Pop quiz hot shot.
What game has the higher total: Baylor at Oklahoma State or Indiana at Ohio State?
Without even thinking, most football bettor’s minds would instinctively say the Over/Under for a Big 12 shootout would trump a Big Ten total any Saturday of the year. But here we are.
The Hoosiers and Buckeyes have stirred up an 81-point number for their clash in Columbus Saturday, eclipsing the 78-point O/U for BU-OSU in Stillwater and making for one very uncharacteristic Big Ten total.
A lofty number seems deserved. Indiana has been a score first, play defense later – or never – kind of team all season, averaging more than 39 points for and nearly 39 against. The Hoosiers faced a 79.5-point total versus Illinois and blew that bad boy away, downing the Illini 52-35 in Week 11.
The Buckeyes come in needing to impress the BCS pollsters and with a weak non-conference slate and soft Big Ten table, Ohio State’s only hope of sneaking into the national title game is to kick the living hell out of its remaining opponents – Indiana and rival Michigan.
The Buckeyes and Hoosiers have a combined Over/Under count of 15-5 O/U on the season (Baylor and Oklahoma State are only a combined 10-8-1 O/U), so before you go making assumptions about grind-it-out, slow-it-down, boring Big Ten football you may want to give this Saturday’s total a doubletake.
Duke Blue Devils at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+5)
If you’re a Duke football player, you’ve got to hate it when basketball season starts in Durham.
No longer are your parties packed with hot co-eds and gushing fanboys. And don’t even think about using your pigskin status to land a free lunch at the local greasy spoon. Those seats are reserved for Blue Devils ballers like Jabari Parker.
Hoops rules at Duke and oddsmakers seem to be in the same vein this weekend, setting the football Dukies as 5-point favorites on the road at Wake Forest.
The Blue Devils have been one of the best under-the-radar teams in college football, building an 8-2 SU and ATS record. Duke has taken down ACC gatekeepers like Miami and Virginia Tech, earned the No. 25 billing in the AP poll and should be getting more respect than everyone’s favorite “WTF” line – five points when it takes on woeful Wake Saturday.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-10)
Did we learn nothing from Houston’s horrible outing as 10.5-point chalk versus Oakland last Sunday? The Texans are downright terrible yet books have them propped up as 10-point chalk hosting Jacksonville in Week 12.
Yeah, the Jaguars stink something awful but they’ve shown some fight in recent games and are no longer playing with the dark cloud of a winless season hanging over their heads. In fact, Jacksonville has covered in its last two road games – it’s only ATS paydays of the season.
Houston was a much better team last season and still had issues with their lowly divisional foe. The Jags took the Texans to the limit in their most recent meetings, losing 43-37 in OT back in Week 11 of last year, and covered as 15-point pups at Reliant Stadium.
Momma always said, “Don’t bet on bad teams”. And right now, at 2-8, Houston looks like a very, very bad team.