Picking football games (against the spread), volume ii

This might sound shocking, but I have not placed a bet on football during the 2017-’18 season.

While that’s a pretty swell thing, I do miss the act of betting on football games. I miss betting on two totally irrelevant teams, then watching the game as if it were the goddam Super Bowl or something.

So as I continue to be a good boy and stay away from the action, it doesn’t stop me from writing about a handful of games that would have been my picks if I was betting. As always, gambling should be for entertainment purposes only. All home teams will be in CAPS:

  1. Miami (-6.5) over DUKE

One way or another, I am going to keep picking against Duke until I am proven right and the universe is restored to some order. Just as last week I couldn’t fathom the Blue Devils being favored to defeat an ACC rival on the road, this week I don’t understand how any Miami team could be favored by less than a touchdown against them. The line opened at -7, so the public must like Duke to keep the game close. I happen to like the Hurricanes by at least two touchdowns.

The bet: $115 on Miami (-6.5) to win $100.

2. VIRGINIA TECH (+7.5) over Clemson

There are too many reasons to count why I think Clemson, the second-ranked team in college football, will manhandle the Hokies on Saturday night. Virginia Tech has a redshirt freshmen quarterback, Clemson’s defense is head and shoulders better than anything VT has seen this year, and the difference in talent is substantial.

Still, everything comes back to the game being at Lane Stadium, under the lights, and in front of a national audience. I don’t only think the Hokies will cover the spread, I like them to win outright.

The bet: $110 on Virginia Tech (+7.5) to win $100.

3. Raiders (+3) over BRONCOS

I know it’s only Week 4 of the NFL season, but this matchup of 2-1 squads is pivotal. The loser falls to 2-2 (obviously), which has real potential of putting them two games behind the Chiefs a quarter of the way through the season. Vegas sees this game as a virtual coin flip, giving three points to the road team. I happen to like the Raiders offense — against a good Broncos defense — more than I like the Broncos offense against an average Oakland defense. Does that make any sense? Take the points.

The bet: $105 on Oakland (+3) to win $100.

4. CHIEFS (-7) over Washington

Kansas City has a tough schedule this year, at least on paper. Their next 7 games are against teams who finished .500 or better last year, and the Redskins (who are solid) are probably on the low-end of that list. Basically what I’m saying: the Chiefs need to bank as many wins early in the season as possible, because their schedule is entirely unforgiving. I’m rolling with Kansas City at home on a Monday night, spread be damned.

Bonus bets:

  • Colts/SEAHAWKS over 41.5 points (-110)
  • 49ers/CARDINALS under 44.5 points (-110)
  • Jaguars (-3.5) over JETS, over 38 points (-115)
  • VIKINGS (-2) over Lions, over 42.5 points (-110)

That’s 10 total bets. I will track the progress with another blog later this week.

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