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OK, time to try and make a little sense of the college football season, even though it’s still too early in the proceedings to really have too much feel for who’s going to do what yet. But that doesn’t stop us from trying, because that’s what America does.
Oklahoma (-23.5) at UCLA
The Sooners will score, and it already looks like they have another potential Heisman Trophy quarterback (which would make three in a row, which of course is impossible) in Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts. They’re also trying to make the playoffs for the third straight time, which isn’t easy in a landscape dominated by Bama and Clemson. I don’t know how motivated they will be to play this opponent, which lost last week at the Rose Bowl to San Diego State as an eight-point favorite. Chip Kelly’s Bruins ain’t winning. And I doubt they’ll even be able to keep it close, since they haven’t been scoring. So let’s hope OU, which has a bye next and shouldn’t be looking ahead to Texas Tech, is interested. The only way they don’t roll is if they just don’t care. And even then the visitors still might have enough to cover.
New Mexico (+35) at Notre Dame
I know the Lobos can’t win. Or really even expect to come close. But … their coach, Bob Davie, coached the Irish once upon a time. He won’t be making the trip, due to some health issues. Who knows? Maybe ND doesn’t necessarily try to win by 100. It was off last week, and goes to Georgia after this. So there is that. And maybe NM gives a decent effort for Davie. I know the Lobos aren’t much, but five touchdowns is a lot and I’ll root for like a 42-14 kind of game. Why not?
Houston (+10) vs. Washington State
WSU can certainly be offensive-minded for Mike Leach, but so can the host Cougars. WSU has played nobody, which is OK. Houston didn’t embarrass itself at Oklahoma in the opener. I’m not sure the home team can win, but I think it can be a tight type of shootout. The over-under, by the way, is 73.5. Just saying.
And now, my weekly SEC selection. And it's an SEC-NFL Teaser:
Florida (-8) at Kentucky
Kansas City -7.5 at Oakland (NFL)
I’m playing a two-team teaser using the Gators with the Chiefs. Florida lost to Kentucky last year, for the first time in forever. They haven’t lost to the Wildcats in Lexington since 1986. I’m betting they won’t lose this revenge matchup, but I’m not sure if they cover the spread. So I’ll knock it down to two, and use them with Kansas City giving 7.5 at Oakland on Sunday. Again, I’m not sure if KC will win by more than that, but I’m pretty confident it won’t lose, even on the road within the division, to a rival it appears to be clearly better than. But we’ll see. As I always warn, that’s why they call them teasers.
As for the locals, here goes:
Penn State vs. Pitt (over 53.5)
Temple (+7) vs. Maryland
I don’t have a strong opinion on either matchup. But I do know this is the last time PSU will play Pitt for the foreseeable future. The Nits are 17-point faves for a reason, for whatever that’s worth. I just think they will want to send a lasting message if possible. If you were James Franklin, wouldn’t you? The total seems a bit low, so I’ll try that and hope the Nits can get maybe like 35-40 all by themselves.
As for the Owls, this is their second game for a new coach. And the first one, against Bucknell, doesn’t really count, even though they scored a zillion. Maryland, with a grad transfer quarterback from Virginia Tech, just laid 60 on Syracuse at home. This is the first trip for the Terps, although it’s only a bus ride. Logic says they should probably win, possibly even win rather easily, but sometimes you have to just go with the gut. Temple won at Maryland last year, big, in a week three upset. Not sure the Owls will do it again, but I’m thinking it will be a game if nothing else.
Be back tomorrow with some pro stuff for your consideration. Keep the faith.