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Futures and Nebraska/Illinois are the menu for week 0

My son is now 1 year old. What a world. He’s adorable. But he’ll need money for college assuming he doesn’t grow up to be a 6’4” point god or TikTok star and it still costs a pretty penny to attend.

So it’s time to keep feeding that 529 and what better way* to invest than college football picks.

Note: there are much better ways to invest money and neither I, nor BHGP, are liable for any losses you may endure as a result of any “advice.”

The ground rules are a little different this season. We’re gonna keep it simple so each wager makes potential payout in approximately single unit payouts. Not sure we’re proving anything with the weird bankroll up/down dealio. That math was tricky.

Still, probably won’t have more than 5 bets in any given week. Also...Big Ten games only. For now.

First some housekeeping...Purdue Pete was recently named the creepiest mascot in a survey and there is only one defense for it. It could absolutely be worse:

Purdue Exponent

I was around campus at this time and I’m genuinely blown away pictures of this short-lived mascot still exist on the Internet. He was the original cancel culture. Bad on about 1000 different levels but the obvious are: silver hat, puffy shoes, belt buckle, and tucked in t-shirt in no particular order. The intentions were fair - they felt like Purdue Pete being white and not having sleeves prohibited people of color from serving as mascot - but the execution was dreadful. RIP Purdue Pete/Bob the Builder Mashup.

I say all this because Herbie Husker is creepier. At least it’s just sadness behind Purdue Pete’s eyes and not manipulation. How else could you explain Nebraska fans’ delusions?

To the betting machine!

(note: the Tallysight graphics are slightly different from what I have seen & locked in at)

Big Ten Over/Under & Division/Conference Odds

Team O/U Division Conference
Team O/U Division Conference
Wisconsin 9.5 (-130 / +100) -125 +450
Iowa 8.5 (+120 / -150) +175 +900
Northwestern 6.5 (+110 / -140) +1600 +2500
Minnesota 7 (-115 / -115) +1000 +2000
Nebraska 6.5 (-120 / -110) +1000 +1600
Purdue 5 (-140 / +110) +3300 +5000
Illinois 3.5 (-165 / +135) +5000 +10000
Penn State 8.5 (-110 / -120) +600 +900
Ohio State 11 (-115 / -115) -450 -240
Michigan 7.5 (-120 / -110) +800 +1800
Indiana 7.5 (+100 / -130) +1000 +2000
Maryland 6 (+105 / -135) +5000 +5000
Rutgers N/A N/A +5000
Michigan State 5 (-125/ -105) +4000 +5000

Broadly speaking, over/under bets are a waste of time in that they tie up money you could win more quickly but...whatever. Let’s live a little. Of these lines, my favorite (and the ones I placed bets on) were:

  • Penn State over 8.5 (1.1 units to win 1) & to win the Big Ten Championship (0.5 units to win 4.5)

The Nittany Lions have 9 games or more the four prior non-COVID seasons, including 11 in three of them. They’re also the only NON-Buckeye team to win the conference. Phil Steele likes them as his #1 most improved team in the nation. I like them!

This is a pure schedule play, as they get at Northwestern & at Miami (FL) in two of their first three games. Then the usual suspects of Ohio State & Penn State (PSU will need it to clinch the division). I’m just not sure they can go 5-3 in the rest of them to get to that line. Can they steal one of the above four? Sure. But I’m not buying the Spartans jussst yet.

  • Illinois over 3.5 (1.65 units to win 1)

Objectively not thrilled about the vig on this one but they are the flip of Michigan State from a schedule perspective. Not only was Illinois not that bad last year, they’re coached by a guy who knows how to win in the West. They get two easy ones at home and will easily snag another two. I have this one wrapped up before the calendar turns to November.

  • Nebraska under 6.5 (1.1 unit to win 1)

So you’re telling me Nebraska could still get to a bowl and not meet this one? Might have to sweat it if they get to 6 wins with Wisconsin & Iowa left on the docket but I don’t trust Scott Frost with anything.

The slate:

8/28, 12:00p - Nebraska Cornhuskers (-7 | -270) at Illinois Fighting Illini (+220 | O/U 54.5)

I’ve been had. I was using a six month old schedule thinking the Nebraska/Illinois game was still on for Dublin. I wanted it so bad. I wanted Bret Bielema to fly across the Atlantic, beat Scott Frost’s rear end then enjoy 1000 Guinesses he poured himself. No matter, he’ll still do that, it will just be in Champaign instead.

Bully for Scott Frost, as getting left on the tarmac in Dublin is indescribably better than in rural Illinois.

Outside of the delightful storylines, I like Illinois because they return a boatload of starters and require less guys to step in and put up numbers at skill positions, especially running back. I can also see this one being a tight, low scoring one which could benefit the Illini as they actually had a positive turnover margin in 2020 vs. Nebraska’s hilarious negative one.

Nebraska is also 6-11 ATS in games where they’re favored under Frost.

The bets: Illinois +7 (1.1 unit to win 1) & Illinois SU (1 unit to win 2.2)

And there you have it. Check back whenever to see a recap on the season. Should be fun!

This week:
Illinois +7 v. Nebraska (1.1 to win 1)
Illinois +220 v. Nebraska (1 to win 2.2)

Futures bets:
Penn State over 8.5 wins (1.1 to win 1)
Illinois over 3.5 wins (1.65 to win 1)
Nebraska under 6.5 wins (1.1 to win 1)
Michigan State under 5 wins (1.05 to win 1)
Penn State to win the conference (0.5 to win 2.25)