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CQ Best Bets: Week 9

Not a great week, but not a bad one either.

NCAA Football: Memphis at Missouri
memphis why
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Swick offered the following introductory paragraph:

“Do feel free to fade our underdog picks. Holy god we’re taking a beating in that department. For the next couple of weeks I’m going to fade my first pick on that category and move to my second one, we’ll see what happens.”

After his pick of Memphis fell by 22.5 points and NC State got routed at Clemson, we’re now 5-11 and 15 units down on underdog picks this season. If not for those selections, we’d be 49-35-1, plus-39 units, and on the verge of hosting our own gambling infomercial like Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey in Two For the Money. Alas, we still have day jobs.

LAST WEEK: 7-4-1 (+4 units)

YTD: 54-46-1 (+24 units), 8.57% ROI



HOOSIER SPECIAL: 8-5-1 (+8 units) /// Indiana (-2.5) at Minnesota (54.5)

KYLE’S BET: u54.5 (2 units)

It’ll be 45 degrees and raining when this game kicks off on Friday night. Both teams are on a short week and #WeeknightUnders are in full effect. Minnesota 17, Indiana 15

ALEX’S BET: Indiana -2.5 (4 units)

I think this could be dangerous bet (even more so than a typical bet on the Hoosiers). The future looked awfully bright for about two total quarters on Saturday, and then Mike Penix’s knee was torn to shreds. Such a loss could destroy a team, especially on a short week, but something about Tom Allen and the role of motivator makes me think Indiana goes into Minneapolis and gets win. The fact that Minnesota sucks bad enough to lose by 25 and give up a 50-burger in Lincoln helps me reach that conclusion. Indiana 38, Minnesota 24

GAME OF THE WEEK: 8-6 (+4 units) /// Georgia (-6.5) vs Florida (n) (52)

KYLE’S BET: Florida +6.5 (2 units)

Florida has been absolute money for me this year. Seems like this game is always coming down to the last drive, so I’ll take the points. Georgia 27, Florida 24

ALEX’S BET: Florida +6.5 (2 units)

This line seems absolutely perfect. Each team has collected 50% of the best made ATS, and the line has not budged. I think Florida may be the most surprising team in the country this season, and Georgia is coming off a throttling at the hands of LSU. Add the fact that the Gators are 6-1 ATS to these two teams trending in different directions, and I’ll take Florida to cover if not win. Georgia 21, Florida 17

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: 12-6 (+22 units)

KYLE’S BET: Army at EASTERN MICHIGAN (-2) (3 units)

EMU is rolling the last couple of weeks, turning in percentile performances in the upper-90s and is hosting an Army squad that let Miami (OH) come roaring back to nearly win a game in overtime that the Black Knights had in hand. EMU are the kings of the one-possession game, and I think we’ll have another one here. Eastern Michigan 28, Army 24

ALEX’S BET: BOISE STATE (-9) at Air Force (5 units)

It brings me no pleasure to bet against a service academy, but I do suspect it’ll bring me cash. Despite the altitude, the Broncos roll in this one. Boise State 35, Air Force 17

UNDERDOG OF THE WEEK: 5-11 (-15 units)

KYLE’S BET: NAVY (+23.5) vs. Notre Dame (3 units)

There’s no thought into this pick (since that wasn’t doing us any good), just the guiding principle that the service academies don’t typically get blown out. Navy won’t win, but they’ll cover. Notre Dame 28, Navy 10

ALEX’S BET: PURDUE (+2.5) at Michigan State (3 units)

Swick and I are in my head, here. We are so bad at underdogs that I’ve got six or seven that look good and I’m not sure which trigger to pull. Is it Kentucky +7 at Missouri? Is it Navy, who Notre Dame hasn’t beaten by more than 17 since 2012 in Ireland, getting 24? You’ve also got Iowa +6.5 at Penn State and Arkansas as a home dog to Vanderbilt. But for me, I’ve got to go with what I still see as the best value you can get: a Purdue team that is three or four plays from being undefeated and is still getting treatment from Vegas like they are a bad 4-3. Purdue 31, Michigan State 27

OVER OF THE WEEK: 9-8 (+3 units)

KYLE’S BET: Wisconsin at Northwestern (o51) (5 units)

These teams are a combined 7-2 to the over in conference play this season. And yet, the majority of the tickets are coming in for the under while the number continues to move up. Wisconsin 41, Northwestern 20

ALEX’S BET: Kansas State at Oklahoma (o64) (5 units)

I don’t like many of the over/under options this week. I thought about Baylor and West Virginia at 67, but a closer look at Oklahoma reveals that not only do they have a fantastic offense, but they have a doo-doo defense. If Bill Snyder’s bunch can score 20 here, this over hits. Oklahoma 52, Kansas State 27

UNDER OF THE WEEK: 9-7 (+2 units)

KYLE’S BET: Iowa at Penn State (u52.5) (3 units)

The forecast is cold and rainy as it seemingly always is when these two teams get together. Penn State’s offense is superb but I’ll never underestimate Iowa’s ability to turn a game into a mud-wrasslin’ affair. Penn State 17, Iowa 9

ALEX’S BET: Wake Forest at Louisville (u65) (2 units)

I badly wanted to imagine the Wisconsin-Northwestern (o/u 51) game ending 7-3 and being the easiest under to hit since that Virginia Tech-Wake Forest game went to overtime 0-0. But when you get two bad teams that only combine for 50 PPG, you take those extra 15 points and don’t look back. Wake Forest 34, Louisville 21


Rice at North Texas (-30)

I got burned by UConn against USF last weekend, so now I’m wary of taking this huge spread. However, I will persist and try to get back to even with a game that seems like a no-brainer. That being said, Rice is one of the worst FBS teams this season, as new coach Mike Bloomgren is trying to implement a Stanford-type scheme with the Owls. Meanwhile, Seth Littrell is now 6-2 in his third season at North Texas. Does that name sound familiar? It should, because he was Kevin Wilson’s first OC at Indiana. Littrell’s OC’s name should also sound familiar — it’s Graham Harrell, formerly of those Mike Leach Texas Tech teams in the late 2000s. Littrell’s done a great job at UNT and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name come up for some head coaching vacancies soon (though I’d hate to see him go to Kansas, as that just seems like a career dead end). The Mean Green shine on offense but also have a pretty good defense, so I’ll take them to cover here. North Texas 41, Rice 7


Please do not wager large amounts on these. Or if you do and they hit, paypal in bio.


WE FINALLY DID IT. Can we make it a streak? Three teams, six points (+150)

  • Arkansas +7.5
  • Wisconsin -1
  • Texas Tech +9


All this talk of how bad we are at picking underdogs and I still put two in the parlay. I’m out of control. (+1259)

  • Wisconsin/Northwestern o51
  • Duke -2.5
  • Northern Illinois +7
  • Oklahoma State +3.5

Good luck, cash tickets.