OK, the Wizard’s crystal ball has suffered a few cracks since the Wizard went public. I’m starting to feel odd, fellows.
Mr. FishDuck called on me to come forth with my picks. Since coming out of the dark, I have gone 2-3 in week one and 2-2 this last week. Apparently, I do better as a mushroom? In the dark, unobserved and covered with ‘whip.’
Now at 32-19 against the spread, let’s review last week’s bidding. (BTW, with the Nevada sports books pulling in all time record $61.8 million in wins, not handle, but wining bets in November, I feel fortunate to have obtained this record YTD.)
The Buffalo vs Marshall “Over” 54.5 bet turned out to be Bull-whip. Where, oh where, has the O gone?
Louisiana -13.5, was up 24-7 well into the 3rd quarter against UTSA. I was reaching for the humidor before LA-LA went GA-GA. Louisiana scored late to win the game 31-24. Hats off to LA-LA for a 10-1 season, including a win at Iowa State, but come on men! Cover me!
Anyone who bets an “Over” simply loves over-time. Coastal Carolina has coasted to an amazing 10-1 season but Coastal could not defeat Liberty. Coach Freeze’s decision not to take a knee before kicking the winning, chippie field goal, but running and fumbling the ball away instead? Thank you Mr. Freeze for calling the fumble, freezing your kicker, taking the game into OT, and handing me the “Over” 61.5 cover bet, with room to spare. Liberty won 37-34 in what was a great game, which was right up there with the best regular season game when Coastal took down BYU. Both of these teams and BYU, would give the 2020 Ducks a run for Puddles’ money.
My Iowa versus Missouri “Over” 50.5 bet went COVID-a-gleaming when MIZZOU flu-ed out. Isn’t it interesting that South Carolina, Tennessee and now Missouri, could not field a team for their bowl game? COVID, ‘Just Means More’ when you’re a post-season Gamecock, Volunteer and Tiger and likely headed for the L column. Add Arkansas to the SEC no-bowl-show mix. But this one is on TCU and not the SEC squad.
Thanks for the Texas cover, Ralphie. Sorry, I did not have enough dinero down to cover the expense of the funeral. That is, if CU can find enough of Ralphie to bury? Another great showing for The Conference of Champions.
Now, the big game rubber hits the tarmac; here come the Invitational semi-finals and the balance of the money bowl games.
Peach Bowl: Undefeated Cincinnati, 9-0, did not find being ranked behind three-loss Florida to be, well, peachy. No. 8 Cincy is +7.5 versus No. 9 ranked Georgia and the Dawgs west coast transfer QB, JT Daniels. It’s been Jack Daniels all around in Athens since JT healed enough to play ball and light a fire under the UGA offense. JT has taken the Georgia O to where Kirby Smart envisioned when he hired Todd Monken to be the Dawgs OC and follow Saint Nick and LSU Coach Ed Orgeron into playing offense in the 21st century.
Of course, my heart says Cincy. And Cincy’s chances here are helped out by a number of UGA’s best guys opting out of this game. However, this is not a disinterested Georgia team ticked off about barely missing the Final 4. I think the Dawgs have enough bark to cover the 7.5.
Rose Bowl: This game is being contested in Arlington, Texas, sigh, in Jerry World. Bama’s outstanding center, Dickerson, is injured and will miss this game. Interestingly, Bama senior center, Chris Owens, will likely get the starting nod? Chris happens to come from, Arlington, Texas.
No. 1 Bama is -19.5 versus a No. 4 Notre Dame team that notwithstanding being blown out by an all hands on deck Clemson team in the ACC Champ game, is in the Final 4. Conference championships really matter, right?
In its two championship appearances under Brian Kelly, versus Bama and Clemson, Notre Dame has been outscored a combined 17 to 72? And I don’t think Irish eyes will be smiling when this one is over. I like Bama to cover the -19.5, and Brian, it couldn’t happen to a ‘nicer’ guy. ‘Ashes of tradition?’ Schmuck!
Sugar Bowl: No. 2 Clemson -7.5 versus No. 3 Ohio State. Interestingly the ESPN Football Power Index has this game projected as a 50/50 toss-up. Ohio State’s tough loss to Clemson (and SEC refs) in last year’s Invitational semi, is a powerful motivator. (As is Dabo ranking the Buckeyes at No. 11 in the final Coaches Poll-whew!)
But I have no idea who will be able to suit up for the Buckeyes? Will stud WR Chris Olave be able to go? If not, it could be a long day in the Fields for Ohio State?
Because of the Buckeyes roster uncertainty, I’m passing on this one. But man, would I love it if Ohio State can pull off the win.
Orange Bowl: No. 5 Texas A+M -7.5 vs No. 13 UNC. The Aggies are PO’d about being Playoff passed over in favor of the Domers. UNC’s top 2 overall players, excellent RBs, best WR and its leading tackler have all opted out of this game. I like the Aggies to Gig ‘Em and cover the -7.5.
Cotton Bowl: No. 6 Oklahoma -2.5 vs No. 7 Florida. Florida’s top 4 receivers including all world TE Kyle Pitts, have not deemed this game worthy and have opted out. Following the lead of Big Mouth Gators head coach Dan Mullen, a number of Florida guys who are suiting up, have dissed on Oklahoma and the Big 12. I like Oklahoma to cover and man, I so hope I am correct.
Fiesta Bowl: No. 25 (!) Oregon +4.5 vs No. 10 Iowa State. This is by far, the biggest bowl game in Cyclones history, and Iowa State features the Nation’s leading rusher, All American, Breece Hall. However, the Ducks have a roster and speed advantage coming into this game. And the Ducks ‘should be’ motivated for further redemption in a disappointing 2020 season, and to shut up all of the talking heads who have opined that Oregon has no business playing in this game.
Come on Mario! No more excuses in any way, shape or form. Oregon should not simply cover, but the Ducks should definitely win this game.
Despite being concerned as to whether Mario will have the boys ready to ball, I am taking Oregon to cover and win.
Georgia -7.5 vs Cincinnati
Alabama -19.5 vs Notre Dame
Texas A&M -7.5 vs UNC (and take down old ‘friend’ Mack Brown.)
Oklahoma -2.5 vs Florida
Ducks (Give It Up!) +4.5 vs Iowa State
Clemson vs Ohio State – A COVID chicken out.
Do check with the pros when betting and consider their advice, especially at a site such as this.
Remember, never bet more than a bottle of Mylanta can cure.
And Happy New Year! 2021, a year that we all hope has to be happier than 2020.
Aiken, South Carolina
Top Photo by PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Twitter
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Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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