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College Football Betting Picks, Week 6: LET'S GET WEIRD

Another 2-3 week by the skin of my Tiger skin.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When picking against the point spread, picking against a small point spread is to virtually just pick the winner. The likelihood of one-point decisions or two-point decisions are usually minimized by larger variables. Even in a close game, a pick-six here or a turnover there can result in a larger result than the score would indicate.

In the world of gambling, the absolute worst is when you pick a low spread and the game actually goes down to the wire. That's why I was freaking out last week when Clemson took on Notre Dame. The Tigers led, 21-3, to open up the fourth quarter, giving credence to why I picked them as my lock of the week last week opposite a 1.5 point spread. They were clearing that with ease until they decided to pull a Clemson.

Five minutes or so into the fourth, I still felt really good about picking the Tigers since they led 24-9. But when Notre Dame went on a fast drive to score, pulling within eight points, I realized it would only take one or two missteps to take that sure fire Clemson victory and turn it into a gambling disaster.

With seven seconds left in the game, Notre Dame scored to pull within two at 24-22. So when Clemson stopped the two-point conversion attempt and wound up winning by two, it was the worst kind of backdoor cover - Notre Dame going for two points on their touchdown to start the fourth quarter wound up forcing them to go for two at the end of the game, essentially allowing Clemson to cover the spread.

Meanwhile, I was somewhere lying dead on my floor.

I improved to 4-1 on the season in picking locks, even though I lost a game on my overall record. That's something to hold onto.

Once again, Vegas is a vicious mistress.

Last Week: 2-3
Overall: 14-11

SMU (+25) at Houston

This game will be played by the time these picks go to publish, but I promise in the interest of the honor system that I'm not cheating.

The Houston Cougars are, by my estimation, a very good football team capable of winning the American. Their game in November against Navy very well could be for the AAC South Division championship and determine who goes to the AAC Championship Game the week before the Army-Navy Game.

But if you run down the scores, Houston is undefeated by having destroyed two bad football teams and squeaking by two semi-decent football teams. They destroyed FCS Tennessee Tech, 52-24, and they beat Texas State, 59-14. But they only beat Louisville by three and won by two touchdowns last week at Tulsa. On a short week, coming home, to take on SMU - a historical rival - I think they're going to win but not by that spread.

Couple that with the fact that I really do think SMU is better than their record would indicate. Their offense is led by Matt Davis, a quarterback with eight touchdowns and two picks entering this weekend. They're underrated, but they won't win.

Central Michigan (+7) at Western Michigan


CMU, at 2-3, enters this game out in Kalamazoo with a 2-3 record after beating Northern Illinois last wee. That's the third "good result" in a row for the Chippewas; after losing by three at Syracuse, they hung tough with Michigan State in only losing 30-10 before defeating the Huskies last week.

Western, meanwhile, only has one win on their schedule this year - a 52-20 destruction of Murray State. Last week, they lost by 26 to Ohio State. But I'm more concerned about the fact that this team lost 43-17 to Georgia Southern. I don't know how WMU is favored, let alone by a touchdown.

Wake Forest at Boston College (-7.5)

At the beginning of the year, I explicitly said to make a list of teams you simply couldn't bet against - and never bet on them. So why, then, am I taking Boston College as touchdown favorites when their offense is sputtering as badly as it is?

Well, to be honest, I don't have confidence in the Wake Forest defense. While the linebackers are very good, I think there's a blueprint to beating them, and I actually have faith in the Boston College offense figuring things out. I think BC is going to win this game by 10 - which is the score they would've beaten NIU by if they hadn't allowed the kick return for the touchdown.

Can BC score 20 points? Well they've come close already once before. That's really just two touchdowns and a couple of field goals. I think 20 points is reasonable in this game, and I'm picking the Eagles, 20-10.

Kent State at #24 Toledo (-14.5)

One day, I'll figure out why gambling lines on MAC games are so screwed up. Kent State is 2-3 with wins over Delaware State (an FCS team) and Miami University (an absolutely atrocious MAC team). They hung tough with Minnesota, but they were destroyed by Illinois and coughed up 36 points to Marshall.

Toledo's beaten Arkansas and Iowa State this year. WHO MAKES THESE LINES THIS IS UNFAIR

Lock of the Week

#10 Oklahoma (-16.5) at Texas

The annual Red River Rivalry game settles into its typical seat at the old Cotton Bowl for what used to be a rite of passage. Unfortunately, though, Oklahoma is still very good, although a step behind TCU and Baylor, and Texas isn't. The Longhorns have lost a ton of ground in their own state to the Horned Frogs and Bears, as well as arguably Texas A&M.

Here's a live look at what's going to happen to Texas fans as the game winds down.