Gambling Joe’s Saturday Sends

Redemption. Vindicated. The return of Gambling Joe. After a putrid start to my gambling career at OT Heroics, I rattled off a nice 5-2 record last week. Not a big deal. You gotta trust the long game when you’re gambling. Boston College was +3 and ended up winning outright by a million. Liberty almost scored a hundred on their own to hit the over against UMass. I won my first 5 bets of the day before dropping the last 2. I was going nuts on the idea of my parlay with all 7 plays hitting, but it was not meant to be. Western Kentucky killed it however, blowing a 14 point lead and letting FAU come back to win. None the less, it was a great Saturday that helped conclude a nice week of gambling for me. Let’s try to keep the momentum going into today.

Last week: 5-2

NCAAF this season: 38-39

Western Kentucky at Arkansas, 12pm

Arkansas is downright terrible. They are giving Rutgers a run for their money, in terms of the worst Power 5 team. The Razorbacks are winless in SEC play, and have a non-conference loss to San Jose State. Brutal. Arkansas has absolutely no defense, giving up just over 50 points a game over their last 3. Enter Western Kentucky, losers of 2 straight. WKU has a strong defense for C-USA, but let’s not overhype these guys. The Hilltoppers are giving up over 30 points a game in their last 3, including 35 at home last week.

Arkansas is making a switch at QB after a tough season, going to the RS-Freshman Stephen Jones. The Razorbacks have their senior day on Saturday, and are a big play team. I watched their game against Colorado State, and they got pounded on the ground, but made long scoring plays. I expect both teams to get up and down the field with ease, and big yardage plays galore. The total is simply too low.

Pick: Over 52

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Arkansas being -1 is so sad

UMass at Army, 12pm

Death, taxes, and UMass overs. The Minutemen are one of the worst teams in college football. Overs have been money so far this season, mostly because UMass has a defense similar to a wet paper bag. The Minutemen are allowing over 50 points a game this season, including giving up 56 to UConn. Last week, Liberty hung 63 to almost cover the over on their own. The Minutemen have the worst run defense in America, allowing 270 yards a game. That spells trouble against an Army team that is ranked 13th in the country for rush offense, averaging 250 yards a game on the ground. Running will kill the clock, but only if you can stop them.

UMass overs have been hitting because the Minutemen have been throwing up enough points on their own to help out. Massachusetts is scoring 22 points a game this season, and are a real threat in garbage time. UMass has some ability to run the ball, and their QB threw for a pair of TDs against Liberty last week. The Minutemen will score enough to push this total over.

Pick: Over 61

#4 Penn State at #17 Minnesota, 12pm

The most anticipated game in the 12 o’clock slate is no doubt the undefeated matchup in the Big 10. Penn State has looked great this season, riding strong defense and solid play from Clifford to wins against #14 Michigan and #18 Iowa. Minnesota, on the other hand, has skated to an 8-0 record. The Golden Gophers survived non-conference scares against South Dakota State (by 7). Georgia Southern (by 3) and Fresno State (by 3 in OT). The schedule has not gotten much tougher in conference play, as the Gophers have battled backup QBs en route to dominant wins over the trash of the Big 10, like Nebraska and Rutgers. But this will be a new test for Minnesota’s high flying offense, taking on a top 10 defense in Penn State.

The Gophers are yet to play a top 30 team this season, and could be in for a rude awakening. I don’t know if Minnesota has an answer for Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth, who scored 3 TDs against Michigan State in their last game. Both teams are coming off a bye, so the defenses will be ready to rock. You can coach scheme, but you can’t coach the size needed to cover the big tight end. Clifford won’t have to do too much, and the Gophers won’t be able to cover his junior TE. I don’t think Minnesota will not be able to score more than a couple TDs on Penn State’s defense. Ride the white and blue.

Pick: Penn State -7

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Watch out for Freiermuth on Sundays next year

UConn at #20 Cincinnati, 3:30pm

This might be the easiest bet of the day. It’s not even gambling when it’s this easy. Perennial bottom feeder UConn has been gashed for 40 points a game this season. They even allowed 35 to the feeble UMass Minutemen. Pathetic. Cincy doesn’t have the wildest offense in the country, but they did just drop 46 on the road against ECU. UConn has shown no ability to stop anyone this season, and a 1 loss Cincy team is going to have no trouble moving the ball on Saturday. This game will be a lot like their game with UCF, where the Knights were up like 42 at half time, before calling off the dogs and letting UConn score a few. The Huskies will make a bid for a back door cover, so I will stay away from the spread. But I will hammer this low total, because UConn should be playing in the FCS.

Pick: Over 54

Illinois at Michigan State, 3:30pm

It’s a tale of 2 different teams coming into this one. Illinois walks in the winners of 3 straight, the longest conference win streak for the Fightin’ Illini since 2007. Michigan State, on the other hand, has dropped 3 in a row. The Spartans enjoyed a week off after getting crushed by Penn State in their last game, and will look for nicer weather this Saturday.

The offense has disappeared for Michigan State of late, but that will happen when your last 3 opponents were all Top 10 teams. Before that, Sparty had been rolling on offense, hanging 40 on Indiana and 31 on Northwestern. Illinois has been enjoying their last 2 games, crushing an injured Purdue team, and murdering Rutgers at home. But it won’t be that way in East Lansing. Well coached teams benefit from a bye, and Mark Dantonio will have the boys ready to rock off the idle week at home. Michigan State is in danger of missing a bowl, so this is a must win game. The public is hammering Illinois, but the line movement shows the sharps are on Michigan State. Follow the smart money and better team.

Pick: Michigan State -14

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Sparty has had nothing to celebrate after dropping 3 straight

#16 Kansas State at Texas, 3:30pm

When gambling, I’m a huge fade the public guy, and this is no doubt the most surprising spread of the week. The red hot Wildcats stunned Oklahoma at home 2 weeks ago, and then routed a resurgent Kansas team on the road last week. Texas has looked shakey in their last few games, but are coming off a bye. No one needed a week off more than the Longhorns, and now they will be fresh at home against an overrated KSU squad. Does anyone actually think the Wildcats are the 16th best team in the country? K-State was supposed to be a rebuilding team under a first year coach, but they have shocked teams this year and vastly overachieved. It might be time for a little regression.

College teams have struggled on the tail end of back to back road games, and that is exactly what is in store for the Wildcats on Saturday. It’s one thing to beat OU at home, but it’s another to go into Austin and win. The tackling has been atrocious for the Horns, so I imagine that was a focal point in practice over the bye. I think Texas steps up and gets a statement win to launch themselves back into the Top 25. I will fade the public again here.

Pick: Texas -7

#5 Clemson at NC State, 7:30pm

NC State has been abysmal, especially when gambling on them. The only team worse than them in the ACC is probably Syracuse. After getting waxed by BC, the Wolfpack got hosed by Wake Forest in their last game. The Wolfpack were a top 5 run defense a few weeks ago, but got demolished on the ground in their last 2 games. Travis Etienne is averaging 9 yards a carry this year, which will be a real problem for NC State. The Tigers haven’t had a great start, but they are still explosive with the ball, and bigger than everyone else in the ACC. Lawrence has not looked sharp with his interceptions creeping up this season, but his stats are in line otherwise.

If you don’t think Dabo Swinney has the defending champs hot about being ranked #5 in the CFP rankings, you’re an idiot. The Tigers are going to want to make a statement, and this is the game to do it. The Wolfpack have been switching back and forth between QBs all season, and have trouble moving the ball. NC State’s defense has been Swiss cheese, and Clemson is going to have their way on offense. This game will get ugly fast. The number is not high enough to scare me off, because NC State is a bigger trainwreck than a college girl on her 5th White Claw.

Pick: Clemson -34

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Expect plenty of read options against this porous NC State defense

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