Sean Pendergast

College Football, Week 6 and NFL, Week 5 — This Weekend's Best Bets

Tow weeks of treading water is no good, it's winning time!
Tow weeks of treading water is no good, it's winning time! Photo by Jack Gorman
Football is a weird sport, and betting on it can be even weirder sometimes. Sure, college football and NFL football are not EXACTLY the same sport, but they're pretty damn similar, and actually, with the advent of more college spread offense concepts in the NFL, they're getting more and more similar each season.

So why, then, do I have an 8-2 ATS record betting college football over the last three weeks and a putrid 2-6 ATS record betting on the NFL over that same timeframe?  On Saturdays, it's like I have a crystal ball, and on Sundays, it's like I'm throwing darts....left handed and with a broken thumb.

I have no explanation, I merely point this out as a salvo that I am due for BIG things on the NFL side. So let's get our first 6-0 ATS weekend of the season! No time like the present. Here we go....

BAYLOR -4.5 over Kansas State
The most recent results from  both of these teams might be affecting this spread, as Kansas State is coming off a 19-14 loss and cover at home against Texas, and Baylor got smoked by Oklahoma by 33 points in Norman last weekend. The reality is that Texas was in a lookahead spot to the Red River Shootout and Kansas State might be the worst team in the Big XII this season. They can't score. Meanwhile, Baylor was just overwhelmed in Norman, no crime in that. This version of Matt Rhule's team is actually improved enough defensively to shut down the Wildcats, and should score plenty at home, enough to cover the 4.5 point spread.

Vanderbilt +27 over GEORGIA
Don't let Vandy's lackluster 31-27 win over Tennessee State cloud the issue here. Vanderbilt is just a couple weeks removed from nearly beating Notre Dame in Notre Dame Stadium. In that game, QB Kyle Shurmur showed some ability to move the Commodores offense, and if you look at Georgia's upcoming schedule — the Bulldogs' next four games are against ranked foes in the SEC, including a tussle in Baton Rouge next weekend — this is a classic spot to keep the foot off the gas pedal and just get out with a win. In that spot, I'll take the 27 points.

STANFORD -5 over Utah
Last week, we faded The Cardinal successfully against Notre Dame, and now this week, we are going to back them against the Utes. Yes, All-American RB Bryce Love is banged up, but Stanford can move the ball through the air on the air of QB K.J. Costello and a nice drop of wide receivers and tight ends. Utah is REALLY challenged offensively, and after two weeks on the road in two tough environments (Oregon, Notre Dame), coming home will give the Cardinal a boost.

Ravens -3 over BROWNS
On my radio show this week, former Texans WR Cecil Shorts (who is a guest each week on Wednesdays at 4 p.m.) asked me to give a revised Super Bowl prediction, with the benefit of four weeks worth of hindsight. In the AFC, I actually picked the Ravens, who looked stout in defeating the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday night last weekend. Joe Flacco is playing some of his best football right now, and the Ravens get CB Jimmy Smith back from suspension. That's bad news for Baker Mayfield, who is both scintillating and maddeningly turnover prone. I'm still not totally on board that the Browns are a team that can only be getting a field goal or less against good teams, on the road or at home.

SEAHAWKS +7.5 over Rams
My NFC answer to Cecil Shorts' question was the Rams, who are clearly the best and most complete team in the NFL right now. Jared Goff looks like an MVP candidate, and his set of weapons (Gurley, Cooks, Kupp, Woods) is obscene. That said, the Seahawks have righted the ship a little bit after two close losses to open the season. Seattle is still way too good of a home field advantage for the Seahawks to be getting more than a touchdown in a division game, so we will take the points here.

I tried the OVER in a Steelers home game last weekend, and we looked good for a half. However, it was not mean to be, so we go back to the well here. Let's count on a shootout here between two teams flush with offensive weapons, and who are both playing defense like it's optional. The Falcons' scores the last three weeks — 31-24, 43-37, 37-36. Let's ride the wave.

Last Week: 3-3
Season Record: 16-13-1 (55.2 percent)

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast