1. First things first: as this column implies, I frequently check out a few online gambling sites, in order to keep up on spreads so that I can make picks for this column (and for that alone, obviously, because gambling is illegal and breaking the law is bad). The past couple of weeks, I have noticed a trend: The Boise State game hasn’t even been on the board. The Broncos are on such a roll, they are murdering their conference schedule so badly, that the good folks over at Bovada can’t even come up with a number big enough to post the Boise State game on the board. They know that if they post Boise State -70, Brett will just make sure they win by 71. It’s unbelievable. They know that nobody in their right mind would bet against Boise State the way that they’re playing. Can’t blame them for wanting to stay in business, I guess.
2. According to the people who know this sort of thing, the Michigan State-Michigan line has swung about 16 points since the beginning of the year. Michigan is favored by 8 at home this week. If the game had been played week 1, State would have been laying 7 or 8.
3. This is a hockey note but I’m putting it in here because whatever sue me. Do yourself a favor and don’t google any NHL draft picks that are in the league, because if you do that, you will see that 3 of them, Daniel Sprong, Noah Hanafin and Connor McDavid, were born in 1997. That’s TERRIFYING. 1997 was like 15 minutes ago, and these guys were born that year. And they’re playing in the NHL. Craziest part is that I already knew that and it still caught me off guard when I saw it.
4. The above is an example, but I can’t ever remember football taking as much of a back seat in its own season as it has this week. The NFL and NCAA have 100% taken a back seat to the MLB playoffs at the moment and that is a rare occurrence. I think that it is due to a couple of things, first and foremost because the first round of these playoffs have been awesome (and it doesn’t hurt that Chicago, New York, LA and Toronto and Houston – the five biggest North American cities- are prominently involved), and also because to be honest the NFL kinda sucks right now. Without getting into it, there are only 3 or 4 teams that are worth getting fired up. Anyways, I talked about how bananas Monday and Tuesday were, and I hadn’t even included Monday night football. Last night I was going 3 screens in class, but if I needed to take one down for notes it was the SEC/Pac12 game, not the hockey or MLB playoffs. It’s nothing against the way football is going, just a testament to how exciting a time of year this is.
5. Wait people thought Jeff Goff was gonna win the Heisman? That was a real conversation? Here is my expert analysis on that: HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA. No.
6. As a Boise State fan, constantly being outraged because a team who has a worse record than us is being given an opportunity we aren’t, I have to feel bad for Toledo right now. Boise State, as good as they look right now, has a loss. Toledo does not, and yet it is the Broncos that are ranked a spot ahead of the Rockets already this year. NOW, do I think that the Rockets deserve to be above the Broncos…not really, because I think that Boise State would CRUSH Toledo if they came together, but the fact is right now Boise State has an L, and Toledo does not, so Boise State fans of all people can empathize with presumptions about teams overriding actual records, especially with a New Years Bowl at stake for the highest ranked small conference school.
7. Listen, as a sports fan, and as a football fan, I LOVE having games on Thursday night. It is wonderful that the Pac12 and the NFL are willing to give us 2 meaningful games on an otherwise dreary sports night. As someone who has a picks column and a ton of other obligations, though? Yeah, I’m not a huge fan. I’m not complaining, I can just skip the Thursday games for the picks, but there is no CHANCE that I’m getting the picks in by then on a week to week basis. I GOT BILLS TO PAY (but not really because I’m in school and I’m actually just raking in debt but whatever) PEOPLE.
8. Like I said, when I looked at Bovada, the Boise State game was not listed. When I googled ‘Boise State Utah State Bovada,’ a link appeared but that just redirected to CFB lines, of which Boise State was not one. I have found a line though, on sites that just report lines and don’t take them, at 8.5. If that is in fact the line, allow me to hypothetically HAMMER the Broncos on this one. Score prediction: 38-17 Boise.
9. I need a few recurring themes here, since it takes FOREVER to think of 10 topics to write on and to get this column done (I spend more time on this 1100ish word piece than I do on some 2000 word columns, usually) so I am going to introduce a new one: Hype video of the week. I will do this for a few reasons. One is the reason above, two is that hype videos are awesome, three is that they are everywhere on the internet now, so they are super easy to find, and four is that it’s super easy to embed YouTube videos. And five is that they’re awesome. This week’s comes to us from the good folks at Texas A&M, who are probably going to make me feel stupid when they are down 20 to Bama and I picked A&M.
(And as long as we’re throwing out A&M videos, may as well throw it back to the 🐐🐐🐐)
10. THE PICKS
I have a new philosophy when picking games for this week. I usually try to formulate a theory of how the game will be played, what the most likely scenarios are for the four quarters (will one team be airing it out and jumping away, will it be a four quarter battle or a defensive struggle, will the starters be out and the backups responsible for the outcome etc), and make picks from there. This week I decided to try to think about which side could be down on the spread at half time and make me go ‘wow I’m an idiot for betting on/against X.’ Call it the ‘I’m an idiot for betting against Alabama rule.’ I also ignored this theory a couple of times, including picking A&M over the namesake of the rule, so whatever.
We roared out to 6-1 last week, but faded on the NFL and ended up 6-3-1. Still, that’s two weeks in a row in the black and we’re climbing back out of this hole, finally. Another week above .500 and we are back to even on the year.
BYU (-6.5) over Cincinnati
Georgia Tech (-3.5) over Pitt
Michigan State (+7.5) over Michigan
Texas A&M (+4) over Alabama
Oklahoma (-4) over Kansas State
South Carolina (-3) over Vandy
Clemson (+16) over BC
Notre Dame (-7) over USC
Broncos (-5) over Browns
Ravens (-2) over 49ers
6-3-1 last week, 23-24-3 on the year