Also, a reminder that one tool I use is a computer program devised by a really smart gambler I knew that uses the Sagarin Ratings, a scaled home field database (Ohio State’s home edge is worth more than Rice’s, for instance) and an injury/cluster injury rating. When lines are 6-8 points off what it spills out, it hits at roughly 60 percent. When the lines are 10 or more off, it is about 88 percent. I mention it because you will see me refer to my “computer ratings” on occasion. Like anything, they are just an extra tool. You can devise your own using Sagarin ratings. It’s just an additional thing I use along with common sense handicapping, the eye test and opinions I have developed on certain teams.
We will not have any horse racing plays this week. The Breeders’ Cup is next Friday and Saturday, and we will handicap every race in detail. I have already been asked about several of the races; I will not do anything until after the actual draw, because in these big fields, post position is critical. So please be patient.
Finally, if I did not include a game here, I have no opinion on it. I get a lot of “what do you think of so and so -20 vs. so and so” questions. The answer in advance is no opinion either way.
Also, if you don’t bet, don’t start just because some dickweed radio guy does it. People can and do lose money. This is just to help those who are already doing it hopefully avoid having to sell their car.
OK, enough disclaiming. Here we go:
SMU plus 3 at Tulane: The computer spits out SMU as a 5-point favorite. That is a significant swing. The question you have to ask is will there be a letdown for SMU after their biggest win in years? Or will this give them confidence? We will guess the latter and play this one medium. The plus 120 money line will get a few bucks, too. TWO WINS.
Utah plus 10 vs. Washington: The Huskies are the class of the Pac-12 and should win this, but Utah is a solid team, is playing at home and 10 points is an awful lot. Small play. WIN.
Hawaii-New Mexico over 64: These are two teams that have played pretty well over their last four games, and both offenses can put up points. Computer says they should combine for 82 points. Good enough for a medium play. LOSS
Other games to consider: Central Florida plus 9.5 at Houston. You get the feeling the Cougars are about to stomp a hole in somebody, but the last three games they have been -17, -17 and -21. They lost, barely won and lost. I don’t play UH games but UCF seems like a strong play here. WIN…Let’s add Old Dominion -5 at UTEP…ODU burned us last week but should be nine-point favorites. The only concern is a long, tough road trip. UTEP is coming off its best win of the season, too. Small play. WIN.
New Orleans plus-2 vs. Seattle. Grueling OT game for the Seahawks last week. West to East road trip off a relatively short week. 10 a.m. negative body clock game for Seattle. The Seahawks are the better team, but all the angles point to the Saints. R.J. Bell loved this one, too. Solid play. WIN
The only other game on the docket that I would even consider is New England -7 at Buffalo. Will see if it gets back to 6.5. first. But iffy on that one. WIN
The weather is not as bad as we were hoping for in Saskatchewan. We will hit a small ticket on the under 53. WIN
As mentioned above, we will be sitting this weekend out in preparation for next week’s Breeders’ Cup. Picks will be available Thursday.