All posts by TheMatHudson

Get Your Popcorn Ready

We have arrived at the week that most folks have waited for. This is the game you’re supposed to win. Call it what you want, Rivalry Week or whatever, but coaches are judged by performance in these games. Some didn’t even make it this far. Honestly, I’m not too surprised by some. I’ll make no predictions on who goes where, but I will make the observation that every opening seems to illicit the same three or four names. I hate to tell y’all but a) you ain’t that good a job and b) he ain’t that good a coach. Sometimes a change is necessary, but sometimes, and by that I mean usually, you think you can find someone better. Trust me, I lived through a bad decade of is this the guy before landing the GOAT. It’s about fit not name.

Diatribe paused. Last week saw Bama finally escape Arkansas. Honestly, I had the Razorbacks winning the Over on projected total, so I’m not that surprised. UGA demolished their inferior opponent. I’d like to state that UGA is unequivocally the best team in the country, but they have not been punched in the mouth yet. And we all know what Tyson said about that. To say Ohio St handled Michigan St seems an understatement. They may be playing the best of anyone, but that is their only win of note. My Bearcats are still in play and I can tell you their stadium is a destination location. Go see a game there, you won’t regret it. I apologize, I did not revisit the preseason show yet, but I discovered Hit Monkey on Hulu. Going into the last weekend of play I so far have correctly assessed 7 of a possible twenty conference championship game teams.  We shall see if a few more find their way to me. But, like the Miami Vice theme, I feel I Jan Hammered it.

This weekend should be about deciding factors and bitter grudges. Bedlam seems to think it is the end of an era. Mike Gundy, the mullet himself, thinks Ok St won’t play OU once they move to the SEC. There is zero reason this game can’t go forward. There are four major non-conference rivalry games currently in the SEC and there would be a fifth if some Texas boys weren’t so pissy. It is east to blame and less comfortable to do what’s right. If you don’t want to play, then say so. For the record, I don’t consider Bedlam that big a rivalry. You actually have to beat the other guy more than when it’s inconvenient to make it count.  And in the no one but the homers agree with you category, Bo Nix complaining about referees not only goes beyond ridiculous, but it pouts me in a position of commentary I am not comfortable with. If I say what I think, then I can be labelled a homer, but his reality coincides with neutral observed EVER.

It is hard to bet rivalry week. But yet here I am. I went 4-1 last week (silly me for thinking that Wake –37Forest was more than Vandy) and I now sit at 37-24-1. The Deacs cost me both the Parlay and the Teaser. It hurt and I’m bitter, but ya know, I’ll push through and make some bad NFL decisions (dangit, I did just that). This week I am taking the Over (+64) for Ole Miss at Miss St, UNLV (+18) at Air Force, the Over (+56) for Alabama at Auburn, SMU (-6.5) when they host Tulsa, and the Over (+43) when Clemson travels to South Carolina.

Storm Before the Storm

Despite the stability of the top 7 in the CFP rankings, there was an incredible amount of movement this past weekend. My preseason show partner Steve W correctly picked that Kansas would win more than one game and win a conference game. The shock comes from them beat Texas in Austin. Florida “won” Saturday but had a basketball game on grass against a mid-level FCS school. The lack of premium candidates likely negates Florida’s ability to make the change, but it seems that Mullen’s only talent is being able to give Alabama a scare. Speaking of the Crimson Tide, a win over Arkansas cliches the West after aTm and Auburn both lost must win games against the Mississippi schools. Wake Forest moved closer to ACC glory, but they have Clemson this weekend. And Oklahoma continues their bipolar season by losing to Baylor.

This coming weekend gives us a Pac 12 title game preview (potentially) with Oregon visiting Utah. A Utes win would kick open the door for Cincinnati. Of course, the Bearcats must beat SMU in order to stay alive and clinch a spot in the AAC title game. Michigan St at Ohio St will be huge and will set up an even bigger Ohio St @ Michigan clash. This is clinch weekend for a lot of folks. Life is a little easier going into rivalry week when you know you have another game coming. I will address some of the preseason picks next week and status how good (or horrible) we did going into money time.

The inability to get a 2-point conversation killed my teaser last week. I had no action on MNF but would have lost if I did. I went 2-2 last weekend with the USC/Cal game being voided. 33-23-1 is where I sit now. I took the Over (63) for South Alabama at Tennessee. The Vols can score and will be looking to take out some frustrations. I believe in Baylor (-1) against Kansas St and Wake Forest (-3.5) at Clemson. With the injuries suffered by the Tigers I will take South Carolina (+7.5) when they host Auburn. And the under the radar instant classic has me taking Louisiana (+4) when they travel to Liberty. As always, I have a Parlay and a Teaser with these as well.

Struggle Wins

I think we can all agree that Georgia is currently the best team in college football. While looking at their schedule so far this year I was quite surprised at how blah I found it. They have passed the eye test and beaten teams with tons of talent, but they do not have the kind of quality win like Cincinnati or Oregon. That being said, I don’t think Cincinnati is undefeated playing Georgia’s schedule and Oregon may have dropped two by now. Almost the entirety of the top ten underperformed last weekend.

This weekend has some tastiness to it. Aside from our usual MACtion we get this time of year, there are big boy match ups that whet the appetite. Oklahoma @ Baylor is the prime rank on rank game. Who is for real and who wants to win the Big 12? Texas A&M (or aTm) goes to Ole Miss needing to win to stay in play for the SEC West. While NC St and Wake Forest play a crucial game to decide the ACC (did I really just type that?). I think the Georgia game at Tennessee will be telling. The Vols offense has given some teams fits as the year has progressed. Does the best defense in the land slow them down? Will Purdue continue its giant slaying and play their way to the B1G Championship Game? November is when it matters.

Lost Monday Night Football cause that what the happens when you pick the Steelers. I struggled as well going 2-3 and moved to 31-21-1 on the season. This week throws me a curve as one of my games has been postponed. So, USC v Cal will have to wait. In what was once must see tv, I have Miami (-2.5) against FSU. The young Canes have played well lately. I’m taking Michigan (+1) at Penn St. And I have the Over for aTm at Ole Miss (+55.5) and Georgia at Tennessee (+56). Per normal there is a Parlay and Teaser involved and my USC (-1.5) will just have to wait and falls off the multigame plays.

Bad Beats and Good Eats

The bad beat of the year award goes to FSU @ Clemson. Luckily, I got in early before the line moved and only suffered a push. The Big 10 East elimination tournament began and Ohio State handled Penn St while Michigan State pulled the epic comeback against Michigan. On the other side of the conference, Minnesota has now taken the lead and Wisconsin is lurking. On the road Ole Miss continues to underachieve, and Georgia has essentially booked a playoff berth. And we begin three weeks of MACtion, baby!

The first College Football Playoff rankings came out. I would have had Cincinnati higher myself, but poor performances hurt them I guess in the eyes of the committee. Folks should relax and realize that four of the five teams ahead must play each other at some point (or fall below them anyway) and the other two have shown they are very beatable. Alabama at number two looked more like a prestige ranking, but perhaps they view the body of work as more impressive than Michigan St’s record. It will all wash out.

That resolution begins this weekend. Bama hosts LSU in what used to be the game for the SEC West. The challenger in the West will be decided between Auburn and Texas A&M. I don’t think the Lee County luck travels to that well this time. Interesting matchups are available on the rest of the slate, but nothing with rank on rank. I wonder if Oregon handles Washington and if Nebraska continues to keep games close against Ohio St. I guess we shall see.

I finally lost Monday Night Football. I was also wrapped up in the bad beat of the year (so far). I went 2-2-1 which brings me to 29-18-1. I go with SMU (-6) at Memphis and Baylor (-6.5) at TCU. I know it can be scary giving points on the road in conference. I do take Texas A&M (-4.5) when they host Auburn. Kyle Field should be loud. I also grab two Overs with Oregon @ Washington (+51) and Clemson at Louisville (45.5). As always there is a Parlay and a Teaser in play.

Bye Week

Usually saying bye about a week in football means a team is off. In this case they were really off and we bid them farewell. Penn St has left the CFP discussion and Clemson may finally be recognized for the underachieving team they are this year. Coastal Carolina took a big L against App St and now the division runs through Boone again. The Cincinnati struggle win is more than acceptable since it came against a triple option squad. Oklahoma’s struggle win is not. Kansas is a long way from good at the moment and there was no reason it was decided in part by a questionable (blown) call on 4th down. On those rare crazy Saturdays with upsets and close calls, you just hope to survive and advance.

I was in Bryant Denny enjoying the cigar smoke filled remnants of the 15th straight victory over the Volunteers. While Alabama is off this weekend, the Big 10 East is on full display. Penn St travels to Ohio St while Michigan visits Michigan St. That division will be beating each other up over the next few weeks, so good luck if you have futures action on any of them. A Texas Tech team whose coach was just fired despite having a winning record this year goes to the unpredictable Oklahoma Sooners. I’m not touching that game. Ole Miss goes to Lee County to take on Auburn. I wanted to bet this game three different ways, but Ole Miss struggles on the road and, well, Lee County, so I avoided this one as well.

Another Monday Night Football win. I went 3-2 in college games bringing me to 27-16. I barely missed the Teaser. This week I am taking Florida St (+10) at Clemson. I like the Over (+47) for Kentucky at Miss St despite UK’s solid defense. The Over (+47.5) for Iowa St at West Virginia is my pick as is the Over (+51) for the Cocktail Party called Georgia v Florida. Lastly, I am gambling on Oregon St (-1.5) at Cal. And of course I have the Parlay and Teaser in play.

Homecoming

Apparently, Lane Kiffin brings out the worst in those in work release orange. Despite being in elementary school at the time he left Knoxville, the students decided to throw everything they could on the field when a call and review did not go their way. Looked short to me and I didn’t see enough to overturn.

In actual football news, Purdue ruined Iowa’s CFP hopes. Sure, a one loss Big 10 champ could easily make the playoffs, but that kind of loss virtually ends it for Iowa. The illusion of chaos continues as teams ranked before they actually played a game keep losing to those not as liked by sports writers. I’m not sure which is more inexplicable, Syracuse losing late when they had the games in hand or Clemson winning when they have no business to. Perhaps it’s Texas blowing double digit leads.

This week is my favorite. Vol Week. I look forward to my day in Tuscaloosa and the hope of a nice cigar after the game. No ranked matchups this week, but still plenty of good action for those who seek it. Traditional games abound. USC/Notre Dame and Ole Miss/LSU should be classic games. Clemson has another bullet to dodge in their goal to remain nationally relevant when they travel to Pitt. Sneaky good games of the week are Ok St at Iowa St and San Diego St at Air Force.

Another solid weekend. Another Monday Night Football victory. I went 4-1 in college games which moves me to 24-14. In other words, I am up. I wasn’t overly excited about the action this week, but here’s where I placed my bets. NC St (-3.5) at Miami and I’ll take Northern Illinois (+5.5) at Central Michigan and the Fighting McElwain’s. You know I took Pitt (-3) hosting Clemson. The Tigers are 0-6 ATS. I grabbed a couple of Overs in Ohio St @ Indiana (+60) and Northwestern @ Michigan (+51). And as usual I took a Parlay and a Teaser.

All Good Things

One might think this season has brought chaos so far. I would argue that it has brought normality. Losses by Alabama and Ohio St have hardly removed them form CFP dreams. Clemson falling was predicted on the Preseason show, so I am not surprised there. Since I had Cincinnati in the playoffs, that too seems to be in form. The impact of a rowdy, packed house cannot be understated. Nor can the time it takes for a team to gel. We are still only halfway home with lots left to play out.

This weekend has some rather large SEC matchups. UK visiting UGA is going to be more important than the Cocktail Party this year. Winner takes a commanding lead in the East. I think the Dawgs are just too strong there. Bama travels to Clanga, excuse me, Miss St, to deal with Cowbell Nation. It’s a tough place to bounce back at and those Dogs could be undefeated if for better officiating. Arkansas hosts Auburn and LSU hosts Florida in important pecking order games. Texas welcomes Oklahoma St in a ranked matchup in the BIG12. Watchout for the Longhorns as the figure out Sark’s offense.

After a disaster of a week picking, I found redemption. Once again, I hit Monday Night Football in the NFL, this time also hitting a player prop parlay. I went 5-0 last week, which means I also hit the Parlay and the Teaser. That makes for a happy check of the balance and brings me to 20-13 on the season. I start again with a Friday night game. I take Syracuse (+14) against Clemson. The Tigers have showed very little so far this season and the Orange seem to play everyone close. I’m going with three on the Over again, UCF @ Cincinnati (+57.5), Alabama @ Miss St (+57.5), and Arizona St @ Utah (+51). And I lay the points with Arkansas (-3.5) against Auburn. That line has moved since I got in and the Hogs are even larger faves.

Statements Made

The good favorites covered and covered hard this weekend. Six top 15 teams fell and Cincinnati handled the business in front of them. Officiating cost some teams again this weekend and until a national system replaces the conference system, we will continue to see subpar refs and head scratching replay decisions. Clemson is not a top 25 team and the ACC looks like a Group of 5 conference. Kentucky beat Florida in Lexington for the first time since the pre-Spurrier era. Mullin teams lose four games a year. My biggest takeaway is that Miss St should probably be undefeated right now. Let that sink in. And, while you were sleeping, Hawaii knocked off a ranked Fresno St team which makes my Nevada pick in the MWC look more realistic. And show some love to Oregon St for being first in the PAC 12 North.

It’s now time to start looking at who has separated themselves from the pack. The top two teams are easy and you can put them in whichever order you like. But the chaos starts at number three. My top five is Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Cincinnati, Oklahoma.

This week we get some incredible match ups. Red River at the Texas State Fair happens, and I think this is an absolute tossup. UGA and Auburn in an earlier than usual matchup. I see the Bulldogs big here. Arkansas and Ole Miss meet to see who is the number two team in the SEC West. But the marquee game is Penn St at Iowa. The under may be the play here, but Penn St needs the win more as the East is loaded and the West is not as deep. Iowa can lose and still make the title game with ease. LSU at UK should provide entertainment and let us know if the Wildcats can avoid the emotional rollercoaster. I think they can. Coach O may want to update his CV.

I took it on the chin last week. 1-5 counting the bonus pick takes me to 15-13. This is the worst I’ve been this late ever. But, it only takes one week to go one way or the other. Even the crew of Daily Wager took it on the chin last weekend. Although, I did hit Monday Night Football for the 2nd straight week. This week I have three Overs – South Carolina @ Tennessee (+53), Arkansas @ Ole Miss (+66), and Maryland @ Ohio St (+68.5). I took Kentucky (-3) when they host LSU and I’ll start off the weekend with the Friday game and go with Charlotte (-3.5) @ Florida International.

Upsets?

For those who listened to the preseason show, you know that I said that this is the year Clemson comes back to the pack. You can sign all the 5 Star players you want, but you still have to coach them up and give them a scheme that puts them in the right position to win. The Tiger D is fine, the O is truly offensive. Oklahoma surprisingly can’t move the ball on O either. But is it just a matter of time or is it a sign of things to come? Are we witnessing a changing of the guard on top teams and playoff contenders? Notre Dame struggled more than the score indicated and Fresno St had a hiccup post their UCLA upset. UNC is all but out of the running in the Coastal and Iowa St is now playing catch up as well. I will not even comment on the officiating in a certain SEC game.

Happy time for the Hogs! Arkansas is close to calling themselves the Texas state champs, except UTSA is not on their schedule. Visiting UGA, however is a dog of a different color. The question will be how healthy is JT Daniel and how the crowd will impact Arkansas. Ole Miss visits Alabama in what could be the track meet of the weekend. I’m staying away from action on the game, but I think the Rebels may stop the Tide. Cincinnati can start booking their playoff hotel rooms with a win of Notre Dame. Meanwhile, an inexplicably still ranked Clemson battles BC in the return match of a great game from last season. Even the Big 12 has a ranked match up when Baylor travels to Oklahoma St.

Last week I went 3-2. The hook got me again in one game, but I did hit my Teaser. 14-8 so far and looking for more. I have a bonus pick for Friday night for those looking for an early start, Maryland (+3.5) against Iowa. I’m going points heavy this week. I take Boston College (+15.5) against Clemson, Rutgers (+15) when they host Ohio St, and Arkansas (+18.5) at UGA. I lay the point with Missouri (-3) against Tennessee and go with the Under (50.5) when Northwestern travels to Nebraska. And of course, I grabbed a Parlay and a Teaser on these as well. I made no NFL bets for Sunday, but did have Dallas and covered on Monday night.

Good luck and happy betting.

Struggles

Lots of favorites played tighter than expected games. Which is the real Nebraska? The team that played Oklahoma deep into the game or the one that fumbled through the Illinois game? Better question: what is the real Oklahoma? My preseason pick to take it all has not looked elite. But, what team has? The best win of the season so far may be the Oregon win at Ohio St. Or is it the Alabama victory at the Swamp against a better than anticipated Florida? Clemson’s defense has yet to allow a TD, but their offense has not really scored many themselves. Better goal line execution would have seen GT take the Tigers out of national contention. Tulsa played Ohio St closer than the final score. So, should we approach this as moving closer to parity or that the “elite” teams are not as elite as advertise? The answer is that we have no idea who is truly separating themselves three weeks into the season. This is why polls should not exist before the first week of October.

This week has Notre Dame playing Wisconsin in Chicago. Both teams are unknown in my opinion. Short of one team dominating the other, I think they jury will still be out on them. Arkansas meets aTm in Dallas for their annual Jerry World game. This should be a game to watch. While those are the only rank on rank games, several ranked teams need to be wary of the upset. That leads right into the picks for the week.

Last week I went 4-1 and move to 11-6 on the season on Straight bets. Unfortunately, and combination of missed FGs and head scratching offense led to the Under in the Neb @ OK game. Winning the games was nice, hitting the Parlay would have been the icing. I feel less confident about the games coming up but have hope for success. I am going with the Over (+64) in the Battle for the Iron Skillet between SMU and TCU. I like the Under (-44.5) when Colorado St visits Iowa. I’m laying the points with Michigan St (-5) against Nebraska. I am taking the points with both Mississippi St (+2.5) when they host LSU and NC State (+10) when they welcome Clemson. I also took these with a Parlay and a Teaser.

I missed an NFL Parlay when KC fumbled, but otherwise had a good weekend.