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I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

J.R. Ewing College Football Picks: 9/17/2016

Big games call for big picks from a guy with a big hat
Well well well, I picked a few pigs in a poke last week going 3-2.  Now with more data, I'm sure to improve.

Previous Week: 3-2 (+80)
Season: 5-5 (-$50, always remember the house take, folks)

With two data points, it seems easier to pigeon hole teams.  But a bettor still can't overreact.  Some strange point spreads (i.e. 0-2 Northwestern with losses to Group of 5/FCS favored against Power 5).  So look at fundamentally which teams look best.  So stay away from that one.  Instead, let's pick the big games this week.

Here are your five winners of the week:

Florida State (-1) at Louisville (Noon EDT)

Big early ACC game worthy of the hype.  Louisville has been very impressive against inferior competition, but Florida State had the big win against Ole Miss.  If this were a night game, I might lean to the Cardinals.  But an early kick off to me takes the crowd a bit out of it.  Not sure Louisville is ready for the step up, in a pick 'em game, I take the Noles.

Nebraska (-3) vs. Oregon (3:30 p.m. EDT)
An intriguing interleague match up.  Oregon just doesn't look good on defense against bad teams, and Nebraska is good.  The rabid Huskers crowd should disrupt Oregon's offense and carry the Big Red to victory.  By more than a FG.

Texas A+M (+3.5) at Auburn (7:00 p.m. EDT)
The Aggies have won two in a row at Auburn and play well (1) on the SEC road and (2) early in the season.  They already beat a ranked team, Auburn lost a close one to Clemson but the Aggies have weapons on both sides of the ball and they're being given points.  I like Texas A+M.

Oklahoma (+1.5) vs Ohio State  (7:30 p.m. EDT)
Bob Stoops at home is just too juicy.  Especially against an inexperienced (but good) team.  It will be a lively home crowd hungry to show the Nation that the Houston loss was not their best effort.  OU QB Baker Mayfield won't drop another one (and again, I'm being given points at home?). 

California (+7) vs Texas  (10:30 p.m. EDT)
Intriguing rematch of a contest Cal won last year in Austin by 1 on a missed PAT.  They had Goff.  They no longer have Goff, but are at home.  Texas looked good against Notre Dame (still took to OT, could have lost) and mediocre against Texas El Paso (with injuries).  Injuries are playing, but how healthy are these guys?  How will a freshman QB fare in his first road game?  With a night crowd?  This seems like a FG type game so I'll take the 7 points.

I feel bad for betting against Texas and for Oklahoma, but I did take the home state Aggies.  Go Texas teams!

- JR Ewing.

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