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College Football Betting Guide: September 17, 2016

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It’s another new Crimson Quarry piece! Since we have a staff writer living in Las Vegas now, why not pretend we know how you should bet your money?

NFL: Las Vegas Views Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Editorial Note: In this new Crimson Quarry feature, we’ll give you the bets to make on all matchups featuring two Top-25 teams (coaches poll, because we respect it more after one coach voted for Indiana in the preseason poll) and any game with a Big Ten team. It should be noted, however, that these picks are sure to go wrong. Gamble legally and responsibly.

As a new Las Vegas resident and gambling aficionado (although I prefer blackjack, craps, and horse racing to betting on athletes and chance — you know, something I can control [rolls eyes]), Kyle thought I would be the perfect choice for our new degenerate guide gambling feature. All lines are accurate as of whatever time I decide to write this each week. So, pay attention, boys and girls:

Top-25 Games

Florida State (-1.5) at Louisville, O/U 68, 12:00 p.m. ET

This game has everything you love to hate when picking a winner. Two top-10 teams that have had completely different starts — Florida State struggling early with Ole Miss before roaring back to a big opening week win, Louisville playing two cupcakes (and don’t try to tell me Syracuse isn’t a cupcake) and scoring like 76 touchdowns. A big-time matchup that has what is sure to be a sleepy noon start time. The State of Kentucky.

I’d like the over in this game if it was a 3:30 kickoff or a night game, but that noon start just screams 10-9 at halftime. I’m probably wrong, but that noon kick is enough to scare me off of that. If you don’t know why I think that, turn on any Big Ten game that starts at noon and try to stay awake watching punts from the opponent’s 40 on 4th and 1 (looking at you, Iowa) or 68 students in the stands as a defense fights like hell because they know they can’t win if they give up more than 10 points (looking at you, Northwestern).

I’ll ride with the Noles. I will never trust a Bobby Petrino team in a big game after he lost to Rutger a decade ago. Nuff said.

PIck: Florida State (-1.5)

Alabama (-11) at Ole Miss, O/U 54.5, 3:30 p.m. ET

I’m sure as hell not picking against the Tide. Ole Miss has had Nick Saban’s number as of late, which seems to me to make it clear that Alabama is gonna win like 42-6. I don’t think Vegas has protected themselves enough.

Pick: Alabama (-11)

Michigan State at Notre Dame (-7.5), O/U 50, 7:30 p.m. ET

As you might have heard on The Podcast Was Good, Michigan State is kind of assy. Some people on this website have compared their quarterback, whose name I refuse to remember, to a jar of mayo. But here’s the thing: I’m not sure Notre Dame is great. Sure there was a lot of emotion in that stadium, but they lost to a Texas team that, in my mind, just cannot have made as big a jump as the polls suggest they have. Plus, Dantonio and the Spartans always seem to have something up their sleeves when they play the Irish.

All that said, I would not bet on a jar of mayo to win a game or to help get me to the over, especially when he only put up 28 on Furman.

Pick: Notre Dame (-7.5)

Ohio State (-2) at Oklahoma, O/U 63, 7:30 p.m. ET

Honestly, I wouldn’t bet this game. I am so sure, having watched Oklahoma get thoroughly dominated by Houston a couple weeks ago, that Ohio State is going to win by about 30 points, I must be wrong. I also think the over is a lock.

I know Ohio State hasn’t played anybody, but can you really imagine that Oklahoma defense that couldn’t do anything with Houston keeping the Buckeyes from hanging at least 40? I can’t. And the names Baker Mayfield and Big Game Bob are enough to make me think Oklahoma can’t pull this one out.

So, naturally, if I were to bet this one, nothing I think I know would be so. I won’t be betting it. But if I was:

Pick: Ohio State (-2) AND Over

Big Ten Games

Temple at Penn State (-9.5), O/U 51.5, 12:00 p.m. ET

Penn State is honoring Joe Paterno on Saturday. No matter what you think will happen, as a human being with common decency, don’t put money on Penn State. Don’t make money off of that disgraceful institution and program.

Pick: Temple (+9.5)

North Dakota State at Iowa (NL), 12:00 p.m. ET

It’s a real shame there’s no line here, because this is one of those games that Iowa wins by single digits at home after we’ve spent all afternoon checking the scoreboard and saying, “OH! Iowa might lose to an FBS!”

Georgia State at Wisconsin (-35), O/U 50, 12:00 p.m. ET

35 points is a lot of points. But Georgia State lost to Ball State in Week 1 and got torched by Air Force last week. Wisconsin, meanwhile, has punched LSU in the mouth already. 35 is a lot, but not enough.

Pick: Wisconsin (-35)

Colorado at Michigan (-19.5), O/U 56, 3:30 p.m. ET

No, they haven’t played anybody, but both of these teams seem much improved from last season. I’d like to think that Colorado can hang with the Wolverines this weekend, but you could easily imagine a late touchdown or two giving Michigan a backdoor cover. Instead, I’m going with just a whole bunch of offense.

Pick: Over

Oregon at Nebraska (-3), O/U 76, 3:30 p.m. ET

I really, really want Nebraska to win this game. I still think the Hoosiers will be 4-1 when the Cornhuskers come to town on Homecoming weekend, and an undefeated Nebraska would make that game about as big a game as Memorial Stadium has seen in the past decade. But Mike Riley is just 5-11 against Oregon. Bo Pelini would have had a better shot in this game (don’t @ me Nebraska fans, I’m kidding, kinda).

Pick: Oregon (+3)

Western Michigan (-3) at Illinois, O/U 54, 4:00 p.m. ET

P.J. Fleck finishes the sweep of the State of Illinois and earns his second win against the Big Ten this season. Fleck having more Big Ten wins this season than Purdue will make it even more entertaining when he turns down the Boilers’ job offer at season’s end.

Pick: Western Michigan (-3)

Maryland (-9.5) at Central Florida, O/U 59.5, 7:00 p.m. ET

Maryland has been awfully good against a bunch of nobodies early on, and Central Florida is coming off an ugly beating at the hands of Michigan. But there’s something about the Terps I don’t trust yet. I wouldn’t bet this game in real life, but here, I’ll take the home team to keep it close, even though they won’t win it outright.

Pick: Central Florida (+9.5)

Duke at Northwestern (-3.5), O/U 44.5, 8:00 p.m. ET

Lol.

Pick: Duke (+3.5) AND Under