Friday, October 15, 2010

Iowa Friday - Can There Be Life After Sparty?

I should probaly title this FAQ (Friday Afternoon Quaterback), but I don't want to have something that's associated with Frequently Asked Questions....

Here we go again…It seems oddly ironic when you look at it. Last year, Michigan literally collapsed after the Sparty debacle in East Lansing. Based on what I saw Saturday, with all Michigan’s injuries and the obvious strength and depth of the Big 10, I am now asking myself: “Can there be life after Sparty?”

When I say it was ironic, it seems that not too long ago Michigan would face an undefeated fraudulent Sparty team that we would soundly defeat with old fashioned, grind it out football. Sparty would go slink into it’s corner never to be heard from again. Have the tables turned? Is Michigan that bad? I know statistically the evidence is not good. I’m just hoping this team can find the will, spirit and way to win 3 more games. There’s 3 more on the schedule that are definitely winnable: Penn State, Illinois, and Purdue. Everything else is a potential drinking day to make the pain stop….

So much for the realist. The MMQ’s betting record so far this year isn’t too far off where I was last year. And this was about the time when I hit my stride. It’s October and this is the time when the real bloodbaths and upsets start to occur. Small favorites get tight and play down to their opponents’ level. Big spreads get blown open even larger by teams looking for BCS style points. Theory: Take the small dogs and bet the heavy (+8 or more) favorites. Let’s see if we can get 3 out of 5, or at least hit our best bets.

Texas at Nebraska (-9.5): Yes, it’s a rivalry game. Yes, Texas had a week off prior to this game. Big Deal. I think a week off hurts more than helps, frankly. And if it helps, well, Nebraska played last THURSDAY, remember? Did you watch the Big 12 Championship last year? Have you seen Nebraska on offense this year? Have you seen Texas on either offense or defense this year? I’ll take the Cornhuskers and lay the 9.5 for $50.

Western at Domers (-22): The Domers are now into the competition that they can beat and they will start to try to put some style points on the board - mercilessly. Also, Domer blowouts to MAC teams are expected and I’m sure Kelly knows that and will abuse Western as needed. Take the Domers and lay the 22 for $50

Arkansas at Auburn (-3): I wasn’t sold on Auburn at the beginning of the season and I’m still not entirely sold on them, but they are formidable at home. Newton vs. Mallet. Defense vs. Defense(lite). However, Arkansas needs this one to keep any SEC or BCS hopes alive…Not to mention a New Year’s day game. Auburn barely beat Kentucky...Arkansas would have beat Alabama first had Mallet not made some bonehead mistakes...I think he'll stop doing that now that National Title pressure is off...Take Arkansas and the 3 for $30

Illinois (+7) at SPARTY: There is absolutely no love for Illinois in Vegas and they are ATS wunderkinds…They are a stellar 5-1 ATS this year and the only one they didn’t cover was Northern Illinois. And these two teams still can’t stand each other…This has become more of a rivalry than people realize. The Illini just spanked PSU and played OSU pretty tough and it was closer than the score indicated. Will Sparty be hungover and tense after beating Michigan and being 6-0? Sparty wins, but I’ll take the Illini and the 7 for $20

OSU at Cheeseheads (+4): This one is TOUGH....Wisconsin is the home dog and they have traditionally played OSU incredibly well. Brett B is on somewhat of a hot seat in Wisconsin. They take that whole “He’s from Iowa” thing pretty serious there and he could use a signature win. Is this the year? Can OSU avoid the #1 ranking kiss of death? Better yet, if OSU loses and Sparty wins (but doesn’t cover!), wouldn’t that shake things up? Take Wisky and the 4 for $15.

Iowa at Michigan (+3):
Wow…Michigan is a mess and Vegas thinks this game is only a 3 point play…I would have given the Wolverines at least 7 at home and it still would have been a tough decision. So what does Vegas know? Maybe the fact that Iowa’s Defense, which is ranked near the top of the Big 10 and NCAA, hasn’t really played anyone, offensively, that is, with the exception of Arizona. And they lost. Michigan’s offense, on the other hand, has played poor defenses, that’s true. But when you take Michigan out of the equation (or the stats of Notre Dame, UMass, and even Sparty) the defenses all get BETTER comparatively speaking. What does it all mean? We still can’t stop anyone, but if DeRob comes out on fire like he was in the first 5, well, Michigan could steal this one at home. But I doubt it...PASS

Best 3: Texas – Domers - Arkansas $20 pays $120.

BANK: $553.5

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