Fishing in Lockness Week #7 – College Edition

by dave on October 19, 2012

My Vegas condo agreement requires me to publicly tout gambling picks for the week. I can’t GUARANTEE A FIVE STAR LOCK OF THE MILLENIUM, YOU ARE A COMMUNIST TRANSVESTITE IF YOU DON’T BET ON THIS but I can identify the games that seem to me to have an essence of Lockness about them, which smells like a mix of algae, brackish water and lizard breath.

Also, I am totally welcoming of all communists. Transgendered, transvestite or other.

I really need to find some new teams or these write-ups are going to get really boring.

Even more boring than usual which is saying something because someone writing about who they bet on is only 3.4% less obnoxious than someone talking about their fantasy football team (it’s science).

But in the college game, with hundreds of teams, there is just no way to be smart enough on every team to find value. Picking teams and match-ups at random, or focusing on just the biggest names is a great way to lose a lot of money.

I did find a new team this week but will leave them in a probationary ‘watch’ period for one week before bringing them into the fold next week.

If they are lucky they may perform well enough to reach the vaunted ‘t-shirt’ status that Western Kentucky has, where they have so consistently won me money that I feel indebted enough to spend some of those winnings on merchandise from their online school store.

Always pay it forward.

Lockness #1 – Western Kentucky (-3) vs Louisiana-Monroe

Yada, yada, yada 15 straight wins against the spread. Yada, yada, yada 5-1 on the season straight up. Yada, yada, yada coolest mascot around. Yet, oh so gentle.

I don’t really need to go through why I am picking WKU again do I? Admittedly, I hesitated this week because ULM has demonstrated they are pretty good this season with a win at Arkansas and close loss at Auburn. But I am a Hilltopper believer and when the line moved to -3.5 yesterday after I had laid my bet at -3, I felt validated that I wasn’t alone. I will ride with Big Red all season.

Lockness #2 – Louisiana Tech (-30.5) vs Idaho

Coming off that epic scoring fest against Texas A&M last Saturday it is easy to imagine La Tech having a little bit of a let down this week. Thankfully Idaho comes in, who is more easy to recoup against than a bye week. In fact, I think Idaho should change their mascot to the ‘Byes’ or maybe the ‘Scrimmages’.

I hate laying this many points in a game, it is too easy to relax up 27 and give up a cheap score or two and fail to cover but, when donbest.com power rankings think La Tech is 43 points better, Idaho is coming off giving up 31 to Texas State, and La Tech is ranked #1 in the country in scoring offense, I will take the risk.

Lockness #3 – Tease of the Week: Cincinnati (-.5) at Toledo, Louisville (-.5) vs South Florida, Marshall (+9) at Southern Mississippi

Apparently I am feeling very Big East this week, which I would describe as feeling sort of like an extra in the Hunger Games: mediocre, slightly desperate and willing to do anything to stay alive.

My Tease philosophy has evolved to one of two approaches: either move teams that are approximately a touchdown favorite down to be essentially a pick em or move a small underdog to be a big underdog. Not so coincidentally, this aligns closely with the wiseguy approach to teasing which is that you only tease when you move across both the critical 3 and 7 point lines. They ain’t called wiseguys for nothing.

My biggest concern in this tease is Marshall. But I am not overly enamored with Southern Miss and I think Marshall’s high scoring offense can, at a minimum, keep things close in Hattiesberg. Marshall comes in off a bye, while Southern Miss tries to rebound after tough overtime loss to UCF, so for once I am even on the side of the let down game, which is rare for me. But still, taking a team without a great defense on the road is a dicey proposition.

Lockness #4 – Hail Mary of the Week:  Baylor Moneyline (+290) at Texas

We’ve all been there. Bets have been going against us all day. Down to one last bet, it just isn’t worth trying to win less than double our money because when you are trapped at the bottom of a well, 3 feet off the ground is still deep in the well. We need the big score to get back. We could look for a parlay and hope 5 or 6 things all break our way or we can find one highly improbable thing that might, maybe, possibly, could happen and go all-in on it. This is the ‘Break Glass in Case of Emergency’ bet in the sports book.

So this is the point where I would have made the case for Arizona State against Oregon, so let’s just say not writing this until Friday is probably a good thing because – whew, did that get ugly last night.

I am not betting it this week but when I look at the long odds game, Baylor jumps out at me. Texas is coming off back to back tough losses – first to West Virginia at home and then against rival Oklahoma in Dallas. They will either come out dejected and unmotivated (see: Florida State 2011, losing to Wake Forest after tough back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and Clemson) or really ticked and ready to take it out on their in-state neighbors.

But, even if mad can they stop Baylor? Baylor put up 63 points at West Virginia. Texas’ defense has been absolutely mauled the last two weeks and lost one of their best defensive linemen, Jackson Jeffcoat, for the season. Baylor’s defense isn’t very good (see: losing that game to West Virginia while scoring 63 points) but David Ash may not be quite as far along the maturity scale as he got credit for early in the year. Put some points on the board, force a turnover or two and the disgruntled Longhorn fans may turn on Mack Brown faster than flames can engulf a giant wooden cowboy.

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