We'll do an abbreviated gambling session this week with no Maryland game to talk about. Let's get to it!
How FlaTerp fared (season record in parenthesis):
Maryland vs. spread: Lost (4-2)
Maryland straight up: Won (5-1)
Overall vs. Spread: 4-2 (19-16-1)
Thoughts: I had a decent little bounceback last week after two bad weeks in a row. What's a little more encouraging for me is that my "system" games, the contrarian ones, went 4-0. The two I missed were Maryland -- which I play regardless of trends for this column, but it was a 50-50 game and I just guessed wrong -- and Missouri, which was also around 50-50 and just a hunch gone wrong for me. When I try that, I usually lose. The lesson is: I'm not that smart. Just stick with what works and try and align yourself with the Vegas books.
How you all fared: ScarShoulders wins it with a 5-1 week. Nice.
Overall standings (minimum 4 weeks):
Top 15 (no minimum):
5 I like
BOSTON COLLEGE (+16) @Clemson: I don't like Clemson. Never have, never will. Also, Dabo is just a really silly name. This isn't about my personal taste though. BC, thanks to old friend Don Brown, is a very good defensive team that tends to stay in every game. They're simply getting too many points here, though the betting public doesn't seem to agree with me and is stacked up 81% on Clemson.
@VIRGINIA (-7) vs. Syracuse: Staying in the ACC here, yes I know our dear friends at Virginia are really bad, but Syracuse is really, REALLY bad. Draw the line between Syracuse getting thumped by USF last week and USF losing by 17 points to a certain reptilian team we all know and love, and how much could you possibly want to bet on 'Cuse now? Well, the public disagrees with you as a full 86% of them thinks the Orange are covering this line on the road. As the old Seth/Amy SNL news team might have said: Really?
Oh, and while we're here ... Hey Virginia, we totally kicked your ass in the who's-going-to-finally-fire-their-coach-that-they-should've-fired-three-years-ago race! We're on the other side of the eternally long bond with a coach who makes you feel utterly hopeless and want to gouge your eyes out, and you're still stuck in the middle of it! We have a faint glimmer of hope that someday a couple years from now, we might not suck anymore. Scoreboard, Virginia! Yeah! This is what winning feels like.
@GEORGIA (-14.5) vs Missouri: Did I just play two favorites in a row? Look at me! I'm evolving right here in broad daylight. Here's what I learned from my poor decision to break out of my system and bet Missouri last week against Florida: Missouri sucks. They can't move the ball against decent D. Yes, it's a big line for a SEC game that doesn't involve anyone with a name that rhymes with "Flanderfilt" but there's no reason for an 88-12 split in Mizzou's favor when they just aren't very good this year.
@MICHIGAN (-7.5) vs. Michigan State: Michigan is laying big points in this matchup and I don't understand it at all. 7.5? Of course when Vegas offers you a good team like the Spartans and more than a TD it looks like free money, and of course 80% of the public is accepting it. Of course, I'll be on the other side, without a clear understanding of why. All I can say in my defense is that the Michigan-Northwestern game last week was the exact same setup and look what happened there.
VANDERBILT (+2.5) @South Carolina: We all know the Cocks are in disarray (there's a joke there somewhere right? Or is that just the joke?), but then on the other side, it's Vanderbilt. The line opened at a measly 2.5 -- remember now, it's a SEC home game against freaking Vanderbilt -- so of course the betting split is 90-10 immediately. Five days later? Still 90-10, still 2.5. Vegas is entrenched here with Vandy and so I am too.