You know the old saying, kids —- gambling is a game of inches. So close, but yet so far away, and that was the story for us last weekend. Sure, we will take 4-2 every weekend, all season long. However, we were SO close to a clean sweep for the week.
Our two losses last weekend? Well, the first one was Penn State on Saturday laying 21 points to Pitt, a game whose line moved down to -18.5 by kickoff. Penn State won by 19, so maybe if we had waited to fire (full disclosure — in real life, I did wait to place actual money until Saturday). The other game we lost had the Falcons -7 in Chicago, and they won by six points.
Again, so close, but "almost" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. It certainly counts for nothing in wagering. The good news is that we get right back at it this week, and try for the elusive 6-0!
SOUTH CAROLINA -6.5 over Kentucky
Don't look now, but Will Muschamp, after being run out of Florida, has the Gamecocks 2-0 on the season, and they just held Missouri, who can score, to 13 points on the road. (In fact, there's a really good chance that South Carolina arrives in College Station on September 30 with a 4-0 record, with Sumlin and company coming off another "Hot Seat Ladder Match" game against Bret Bielema and Arkansas the week before. Fun times!) Kentucky, meanwhile, struggled to beat Eastern Kentucky last weekend. Take the Cocks here. (Yes, I snickered at that sentence.)
Clemson -2.5 at LOUISVILLE
I know this is a tough putt for Clemson, playing Auburn and Louisville in back-to-back weeks, but I will take Dabo's defense over Petrino's offense — yes, even with a Heisman Trophy-winning QB and the home field advantage — in a big early-season spot like this. Put simply, I have super-strong gamble-trust in Dabo Swinney, and not so much in Petrino.
DUKE -13.5 over Baylor
My son is a freshman at Baylor so I watched virtually every minute of the UTSA "upset" of the Bears on Saturday, and I came to this conclusion — that Baylor team is not a good football team. They can't block anybody, their QB can't throw and their defense can't get off the field on third down. Oklahoma might hang 80 on them next week. So if they're not going to win; at the very least, I am going to pay my son's tuition by fading the Bears...and I will fade them until the oddsmakers catch up to them.
Texans/BENGALS UNDER 38.5
Much like Baylor, I watch every snap of every Texans game...and I will take the UNDER in their games until the oddsmakers catch up with them. That offense is horrific.
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Patriots -4.5 over SAINTS
As soon as the Patriots' embarrassing collapse at home against Kansas City in the season opener ended, I said, "I don't care who the Patriots are playing, nor do I care what the spread is...I am betting the Patriots in Week 2." So I guess the answers to those questions are "the Saints" and "minus 4.5." Well, let's roll, Tom Brady. Let's show the world you ain't dead yet!
Redskins +1 over RAMS
There's an old rule in gambling that a friend once told me — when a team wins by 28 or more the previous week, you fade them the next week, and you back the team they beat the week before. Well, the Rams beat the Colts 46-9 this past weekend, but I can't, in my right mind, back the Colts with Scott Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, no matter who they play. Instead, I will fade the Rams and take the Redskins to avoid an 0-2 start in Kirk Cousins's Quest For The Biggest Contract Ever (yes, this season has a proper noun status).
LAST WEEK: 4-2
SEASON RECORD: 7-5
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.