Longhorn Leap - The unofficial official podcast of UT athletics

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Last week was pretty meh.  I went 2-3 but missed by a single score on all three of my over/under’s including losing on a meaningless end of game goal line stand by App State which screwed the over. Hopefully those close calls will bounce in my favor this week.  Here are my picks:

Vanderbilt @ Auburn: OVER 45

 
Value: 90 (**Bet of the week**)
This low total is predicated on how low scoring Vanderbilt games have been as of late – the haven’t scored more then 16 points in any of the last three games, while at the same time holding their opponents to no more then 20.  However, Auburn is a much better offensive team than any of Vandy’s recent opponents and are red hot offensively scoring 40, 56, and 38 points in their last three games. I expect Auburn to hang 35-40 points on Vandy, which would almost certainly mean that the game is going over. This line opened at 45.5 but I would grab this lower number ASAP as I expect this total to rise prior to kick off.
Bet: 1 unit
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Wisconsin @ Northwestern: Northwestern +7
 
Value: 87
Northwestern has done nothing but cover for the last month, including in their last game where they played Ohio State close in a game where they were 25.5 point underdogs.  It also helps that nearly all of Wisconsin’s games are low scoring and close, with all of their last 4 games having been decided by 8 points or less.  Wisconsin is coming off a very difficult stretch of games and could be in for a let down. The line opened at +6, but money has come in on the Badgers and it has since risen to +7.  I like Northwestern to cover with a chance to win outright.
Bet: 1 unit
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TCU @ Baylor: Baylor -7.5
 
Value: 83
As much as I’m grossed out by the entire Baylor program (only four gang rapes since 2011!), I think they are the correct pick here. Have you seen the Frogs play football this year?  I have, and they are fucking terrible.  TCU has failed to cover any of their last 4 games, going 1-3 in that stretch with the only win being a one point nail biter against freaking Kansas, who Baylor coincidentally beat by 42 points.  Baylor’s offense is hard to stop, does not take no for an answer (on and off the field), and will score points against TCU. Our numbers don’t see this game being close.
 
Bet: 1 unit
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FAU @ Rice: Rice -4
 
Value: 83
An exciting battle between two 1-7 Conference USA teams!  These teams are both bad – neither has beaten an FBS team all year. However, FAU has only covered once this season, while Rice has been more competitive going 3-4-1 ATS.  FAU has three offensive lineman that are injured or questionable this week and on top of that, their coaching staff has failed to name a starting QB this week. This is either pointless gamesmanship in a meaningless game or signals that they’re going to bench their starter.  Either way, our data likes Rice as the better of two shitty teams, and I expect them to win by a touchdown or more at home.
Bet: 1 unit
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Nebraska vs. Ohio State: Over 52
 
Value: 90
 
Nebraska has gone under in each of their last 6 games – so why take the under?  1) Nothing makes sense in gambling and the universe is random. 2) Ohio State is the best offense they’ve faced all year. Despite their recent struggles, the Buckeyes are heavy home favorites and if JT Barrett can get going at home I expect them to put up enough points to go over. Our projections expect approximately 60 points to be scored in this game.
Bet: 1 Unit
 
Last Week: 2-3
Overall: 16-19-1
Bet of the week: 3-1
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Another solid week!  I went 4-2 last week with the only two bets I missed on being totals bets (just slightly off betting the under on that shit show of a Tech/OU game).  Also my bet of the week hit again and is now 3-0 since it’s inception. I definitely had a shaky start to the year, but hopefully I’m starting to find my footing and I have the opportunity to go above .500 for the year with my picks this week.  This week there are several Thursdayand Friday games I like which should get the action started early.  Here are my picks:

Akron @ Buffalo: Buffalo +17.5

Value: 83
Our projection models seem to really like Buffalo this season for whatever reason.  The last time I picked them they squeaked out a cover by a half point, so I guess that gives me some wiggle room to ride with them again.  Akron is a far superior team but are playing their second game in five days on the road and fatigue should be a factor.  Both of Buffalo’s covers this season occurred at home and they generally play better there. The line opened at -16 but has since risen to -17.5 and I expect it will continue to rise a little more before kickoff. Wait for the better number and look for Buffalo to cover against a tired and unmotivated Akron team.
Bet: 1 unit
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Appalachian State vs. Georgia Southern: Over 44.5

Value: 80
I was going to make a joke about this game being a tradition as old as college football but apparently this actually is a rivalry game dating back to 1932, also known as “Deeper then hate”.  Basically both schools represent the backwoods hillbilly demographic from Deliverance and for some reason they hate each other, which I find odd since they’re probably all related somehow.  Anyways this game has been generally high scoring in recent years and would have covered this number the last 4 times these teams played. While both team’s offenses are predominantly run oriented, neither team has had an O/U set this low in any game they’ve played this season.  Look for a competitive, higher then expected scoring game.
Bet: 1 unit  
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Air Force @ Fresno State: Over 53.5
Value: 87
I have to say I’m excited to actually get to bet some overs this week.  Our projections usuallyfavor unders, which can be good bets, but are generally pretty terrible to root for.  Fresno State is fresh off of firing their head coach after losing six straight, including games in which they gave up 48, 45, and 52 points.  Air Force’s last three games have gone over and they should be motivated to play well after an embarassing loss to Hawaii last week.  Our projections like Air Force to win big, but with Fresno State scoring enough to cover the over.
Bet: 1 unit
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Western Kentucky @ FAU: Western Kentucky -21
Value: 83
This is a matchup between the best and worst teams in Conference USA.  Western Kentucky is averaging 40 points per game this season and their starting QB Mike White is throwing for over 300 yards per game and has a 20:5 TD/INT ratio.  FAU on the other hand is 1-6 this season, both in actual record and against the spread.  Their QB, who gives a shit what his name is, has a 4:6 TD/INT ratio and is only throwing for 185 yards per game, which is a problem when you’re playing from behind.  Western Kentucky jumps out to an early lead, followed by FAU’s mistake prone QB turning the ball over trying to play catch up. The hilltoppers top another hill.
Bet: 1 unit
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Auburn @ Ole Miss: Under 63.5
Value: 93 (Bet of the Week)
Our projections finally like a game that will actually be nationally televised – thank god. I was starting to drown in MAC and Conference USA games there for a bit.  Auburn is fresh off a 56-3 ass whooping of Arkansas but is playing on the road which will hopefully help stifle their offense a bit.  Their defense on the other hand is ranked 18th nationally, just held Arkansas to 3 points last game, and has a good shot to limit Ole Miss’ scoring if they can get pressure on Chad Kelly.  Look for a close game that stays below this somewhat sizable total for a SEC rivalry game.
Bet: 2 units
 
Last Week: 4-2
Overall: 14-16-1
Bet of the Week: 3-0

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The Kansas St Preview is here! Topics include Vince Young, Vince Young, and more Vince Young. After the guys stop gushing about VY they get into the upcoming game in the Little Apple. They debate how many personal fouls Kris Boyd will get, which team will have a better yards per carry, and who’s going to win. In the Leap Around the Nation segment they talk about the #1 vs #6 matchup between Alabama and some school from Texas that only has male cheerleaders. They also talk about Dana Holgorsen and and his possibilities of a Red Bull endorsement.

Stock photo of concept Traffic sign for Winners or Losers. Photo concept made for advertising / promotion, bussines reports, editorial, books, brochures, posters, multimedia, websites, presentations, etc.

Stock photo of concept Traffic sign for Winners or Losers. Photo concept made for advertising / promotion, bussines reports, editorial, books, brochures, posters, multimedia, websites, presentations, etc.

Finally a good week!  Like Jon Snow after that big tittied red witch gave him a hair cut and laid hands on him, I am back from the dead. I went 4-1 last week and nailed my bet of the week (which is 2-0 since I introduced it 2 weeks ago). As much as I would like to bask in the glory of a good week, I unfortunately have to continue making picks.  Here is what is on deck this week:
Oregon @ Cal: Under 87.5
 
Value: 87
I get that this spread should be high – both teams are high scoring and have atrocious defenses.  But my god 87.5 is a lot of points.  Oregon has been really struggling and has yet to put up more than 33 points in any road game this year. Moreover, only one of their last five games (all relatively high scoring mind you) would have had enough points to cover this mammoth number.  Expect lots of points, just not enough to go over.
Bet: 1 unit
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UMass @ South Carolina: UMass +20.5 (Bet of the week)

 
Value: 90
Call me crazy, but favoring a South Carolina team that has yet to score more than 20 points in any game and ranks 126th in total offense this season by three touchdowns seems a little off.  I recognize that the UMass Minutemen are a bad team who’s mascot sounds like a euphemism for premature ejaculation, but South Carolina is so offensively challenged that I don’t see them being able to score enough to cover a large spread. South Carolina wins, but UMass covers.
 
Bet: 2 units
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Central Michigan @ Toledo: Toledo -10.5
 
Value: 80
Toledo is a crazy 55-53 loss to BYU away from being undefeated and has averaged nearly 46 points per game over their last 4 games. Meanwhile, their QB Logan Woodside has thrown at least 4 TDs in five straight games. CMU on the other hand has won their last two but required triple overtime to put away NIU and barely squeaked out a 24-21 at Ball State.  Look for Woodside to continue to light it up and for the Rockets to roll.
 
Bet: 1 unit
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Colorado state @ UNLV: Colorado St +2.5
 
Value: 83
This line opened as a pick but money has come in on UNLV to increase the spread to -2.5, which is a good thing. I have a soft spot in my heart for Colorado State after leading them all the way to the national championship in NCAA07 on Xbox.  They have not achieved that kind of success since but are coming off a competitive 28-23 loss to ranked Boise State.  Our predictions models like the Rams as the superior team and to pull of a mild upset on the road.
 
Bet: 1 unit
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Illinois @ Michigan: Illinois +36.5
 
Value: 83
Will Jim Harbaugh be a dick and run up the score?  He’s obviously capable of it after beating Rutgers 78-0 in the Wolverines last game. He also still drinks a giant glass of milk with his steaks and used to play baseball alone as a kid because no one liked him.  So overall a pretty weird guy. However, Illinois is also coming off a 24-7 win against Rutgers and should be able to sustain at least a few drives against this tough Michigan defense.  I’ll take the points.
Bet: 1 unit  
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OU @ Tech: Under 84
 
Value: 87
This is basically Oregon at Cal southwest.  Two teams with bad defenses who can put up lots of points.  However, Tech looked so horrible at home against WVU last week that their head coach literally had to apologize to their fans and alumni.  I realize this is a night game in Lubbock so the Tech fans will be drunk off their asses throwing tortillas and what not, but I’m not sure Tech will be able to recover from such a poor performance to score enough to cover this number.  As an aside, Baker Mayfield is grade A dickhead and I hope he does terrible.
Bet: 1 unit
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Last week: 4-1
Overall: 10-14-1
Bet of the week: 2-0
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2-2 never felt so good.  I normally don’t like celebrating mediocrity (i.e. Aggie football) but after going 1-7 the previous two weeks, I’ll take the .500 record and hitting my bet of the week.  Hopefully this signals a turning point in the season, because otherwise I will run out of money soon.
Here are this weeks picks:

Duke@ Louisville: Duke +35.5

Value: 80
Friday night special pick!  This line opened at +27.5 and immediately was bet up before leveling off where it is now.  I always feel a little dirty wagering on Duke because it feels like I’m supporting the type of guys who’s rich dad helped them get out of a DWI conviction in high school, but this is simply too many points.  It’s not that Louisville isn’t capable of running up the score, it’s whether they’ll have the motivation to do so.  Look for Louisville to jump out to an early lead, then for Duke to score late in garbage time for the backdoor cover.
Bet: 1 unit
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San Diego State @ Fresno State: San Diego State -17
Value: 83
Friday night double header special!  This line opened at SDST-17.5 and has been oscillating around -17 since then.  My expectation is that money will eventually come in on SDST and this will be bet up to -19 or so by game time.  Fresno State comes into the game having lost 7 of their last 8 games and despite losing their last game, our prediction models like SDST as the clearly superior team.  Look for the Aztecs and star running back Donnell Pumphrey to run wild.
Bet: 1 unit
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Western Michigan @ Akron: Under 68.5
Value: 90 (Bet of the Week)
Western Michigan is ranked for the first time in program history which is quite an accomplishment for their coach, PJ Fleck.  He’ll like reward their fans by leaving for a better job as soon as he possibly can, but let’s ride the happy sentiment for a while at least.  Western Michigan is a solid defensive team – 2nd in the conference and 23rd overall in the nation,  which should help limit some Akron’s scoring chances.  It should also help that Akron’s starting QB is currently out with a shoulder injury.  I expect Western Michigan to win handily and limit Akron’s scoring enough that the game still goes under.
Bet: 2 units
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Ball State @ Buffalo: Buffalo +10.5
Value: 90 
I’ve had to watched as much MAC football as anyone in the country this year, which mostly consisted of me screaming at the TV as another wager goes down in flames.  But this is my kind of pick – got to love an underdog getting a large amount of points at home.  This line opened at -9 but money has steadily come in on Ball State, probably because Buffalo is 1-4 both overall and against the spread this year.  However, Ball State is just 3-7 ATS itself in it’s last 10 games against losing teams and 1-4 ATS in it’s last 5 conference games.  Our prediction models like Buffalo to keep it closer then expected at home.
Bet: 1 unit
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Iowa State @ Texas: Under 70
Value: 93
Here is where math and common sense seem to be at odds.  As discussed at length on the podcast, Texas’ defense has been an abortion this year.  Other then UTEP, no one has scored less then 45 points on us all year.  And it’s not like Iowa State hasn’t been able to the score points – they’re averaging 39 points per game in their last 3.  But despite all that, all three prediction models heavily favor the under and I’m obligated to report that.  Money will continue to come in on the over considering both team’s propensities for shoot outs so if for some crazy reason you decide to bet this, it’s best to wait for a better number near kickoff.
Bet: 1 unit
Other bets I like this weekend:
Georgia -14 over Vandy
FAU @ Marshall under 68.5
UMass +14.5 over LaTech
Last Week: 2-2
Overall: 6-13-1