also thinks Navy is a good team, thus inflating this line.  

Next up we have another fine example of the public overrating a team due to one week of performance as I am playing BYU @ Tulane +17.5 .  this is a fine example as well of a team in BYU traveling cross country two times in a row (last week at Dallas, this week to New Orleans).  BYU is riding high and has nowhere to go but down, and they also have the chance for a lookahead (FSU is next week).  

I mentioned this earlier, but Mississippi State is terrible, and Auburn runs a ton of plays (79 last game, 10 more than the national average).  That's why I like Miss St/ Auburn Over 40 (-120).  

Letdown in a huge, season-defining game?  Check.  Lack of focus?  Check.  Marshall +19 @ Virginia Tech.

I have no idea why the Longhorns agreed to do this, but Texas @ Wyoming +33.5  I can't see Texas having any motivation to play this game and this is Wyoming's biggest game in program history.  Texas also might be lookin forward to their revenge game against Texas Tech next week.

I think people are overreacting a big to Eastern Michigan's loss to Army over the weekend, so I played Eastern Michigan +20 @ Northwestern.  

Last week I went against the Nittany Lions and won with Akron.  I also took Syracuse to cover against Minnesota and they should have won that game, but did cover.  People are way overestimating Syracuse and this week JoePa greases the Alumni's pockets with a 45-7 win.  Syracuse @ Penn State -28 .  Side Note:  Penn State's scheduling practices are pathetic and I sort of hope they go undefeated just so they are left out of the BCS.  

Another team that is getting slightly too much love and is Oklahoma State.  They should have a letdown this week against a game Houston team.  Again, it is really unlikely these teams get up for games against lesser teams after winning or losing a big game.  Houston +15.5 @ Oklahoma State

The Cougar's pass defense is brutal and they don't have but one healthy scholarship cornerback.  The rainbow warriors run 4 and 5 wideouts all over the field.  You do the math here.  Hawaii -2 @ Washington State and Hawaii/ Wazu Over 51  I'm looking for a 34-24 type game.

I have to admit that I don't love this one as much, but I like the number.  Central Michigan +14.5 @ Michigan State.  CMU played like garbage against Arizona, but this is a huge game for them and is not a big game for Michigan State.  Oh, and lookahead anyone?  Who does MSU play next week?  That's right, the Irish.  And speaking of the Irish, they are the next play.  Notre Dame -3 (-118) @ Michigan.  Why?  The Irish impressed me not only with their offense but they really impressed me with their defense, and their offense is already legit.  Call me a square here but I look for a 27-20 type game.  

I continue to think Minnesota is overrated, as is most of the Big 10 which looked like a mid-major conference in terms of athleticism last Saturday, but I can't pass up Air Force @ Minnesota -3 (-115)  The Gophers are at home for their opener and I don't think Air Force steals this one.  Speaking of bad Big 10 teams, Indiana struggled with Eastern Kentucky, but I like the Hoosiers to beat Western Michiga @ Indiana -1

On to the boring national champs.  Troy is still without a lot of key players,, including both offensive tackles and their best linebacker.  UF's defense should be motivated and a shutout here won't surprise me.  Troy @ UF -36 and Troy/UF Under 59.5  Slightly scared of the UT lookahead, but Florida 48-7.

I happen to think the Mountaineers are better than they showed last week, and I don't trust this ECU team yet.  East Carolina @ West Viginia -6.5 (+100).  Devine and a much more efficient passing attack are the difference.

I feel uncomfortable with this now, but liked it more when I played it.  Tulsa -17 (-114) @ New Mexico.  In fact, Tulsa mighr be distracted with Oklahoma looming.  I refuse to hide my selections, however, so there it is.

Nebraska didn't play as well as the final score indicated last week against FAU and they should not be 3TD favorites over Arky State.  But since nobody knows anything about Arkansas State, the line is inflated.  Arkansas State +22 @ Nebraska.  Oh, and it's a lookahead for Nebraska as they travel to Virginia Tech next weekend.  

I believe I have a good handle on this game.  MTSU is a better team than Memphis, and they are better coached.  Memhis is off a short week, giving them fewer days to prepare.  Memphis just had a huge emotional letdown after playing tough with Ole Miss and then self destructing.  Memphis @ Middle Tennessee State -0.5, and Memphis/ Middle Tennessee State Under 52.5  I am looking for a score in the 27-17 area.  

In a game I expect to be ugly and sloppy, I took UCF +14.5 @ So. Miss, and UCF/ So Miss Under 51

Finally, a longshot.  Kansas State @ UL-Lafayette +245.  Kansas State almost lost at home to UMass, and UMass' QB went 10-34!!!  UMass forced 6 straight punts from K-State.  The Wildcat's program is a joke right now, and with a trip at UCLA looming for K-State, I expect Louisna Lafayette to pull the stunning upset.  Chris Mason for ULL can chuck the ball and a 31-27 win would make my day. 

 

List Form- for those who don't care why I like what I like:

Clemson +4.5 (+100)
Toledo +4
Iowa -6
Iowa Over 45.5
Ohio -3 (+100)
Oregon -11
South Carolina +7
Idaho/Washington Over 52
Virginia +11.5
Virginia Under 41
Wake Forest -3
Wake Forest Over 43.5
La Tech +7.5
Tulane +17.5
Miss St/ Auburn Over 40 (-120)
Marshal +19
Wyoming +33.5
Eastern Michigan +20
Penn State -28
Miami (OH) +37
Houston +15.5
Hawaii -2
Hawaii Over 51
Central Michigan +14.5
Notre Dame -3 (-118)
Idaho +21
Minnesota -3 (-115)
Indiana -1
Florida -36
Florida Under 59.5
West Virginia -6.5 (+100)
Tulsa -17 (-114)
Arkansas State +22
Middle Tennessee State U -0.5
Middle Tennessee State Under 52.5
UL-Lafayatte +245
UCF +14.5
UCF/ So Miss Under 51

 

 

Waiting On...  

Do not play bad numbers!!!  If you miss on the number you need, pass on the game.  This is an exercise in value acquisition.  You will bury yourself chasing bad numbers.

If I add any games, I will post them in the comment section.  Check back in the comment section for any updates.  

SMU (want 13 or 14)
FIU (want 35)
Duke (want 3)
Wisconsin (want -8 or less)
Kent St (want 21)
Rice (want 30, might take +28.5)
Bowling Green (want 21.5)
UTEP (want +14.5, might take +14)
San Jose State (want +14 or more)

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