Four weeks in the books, and we're hovering above the treading water line, despite weekly like-clockwork bleeding from Bonus Bets. Turns out making less-than-in-depth selections may not be the best strategy?
WEEK FOUR REVIEW
On the plus side, two of the dogs we loved - Mississippi State and Indiana - not only covered but won outright. So far this season we've done a pretty darn good job of identifying those live dog scenarios. WVU ran out of steam against OU, with a late first half kick return TD contributing to the Sooner cover. Toledo was outside the number for us late, but let Ball State come in through the back door. Frustrating to handicap four games well and come out 2-2. Then there was Florida. Oh, Gators. Oh, Muschamp. You are so, so fired, sir. Without fortuitous turnover luck in UF's favor, Bama would have won this game by 42+.
Bonus Bets. Oof. At least we finally got a total right, as Cal at Arizona sailed over the number (and delivered a fantastic Hail Mary finish for the degenerates that stayed up late to watch). But Rice played most of the game with their backup QB (second time that's bitten us on a wager this season) and A&M did not look ahead and let SMU hang around. We've delivered a 1-2 Bonus Bet record for four straight weeks.
All told we leaked 127 GBHs.
CURRENT BANKROLL: 10,080 GBHs
THE WEEKLY CARD
Not many underdogs to love this weekend, especially in outright upset scenarios. Many of the nation's best teams have byes or cupcakes.
THE GAME Baylor -21.5 at Iowa State
There is still a perception that Baylor is the woodchipper that they were last season, and that's just not the case. Yet. Two occasions I fear Mark Mangino: (1) When he's going up against a Golden Corral Buffet (2) When he's going up against a Phil Bennett defense. It's the first truly hostile road environment for the Bears this season (the trip to Buffalo doesn't count). It's a fade-the-public play in Ames. Paul Rhodes will be SO PROUD of his team keeping it within three touchdowns.
THE BET Iowa State +21.5, risking 77 GBHs to win 70
THE GAME Memphis +21.5 at Ole Miss
Memphis is not overmatched athletically and has a modicum of talent, as they showed against UCLA. But more importantly, this is a motivational mismatch. Memphis sees this as a rivalry game of sorts, with Ole Miss the city school that's a little more than an hour's drive away. Meanwhile, Ole Miss has comfortably handled teams so far this season and is looking ahead to the huge showdown with Alabama next week. The public is backing the name brand here, but the line has dropped from 24 to as low as 20. Ole Miss will win, but it won't be as easy as the Rebels would like.
THE BET Memphis +21.5, risking 77 GBHs to win 70
THE GAME Minnesota +13 at Michigan
Michigan is a wounded dog after the disgusting home loss to a rather good Utah team. A loss that was fueled by turnovers, by the way. The Wolverines are undervalued commodity and are more talented than Minnesota at nearly all positions, especially along the lines. The public is buying the "Michigan sucks!" hype, but the line has grown from 8 to 13. Smart money on the maize and blue. Brady Hoke is coaching for his career and will deliver the blowout conference win over the Gophers to keep the angry mob at bay. For now.
THE BET Michigan -13, risking 77 GBHs to win 70
THE GAME Colorado +14 at Cal
Another bounce back scenario for a team coming off a crushing defeat. Cal just flat ran out of gas against Arizona, with the Wildcats running more than 100 plays and breaking the Bear defense. Nevertheless, Sonny Dykes' team continues to show improvement in year two, and Colorado is simply not a good team. At all. The Buffaloes have a near zero YPP differential against a schedule that's been comprised of Colorado State, UMass, Arizona State, and Hawaii. The Bears get a convincing win at home in Berkeley.
THE BET Cal -14, risking 77 GBHs to win 70
THE GAME Stanford -7.5 at Washington
The Huskies are another team with a misleading record. They're 4-0 against Hawaii, Eastern Washington, Illinois, and Georgia State. Not exactly a who's who of power programs. Yet they're only outgaining those opponents by 0.31 YPP (5.52 YPP to 5.31 YPP). Sure, they're at home, but as long as David Shaw doesn't forget how to call plays in the red zone - always a risk - this is a game that Stanford is poised to dominate. We only wish we got this number earlier in the week when it was at 6.5 or 7.
THE BET Stanford -7.5, risking 77 GBHs to win 70
Ohio State -17 (risking 33 GBHs to win 30) Our man Urban is a covering machine, and he's even more reliable coming off a bye week. Like, 70%+ against the spread.
Texas A&M and Arkansas OVER 72 (risking 33 GBHs to win 30) Kliff gave Spav a cheat sheet and we're dropping 50+ on BERT.
10 point 3-team teaser! Notre Dame PK / USC +1 / Penn State PK (risking 33 GBHs to win 30) Rarely do the stars align for such a delicious hate bet. Any of these teams losing is worth the price of the wager.
Let's see your best bets in the comments, and may fortune smile on your picks this weekend!