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Sports betting throughout a season is comparable to a roller coaster ride. The best sports bettors are the ones who are familiar with the ride and brace themselves for the free fall.
Last week, your boys here at TFM went 9-4 to bring our season total to 22-14. Tennessee missed the cover by a point, but in the world of gambling, you win some and you lose some by the slimmest of margins. After following the week three opening and moving lines, all we could do was shake our heads. This week is rough. Really rough. So, we had a few discussions on how we wanted to play this week out. Week two was great. The dice are rolling hot and we keep hitting the pass line. Should we pull our chips off of the table and play this week like some pussies? Should we keep full steam ahead and risk an early-season disaster?
Back to the roller coaster analogy. Our goal is to make you fools money. We see the drop coming quick and we want you all to be prepared. Vegas has Alabama winning by 50 points. It has Oregon winning by 43. We can’t in good conscience put our stamp of approval on this kind of buffoonery, so we decided to pick 11 solid games that we are very confident in. If any of you are curious about games that weren’t picked, we can give you our two cents in the comments section. The uncertainty is not inspiring, we know, but we still have a long season ahead and our goal is to make money each and every week. Let’s jump into it.
Lock Of The Week
Kansas at Duke
Spread: Duke -17
TSG Pick: Duke -17
Summary: We don’t really care who Kansas is playing; any team outside of an FCS team has a great chance of covering the spread. Duke sees this as an opportunity to get a win against another Big Five conference, and the Blue Devils will take full advantage of the poor excuse that we call the Kansas Jayhawks football team. Duke will get up early and roll to a three-touchdown lead for most of the game.
Houston at BYU
Spread: BYU -17
TSG Pick: BYU -17
Summary: BYU is rolling right now. Quarterback Taysom Hill is everything the BYU beat writers said he would be through two games. BYU looks strong on both offense and defense, scoring 10 touchdowns this season while only allowing two. Like we said last week, BYU has a very good chance of going undefeated this year, and Houston is not going to come close to ruining that. BYU should put up another five-touchdown game while keeping Houston to low double digits.
Baylor at Buffalo
Spread: Baylor -31
TSG Pick: Baylor -31
Summary: Bryce Petty or not, the Bears will light up the scoreboard like they did last week in the absence of their starting signal-caller. Seth Russell threw five first half touchdowns last week to keep Baylor’s high-powered offense on track. Buffalo’s inconsistency on defense without the departed Khalil Mack will be shark bait in the ocean against Baylor’s quick tempo attack, so you can expect Baylor to be in the end zone all evening. We honestly think Vegas is doing the gamblers a favor by opening this line at 31 points. Buffalo lost to a subpar Army team by 12 last week and deserves to be an even heavier underdog in this game. Home field advantage will shave off a few touchdowns, but it won’t help in the end when the Bears roll Buffalo by 49.
Kent State at Ohio State
Spread: Ohio State -29
TSG Pick: Ohio State -29
Summary: Kent State’s 0-2 start probably won’t get any easier heading to Columbus this weekend. Ohio State has two games worth of aggression to take out, and Kent State’s players just showed up with a “kick me” sign taped to their backs. Ohio State will be up by 30 before half and it probably won’t step off the gas until the clock says 00:00.
UCF at Missouri
Spread: Mizzou -9
TSG Pick: Mizzou -9
Summary: UCF has had two weeks to game plan for Mizzou since the Knights’ week one loss to Penn State in Ireland, but that won’t be enough against Mizzou’s lethal and balanced attack. Defensively, UCF just seems to be outclassed by the Missouri athletes. This game probably won’t be pretty, but we won’t be surprised if Missouri wins by 14 (or more) points.
Wyoming at Oregon
Spread: Oregon -41
TSG Pick: Oregon -41
Summary: This one will get out of hand quick. We aren’t the biggest fans of taking spreads above 30, but teams like Oregon, Baylor, and (old) Alabama have earned this betting right. Oregon’s defense stepped up huge in last week’s victory against Michigan State, and the Ducks should have no problem shutting down a Wyoming offense that has only scored 17 points in its past two victories versus Montana and Air Force. Oregon puts up 50 or more points and Wyoming scores less than 10.
UCLA at Texas
Spread: UCLA -8
TSG Pick: UCLA -8
Summary: Texas football has been a dumpster fire this year. The Longhorns are going through all kinds of growing pains with Charlie Strong, and this UCLA team needs to make a statement after its first two games have been less than impressive. This game won’t get as out of hand for Texas as BYU did last week, but we believe UCLA will walk out of AT&T Stadium with a convincing victory.
Mississippi State at South Alabama
Spread: Miss State -15
TSG Pick: USA +15
Summary: Quarterback Dak Prescott has proven that he can effectively run the ball against lower-tier teams, but we are still skeptical of his ability to do it consistently through the air as 2-0 Mississippi State was barely able to escape UAB last week. USA has 20 upperclassmen starters, and the home crowd should be able to get hyped enough to keep this sloppy game close, as Miss State is looking ahead to its next three weeks: at LSU, versus Texas A&M, and versus Auburn. Miss State pulls out an ugly on 24-17 with USA covering. Honestly…are you going to bet against the USA?
Georgia at South Carolina
Spread: Georgia -6
TSG Pick: Georgia -6
Summary: Game one of the season wasn’t a fluke this year for either team. South Carolina continued to struggle in week two and we’re confident Georgia can run wild on just about anybody. Bettors jumped on this game quickly, pushing the opening line from 2.5 to 6 and some places even 6.5/7. Georgia won’t have trouble shredding South Carolina the way it did with Clemson in week one to complete the sweep of South Carolina. The Cocks will keep it close for the first half, playing in front of their home crowd, but there is only so much you can do when you’ve got three elite backs coming at you all game long. Gurley should finish with three touchdowns, and Georgia will win by 10 or more points.
ECU at Virginia Tech
Spread: Virginia Tech -11
TSG Pick: Virginia Tech -11
Summary: Viriginia Tech is coming off one of its biggest victories in recent years, as the Hokies went to Columbus and beat Ohio State by 14. Our only skepticism with this opening line may be that Vegas sees Virginia Tech taking this game lightly after last week. Even if this is the case, 11 points at home won’t be an issue for the Hokies.
Tennessee at Oklahoma
Spread: Oklahoma -20
TSG Pick: Tennessee +20
Summary: Tennessee fucked us last weekend by only winning by 15 points, which made us miss our cover by one point. It’s okay Vols, all is forgiven. We like you again this week (kind of). Oklahoma has looked impressive this year by doing nothing really remarkable at all. If you’ve watched any of the Sooners’ games, or even any highlights, they are finding a lot of success running basic inside zone run plays. Tennessee may not be the best opponent to take the Sooners down at home, but it is at least athletic enough to stuff these elementary running plays. Combine this with the fact that we don’t feel that Trevor Knight has the ability to step back and pick apart a defense and it adds up to Tennessee keeping this one respectable. Expect a 17-point victory from OU with the Vols covering.
That wraps up our picks for week three. BYU kicks off tonight, so hurry up and get your picks for the week in before Vegas decides to erect any more lines like the boner it is. Like always, leave your comments below and we will be sure to read them and laugh at all of your stupid questions. Follow us @tokensportsguys for drunken, in-game commentary, which will most likely turn into gibberish come evening at Pac-12 kickoff time.
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