28-14, 28-14, 28-14! Take that Vegas Wise Guys! (Calm down JJ; hubris is a witch!)
OK, with all due respect to the gods of college football (CFB) I have managed to luck out so far in 2020. A true blessing in a year that has been anything but lucky. A 28-14 betting record is, by far, my best year ever against the spread. Caveat – I may be overdue for a comeuppance?
Now we are down to the conference championship games, conference championship weekend games and the Bowl Season also kicks off on Saturday with SMU playing UTSA in the Alphabet Bowl. Sorry, The Frisco Bowl. That’s Frisco, Texas. Not Frisco where Larry hangs his multi-million-dollar lid. (The game has now been COVID-cancelled and SMU is not able to take the field)
The Ducks are ticketed by all of the ‘expert’ bowl game predictors to play Army on December 26th in Shreveport, LA. My guess, being in Shreveport, Louisiana on Christmas Day, holed up in a Motel 6 with dinner at the nearby Waffle House, may well be, in addition to winning back-to-back Pac-12 championships, a huge incentive for Oregon to win Saturday’s now scheduled game against USC? How about a Fiesta instead of bowl of gumbo?
For the Ducks, the chance to play for a conference title in 2020 is like being down 0-3 in the World Series, and coming back with the chance to hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth in game 7. Defeat Southern Cal in a game much of the CFB nation will be watching and the Ducks can expunge the pain of losing back-to-back games against inferior conference opponents.
Please Mario, please take advantage of this unexpected 2020 season reward? Have the vets ready to show up and the young guys ready to grow up! This is a huge opportunity to make amends. A chance to impress the recruits with a big win on national TV. A chance to play hard and smart and defeat a ranked team on the road. A chance to then play a highly ranked team in the Fiesta Bowl in front of an even bigger broadcast audience. A chance to be ranked in the top 15 of the ultimate AP Poll.
All righty then, taking it down from a frantic, LSU already received its 2020 reward when a Florida defensive back last Saturday evening decided to find out how far he could throw a Tiger’s player’s foot gear. According to the SEC ref, the shoe flew 20 yards and along with it flew Florida’s outside shot at a Final 4 bid. There’s stupid and then, there’s moronic. This brilliant display of sportsmanship extended the Tigers drive and allowed the LSU field goal kicker the chance to try a 57 yard, far from a shoe-in, field goal. The guy made it! And LSU laced-up a narrow victory, giving the Gators playoff hopes the boot.
Eschewing further discussion, let’s get to this week’s best betting guesses.
Pac-12 Champ Game: Oregon (Who Knew?) +3.5 at USC
The Helton Heart Attack Kids pulled out another late game win versus UCLA; SC’s 3rd last minute win in 2020. SC is 5-0. The Ducks are 3-2, with two back-to-back nothing but bad road losses.
WARNING: THIS is the recommendation of a quack addict. Do I like Oregon +3.5? Not really? I’m calling this one right from the gut.
Saturday, 12/12 SEC Champ Game – Alabama Death Star -17 versus The Florida Shoe Throwers in Atlanta.
Florida’s defense is suspect, while Sark has the Bama offense hitting on all cylinders. (The Bama D has steadily improved over the course of the season.) I like The Tide, with the extra incentive of getting QB Mac Jones over UF QB, Trask, the Heisman Trophy, to roll over the Gators in this game.
B1G Champ Game: Ohio State -20.5 versus Northwestern
Think the Buckeyes want to impress the Committee in this game so it can finish as a 6-0 conference champion and be blessed with a Final 4 Golden Ticket? Think I want a dozen golf balls for Christmas that always go in the intended direction at the perfect distance?
I think the Buckeyes will have a Fields day.
ACC Champ Game: Clemson -6.5 versus Notre Dame
The Tigers have to win this game to advance to the Final 4, while the Irish do not. And there’s the small motivational factor of having lost to Notre Dame in South Bend in double OT. In this rematch, Sir Lawrence of Long Locks will be on the mound, and a whole bunch of Tigers D guys who missed the first game against the Irish will be healthy and playing ball.
I’m double dipping here. I like Clemson -6.5 and the final score going “Over” 61.5
The Ducks (Let’s hear it!) +3.5
The Buckeyes -20.5
Clemson -6.5 with the game going “Over” 61.5
BONUS PICK – Sun Belt Champ Game: Louisiana at Coastal Carolina – IF you are going to take my advice on any games on the list, take this game to go “Over” the 54.5. Do check with the pros when betting and consider their advice, especially at a site such as this.
Happy wagering! And be sure to never bet more than a bottle of Mylanta can cure.
Aiken, South Carolina
Top Photo by Eugene Johnson
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 resident in central Oregon Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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