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.
Cal -6.5 at Texas
Going into Texas used to be a scary situation for visiting teams. The only thing scary there now-a-days is the job security for people atthe university. Texas has just fired their athletic director Steve Patterson, who’s reign of (not even) two years has been abysmal. This happens a week after head coach Charlie Strong ripped away the play calling responsibilities from his offensive coordinator. Charlie Strong is a good coach, but he needs a good four or five years to get things where the boosters want it. With that being said, Cal has one of the better quarterbacks in the nation in Jared Goff. Goff is a big quarterback with a strong arm and throws at a completion percentage of seventy-three. Cal’s defense has held the offenses of Grambling State and San Diego State to scores of 14 and 7 respectively. Those are both below average offenses and the Texas Longhorns are pretty much that – below average. The Longhorns defense isn’t much better allowing 494 total yards per game. Cal might start slow in the hostile environment, but not slow enough to win this game by at least 16 points.
Take Cal at -6.5
Florida -3 at Kentucky
Some people think Kentucky will make strides this year to be a better team. Getting off to a 2-0 start is a good look for the Wildcats, but considering the wins come against a team they should beat in Louisiana-Lafayette and a South Carolina Gamecocks team that is in a predictable “down” season, nobody should be planning a parade in Kentucky. Kentucky’s success comes from running the ball behind Stanley “Boom” Johnson and Jojo Kemp – who average 10 and 7 yards a rush, respectively. The yards on the ground won’t come as easy against this Florida defense though. In playing against similar competition as Kentucky has (New Mexico and Eastern Carolina) – the Gators defense has allowed a little over a yard a carry. Kentucky’s offensive line will get worn down by Florida’s strength and the speed on Florida’s offense will be too much for Kentucky to handle. Florida sends Kentucky right back down to reality with a win here.
Take Florida -3
New England Patriots at the Buffalo Bills
Currently this game is a “pick ’em” and that seems about right. Rex Ryan has at his disposal a defense that has the potential to be as good as his early Jets’ defenses and even some of his vicious Ravens’ defenses. When Rex was looking for a new job this off-season, I’m sure folks in New England thought they were rid of the perpetual “thorn in their side,” but it didn’t work out that way. In his last four meetings against the Patriots he came away with a 30-27 over-time win and three loses – all of which were decided by 3, 2 and 1 point differentials. Considering how bad the Jets were last year, that says something. Besides the great defense he’s got this year, he has legit weapons on offense as well. With all that being said, “the Patriots are the Patriots.” You can never count them out, even with very questionable depth on the defensive side of the ball, Bill Belichick always seems to ‘scheme’ correctly. It will be chess match, but this is one, where the Bills take the king with the rook.
Take the Bills.
Dallas Cowboys +5 at the Philadelphia Eagles
Both teams had odd week-ones. It looked like the Cowboys were doing everything in their power to give the Giants opportunities to get the win; while the Eagles had all the momentum late in the game against Atlanta and didn’t continue to ride it. At the end of it all, the Cowboys won in dazzling theatrical fashion and the Eagles shrugged their shoulders at losing to the Falcons. Romo is without a doubt, one of the most under appreciated quarterbacks in NFL history and his “haters” are turned up after his Sunday Night Football performance. The Eagles defense had no answer for Julio Jones on Monday night, but with Dez Bryant out of the game with a broken foot, that should calm down the likes of corner back Byron Maxwell. In the second half of Monday night’s contest, Sam Bradford looked locked in and the Eagles offense looked as good as advertised. The Eagles fans will resemble the likes of an ugly riot come game-time and this Cowboys defense at the end of the day, just does not have the talent to keep up with the weapons that will be coming at them at a rapid fire pace.
Take the Eagles -5
If you must: Browns +1 – Titans play a better defense and Haden will not look like fool two weeks in a row. Vegas knows the average Joe, wants to believe Mariota can put up Oregon numbers in the pros. Watch the struggles this week.
College Football Tease of the Week: Four Gamer; Cal +5.5, UCLA -5, Arkansas +.5 and Florida +9
Good Luck and wager wisely.