Repatriation: The return of someone to their own country.
After a 10-day voyage through Europe, I have abandoned my lederhosen for the Black and Gold bibs as I make my triumphant return to your favorite weekly gambling column. Although the trip was filled with the finest beer and sightseeing the world has to offer, it was void of American football and the excessive gambling that goes along with it, so it’s good to be home.
The word repatriation in fact has another definition, one that may be even more applicable to this week’s column: the process of returning an asset — voluntarily or forcibly — to its owner.
Now, when this week’s picks inevitably go 5-0, and you as a loyal reader tail them all, your bookie will hold a large sum of assets that belongs to you. Whether you collect these assets voluntarily or forcibly is between the two of you.
After an Iowa bye week and two Benny bye weeks, it’s time for your week six picks.
Wisconsin -20.5 vs Nebraska (10/6 6:30 PM on BTN)
With the highlight of the season being a rain out against Akron, The Cornhuskers come in not having covered a spread in nearly 11 months. At this point, I’m not sure I would trust Scott Frost to pick up my dry cleaning, no less cover a three touchdown spread at Camp Randall.
The Badgers, fresh off a bye week, will take care of business at home, and Culver’s will become the second fast food establishment to roast Nebraska on Twitter this season.
Might need a Scott Frosty to ice down the beating Nebraska is taking.#FreshFanReaction— Wendy's (@Wendys) September 22, 2018
LSU -2 @ Florida (10/6 @ 2:30 PM on CBS)
Florida will induct Tim Tebow into their “Ring of Honor” this weekend, but unless he plans on throwing on an orange and blue jersey and convincing Percy Harvin to put the bong down and do the same, I don’t think the Gators will have enough offense to get the job done. I don’t expect Dan Mullen’s team to roll over, but these Tigers look like the best thing to come out of the state of Louisiana since the first season of True Detective.
LSU has already shown they can win big games on the road, and Popeye’s now delivers in Chicago. For those reasons, I’m taking the Tigers.
Illinois -4.5 @ Rutgers (10/6 11:00 AM on BTN)
I thought watching a United States Circuit Judge proclaiming his affection for beer during a Senate hearing would be the most ridiculous thing I would see this week, but then I saw that Rutgers is only a 4.5 point underdog in a Big Ten game.
Now, watching this Illini team doesn’t exactly make me want to run through a brick wall, but I am about as pessimistic about the Scarlet Knights as I am about Kanye West after seeing him dressed up as a Perrier bottle on Saturday Night Live. For the record, any team that loses to Kansas by 41 deserves to be compared to Brett Kavanaugh and Kanye West in the same paragraph. If you had any self-restraint you would not be betting on this game, but then again you probably wouldn’t be reading this column either.
Alabama -35 @ Arkansas (10/6 11:00 AM on ESPN)
I’ll admit I had to lookup who Arkansas’s new coach is, and the answer is Chad Morris, which sounds like the name of someone who sells cutlery out of the back of his Mercury Sable. Nick Saban on the other hand, sounds like someone who covers 35 point spreads against guys named Chad Morris.
Alabama’s offense has looked unstoppable with Tua Tagovailoa at the helm, and the Razorbacks rank 92nd in the country in scoring defense. Mix those together and you’ve got a nice recipe for some wild boar ragù. Pair that with a nice red (crimson, if you will) wine, and you’ve got a feast.
Iowa @ Minnesota under 42 (10/6 2:30 PM on BTN)
Trust me, I hate this bet as much as you do, but in the last two battles for Floyd of Rosedale we have only seen a combined 48 points scored. The Gophers looked more depressing against Maryland than that Pop’s Italian Beef you accidentally left in your fridge for a week, and I still believe P.J. Fleck is in the same tier as Frank Abignale Jr. when it comes to con men.
On the other hand, the Hawkeyes relatively uninspired play hasn’t impressed me enough to lay the 7 points on the road. Therefore, I think the under is the safe play here. This game is bound to be about as exciting as when the relatives you haven’t seen in five years start showing you all of the pictures on their iPhones, but it will be a lot more fun with money on the line.
Best of luck this week, and congratulations to anyone who took the over 1.5 fast food references in this week’s column. Let’s bring that pig back to Iowa City.