DISCLAIMER: This Series is called “Bad Gambling Advice.” Should you rely on this post to bet actual money on the outcomes of sporting events, that is your fault, not mine. After all, this post is titled “Bad Gambling Advice,” and what part of “Bad Gambling Advice” do you not understand?
After a 2-0 start to the season in Week 0, Bad Gambling Advice started to live up to its name in Week 1.
Well, actually... on totals bets, Bad Gambling Advice was actually very good gambling advice, going 7-3-1. On over/unders, we’re now 8-3-1 on the season. If you just bet the over/unders, you’re doing pretty well. But on point spreads, the column went 4-6-1 last week, which makes it now 5-6-1 ATS on the season. No, I did not go out on a limb and call Georgia State to beat Tennessee outright, but I did say they’d beat the 26-point spread, a tidbit I throw in mostly to remind you that Tennessee lost outright in a game in which they were favored by 26 points.
Anyway... here is this week’s schedule of SEC games, along with my picks. Note that lines may have moved by the time the column goes up. Of course, if you’re actually relying on this column to bet actual money on these games, that’s your fault.
(All times Central.)
West Virginia at Missouri (11:00 AM, ESPN2)
You might be thinking that West Virginia getting 14 points against a Missouri team that was most recently seen losing to Wyoming is free money, but that’s probably because you didn’t see West Virginia struggle with James Madison last week. Now, James Madison is a good FCS team, but it’s still an FCS team, and there is no reason why you should have 34 yards rushing for the game against them. Plus Missouri is probably better than what they showed against Wyoming. As far as the total, I like this game to go Under 62.5, not because I think much of Missouri’s defense, but because I don’t think much of West Virginia’s offense.
Charleston Southern at South Carolina (11:00 AM, SEC Network)
No line on this one, so no pick, but remember that time Vanderbilt played Charleston Southern? Actually, you know what, don’t.
Vanderbilt at Purdue (11:00 AM, Big Ten Network)
So this line has gotten all the way down to 7 points, which makes me a little bit more skittish about taking Vanderbilt and the points than I was earlier in the week (when you might have been able to get as many as 9.5 points on the Commodores.) But only a little bit; it’s still a push if Vanderbilt loses by a touchdown, and I’m actually convinced they win this game outright. As far as the total, we’ll go Over 55.5, as Vanderbilt now gets to face a defense that is much more porous than the Georgia defense they faced last week — and on the other side, no, Vanderbilt’s defense isn’t keeping Purdue off the board.
Texas A&M at Clemson (2:30 PM, ABC)
A lot of college football people have spent the offseason talking themselves into Jimbo Fisher’s second Texas A&M team, and then you remember that Clemson is an absolute buzzsaw and Texas A&M getting 17.5 points doesn’t sound like free money any more. Actually, it still does to some people, but not to me. Meanwhile, neither team’s defensive effort in Week 1 suggests that Under 64 is a bad play; that’s actually a lot of points for two teams with good defenses. A 42-21 Clemson win sounds about right.
Southern Miss at Mississippi State (2:30 PM, ESPNU)
The hard part about this column is that sometimes, my SEC-centric college football watching leaves me with relatively little insight for nonconference opponents, and that’s the case here. Mississippi State got in a bit of a shootout against UL Lafayette last week, but I don’t feel too bad about laying 16.5 this week — of course, I probably know next to nothing about Southern Miss, and that’s why this column is called Bad Gambling Advice. Meanwhile, how the hell is the total just 52? Take the Over and don’t think twice about it.
New Mexico State at Alabama (3:00 PM, SEC Network)
Like Nick Saban cares enough about a game against New Mexico State to bother with keeping the starters in long enough to cover a 54.5-point line. But I am confident in Under 64, because New Mexico State isn’t going to cover by scoring more than like a field goal. This game will end with a score of 56-3 with Alabama’s third string playing most of the second half.
Murray State at Georgia (3:00 PM, ESPN2)
Uhhhh, why the hell is this game on ESPN2? Anyway, no line on this one, thanks for asking.
BYU at Tennessee (6:00 PM, ESPN)
Do you think Tennessee’s Week 1 performance was a fluke? I don’t, either, and BYU getting 3.5 points is something that actually feels like free money. Tennessee can dick-trip its way into winning by a field goal and you still win! I also like these teams to go Under 51.5, because of course.
LSU at Texas (6:30 PM, ABC)
I’m not necessarily bound by my picks in the AoG Staff Picks in this column, because DotP bases those picks on lines from earlier in the week, and sometimes that gives me pause about a particular line. Like this one. LSU laying 4.5 points against a Texas team that feels a bit too hyped? I love it. LSU laying 6.5, though? Ehhhhh... I’ll still lay the points, but I don’t feel as good about it. But I do think the defenses in this one lean pretty strongly toward Under 55.5 points.
Tulane at Auburn (6:30 PM, ESPN2)
This is a prime example of where a team is just flat-out better than what the oddsmakers thought they were before the season, and the oddsmakers just haven’t caught up yet — and you can take advantage of it. Tulane looked phenomenal in its season opener against FIU, to the point that I will not be surprised if they take Auburn (which spent most of its season opener floundering against Oregon) to the wire. And they’re getting 18 points? I love it. I will also go Over 51.5, because these should be two offenses that can score on the defenses.
UT-Martin at Florida (6:30 PM, ESPNU)
Did you know that Florida plays two FCS teams this year? What the hell?
Eastern Michigan at Kentucky (6:30 PM, SEC Network)
I still don’t completely trust Kentucky, which struggled to put away Toledo last week (though they did end up winning by two touchdowns.) Eastern Michigan is another decent MAC team and is getting 15 points here. On the other hand, Kentucky strangely scored 38 points last week, so I will go Over 53.5 points in this one.
Arkansas at Ole Miss (6:30 PM, SEC Network)
Tennessee blowing a game against Georgia State took a lot of attention away from how godawful both of these teams looked last week. Ole Miss had -1 rushing yards at the half and managed just 173 yards of total offense for the game against Memphis, a team that’s not exactly known for its defense. Arkansas actually won last week, but that was against FCS Portland State, and by a score of 20-13. Meanwhile, these two teams combined for 30 points in Week 1, so yes, let’s go with Under 50.5, because this much offensive ineptitude cannot be stopped.