This Weekend's Best Football Bets: Live From The East Coast
So my vacation rolls on and I just landed in the sports mecca -- Hartford, CT. Tonight I will be taking my talents to Rentschler Field (or as I like to call it, The House Orlovsky Built) for UConn against West Virginia.
So I land at 12:45 p.m. local time, get picked up at the airport by my buddy Chris, and was in total "Let's go tailgate!" mode. Come to find out that they don't allow tailgating until four hours before the game at UConn! A complete travesty. When I told Chris (in a tone where I essentially blamed him for this fiasco) that in places like the SEC they have motor homes partying four DAYS before the game, he just nodded his head in embarrassment, like I just found out he owned a Celine Dion box set.
So if you're keeping score at home, I am attending a Big East football game tonight and when comparing the Big East versus the SEC it appears the trade looks like this:
Big East trades hot chicks, weeklong tailgating and world-class college football to the SEC for Zach Frazier, foliage and literacy.
Houston Texans vs. Arizona Cardinals
TicketsSun., Nov. 19, 12:00pm
Rice Owls Football vs. North Texas
TicketsSat., Nov. 25, 12:00pm
Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers
TicketsSun., Dec. 10, 12:00pm
Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
TicketsMon., Dec. 25, 3:30pm
Houston Open - Good Any One Day Grounds
TicketsSun., Apr. 1, 11:59pm
All that's missing is the Big East getting Tracy McGrady's expiring contract.
That said, I'm geeked for the weekend! Four games in four days! Onto the weekend's Best Bets starting with the four games I will be at live in the next four days...
Friday, October 29 -- UCONN +6 over West Virginia
When I made my reservations to go on this trip before the season started, this had the makings of a de facto Big East championship. And then three hours into the season, UConn had absorbed a 30-10 Denard Robinsoning and gave us the writing on the wall. Now, it's just a Friday night game on ESPN between a team that lost to Syracuse last week and a team that got shut out by Louisville. On the plus side, I'm staying at my dad's house after the game, which means egging Stuart Scott's house is absolutely in play as a post-game activity. (Stu lives two houses down from the old man.)
Saturday, October 30 - Clemsom +6.5 over BOSTON COLLEGE
Nothing says "Saturday noon Eastern kickoff" quite like ACC football and nothing says ACC quite like Boston College. You know how, if you're a home owner, you vomit at the amount of interest you pay a part of your monthly payment, except one day a year -- tax day (Interest is tax deductible, for the tax-ignorant). Well, I think Boston College has the same sort of thing going on with their ACC affiliation -- they love it the one day a year when they cash their ACC football television check, but the other 364 days -- you know, when they're flying their field hockey team to Georgia for a game -- they're like "God, this sucks."
As of my typing this, Brett Favre is still intimating that he might play Sunday with two broken bones in his ankle. And as someone who will be in attendance on Sunday, I will say this -- for all of the whining that I (and the rest of the free world) do about the annual "will he or won't he?" Favre drama, the NFL world will be a little less interesting when the Ol' Dongslinger is gone. And if you need clarity on those feelings, ask yourself how amped up you are to watch Tarvaris Jackson lead the Vikes into Foxboro Sunday (in what will be sub-freezing weather, if you're there, which I will be). The answer? Still pretty amped up, but not like you would be with Favre limp-scrambling around evading defensive lineman like a criminal who just exited his car on foot after a high-speed chase evading five cops. The Tarvaris Experience just isn't the same.
Monday, November 1 - Texans +6 over COLTS
Every sign -- homeostasis, Texans inability to keep teams under a jillion yards passing, Peyton at home in prime time -- points to a Colts play. Screw it, homer pick by me. Nothing more, nothing less.
Two bonus picks!!
Kansas +19.5 over IOWA STATE
This is what I call a "comfort play." Iowa State is coming off a huge upset of the Texas Longhorns in Austin. It may be the biggest win in the history of the program (seriously -- and thankfully -- I don't follow Iowa State football closely enough to know if it is or not). So now the Cyclones come home to Ames and find themselves 19.5-point favorites. Seriously, when was the last time Iowa State was a 19.5-point favorite? So you have to ask yourself "Are they comfortable in this spot?"
Kansas, conversely, is quite comfortable as 19.5 underdogs because, quite frankly, they suck. First year KU coach Turner Gill has banned cell phones on game day and girls after 10 p.m. for his Jayhawk players. The Jayhawk response to Gill's tactics has been clear -- technology deprivation, celibacy, and hokey religions are no match for a good blaster at your side.
Stanford -7 over WASHINGTON
My "fade Jake Locker" campaign continues, and looky who jumped on the bandwagon this week -- ESPN's Mel Kiper, who at one time called Locker a "lock to be the first pick overall" and now, on the heels of a handful of performances that have not been drastically different than the rest of Locker's overrated career, says that Locker is probably a "late first, early second round pick." Of course, at this point, after the revelations of Kiper's BFF relationship with sleazeball agent Gary Wichard in a recent Sports Illustrated have left Kiper's credibility somewhere between the Iraqi Minister of Information and Dirk Nowitzki's old girlfriend, do we really care what Kiper thinks?
LAST WEEK: 3-3
SEASON RECORD: 25-16-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.