Hedge your bets with Scott: Football picks of the week

Scott Nies

My heart, my wallet and my dignity took an absolute beating last week. The column got humbled, as last week’s picks failed to deliver in spectacular fashion. 

The matchup between the University of Maryland and The Ohio State University got canceled due to “an elevated number of coronavirus cases within the Terrapins’ program,” according to ESPN. If anything, this cancelation should have been a red flag to stay away from the weekend slate of games, but I did not heed that warning.

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Instead, I took a chance on Southern Methodist University to cover the spread against The University of Tulsa. The Mustangs decided to spite me, as they blew a 21-0 lead and ultimately failed to cover, as they lost by four points. The Denver Broncos decided that they would much rather throw interceptions than score points during Sunday’s loss against the Las Vegas Raiders, resulting in the over missing by just three points — it was demoralizing.

The underdog parlay was a long shot at best, so although it was not surprising it didn’t hit, the fact that the New York Giants were the sole winners while the Buffalo Bills and the Seattle Seahawks lost was tough and very surprising. 

The most heart-wrenching loss of all of last week’s picks, you ask? Definitely the Colorado State University Rams failing to cover the 13.5 point spread. The Rams got dominated against the Boise State University Broncos and really just set the precedent for a tough weekend of gambling to follow. 

At the time of writing, the CSU game this week seems to be shrouded in uncertainty, so out of caution, there will not be a pick for the CSU game. If the game does end up going along as planned, look to my Twitter page for a spontaneous live bet.”

Now, the column stands at a record of 14-16, with the parlay ultimately going 1-2. Morale was low going into this week, but through sheer grit and determination, we will try to battle back into the positives. 

Sports betting has provided me with added levels of entertainment but only because I bet within my means. If you feel you need help, call the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

College Football

At the time of writing, the CSU game this week seems to be shrouded in uncertainty, so out of caution, there will not be a pick for the CSU game. If the game does end up going along as planned, look to my Twitter page for a spontaneous live bet. 

Indiana University Bloomington Hoosiers vs. The Ohio State University Buckeyes

Spread: IU +20.5 points, OSU -20.5 points 
Moneyline: IU +650, OSU -1115
Over/Under: 66 points 

The Big Ten Conference has been full of crazy endings this year, most notably the Indiana University Bloomington Hoosiers’ incredibly controversial two-point conversion to upset Pennsylvania State University in their opening game of the season. That upset kick-started the Hoosiers’ currently undefeated season, as they sit at 4-0 going into this week’s game

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The Hoosiers may be hot right now, but The Ohio State University, currently ranked number three in the Associated Press top 25 ranking, is once again putting together an incredible season. Ohio State is also undefeated, sitting at 3-0 going into this game, but due to the cancelation of their game last week, they sit below the Hoosiers on the Big Ten Conference table.  

The Hoosiers are better than what would have been the Buckeyes’ opponents last week, but the spread is only four points smaller. Indiana is also conceding fewer rush yards, pass yards and points per game than Ohio State, even though they have played one extra game. That being said, Indiana has not gone up against a quarterback as legit as Ohio State’s Justin Fields yet. According to Bleacher Report, Fields is projected to go second overall in the upcoming NFL draft. 

Verdict: IU +20.5 points. I don’t think the Hoosiers have a chance to win this one, but much like the Maryland Terrapins last week, I think they will play a better game than what the spread indicates. It might be close, but I really like Indiana to cover this week against the Buckeyes. 

Appalachian State University Mountaineers vs. Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers 

Spread: App. State +5.5, CC -5.5 
Moneyline: App. State +170, CC -210
Over/Under: 47.5 points

If you haven’t been following the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers this year, you are missing out because they have been extremely fun to watch. Also, they have built quite an impressive resume this year, as they currently sit undefeated at 7-0. At a glance, the Appalachian State University Mountaineers seem more than ready for the challenge, as their record isn’t far behind at 6-1

However, both of these teams have played a bunch of the same teams, and their past score lines can give us a hint at who to pick for this game. Both schools have played Arkansas State University and Campbell University. Appalachian State secured a 28-point victory over Arkansas State and a 31-point victory over Campbell. Coastal Carolina also won both of these games, beating Arkansas State by 29 points and Campbell by 22 points

These score lines are pretty even, but most recently, both schools played Georgia State University, and this is where it gets interesting. Appalachian State beat Georgia State last week with a tight four-point victory. On Halloween, Coastal Carolina also beat Georgia State, but the outcome was quite different. The Chanticleers dominated and won 51-0.

Verdict: Coastal Carolina -5.5 points. Coastal Carolina’s domination over Georgia State as opposed to the nail-biter that the Mountaineers experienced makes this an easy pick for me. When you throw in the fact that this will also be the Mountaineers’ first game against a ranked opponent this year, I think it makes Coastal Carolina the obvious choice. 

NFL Sunday Parlay

After the Arizona Cardinals beat the Bills by way of Kyler Murray’s insane game-winning, last-second, desperation touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins, I have lost all hope in my ability to accurately predict games. Do stats even matter in this crazy 2020 season? Probably, but it’s the intangibles that are the most fun to argue for. Last week, the parlay was centered around underdogs; this week we are going to take three different overs and root for points, and points only. 

Tennessee Titans/Baltimore Ravens over at 49 points with odds of -110, the New York Jets/Los Angeles Chargers over at 47 points with odds of -110 and the Houston Texans/New England Patriots at 48 points with odds of -110

These three picks combine for odds of +597, meaning if you bet $5 you will return $34.84. It was a tough week last week, so here’s hoping that luck is on the side of the column going into the weekend. 

Scott Nies can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @scott_nies98.