Welcome to the championship week of Black Shoe Degenerates, your weekly gambling column written by the smartest gambling expert you know.
It's good to be back after taking the Thanksgiving week off -- I just got overwhelmed with everything with the holiday, and we needed the week off from gambling. But we're back and we'll be better than ever this week. I just want to say, I don't really care about how this affects where Penn State goes to a bowl, I really hope Northwestern beats Ohio State. Go Wildcats.
Before we get into this week’s slate, let’s take a look back and review last column’s performance.
Last column’s picks:
ARob’s week 12: 3-2-1 (43-36-3 this season)
- Penn State -28 and under 50 (loss, win)
- West Virginia -5 (loss)
- Indiana +28.5 (win)
- Kansas +36 (win)
- Rice/LSU under 52 (push)
That West Virginia game sucked, but the rest wasn’t terrible. I’m kind of glad I took the last week off... I would have picked Maryland to cover. That would have been very wrong.
This week’s picks:
Texas vs. Oklahoma, noon
My pick: over 78
My general strategy is, if the over/under is this high, take the over. It worked for me with the Rams/Chiefs NFL game a few weeks ago (over 102.5 hit!!!) It’s more fun to cheer for points, and you know these two teams will score plenty. Oklahoma is hands down the best offense in the country — it’s #1 in offensive S&P+ and more than six points better than #2 Alabama. Combine that, the rivalry aspect, and Kyler Murray balling out trying to win a Heisman? Take the over, over, over.
Marshall at Virginia Tech, noon
My pick: Marshall +3.5
This is a dreary make-up game from when the Hokies had a game cancelled earlier in the season. You can’t tell me they’ll be too fired up for this game. They’re 5-6, and they’ve lost four of their last five. Marshall, on the other hand, is a quiet 8-4 and has won five of its last six. Statistically, these teams are similar — both score 28 points per game, but Marshall gives up 11 less on defense. S&P+ backs this up too, as it has Marshall winning by six points outright. The points make so much sense here.
Memphis vs. UCF, 3:30 p.m.
My pick: UCF -3
This one is a gut feeling thing more than anything. I think UCF has shown it has the attitude of “screw the world” and will show up to play even without starting QB McKenzie Milton, who suffered a horrific leg injury last week. Memphis is good, but the Knights have something to prove. I think the three-point spread is a slight overreaction to Milton’s injury — yes he’s a big part of the team obviously, but you don’t go undefeated for 26 straight games with only a good quarterback. The rest of the team is quite good too. Bet on the defending national champs.
Alabama vs. Georgia, 3:30
My pick: over 64 and Alabama -13.5
This is similar to my reasoning for taking the over in the Texas/Oklahoma game. Both offenses are good, and Tua Tagovailoa will come out ready to prove a point. People in the media are giving Georgia a chance... LOL you know Nick Saban will use that “rat poison” all week. Expect both to light up the scoreboard, this game to hit the over, and your parlay to hit.
Ohio State vs. Northwestern, 8 p.m.
My pick: Northwestern +15
I have a feeling the Buckeyes know they’re going to need some breaks to get into the playoff. I don’t expect them to get those breaks, and they’ll know the results of the early games before they even walk on the field. I anticipate Oklahoma winning, and if that happens it won’t matter what happens in the SEC championship game. It’ll be either Alabama/Clemson/Notre Dame/Oklahoma if Bama wins, or Clemson/Notre Dame/Georgia/Alabama if the Dawgs pull it out. I can see Ohio State coming out flat and Northwestern hopping on them early.