Football! This Weekend's Best Bets: Stanford, Wisconsin & Other Bullies
Not seen at Camp Randall.
Nobody likes a bully. Unless, of course, that bully can win you some money!
Through the first ten weeks of the college football season, in my mind, four BCS conference college football teams have set themselves apart as "bullies" of the college football world, meaning if they are playing a completely overmatched opponent, chances are they are covering the spread.
The four teams?
Wisconsin, Oregon, Stanford and Oklahoma State.
My application of the "bully" label was initially based purely on my own perception, the quintessential "eyeball" test. Nothing statistical. So being the thorough gambling journalist that I am, I did the research to see if the numbers back up my perception.
Lo and behold, it turns out that in games where they are favored by 14 or more, the four neighborhood bullies are combined 21-4-2 against the spread! The trend is our friend, but unfortunately two of those teams play each other this weekend, so our moneymaking opportunities are pared down a tad.
Let's see if we can get back on the above-.500 track, riding bullies!
Oklahoma State -17 over TEXAS TECH It's hard to believe that less than three weeks ago, Texas Tech is the team that ended Oklahoma's six-year home-field winning streak. Since then, they've gotten rolled by 34 at home by Iowa State and last week got curb-stomped by Texas in a game where the Red Raider defense looked like they quit after one quarter. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State scores against EVERYBODY they play. Another "name your score" Saturday for the Cowboys.
Wisconsin -27 1/2 over MINNESOTA Of the four "bullies," Wisconsin actually best fits the true bully definition. You see, the other three teams have lost a combined one game, and that's Oregon's loss to LSU. But Wisconsin has bludgeoned every single bad team they've played and lost to every halfway-decent team they've played. Picking on the weak, turtling when challenged -- the true meaning of a bully. Fortunately, Minnesota qualifies as weak.
Nebraska -3 1/2 over PENN STATE I've done the research, and no team has ever covered the spread in a home game against a team coming off a straight-up loss to a double-digit dog at home in the same week where their head coach was fired for concealing a child-rape scandal that occurred in the team's locker-room showers. So yeah, Penn State is toast.
Oregon +3 1/2 over STANFORD Speed, speed and more speed. I'm feeling a game like last year, where Stanford had an early 21-3 lead and it still never felt safe and they ended up getting run off the field by a few touchdowns. Oregon is really good.
DOLPHINS -4 over Redskins The Dolphins proved last week that, despite the fact that their ownership is already moving on to the next coaching chapter, they're still actually trying. Conversely, the Redskins may be the worst team in football outside of Indianapolis. Lay the four points.
Ravens/SEAHAWKS under 41 I've come to realize that Joe Flacco is a quarterback who will pleasantly surprise you when he's absolutely not supposed to (in Pittsburgh last Sunday) and torment every fiber of your wagering soul when he should come up big (Jacksonville two weeks ago). The Ravens and Flacco SHOULD beat the Seahawks by two touchdowns. So I'm assuming that Seattle wins straight up. Upset special -- Seahawks 17, Ravens 16.
Last week: 3-3 Season record: 33-27
Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio and 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.