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When it comes to picking winners against the spread, I’m having rather amusing luck. Last week, I mentioned how I’d done very well on the general population of picks, even though the evidence on the eleven I’d advertised showed that I’d had a lousy week on that front. So in an attempt at transparency, I shared ALL my FBS preferences for Week 8.
So, OF COURSE, my eight major picks went very well – I hit five out of the eight – but the overall, for the first time all year, fell WAY short of 50/50, hitting just 36 and losing on 50 “bets” (I refuse to put money where my mouth is, as a matter of Godly principle rather than a fear of inaccuracy – if I feared being wrong, I wouldn’t have shared them!) with eight pushed (either we had the same pick as the Vegas folks, or the game’s final margin hit the number exactly).
It wouldn’t do any good to tell you that the FCS picks were better or worse, either, because they weren’t. Sigh.
So, here are eighteen games we at Following Football like for Week 9 against the spread… (looking up to God for mercy…)
- Virginia at home (- 9) vs. North Carolina. The Cavaliers continue to get better and better; we have this game at -13, as does Sagarin.
- Virginia Tech at home Thursday night (- 3) vs. Georgia Tech. Despite their embarrassing loss to Old Dominion, the Hokies control their conference destiny and won’t let it go this week.
- Iowa (+ 6.5) at Penn State. Another situation where our favorite is motivated and we like the spread.
- Minnesota at home (+ 2.5) Friday night v. Indiana. As much as we like Indiana, we don’t see this as a field goal either way.
- TCU (-13.5) at Kansas. It’s a Big 12 game. The point spreads need to be expanded to deal with games that have triple-digit over/unders.
- Washington (- 12) at Cal-Berkeley. Every number we see puts this game at 15 or 16.
- Florida (+ 7) v. Georgia in Jacksonville. The Gators are resurgent, too much so to give the worrisome Dawgs a touchdown.
- South Carolina at home (- 8.5) v Tennessee. The Vols are the first team that couldn’t reach the Alabama spread even when the Tide put the third string in.
- U Conn (+ 4) at home v. U Mass. Yes, Connecticut’s terrible. But so is Massachusetts.
- Tulane (+ 2) at Tulsa. We like Tulane outright. So does Sagarin.
- FIU (- 4) at Western Kentucky. Did you see the ending to the WKU/ODU game last week? And you STILL want to bet on a Mike Samford team?
- Middle Tennessee St (+ 4) at Old Dominion. Did you see the ending to the WKU/ODU game last week? And you STILL want to bet on an Old Dominion win?
- Louisiana Tech (+3.5) at Florida Atlantic. FAU continues to be overvalued because of last year’s success.
- Wyoming at home (+1.5) Friday night v. Colorado State. I’m mystified how CSU can be favored on the road against ANYONE except maybe Western Kentucky or Old Dominion….
- UNLV (+2.5) at San Jose State. We think favoring SJSU is courting havoc. We know the Rebels aren’t as strong as the early part of the season, but they’re still better than the Spartans.
- Appalachian State (- 8.5) Thursday night at home v Georgia Southern. GSU is playing well, but the Mountaineers are arguably the best Group of Five club in the land. We have this spread at TWENTY POINTS – it’s our LOCK OF THE WEEK! (And we don’t even DO “lock of the week”!)
- Georgia State (+3.5) at home v. Coastal Carolina. We have Georgia State winning outright.
- Army-West Point (+ 2) at Eastern Michigan. Army took Oklahoma to overtime; you don’t think they can beat EMU?
In order to tempt fate and punish ourselves before God even more, here are our FBS favorites against the spread this week, if we didn’t proclaim them above…
ACC: Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Miami. (Clemson/FSU is -17 for us as well.)
Big Ten: Purdue (we see them winning outright, but I don’t trust a post-high letdown), Northwestern, Illinois.
Big Twelve: West Virginia, Iowa State (by six), OSU, K-State.
Pac-12: Stanford (we don’t trust them, though), Oregon State (we really don’t trust ’em), Utah, Arizona and AzState (and we REALLY don’t trust either of THEM!).
SEC: Mississippi State. WE have Vandy -1 Ark, and Mizzou – 7 Kentucky, just like the lines are this morning.
American: SMU, USF, Notre Dame over Navy.
C-USA: North Texas, UAB. We have USM -7 Charlotte, just like Vegas does.
MAC: Akron, Ohio, Toledo and BYU; next Tuesday, we like Bowling Green -2 Kent State and Buffalo -5 Miami.
MWC: Fresno, San Diego St, Air Force, and maybe New Mexico can stay within 20.5?
Sun Belt: Troy, and Texas State. (Ark St -3 ULL is our line, too.)