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Black Shoe Degenerates: Week 3

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It might be a slow week, but there’s value to be had regardless.

Connecticut v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Welcome to Week 3 of Black Shoe Degenerates, your weekly gambling column written by the smartest gambling expert you know.

I won’t lie, this week isn’t very inspiring. Between Hurricane Florence cancelling/postponing/moving games, and only a few ranked matchups, I’m much less excited about this week than I was about last week (full disclosure: the fact that we aren’t going to beat Pat Narduzzi by 45 points this week might play into that also.)

Before we get into this week’s slate, let’s take a look back and review last week’s performance.

Last week’s picks:

ARob’s Week 2: 5-4 (8-8 this season)

  • Mississippi State -9 (win)
  • Northwestern -2.5 (loss)
  • Western Michigan +28 (loss)
  • UCLA at Oklahoma over 64 (win)
  • Central Michigan -5 (loss)
  • Ohio State -35.5 (win)
  • Clemson -12 (loss)
  • Penn State -8.5 (win)
  • Penn State at Pitt over 56 (win)

Pat’s pick: Maryland -16 (win, 1-1 this season)

Well, we made some money last week, y’all. The Penn State -8.5/over 56 parlay paid out pretty well for me. Joe Moorhead’s offense continues to be on fire, as well as Oklahoma’s. The Western Michigan loss was pretty bad, and so was Central Michigan, but after tough week 1 losses, I’m pretty happy for Kansas and Michigan as they finally got back to .500!

This week’s picks:

Rutgers at Kansas, noon

My pick: Kansas -2.5

First off, Kansas is favored in a football game. This is just amazing. But, both of these teams are absolute garbage. I feel like when both teams are garbage, it tends to be either a shootout or a slugfest. I’m leaning shootout here (I also like the over 44 here too.) I don’t think Rutgers will be able to score enough on a Jayhawks team that realistically should be 2-0, and for some odd reason I have a feeling the home crowd will get up for this game. They should be excited about the team’s first road win since 2009, and this has to be their first realistic chance for a non-con power-5 win in years, right?

Oklahoma at Iowa State, noon

My pick: Oklahoma -18

Kyler Murray has been the real deal these first two weeks, and Oklahoma will want revenge for last year. Plus, the line has somehow dropped a point since it opened? I’ll take that for free, thanks.

Kent State at Penn State, noon

My pick: Kent State +35

The home team is coming off an emotional road win, there will likely be less than #100kStrong in attendance, it might rain, it’s the first noon game of the year against an opponent no one really cares about... I can see Penn State coming out sluggish like it has the first two weeks and letting Kent State stay within five touchdowns. If you can buy a half-point just in case, I’d feel a lot better.

Boise State at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m.

My pick: over 64

I’ll be really honest here, there aren’t many 3:30 games to choose from that I really like one way or another. I’m really not sold on this pick at all and won’t be surprised if I get it wrong. Everyone is hopping on the Boise State bandwagon, and they’ve been a machine the first two weeks. But Oklahoma State has to win a big game eventually, right? I don’t know, but Boise is averaging 59 points per game and the Cowboys are averaging 56.5 points, so I feel like the over is a safe bet. I just hope Mike Gundy gets the vodka in his smoothie this week.

Louisiana-Lafayette at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m.

My pick: under 64.5

It’s not that I don’t think Joe Moorhead’s offense can hit 65 points... we know it can. The main reason I picked the under is the movement of the total. This opened at o/u 58 points and was slowly moved up to 64.5. That’s insane, and I’m taking the under strictly for all of that value left behind by the public money.

USC at Texas, 8 p.m.

My pick: under 48

Remember when I said that when both teams are garbage, it tends to be either a shootout or a slugfest? I’m leaning towards the latter. USC looked like trash last week against Stanford, only putting up three points and their true freshman QB looked like, well, a true freshman QB. Texas needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to pull out a 28-21 win against...Tulsa? I don’t really know, but I have a feeling that we won’t be screaming “TEXAS IS BACK, FOLKS!” at the end of this one.

Ohio State at TCU, 8 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Dallas

My pick: Ohio State -13.5

I hate Ohio State, and it makes me sad to pick them two weeks in a row, but the Buckeyes are just too good. They’ll want to flex a bit against the Horned Frogs on national television before Urban Meyer gets re-instated, and I think 13.5 points is small enough to give.

Pat’s Lock of the Week: Temple at Maryland, noon

Pat’s Pick: Maryland -16

I had Maryland -16 last week, and it worked out well, so why not do it again? The Terrapins get Temple at home, and if you haven’t been keeping track of the Owls this year, well, they absolutely suck. A 19-17 loss at home to Villanova followed up by a 36-29 home loss to Buffalo shows how far this program has fallen since the Matt Rhule era. Expect Maryland to win big here.