Watching sports is the only way many of us connect with the world. It's why the NFL has a trillion dollars and why college teams are shifting around like a seaman with crabs. That's the unspoken ingredient in the popularity of sports: connectivity. I hate crowds, gatherings, people with short legs, and strangers. I don't like to go places and if you just show up at my home unannounced I'll only answer the door to toss hot coffee in your eyes like an overstimulated Miggs. I'm not a bad person. It's just my way. But football allows people like me to connect with millions of people at once. We're all watching the game at the same time. We're sharing moments. Every game has that critical play where it's decided. It doesn't matter what side you're on. At that moment, all of us are together, feeling... something. It's when we're most human. Alive. That's why watching the Iowa/Iowa State game last week was one of the most visceral experiences I've ever felt. It touched me on a level that can't be reached any other way. No matter how good or bad the result was I'll never stop wanting it to happen again and no matter how much it hurts it's why I love the game.
And gambling intensifies the effect.
That was awesome. I took a bath on Iowa. The loss wasn't a surprise, really. We haven't won in Ames much in the Ferentz era. But the Over was ridiculous. I don't think these teams combined to hit the over since Steele Jantz was in middle school. A TOUGH PILL TO SWALLOW. Thankfully I had the Patriots on Monday Night and I did what all smart degenerates do and I tripled my bet. This is how you get well, people!
Mr and Mrs Hogg
Tennessee @ Florida (-9)
Tennessee has won just 3 times in Gainesville since 1969, and only 8 of their last 28 games overall against the Gators. So to call it a rivalry is a reach. The Vols haven't been relevant since they ran Fulmer out of town and they're just 4-12 in their last 16 road games. I know what you're thinking "9 points seem like a lot, bro". It might be if not for the sick combo of Muschamp and Weis. They're like a modern day Jake and the Fatman. They've outscored their opponents 80-3 against what I'm sure were very credible opponents. Say what you want about Charlie Chalupa but give him some talent and the guy can put points on the board. Put your Harmon on Florida or you dead, bitch.
Threat Level: Kelly
Michigan St @ Notre Dame (-4 1/2)
Notre Dame has a beast and his name is Michael Floyd. He's an absolute monster and despite having a quarterback named Tommy he's able to destroy. The Irish have turned the ball over inside their opponent's 10 yard line 5 times in 2 games. That's a lot. When this happens Brian Kelly gets angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry. I can't think of a coach in any sport I'd want to play for less than this guy. The Spartans are just 2-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last 7 games but they're 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games against Notre Dame. I haven't seen 1 minute of the Spartans this season but I have no problem putting a Harmon on them to cover against the Domers. For me, Notre Dame is a must watch every week. Is this the week Kelly actually explodes?
Al Davis, when he was alive and looked like Bob Evans
Oakland @ Buffalo (-3 1/2)
The NFL hates Al Davis. This is not Breaking News. It is worth remembering when you see Oakland playing an early game on the East Coast after a Monday Night game. The Raiders were 2-8 outside the AFC West last year and they're 7-16 playing on the East Coast in their last 23. The Bills are not bad. I repeat. The Bills are not bad. Chan Gailey has turned Ryan Fitzpatrick into a baller. Buffalo took the Chefs out behind the woodshed last week. It was a severe beating that I haven't seen doled out since the days of 4-time Super Bowl Loser Darryl Talley. KC led the league in rushing last year and the Bills stuffed them. I don't see the Raiders having much success on the ground which puts the game in the capable (?) hands of Jason Campbell and Darrius Heyward-Bey (sorry, Rosswell). Short week for the Raiders equals early disaster on Sunday, so put your bills on the Bills (I'm so sorry) to win by 2 touchdowns.
Chicago @ New Orleans O/U 48
The Bears dropped 30 on the Falcons last week. The Saints have given up 83 points in their last 2 games (GB,BEEFMODE). The secret's out on Gregg Williams. He's a one-trick pony and his pony is a whore. This game will go Over at the half. Do it. Do it.
The Sex Cannon, in happier times
Arizona @ Washington O/U 45
Holy shit Arizona's corners are awful. They made Cam Newton look like Warren Moon (2-time NFL Wifebeater of the Year Award Winner). They revived Steve Smith, so much so, that he regained "the good Steve Smith" name. I don't think I need to tell you about Rex Grossman. The Sex Cannon is going to rip into this Cardinals D like he lovingly gobbles down 2 dozen petit fours for breakfast every day. Here's a pro-tip for the remainder of the year: always bet the Over when Arizona is involved.