My girlfriend, Amy, and I moved into a new house this week, and as is bound to happen, the cable and Internet installation is about five days behind our move-in date. Unfortunately, it's arguably the five best days of the year to sit around and do nothing but watch television and surf the Internet.
So forgive me if this is one of the shorter Best Bets posts that I do, but right now I'm operating with a laptop that is getting Internet from a daisy-chained connection to my iPhone that is acting as a wi-fi hotspot, all while I watch DVDs of the first season of 24.
No cable, no conventional wi-fi, no Netflix, no xBox Live. It's the first-world equivalent of rubbing two sticks together in the middle of the woods. I'M DYING OVER HERE!!
Still, this will not stop me from sharing my moneymaking secrets for this week. I'm like the post office -- come hell, high water or delays from the cable company, I will get you your pick!!
Arkansas -3 over MISSOURI You know how the SEC has spent the past decade or so basically bullying all of the other conferences and making fun of them for being inferior to the SEC product? Well, I have a question -- how long until there's a civil war in the SEC and the SEC West begins bullying the SEC East the same way they denigrate the ACC or Big Ten? How much better is the SEC West than the SEC East? Well, the last-place team in the West (Arkansas, 2-5 in conference) is favored by a field goal over the first place team in the East (Mizzou, 6-1 in conference) on the SEC East leader's home field! And you know what? I think Arkansas wins this by at least seven, and maybe double digits, setting up Bret Bielema's squad for a decent bowl and a 2015 season where they enter as a major playoff sleeper.
UCLA -4 over Stanford UCLA is playing some solid ball right now, having won their last three games by double digits with wins over Arizona (currently 11th), at Washington (not an easy place to play), and USC (rivalry game). Stanford's offense is lacking, to say the least. UCLA needs an impressive win (which would put them in the Pac-12 title game against Oregon), and then reasonably hopes that Texas beats TCU and Ole Miss beats Mississippi State, which would get the Bruins to the coveted sixth spot, close enough to where a win over Oregon gets them into the playoff.
Texas Tech/Baylor OVER 79.5 I will actually be playing whatever Baylor's team total is in this game. Given a spread of 25 on the game, that means Baylor's team total will probably be around 52 or so. That's the play, but since I want to give you something on this game, take the over. Baylor will score 60 themselves.
Titans/TEXANS UNDER 43 The Titans are starting rookie Zach Mettenberger for the second time this season against the Texans. if there's one thing the Texans do fairly well, it's shut down quarterbacks that they're supposed to shut down. On the offensive side of the ball, Ryan Fitzpatrick returns to handle QB duties, which is like Lindsay Lohan returning to give you a ride home. The offense, which seemed to get a bit of a boost from Ryan Mallett's taking over, has to be in for a bit of a letdown with Fitzpatrick coming back, even if he did shave his beard enough to downgrade it from "absurd" to just "sort of ridiculous."
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COLTS -10 over Redskins Fourteen of the 16 games on an NFL schedule are known well in advance, into perpetuity really. So we knew back in 2012, when Andrew Luck was drafted number one and Robert Griffin III number two, that these two quarterbacks would be facing off in Indy in 2014. Back then, it felt like we would be witnessing one of the next big rivalries. Now, here we are, two years later and Luck has held up his end of the bargain. Griffin, however, was just benched in favor of Colt McCoy (who is officially on the young end of "journeyman" status, with his third team in three years). So if you're keeping track at home, that's now two drafts in which the first two picks were QBs where the Colts got a future MVP and the next player taken was a hot mess (1998, Manning-Lead).
Giants -3 over JAGS This is a simple pick. Are the Giants bad? Of course. That's a dismal football team. The Jags, however, are a catastrophe. 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games, 2-8-1 ATS on the season, with no end in sight. How bad are the Jags? I'm taking Eli as a road favorite, that's how bad.
Last week: 4-2 Season total: 37-41