12 Sep A-Rob’s CFB Week 3 Picks
“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious..” – Michael Scott
Let the record state: I am a purveyor of the concept that this is all just a simulation. Be honest with yourself. Examine your surroundings. Think about the seemingly random events that have transpired throughout your life (and on a more grandiose scale, all of human history).
WHAT ARE THE ALIENS UP TO, AND WHAT IS THE FASCINATION WITH US?
Do they have nothing better to do? Are we that entertaining? Its a large universe.
These are questions myself, and I’m sure you as well, would like to know. Plenty of people have contrived ideas of why things are the way they are, and how it all came to be. But those that think they have it all nailed down, are in fact further from understanding than those that admit to be clueless.
Nobody knows. And the sooner you can accept the mystery that is existence itself, the sooner you will make peace with the uncertainty. Just embrace it.
What we can deal in with some degree of participation, is our own personal reality. And what we’re faced with is a 9-14 ATS record through 2 weeks (3 if you count Week 0). Look, I realize I stayed cool about what happened in Week 1. We were just getting our toes wet in what is a long season. But this is the second consecutive week I have to stare at a losing record in the tagline of my website, and that shit has officially pissed me the hell off. (Say whatever you want about me, but I’ve never run from my record.)
Good lord, last Saturday seemed like it was starting out so well. That Maryland pick was free cash-money from Bucketville, U-S of A. Ohio State wiped the floor with Cincy. AND THEN I FLIP OVER TO SEE MICHIGAN BE MICHIGAN AND I SERIOUSLY CONTEMPLATED DRIVING MY FACE / HEAD THROUGH A DRY WALL LIKE MY NAME’S KYLE AFTER 3 TOO MANY BANG ENERGY DRINKS.
Why? Why did I think laying 22.5 points with Michigan in any football game was a prudent way to grow our bankrolls? And where tf were you guys? Not one person called me out after the picks dropped for making that godforsaken decision. Do what I’m doing this week, and take a good long look in the mirror. Seriously, what do you want this to be? We’re in this together. The next time a pick goes that terribly, for the sake of accountability, I fully expect multiple of you to send me death threats. #ItJustMeansMore.
Speaking of aliens, what in the hell do they have against the Tennessee Vols? I’ve come to suspect that in the mid 2000s, in response to a substantial losing streak to Tennessee and the revelation that Phillip Fulmer had supplied the NCAA damaging evidence in the case of Crimson Tide booster Logan Young, that some secret coalition of Alabama fans, alumni, and university officials gathered to sacrifice livestock (and perhaps a couple homeless drifters) to the dark lords. Effectively, the purpose was to curse the Tennessee football program while simultaneously elevating Alabama to the top of college football. HAS NO ONE ELSE NOTICED WHAT SABAN’S NAME SPELLS WHEN YOU REPLACE THE ‘B’ WITH A ‘T’. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Sell your soul. Did anyone else see Urban Meyer lobbying for the UT job on Fox last Saturday night?…
The come up
I’ve always done my best work under pressure. Just like Future Hendrix when DJ Esco had all of his music on one hard drive, and he was locked up with it. Two years of work. And he had to start fresh.
That’s when he did Beast Mode.
Last season after Week 2, we were 7-12 ATS. 5 games below .500. Then we went on 7 or 8 winning weeks in a row. Right now? We’re exactly 5 games below .500. Is time linear or circular?
Forewarning: Some of these picks are extra gross. Big Brass Balls need only apply. We’re in Week 3, which means the overreactions are in full swing. Expect some regression back to the mean, etc, etc.
TEAM NO SLEEP, WHO’S TRYNA GET THESE CASH STACKS WITH ME?!
UNC @ Wake Forest -3 (Friday)
Is Wake Forest seeking out these Friday night slots? If so, genius on their part. This will be the second time I find myself watching a Demon Deacon game simply because, well, I’ll have no other choice…
As far as stinky lines go, this one is up there on the foul meter. UNC is coming off wins against South Carolina and Miami. However, neither of those were true road games, and I’d say Friday night on BB&T field qualifies as a weird spot. Wake Forest isn’t a team or environment that typically gets the juices going, so UNC could be walking into a bit of a trap. Especially considering they haven’t experienced this amount of media attention in some time. This has letdown written all over it.
Wake Forest is a sneakily decent squad. They’re well coached, have a white bowling ball for a running back, and they seem to run an RPO on every snap, which can be confusing as hell. Don’t look now, but dating back to last season, the Demon Deacons are on a 4 game winning streak.
I’m not going to go as far as to say that UNC is fraudulent. I respect the life that Mack Brown has injected into the program, and their freshman quarterback can sling it. But their win last week was at least a little fluky. They needed a 4th and 17 conversion on the final drive, and I think we’d all agree Miami still has a long way to go under Many Diaz.
Ohio State @ Indiana +16.5
Look, when I said brass balls only this week, I wasn’t kidding. Ohio State wrecked a good little Cincy team, and I do believe Ryan Day is attempting to set the tone for his tenure. But this is the beginning of conference play. And the more I dug into the Hoosiers, the more the thought of taking them as a home dog intrigued me.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re still a middling Big10 team. But they have enough weapons offensively to cover this spread. They have not one, but two good options at quarterback, and it looks like they utilize both. Michael Penix is a solid dual threat and Peyton Ramsey went 13 of 14 passing against Eastern Illinois. (They won 52-0.)
If the offensive production isn’t enough to convince you, consider some of these nuggets: Despite being 19-0 straight up, Ohio State is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 against the Hoosiers. Indiana is 9-4 ATS in last 13 when getting 10+ points at home. And the public obviously LOVES the Buckeyes here.
Kansas State +8 @ Mississippi State
Revenge spot? Last season the Bulldogs beat the hell out of the Wildcats in Manhattan. Could they return the favor in Starkville? I actually don’t think its that far fetched.
Gone is Jeffrey Simmons and Montez Sweat off that defensive line. Gone is Nick Fitzgerald. And Mississippi State will be playing without Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens. Kylin Hill is a player to watch at running back, but with Mississippi State potentially being one dimensional, I assume Kansas State will be able to hone in on him.
Perhaps, most importantly, Bill Snyder is gone. And I mean that in a positive sense for the Wildcats. Before everyone kills me for such blasphemies, I obviously admire what he was able to build in desolate Kansas, but it was time for the guy to hang it up. The game had long passed him by. I have an inside source on the deal, and from what I understand, he had become completely detached from his players. I mean the guy is like freaking 80 years old. You can’t exactly expect him to be firing on all cylinders and be as involved with his football team as he needed to be.
Is Kansas State frisky this year? They’ve drummed a couple of teams and they’re flying under everybody’s radar. In an age of so many unproven head coaches getting big jobs, there has to be something said for a guy taking over that’s won multiple national championships at his previous spot.
Maryland @ Temple +7.5
The name of the game is to zig-zag people. Zig. And. Zag.
Hey, I love Maryland. A buddy asked me last Saturday morning which game was my favorite, and I told him Terps -2. (If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been selling Syracuse all preseason. Easily the most overrated team coming into the year.) I also think Mike Locksley is perfect for that place, and he hit a home run with his transfer quarterback. But just like UNC, this is a squad that may be due for a letdown. Especially here…
Don’t sleep on the Temple Owls now. They play in the best Group of 5 conference (Mountain West making a case right now too) and perhaps have the best front 7 in the AAC. Last year Temple dogged Maryland in ‘The Shell’ 35-14. (Although, to be fair, the team was in a strange mental state considering one of the players had freaking died at practice, so there’s that.) And dating back to last September, the Owls have only lost to UCF and Duke…
Give me the home dog in Philly.
Alabama @ South Carolina +25.5
I mean these picks are just getting progressively grosser with no signs of slowing down. I’m dog heavy this week.
Remember last year when I took South Carolina at home to cover against UGA? Jake Bentley promptly threw a pick six, and it was all downhill from there. If you recall, people were calling for the Cocks to potentially make a run at the SEC East crown. However, after that deflating loss they got hit by the injury bug particularly hard. Especially on the defensive side of the ball. This year they have a lot of those pieces back, and I actually think they’ll be able to hang around with some quality opponents.
Sure, Bama is Bama. They’re going to get theirs. But this spread is big af and there’s always the possibility of pulled starters and a back door cover. Jake Bentley is out indefinitely, but the guy was pretty average. I like what I see from this freshman, Ryan Hilinski. I’m not exactly sure why this is, but it seems like these young guns across college football come in more prepared out of high school than ever these days. He was a highly touted 4 star, and threw 24 for 30, 282 yards, and 3 TDs against Charleston Southern. You know the Cocks are going to be slinging it around the yard, and who knows, this really could stay interesting deep into the second half.
Stanford +8 @ UCF
Man, I gotta be honest, I’ve waffled on this game. Coming into the season, I circled Stanford in this spot considering their style of play in contrast to UCF’s. I just feel like Stanford’s physicality could pose problems for UCFs inexperienced front 7.
But UCF has been rolling so far. This quarterback Gabriel could be the real deal and he’s got weapons galore to work with. I love how a large portion of the media has penciled in other Group of 5 teams to reach the New Year’s Six game, but don’t get it twisted: The Golden Knights are still the prohibited favorite to get there until proven otherwise. At least in my mind.
Despite the fact that Stanford has to come cross country, I’m ultimately sticking to my guns and taking them to keep this game within a touchdown. The main reasons being two-fold: David Shaw and KJ Costello.
David Shaw is a great coach. And for the first time, I’m starting to hear some rumblings concerning people’s faith in him. This game is the perfect spot to make a statement on the road, in a game a lot of people will be keeping an eye on. As far as Costello, if he wasn’t playing, I’d be taking UCF all day. But the fact that he’s back is huge. He’s a veteran with a knack for knowing how to manage a football game. I’m not paying much mind to the fact he’s coming off a head injury. Those are overrated anyway.
USC -4.5 @ BYU
For all our woes last week, thank the lord USC finally showed up for us. I’ve been convinced they have a good season up their sleeve, and that may finally be bearing out. I got Trojan fever. And I’ll tell you what, they got a PLAYER at the quarterback position.
How ironic is it, that the school that has throw 4 or 5 star quarterbacks behind center for years, with them typically never remotely living up to their potential, ends up having a guy break through that’s a damn walk on. You have to love it. If you didn’t watch the Stanford game last week, take a second to watch the highlights. Kedon Slovis was dropping some absolute dimes.
As far as BYU is concerned, I just watched them live in Neyland Stadium. They had absolutely no business winning that football game. Tennessee provided their only touchdown in regulation with a horrid interception, and obviously gave up the defensive gaff that set them up for the tying field goal at the end. Coming into the season, I was singing Zach Wilson’s praises, but after seeing him these first two games, he really ain’t any good. And you’re telling me that Johnny Football wanna-be is going to be able to keep up with this USC offense? GTFO of here.
Florida @ Kentucky +8
BBN, where y’all at? All last year I faded you. And you know what? Your team was scrappy as hell and it cost me some money. Unfortunately, now that I’m backing your Cats, they’ll probably lose this game by 3 touchdowns.
At the end of the day, I’m not sold on the Gators offensively. They have some nice weapons, but having Felipe ‘Pool Boy’ Franks at quarterback is tough to overcome. I’m prepared to fade them ATS until proven otherwise, or the market begins to adjust itself accordingly.
Kentucky no longer has Josh Allen or Benny Snell, and despite the lack of overall talent on the roster, Mark Stoops has been able to give his team an identity. They play tough and everyone seems to be bought in, which speaks to a healthy culture. The team has a chip on their shoulder, and I think they have the guts to keep this game close at home.
I realize Terry Wilson is out for the season, but I think it may actually help the Cats in this game. Wilson has wheels, but I’m sorry, he can’t throw a lick. Florida’s strength is in their defensive front seven, and with Wilson at quarterback they could just stack the box and force him to beat them through the air.
FSU +7.5 @ Virginia and Oklahoma @ UCLA +23
Annnnnddddddd I saved the grossest of the gross nasties for last.
Injured. Animals. I don’t like to mess with those. Not at this point anyway. Once we’re deeper in the season and despair has set in, then we can pick against them all we want.
BOTH THESE TICKETS ARE HITTING. Parlay them if you put away your brass balls and attached your titanium set before you left the house this morning.
Dingo’s ML Parlay
My betting amigo, Dingo, featured alongside me @doscappers on Instagram is known for throwing down on ML Parlays. Here’s his card this week:
Ohio State (-900)
Penn State (-900)
Oklahoma State (-525)
Kansas City Chiefs (-360)
New England Patriots (-1600)
100 dollars pays 315.62