Once again, it was a profitable time here in this ponks column for college football as my two futures to win the conference faced off against each other. It solidified my season in the black, which is a solid result for my side job’s side job. Such is life.
The offseason has been a weird one for me though. While optimism swirls in Iowa City, I just can’t help myself with the pessimism and lack of joy the lead up to this season has brought me. But with Big Ten football less than a week away, the excitement writ large is starting to seep through my pores as I cram for the season.
In looking back at my rules, there really isn’t much I’d add to them.
Step #1: Don’t be afraid to bet against your favorite team
AKA: hedging happiness or, put another way, “How much would I pay to see my team win?” While I do believe this to be a good rule, I have to admit the win, on the field or in my pocket, always leaves me feeling a little icky.
***Editor’s Note: ABSOLUTELY BE AFRAID TO BET AGAINST YOUR FAVORITE TEAM IF YOU ARE AN NCAA ATHLETE!!!
Step #2: Do the due diligence of predicting the season
Love it. More to come.
Step #3: Don’t be afraid of the obvious bets
Same. But be smarter.
Step #4: Track your picks/funds
Considering how easy it can be to get lost in all the apps & sites & shady backrooms, it’s important to know where your money is going and coming from. It also helps highlight any biases you may have (if you cannot discern them yourself).
Step #5: Be cognizant of your biases
An extension of Step #4. Given I have commenced my cramming of the season, my biases are a little too early to say other than I just have a really bad feeling about both Iowa and Purdue.
Step #6: Don’t bet outside your means
Alright. So we’re circling back to step #2. Here’s how I see this season shaking out.
(O/U | Conference Odds | Division Odds)
Big Ten West
1) Illinois Fighting Illini 9-3 (7-2) (6.5 at -125 / +105 | +3000 | +550)
T-2) Minnesota Golden Gophers 9-3 (6-3) (7 at +110 / -130 | +4000 | +600)
T-2) Iowa Hawkeyes 9-3 (6-3) (8 at -165 / +140 | +1200 | +240)
T-2) Wisconsin Badgers 9-3 (6-3) (8.5 at -145 / +125 | +750 | +130)
5) Purdue Boilermakers 6-6 (4-5) (5.5 at +145 / -165 | +10000 | +1400)
6) Nebraska Cornhuskers 5-7 (3-6) (6 at -150 / +130 | +6000 | +2200)
7) Northwestern Wildcats 0-12 (0-9) (3 at +100 / -120 | +30000 | +10000)
Big Ten East
1) Penn State Nittany Lions 12-0 (9-0) (9.5 at -150 / +130 | +550 | +450)
2) Ohio State Buckeyes 11-1 (8-1) (10.5 at -105 / -115 | +170 | +110)
3) Michigan Wolverines 10-2 (7-2) (10.5 at -130 / +110 | +175 | +120)
4) Maryland Terrapins 8-4 (5-4) (7.5 at +110 / -130 | +8000 | +5000)
T-5) Rutgers Scarlet Knights 5-7 (3-6) (4.5 at +105 / -125 | +30000 | +20000)
T-5) Michigan State Spartans 5-7 (3-6) (5.5 at +135 / -155 | +15000 | +10000)
7) Indiana Hoosiers 2-10 (0-9) (3.5 at -145 / +125 | +50000 | +30000)
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Here are some storylines which immediately stick out that I’ll be watching:
- Drew Allard doing Sean Clifford things except the 3-5 genuinely perplexing decisions he make which shift the balance of the game against Penn State.
- Will Virginia Tech have the best Big Ten record through 4 weeks?
- The second or third best team in the West once again being the team who goes to Indianapolis.
- Week 12 loser leaves town between Tom Allen and the $100 million man, Mel Tucker.
- Can Northwestern win any game?
- PJ Fleck not making it to a Big Ten Title game.
- Was the Ryan Walters hire too against type?
Considering how I have the divisions shaking out...I’m going with a full unit on Illinois +3000 as well as Penn State +550.
My favorite season win/loss bets are:
- Michigan State UNDER 5.5 - 1u to win 1.35
- Penn State OVER 9.5 - 1.5u to win 1
- Minnesota OVER 7 - 1u to win 1
- Nebraska UNDER 6 - 1u to win 1.3
- Illinois OVER 6.5 - 1.25u to win 1
With no Big Ten games on the docket for Week 0, we’ll end it here.