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Wagstaff’s Picks: Week of September 16, 2017 September 14, 2017

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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I’m not going pro, not yet. Not after a mediocre record last week.

It wasn’t enough to watch the Patriots defense dissolve into melted butter. I also misread some teams that could not cover big spreads, and it looks like USC is for real. Well, so far, anyway.

I’ll swing for the fences this week with a dozen picks I have decent levels of confidence in, as well as discussing a couple of others where I’ll bow out and leave it up to you.

College Games:

I looked at a bunch of matchups with large spreads to see which ones I thought were overreactions to the first couple of weeks of games. We’re still in that phase of the early season in both college and pro, before the oddsmakers have more and more data to work with.

I like BYU plus 17 against Wisconsin. BYU has sucked so far, I’m going with the “they’re DUE!” factor since they are a better team than how they’ve played so far, and they’re at home. I don’t know if they’ll win, but I’m guessing it will be a low scoring game, and 17 points is a lot. I also like Pittsburgh plus 14 against Oklahoma State, banking on Pitt coming off a tougher game versus Penn State and Oklahoma State coming off playing Tulsa and S. Alabama.

For covering a big spread, I like the aforementioned USC to cover 15 1/2 over Texas as well as taking the Over 67 1/2 in that one, and Minnesota to cover 10 over Middle Tennessee State.

The game that jumps out of the odds board is Duke as 14 (!) point favorite over Baylor. Baylor was once a national power, but they have truly sucked so far this year, never mind all the problems they’ve had with their program off the field. Duke has played well, but are they really this good?? My number crunching puts Duke at maybe a 3-4 point edge, so part of me thinks this is a slam-dunk pick to go with Baylor. But in the back of my mind is an old contrarian angle when it comes to out-of-whack spreads like this, which is: the oddsmakers know more than you. They’re NOT that stupid… so while the number-cruncher says Baylor, my contrarian gut says to go against the crowd and pick Duke. Consequently, I am not making a pick here, but will instead merely observe to see what wins – my numbers, or the contrarian historic angle.

Another game that’s a close call but ultimately a pass for me is Miami OH by 5 over Cincinnati. I’m fairly confident in Miami OH to win, just not sure about the 5 points. Meh.

Rounding out the college picks: In the big Saturday night game, I like the at-home-revenge angle and will go with Louisville plus 3 1/2 against Clemson. Clemson got by them last year, but it was close, and Jackson has improved as QB. It’ll be a good game that I think Louisville can win outright. I also like California at home plus 3 1/2 against Ole Miss, and I’ll go with the Over 49 1/2 in the Tennessee/Florida matchup.

NFL:

After watching Kansas City beat the crap out of my team last week, I am TOTALLY UNEMOTIONAL as I pick against them this week.

No, really!

I like the Eagles plus 6 against the Chiefs, as well as the Over 48 in the game. Philly looked decent against Washington last week, and the Chiefs lost their best defensive player.

I like betting Overs. Especially when the total is topped earlier in the game, and I can kick back and watch the rest of it play out with no stress and a drink in my hand, knowing I’ve won. Betting unders mean staying nervous until the final tick.

I also like the Vikings plus 5 1/2 against the Steelers, and the Packers plus 3 against the Falcons, even if it’s the Falcons in their spiffy new stadium. The Falcons squeaked by the Bears last week, and the Packers are way more dangerous.

So there you are, 12 picks. I went 3-5 last week to bring the season totals to 5-6-1.

THIS IS WHERE IT ALL TURNS AROUND!

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Wagstaff’s Picks: Week of September 9, 2017 September 7, 2017

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Nobody seems to care about my football picks. Posting them doesn’t significantly increase the traffic this humble blog gets on a regular basis. But I don’t care. I’ll keep making them for my own jollies.

And the biggest jolly? Like I said last week, I have a better batting average with these things than most of the professional pickers out there posting picks (especially with spreads and totals) on bigger sports sites like CBS or ESPN.

Therefore, I’m basically posting a free giveaway of money to anyone simply betting my picks. Read my site and make money. And people don’t bother.

I always knew in my dark heart that the majority of people are morons, and now I have definitive proof.

CATS IS BETTER.

I went 2-1-1 last week. I’ll continue my BOLD RISK TAKING by picking some NFL games in the opening week, without any stats to go on. And there are a few college games I like.

College:

I think Clemson can cover 5 against Auburn, and Washington State to cover 10 1/2 against the Boise State team that scored late to force that tie in my picks last week. As much as I think USC will win the game, I’ll still go with Stanford plus 5 1/2 against them, since I think it’ll be close.

NFL:

Let’s go with the Falcons to cover 7 against the Bears, the Raiders plus 3 against the Titans, the Steelers to cover 9 over the Browns, and (I can’t believe I’m doing this…) the Rams to cover 4 against the Colts. I’d also go with the Under 41 in the Rams/Colts game.

So am I still giving away free money? I guess we’ll know by Sunday night.

 

Wagstaff’s Picks: Inaugural College Football Edition, Weekend of September 2, 2017 August 31, 2017

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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college-football-bettingIt’s time for everyone to leave their safe space and confront the intersectionality of irresponsibly sourced animal product, the capitalist exploitation of undergraduate hopefuls, and the disempowering patriarchal sexism of the male gaze on the sidelines.

College football is back! And just in time, too… it seems like everything else we read about colleges these days makes them sound more like insane asylums combined with summer theater camp. I’m sure the morons in sports broadcasting will try their damndest to drag all of the repulsive college campus zeitgeist into what ought to be an escape from the news during their commentary, but another advantage of watching games on the big ol’ screen is that you can do so with the sound off.

In any case, as much as I normally like to wait a few weeks into the season before prognosticating on the outcomes of games, I decided to plunge right in this year. Last year I finished with an overall 59% winning percentage in both college & NFL picks. A little research told me that’s actually good.

I know, really??

But evidently, that’s how well the SUPERGENIUS game pickers all over sports radio basically do at their BEST. Most of ’em have losing records or barely even out, meaning a coin flip would be a better method than listening to people who EARN THEIR GOD DAMN LIVING analyzing sports.

I guess it’s just like any other field, that is – a crammed space of highly credentialed yet underqualified people. WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

Okay, enough bitching, and not enough bragging about my winning percentage. Let’s start with some simple picks, based mostly on how I think the bookmakers have misread some things.

In the BIG MATCH-UP MARQUIS GAME for Week 1, we have #1 Alabama by 7 over #3 Florida State. I think both of these teams will probably make the playoff at the end of the season, but in this opener, I think ‘bama will win by 10 or more, so I’ll take Alabama to cover.

I also like NC State to cover 5 over South Carolina. They were underrated last year, with most of their losses being under 1 score.

For underdogs, I mostly like Texas A&M plus 3 against UCLA since UCLA does even worse against the spread than A&M, especially early in seasons. I REALLY like Troy plus 11 against a fading Boise State outfit.

The enigma game I’d love to pick but really can’t is Michigan/Florida. I’ll watch it, it’ll be a good one, but even though I lean towards Florida as a 5.5 point underdog, I think Michigan will be trying to prove themselves all year long since winning the Big 10 playoff game is basically a trip to the championship playoff game, and they’ve got both Ohio State and Wisconsin in their path. I’d only bet this game if I were really, really bored in a Vegas sports book with an extra $5 burning a hole in my pocket. Other than that, it’s just one to watch.

It’ll be a good weekend to stay indoors, too, at least where I am and it’s 110+ every day outside. Ugh. Autumn can’t come soon enough, and not just for October baseball.

Hike!

Wagstaff’s Picks For 9/17/16 September 16, 2016

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Let’s all hear it for Jimmy G! Not only did he have a solid game against a highly-possible Superbowl team on their home turf, he gave the PERFECT Bill Belichick-approved postgame interview. They shoved a mic in his face and asked him how he felt about his showcase victory on national TV, and all he talked about was how it was a team effort, and how he wanted to watch the films to focus on the mistakes he made so that he’ll do better next time.

So, basically, take THAT Johnny Football, Ryan Leaf, and oh, JACKHAMMER-FUCK ROGER GOODELL while we’re at it.

Thus endeth my Patriots rant for the week.

I have NO NFL picks for this week. I don’t like any of the spread matchups, and as last week’s results proved, it’s just too damn early to outguess the oddsmakers on some of these things. Both my losing picks missed by 1 point, both winning ones did just fine, but you could’ve flipped a coin for the same results statistically speaking.

I think I have a little more to go on for college picks, so here we go: In probably the best game of the weekend, I’ll take Louisville to upset Florida State in a straight-up pick. Elsewhere, I’ll go with Auburn to cover 3 over Texas A&M, Ohio State to cover 1 1/2 over Oklahoma, and Nebraska to cover 3 over Oregon.

No underdogs this week.  And I don’t have to payoff the loan shark, whew!

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