Football! This Weekend's Best Bets: Take the Bullies
Nobody likes a bully.
That is, nobody likes a bully unless that bully can win you piles of loot by doing their bully things. And that's exactly what the gambling gods have continued to bless us with this season.
As I outlined last week, if you just rode the four biggest bullies (Wisconsin, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Stanford, teams that pound much weaker opponents into humiliating submission) in college football this season in games where they were favored by 14 or more, you would have been 21-4-2 against the spread.
Well, make that 23-4-2. The rule hit again twice last weekend.
As Kramer would say, "It's a LOCK, JERRY..."
So no need to get fancy with this week's Best Bets. All four of The Bullies (Yes, they now have proper-noun status) are favored by 14 or more, so let's get right to it...
Oklahoma State -27 over IOWA STATE With Stanford falling by the wayside last week, the Cowboys unquestionably control their own destiny now as the only other undefeated BCS conference team alongside LSU. They can smell the finish line. If they're going to stumble, it will be in the Bedlam game against Oklahoma on December 3. As last week's 66-6 trouncing of Texas Tech proved, inferior Big 12 opponents get steamrolled by Brandon Weeden. This Friday night tilt gets us out to a nice start this weekend.
Wisconsin -14 1/2 over ILLINOIS After starting out 6-0, Illinois has lost four straight and when questioned about his job security this week at his press conference, Illini head coach Ron Zook up and walked out of the media session. To be fair, he did warn the media that if they asked about his job, he would leave, but when have threats ever stopped the media? At least Zook is a man of his word.
STANFORD -17 1/2 over Cal Stanford got exposed a little bit a couple weeks ago by USC when they needed overtime to knock off the Trojans. Against Oregon, they were flat out outclassed, and the message was clear -- against speedy, athletic, talented teams, the Cardinal is at a disadvantage. Fortunately for them this weekend, Cal is not speedy, athletic nor talented.
OREGON -14 1/2 over USC Of all the bullies, Oregon is the one that I'm most fearful of taking this weekend. But rules are rules. We're riding this one till it bucks us. Don't overthink it. Also, Lane Kiffin is prominently involved on the opposite side of this wager, so we have that going for us. Which is nice.
49ERS -9 1/2 over Cardinals Coming off a huge upset of the Eagles last week in Philadelphia, Arizona goes back on the road against what might be the best team in the NFC outside of Green Bay. I'm pretty sure Arizona used up every ounce of equity in their "cover the spread on the road" account last week. Jim Harbaugh will pound these guys.
BEARS -3 1/2 over Chargers I say San Francisco might be the best team in the NFC outside of Green Bay because it is quite possible that it could be the Chicago Bears, and before you laugh, go look at their last four games -- two home wins in division by 29 and 24 over the Vikings and Lions, respectively, and two road wins over Philly and Tampa Bay. Not bad. With Devin Hester continuing to make his case for best return guy in the history of the sport, and with the defense playing at an upper echelon level, this is starting to feel like the 2006 Bears, only with better skill guys on offense. Admittedly, Rex Grossman's absence makes it feel really different still. I love the Bears in this spot in the first of four straight games against the AFC West. (How weird is that? The most important team in deciding the AFC West race may be the Chicago Bears.)
Last week: 5-1 Season record: 38-28
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.
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