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Black Shoe Degenerates: Week 4

I will never call any bet a sure thing again

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing I have learned in the time I have wagered on games, it is that just when you think you have it all figured out, you go 0-2 in rather spectacular fashion. This is what I get for trusting Urbz to figure it out and put 80 on Northern Illinois.

Penn State (-15) vs. San Diego State

On paper, this one looks pretty obvious. The Nittany Lions have put something of an offense together over the last five quarters, behind the legs of Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch. Meanwhile, the visiting Aztecs have given up 35 and 34 their last two games, both losses (Cal, South Alabama).

This one actually opened at -9.5 offshore, but was at -12.5 when the fine folks at the Stratosphere put it on their board. I liked PSU at 12.5, but at the rate the spread has been going up all week, I have started to go the other way. Between the ever increasing number, and the potential for something of a letdown, I would take those 15 points.

Top Plays

BYU will be making their second trip of the month to a Big 10 foe, this time visiting Ann Arbor. Earlier in the year, the Cougars of course knocked off Nebraska on a hail mary to end the game and stun the Huskers. Meanwhile, some Harbaugh guy has Michigan at 2-1, and with a chance to get something of an early season signature win. While it's true the Wolverines have looked better, BYU is the best team they will have played to this point, not to mention sitting 3-0 against the spread this year (all as an underdog), while Michigan is just 1-2. I admittedly had to do a double take when I saw that Michigan was actually favored, and will gladly take those 5.5 points.

I promised before the season started that I would try to focus more on good plays, rather than the biggest games. Nothing demonstrates that more than the fact I'm throwing in Bowling Green-Purdue. That, and the fact this is a terrible weekend of games on paper. As for the Falcons visit to Ross-Ade Stadium, there figures to be a lot of points scored by the potent BG offense. The Boilermakers are a week removed from Virginia Tech hanging 51 on them at home, and the Falcons are giving just 2.5. Where My Falcons At.


Missouri-Kentucky (Under 43.5) - Missouri's game totals so far: 37, 47, 15. Kentucky's: 73, 48, 23. As the opposition gets tougher, both of these teams are scoring less and less. This game will be in the teens, with the winner barely eclipsing 20 points. If you haven't guessed by now, I hate half numbers, so go ahead and buy the half-point.

West Virginia-Maryland (Over 60) - So, if Missouri and Kentucky will barely score 40 points together, these two will be lucky to score less than 30. West Virginia ran 108 plays against Maryland last year, and with Maryland's defense taking a visible step back this year, I expect another 80+ playes on West Virginia's end. Maryland found some signs of life by switching to Rowe at QB, so I expect them to run some plays as well.

Ohio +10.5 at Minnesota - This line opened at 13, and is now down to 10.5. I am this close from predicting Ohio outright, but I think Minnesota has enough on defense to stop Ohio from winning. They, however, don't have enough offense to win by two and a half scores.

Last Week's Prop Bet Results

Saquon Barkley Rushing Attempts (O/U 14.5) - 21 carries for 195 yards directly into my heart 4ever.

DeAndre Thompkins Punt Return TDs (O/U .5) - Sadly zero

Announced Attendance (O/U 100,000) - 103,323

Actual Jet Sweeps (O/U 3.5) - Three, including a touchdown.

Number of Jet Sweeps People Claim (35.5) - Probably under, but I was at the game and forgot to count.

Kyle Flood Shows Up In Disguise (+450) - Sadly their couch did not make any appearances I am aware of.

Fun Prop Bets To Make It Through a Bad Weekend Schedule

Christian Hackenberg Passing Yards - O/U 200

Penn State Team Rushing Yards - O/U 275

Nick Scott Kickoff Return Touchdowns - O/U .5

Nick Scott Special Teams Tackles - O/U 3.5

Bets Matt Actually Wins This Week - O/U 1.5