Every week during the football season, “The Heartthrob” G.W. Gras will be giving out his college and professional football “best bets” against the spread. The wise guys in Vegas live comfortably – it’s time we all get on their level.
Judging Last Week: The Browns and Florida were the money makers last week. Eagles hurt a lot of people (especially those who took them in Suicide Pools, yikes). The Bills almost made a comeback but it was too little too late and Cal got lazy late in the game to let Texas come back.
BYU (+5.5) at Michigan
Michigan has notched two wins under their belt after losing their season opener to Utah 24-17. The Wolverines are a one dimensional offense, led by the running attack of De’Veon Smith and Ty Issac. The backs have combined for over 300 rushing yards this season. The scouting reports have circulated though on quarterback Jake Rudock, who has five interceptions on the year – not a good look for someone being asked to manage the game. The defense has looked good the last two weeks, but the inept offenses of Oklahoma State and UNLV can make anybody’s defense look above average. BYU comes into this game with confidence and a lot of luck on their side. The “luck” comes from win over Nebraska resulting from a “Hail Mary” touchdown pass and beating Boise State by scoring two touchdowns in the final minute. They loss to number ten ranked UCLA last week by one point. In that loss they made UCLA freshman-quarterback-phenom, Josh Rosen, look like a freshman, picking him off three times. Rosen struggled mightily throughout the game, while BYU’s Tanner Mangum helped lead a balanced attack against an impressive UCLA defense. Michigan is too one dimensional on offense and suspect on defense for BYU not to move the ball on them.
Take BYU +5.5
Ohio University (+10.5) at Minnesota
The Ohio Bobcats are 3-0 to start the season and have won by double-digits in each game. This week the Bobcats travel to Minnesota for their first real test of the season. The Bobcats have had a surprisingly balanced offensive attack and that’s because of the depth at the skill positions this year. The offense is averaging 33 points per game and the Minnesota Golden Gophers defense has allowed 17 points per game – nearly half of what the Ohio is used to seeing. Minnesota struggled against a MAC opponent in Kent State last week, only winning 10-7 and won by three points to Colorado State. Minnesota came into this season with some high expectations, even after a loss to TCU to open the season. Many saw the fight in the Gophers to believe that this program is on its way up. Minnesota’s defensive front will be a problem for Ohio’s offensive line and much like the Bobcats, they have a strong running attack. The MAC Conference has been a thorn to the side of the Big 10 Conference in recent years and although Minnesota should pull off the victory, there is nothing that proves they will run away with it. The Bobcats have a lot of size and athleticism, and that will keep them in this game.
Take Ohio +10.5
USC (-5.5) at Arizona State
USC started out the season blowing out easy opponents and as soon as they faced an average Stanford squad – they lost by ten points. That just isn’t a good look. Understanding the rivalry and familiarity between USC and Stanford, one might be able to look passed this loss, BUT – in a year that Stanford is definitely on a down-year and USC supposedly climbing back to national prominance – this just isn’t a good look. USC would be nothing without it’s fair share of drama in a season and coach Steve Sarkasian has definitely supplied that early in the year. Arizona State may be in the same boat with USC if one looks at their 2-1 record. They open the season getting handled by Texas A&M and then beat up on two powder-puff squads. Both teams look questionable on defense but both seem to have offensive fire-power. The over/under is set at 63, which seems about right, but in a game where points will be scored by both teams, take the home under-dog. Although both have the same record and play in the same conference, the pressure is always more on USC.
Take Arizona State +5.5
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at New York Jets
Chip Kelly’s “genius” is being put into question. After all the crazy off-season moves, Kelly’s Eagles have an 0-2 record and this offense hasn’t hit it’s stride. The signing of Demarco Murray has brought nothing to this offense, as he has struggled out of the gate (21 carries for 11 yards). Murray is a north-south runner, but the Eagles insist on running sweeps out of the shotgun with him. If Kelly is the “genius” we’ve all been led to believe that he is, he starts running Murray up the gut. Unfortunately for the Eagles, this might not be the week to try that. The Jets have a strong front seven and like to attack frequently. The Jets have big names on their defense and the one who gets overlooked is David Harris. Harris is a sure-tackler, that cleans up the middle of the field well and can mirror backs with the best of them. The Jets offense has been more efficient than flashy, but that’s all they’ve needed thus far. Brandon Marshall is proving that when healthy he is still one of the hardest receivers to cover in the league, and Eagle’s corner back Byron Maxwell will have his hands full. Maxwell has been picked on a lot in the first two weeks. . . The Jets have (personally) been the team to trust in covering the spread, but keep it in perspective. If they do beat the Eagles – who have the Jets really played? A Browns team that stinks, an over-rated Colts team and an over-hyped Eagles squad. Not saying the Jets aren’t good but they will get hit with reality eventually. . . luckily for them, Chip Kelly and the Eagles do not live in reality.
Take the Jets -2.5
If You Must: Seahawks -14.5 – The Chicago Bears are without Jay Cutler and going into Seattle to play an 0-2 Seahawks team. This is a Seahawks team that has been hearing for two weeks that things are tearing apart at the seams and that their run is over. There is no better way to get back on track than getting a home win against a team starting Jimmy Clausen at quarterback. . . These are rough times for Bears fans.
College / NFL Football Tease of the Week: four gamer – Patriots -1.5, Cowboys/Falcons Over 33, BYU +17.5, Wisconsin -12.5
Good Luck and wager wisely.