Betting Turf Week 12 Football

UCLA Football at Arizona

Betting Turf, By Ts – Week 12 Football


Gambling sharps (the best gamblers around) are right roughly 57% of the time. That figure sounds low to most. But, in fact, it is a high enough figure to make a living off of. The key to being a sharp is not only picking more winners than losers, but also finding the best lines and odds for your bets. An extra half point here, an extra point there makes a huge difference over the course of a season. Unfortunately, we will not be shopping around for our lines here. And, probably more unfortunate is the fact that I'm no sharp.

With that in mind, and since we will be using SportsInteraction lines all year long on The Betting Turf, let's aim for 53%. If I am right more than I am wrong, I should stay in the black. This should hopefully factor in the vig as well. Oddsmakers take a percentage of all bets, meaning nailing exactly half your bets (assuming equal money is laid down) will not result in the gambler breaking even. They must also cover the juice taken away from each wager.


Sometimes the gambling gods smile down upon you. Texas was favored by 6.5 points in their game against West Virginia. Late in the game, a cover for UT looked bleak. They were down three in the waning minutes meaning any score by West Virginia would probably put the win out of reach for Texas, let alone a cover. However, a touchdown for the Longhorns would also spell disaster since they would come out on top, but only by four points. A game-tying field goal was the only hope, to force overtime and allow Texas to score more. Well, step one came to fruition. Step two, to get the overtime cover, again meant West Virginia could not score. In fact, a field goal for either side meant demise. The only possible way Texas could come through with a 6.5 point cover was if they scored a touchdown, converted their extra point and subsequently held WVU scoreless. Isn't gambling great? That game helped put us back over 53% for the season.


Washington +2.5

UCLA -2.5

This game actually opened at UCLA -2.5 and was bet down to UCLA -1.5. It was unfortunately bet back up but either way, UCLA at home, giving less than a field goal still feels like a win. I don't understand the continued dismissal of this Bruins team. Last week they were favored by just one point. And again, their only losses all year are to Stanford and Oregon, both on the road. Now it could be argued that Washington has as much right to the claim of third or fourth best in the Pac-12 as UCLA does. After all, the Huskies have only lost three times all year, to those same Oregon and Stanford squads, as well as Arizona State on the road. If recent common opponents were any indication, perhaps Washington is a little better. They just demolished Colorado by more than UCLA did. Good thing recent common opponents are not an indication of anything that could happen in this contest.


Indiana +21.5

Wisconsin -21.5

Wisconsin is undefeated against the spread this season. They don't deserve to be favored by this much though. I think the lines may finally catch up with the Badgers against an Indiana team playing better than people think. I hate to pick an underdog that I don't think can win outright but that rule is slightly different in the college football ranks where spreads can get outrageously high. Indiana has only won four times this season. Good thing we don't need a fifth to win this pick.


North Carolina Pick 'em


Even without their quarterback, North Carolina is humming along. The Tar Heels haven't played a bad game since September 28th against East Carolina. This run has included three straight victories and four straight covers. I was afraid to pick them last week without starting quarterback Bryn Renner, who is gone for the season. But they squashed all doubts with a 45-14 drubbing of UVA. This is one of the better ACC teams going right now.


Miami -3

Duke +3

This is about far enough for the Duke Blue Devils bandwagon to go this season. After all, it's not used to driving for this long. They're running on fumes at this point. Five straight wins for Duke is misleading. The only win that could be considered a great one was over Virginia Tech but the Hokies are so up and down on offense, they can lose to anyone at any moment. And it did take four Logan Thomas interceptions for Duke to escape by three points. Meanwhile, Miami has been in free fall. But the Hurricanes are much more talented than their past two performances have indicated. In fact, the driving rain storm that wreaked havoc on Miami ball carries may have had more to do with their loss against VT than anything the Hokies did.


Michigan +3

Northwestern -3

Sorry to Big 10 fans but this one might get ugly. This is strictly a pick against Northwestern as I don't know how anyone could have much confidence in the Michigan Wolverines these days. But after a 4-0 start, Northwestern has dropped five straight, all conference games. Much like Texas over West Virginia last week was a pick of an okay team to beat a bad team, Michigan over Northwestern is hoping a bad team can beat a worse team on the road...or at least lose by less than three.


Oklahoma State -3

Texas +3

It was alarming that Texas took West Virginia to overtime. Watching the game live, I assumed I had lost multiple times in the second half, including right near the end where only that one scenario could play out in a Texas win and cover. But even as the Longhorns sit at 6-0 in-conference, they don't give off confidence with their level of play. On the other hand, Oklahoma State has been quietly rolling for weeks now. While Baylor gets all the Big 12 headlines, OSU has slipped in as the second best team in the conference. Oddly enough, Oklahoma State's lone loss on the season came back in late September to West Virginia...the Mountaineers' only quality win of the season.


Bonehead Bet of the Week, AKA: the Stayaway

Ball State +7

Northern Illinois -7

Everyone is aware of Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois. They are 9-0 and the 15th ranked team in the country. Finishing undefeated, with a little luck, could result in NIU making a BCS bowl. However, their opponent this week, Ball State, is getting overlooked. Ball State is 9-1 this season and actually is currently ahead of Northern Illinois in the MAC West standings. It's not that this spread is too low to take NIU with any confidence. It's just that no one knows enough about Ball State yet to feel sure either way. Really the entire top of the Mid-American conference is like that as six teams were already bowl eligible coming into this week's action and very few had played against each other yet.


2013 Record Against the Spread: 30-26

Sure Thing Locks: 0-0


Will people ignore me and bet on the Bonehead Bet of the Week this week?

Yes, heavy for NIU