Betting Turf Week 13 Football

Texas A&M vs. Alabama College Football, Johnny Manziel

Betting Turf, By Ts - Week 13 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.


Week 13 may qualify as the calm before the end-of-season storm. While dozens of rivalry games take place next week, this week instead pits two unmatched opponents against each other rather often. There are as many as 19 games with a spread of at least 20 points. While someone like Clemson is a top 10 team with a 9-1 record on the year, do you really feel comfortable laying 39.5 points? It is a risky endeavor picking a game in either direction with such a high spread. Obviously a vicious blowout is plausible but all it takes is a lackluster fourth quarter to open the door for a backdoor cover. How much would Clemson have to be up heading into the fourth quarter to feel confident they would close out the game winning by at least 40 points? They would have to be up at least eight touchdowns.


East Carolina -6

North Carolina State +6

The difference in level of play between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Conference USA is substantial. The ACC contains one of the top two teams in the country; the conference as a whole has a few of the better teams in division one. Conference USA has neither. However, the difference is not so vast that the bottom of one is better than the top of the other. When comparing one of the worst teams from the ACC to one of the best from Conference USA, the advantage goes to the latter.


Nebraska +1.5

Penn State -1.5

This late in the year, it is easy to tell which teams are good and which teams are bad. Good teams can still be upset of course. Bad teams can play over their heads for a week. But in general, we have a firm idea on the level of talent a team possesses. Nebraska is a good football team with a legitimate strength (their running game). They aren't elite by any means. They aren't anywhere close to Ohio State's level. However, the Cornhuskers are on the level where they should handle any mediocre team, at home or on the road. Getting a point and a half is just a bonus.


Texas A&M +4.5

LSU -4.5

The SEC has had some of its powerhouses collapse this season in the forms of Florida and Georgia most prominently. However, the rest of the conference's elite are still in that upper echelon of college football. Texas A&M and LSU both reside there. In a situation where two teams have similar footprints, the edge must go to the team with the best player, which, in this case, is clearly A&M and Johnny Manziel. While Zach Mettenberger is a good quarterback and has taken tremendous strides this season, he is not yet a game changer like his counterpart in this game is. Again, getting a few extra points is just a bonus as I expect the Aggies to win outright.


Arizona State -3


I will continue to ride the UCLA Bruins until they fail me. While Arizona State is a very good team and one of the better Pac-12 teams, they are not quite as good on the road. Both their losses have come on the road and while this is also true of the Bruins, UCLA will be playing this game at home. If the geography of the game was switched, my pick may be as well since these two teams' resumes are awfully close. In this instance, the points mean everything. An extra three points for the home Bruins means a close game down to the wire in either direction plays in our favor.


Missouri -2.5

Mississippi +2.5

Missouri is one of the best teams in the country; Mississippi is not, their recent top 25 ranking notwithstanding. Missouri also gets their star quarterback, James Franklin, back this week after he missed over a month with a shoulder injury. I can only imagine the low line here is evidence that bettors are not sure how quickly Franklin will be able to acclimate himself into the offense. If Missouri was coming into this game with Franklin having played the week before, or even if Maty Mauk was still behind center, the line would be three points higher. The uncertainty making this line less than a field goal should be taken advantage of.


USC -22

Colorado +22

At what point do the USC Trojans rip out the hearts of their fans? It is coming; we know it is coming. The only question is what week it will occur. After all, they are not THIS good. I've already detailed in previous weeks the hill-to-valley-to-hill nature of USC's season. Since Lane Kiffin was fired, the team has gone 5-1, including a win over #4 Stanford. A boost in play was expected with a change in the head coach. But now that the Trojans have a shot at the Pac-12 South title if Arizona State falters, the pressure is on. The honeymoon is over. And everyone will expect the collapse to occur next week versus UCLA. Thus, all signs point to a sluggish game this Saturday, with USC overlooking Colorado. They may not lose but they don't have to with a 22 point spread.


Bonehead Bet of the Week, AKA: the Stayaway

Idaho +57

Florida State -57

Giving 57 points in any situation seems utterly idiotic. With the way the Seminoles have been playing though, it at least seems like a possibility. They could easily win by that many points even if Idaho wasn't playing especially poorly. However, the news surrounding FSU quarterback Jameis Winston puts a different spin on this contest. News comes out by the day in the sexual assault case against him; recent reports say that the victim was told her life would be made miserable if she pursued a case against Winston. Obviously not enough evidence yet exists for anything criminal to be brought against Winston. And we are all aware of the snail's pace the NCAA takes to make decisions about anything. However, the swirling news storm surrounding their best player is enough to make me steer clear of a bet for FSU.


2013 Record Against the Spread:  34-28

Sure Thing Locks:  0-0


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

It depends on if there is any movement in the Winston story