Peter is up against history as we know it in this week's edition of Mad Wagerin', and discussing the true life of wiseguys, which may or may not include getting lobster in prison and doing just slightly better than average on sports wagering.Follow him at @clevelandfrowns on Twitter and read him at Cleveland Frowns.
After 13 weeks and 76 picks on the internet this season I'm 35-35-6 against the spread with the college football, a record easily measured by and against all known science and history:
The perception of squares is that wiseguys know everything. They way they split stats, break down games and find angles is something mystical, that leads to boatloads of money and unmatched success every Sunday. They know something, we don't. The fact that knowing something means they are right only slightly more often than they are wrong is often lost. But it's the truth. If sharps are right 5.4 times out of every 10 bets, they are winning pretty big.
Which is still actually completely mystical and leads to boatloads of something, but it's also one big reason why so many folks who pick football games against the spread in print don't publish their record along with their picks, along the lines of what they say about watching sausage being made.
Anyway, remember, the system used here is designed for and has historically realized increased performance as the reality of each season becomes more and more real. Two seasons ago, I was 17-9 against the spread with the bowl games. With all the effort put into this wagering season so far (unprecedented for me, really, inspired by this hallowed platform), there's no reason to think I won't do just as well this winter, which, at worst, would put me right above a professional 54%. Probably better since we still have one more slate of "regular season" games left. You'll see how impossible it's getting to argue with these picks:
Oregon -16.5 over Oregon State (6 units), 3:35 PM ET, ABC: In my fifteen-plus years in The Game I can't remember anything in American Football wagering like this Oregon team. It's not that they cover the spread every week (6-4-1 against the final number this seeason, per Covers.com). It's the way the way they can go into halftime tied, as 25-point favorites, and still have everyone who wagered on them feeling FINE. There's so much to be said for it, and it's the last time for who knows how long we'll be able to enjoy it (especially if they end up playing Auburn for the title). If you don't take the Ducks here you're just being a jerk to yourself.
Auburn -6 over South Carolina (6 units), 4:05 PM ET, CBS: And we have to feel the same way about any team that has Gus Malzahn in a coordinator position. This is the second to last game ever of this. Also, if the fix is in for anything this weekend, it's for Auburn and Oregon to make it out okay.
Washington -6.5 over Washington State (3 units), 7:05 PM ET, ESPN: Just when you think a dream is dead, it rises again in the dreamiest possible way. I can't believe the preseason Sark-hype was for nothing here. Also, strange, Washington State had three weeks off between breaking an eight game losing streak and playing this game. Would be easy enough for the Cougars to have checked out by now.
Florida State +4 over Virginia Tech (10 units), 7:50 PM ET, ESPN: Florida State has only lost against teams with B-plus-level mastery of the forward pass this season (Oklahoma, NC State, UNC), and two of those in closing minutes. Nightmares of Tyrod Taylor running east and west in his backfield against Georgia Tech haven't faded, which is exactly the sort of thing that helps 35-35 turn into 17-9.
Nebraska +4.5 over Oklahoma (6 units), 8:05 PM ET, ABC: When a high-powered offense goes against a defense that's an order of magnitude better than anything else the offense has faced in a season, I like to play the psycho-shock factor with the D (like with the Huskers against Texas in this same game last year). Even better with this Nebraska group against Landry Jones. Nebraska's injuries on offense have to be bought-and-paid-for in the spread here. Plus, of course, it's Saturday night, and Bad Action has to be with the Sooners here.
Alright, that's a regular season. Looks like 5-0 to me, but your feedback on these and the rest is necessary as always. Catch you when it's time to Bowl for Dollars.
(NOTE: One unit is one percent of your season-opening bankroll. We're -12 units so far this season.)