Mad Wagerin' so far as been doing what most everyone has been doing this year: giving money to Vegas. Still, at just two games under a straight .500 and with a few pushes to count as wins, Peter's still doing better than the gambling community at large. To the windows, boys and girls, because the family that wagers together stays together.
So now everyone's seen what can happen when you try and pull gangsta moves on The Universal Force of Bad Action. The things I do for y'all.
You can't not be amazed by it. The opening kickoff returned by Missouri for a touchdown, two Oklahoma turnovers inside Mizzou's 15-yard line (one returned for 58 yards by a defensive lineman), and a missed field goal, all in the first half. I'll probably use the units I'll make on the upcoming bowl season to executive produce a documentary of next year's Bad Action narrative, featuring live sportsbook shots, interviews, and reenactments of key plays with artist interpretations of the ghosts that make the Force work, like 'Angels in the Outfield' of reality.
A lot of the creative work has already been done here, actually.
So one pick this week is easy enough.
Nebraska -7.5 over Missouri (5 units) (3:35 PM ET, ABC/ESPN): The idea that Missouri won that game last week is just absurd.
I also mentioned that it's a good idea to try and pull a swerve on the Bad Action Force at least twice in a season. Sometimes your instincts can be too refined, so if it didn't work the first time you tried, it's a good idea to just try it again the very next week and have that be it to keep yourself from going crazy.
This week, it would be Oregon -7 over USC (5 units) (8:05 PM ET, ABC): The same ideas about the Bad Action force weakening after doing such damage in successive weeks obviously still applies here,* but there are a few more things going on this week as well. First, if you've ever been to a sports book in Las Vegas, you know that at least 80% of the people there are from LA, USC alums, or USC fans. But more importantly, if you watched last week's Oregon/UCLA game, you saw a snuff film, and if you're like most people, it terrified you and you're looking for relief. That's an emotion we can't afford here.
Finally, there's a rule that says when a starter on one team deletes a tweet in the week leading up to the game, pick the other side. This system has never lost.
On to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party 2010, FUGly-style.
You can really tie yourself up in knots with this one. Trying to figure out if the Gators might use the bye-week to retool and restore competence to their offense, or how much to take from Georgia's three-game winning streak against SEC also-rans. How much more talent do the Gators have? Will it matter? The Gators' 3rd-down offense against UGA's 3rd-down D, resistable object or movable force?
Georgia -2.5 over Florida (8 units) (3:35 PM ET, CBS): Sticking with the UGA redemption meme here. I always try to avoid underestimating just how badly bad rules can fuck people, which is as good an explanation as any for what happened to Georgia early this season with the A.J. Green jersey thing.
Mississippi +7 over Auburn (3 units) (6:05 PM ET, ESPN): Just the obligatory Too Much Cam play. Look at Feldman, out of control (actually, sort of cute). Anyway, it's still pretty shocking that somebody hasn't made a Cam Newton highlight video set to this.
Michigan State -6.5 over Iowa (5 units) (3:35 PM ET, ABC/ESPN): It's easy to see why so many think this one has Bad Action written all over it, and I'm required to admit I've got it bad for the Sparty 2010 BCS bandwagon, but still. This is really the last hump for Sparty to clear to do critical damage to the BCS picture. They know they're big underdogs. How aren't they going to come in as ready as possible here? How won't that be good enough? How does Iowa get it up for this after last week's crushing loss? Isn't Northwestern perpetually underrated these days? Sparty's lucky, two fake kicks and all that, fine, but at some point luck adds up to turn into something else.
It should also be noted that it was right around Halloween the last time Sparty did anything halfway decent.
Relatedly, while I'm here to help, if you're still looking for a costume, it's all too easy to forget that the "fake parent head, fake baby body" thing is a crowd pleaser every time. Like with the baby clinging around a mother's neck, with the costume-wearer's head as the baby's head attached to a dummy baby body in the back, rigged around a fake plastic mother's head and neck that's set on some fake shoulders placed in front and just off to the side of the costume-wearer's head. This is generally made to work by employment of enormous fake breasts and a long flowing dress, but big football shoulder pads would work too, which means that Little Tress hanging around Pryor's neck is in play here, Little Nicky on Ingram or Jones, etc. (remember, it only really has to look good from the front).
All too easy to forget -- and this has been a major source of stress -- because information on working up this kind of gear isn't at all readily available anywhere on the internet (not even pictures -- this is the closest I can find, which sort of gives you an idea). Someone here has to know what I'm talking about.
That's all for this week. Hope everyone enjoys. Your feedback is necessary in the comments as always (and more than ever on the costume thing).
I'm 17-19-4 (-8 units) picking this season against the spread so far here and 20-20-4 (-6 units) counting the additional picks published at Cleveland Frowns. (One unit is one percent of your bankroll for the season).
Peter Pattakos is the editor of Cleveland Frowns. Follow him @clevelandfrowns on Twitter and stay out of his way at the sportsbook.