For some bettors, there are few things scarier than a big spread.
They see a big number when the odds come out and if it’s more than one digit and it starts with a “2” , that game is dead to them. I’m guilty of doing it too sometimes, but it shouldn’t be the case. These games can have some of the best value.
So, in the spirit of Halloween, it’s time to face our fears. This week I’ll look at some of the biggest lines on the slate and pick them correctly with astonishing ease and a large bottle of Pepto Bismo.
It was another big 3-1 performance for Four-play last week and I’m now 15-9-1 on the season.
USC vs. Washington State (-42, 55.5)
USC starting running back Joe McKnight is suffering from turf toe and will be forced to sit out this week when the Trojans head to Pullman. You know he must be really hurting because there’s no way USC would take a 40-point underdog lightly after the infamous loss to Stanford last year.
"If we were playing somebody else I'd probably go," McKnight told the L.A. Times this week. "I can play with pain, but they just want me to rest up this week and come back next week for Arizona."
OK, so maybe the Trojans aren’t exactly treating this one like a BCS championship game. The sad part is that it doesn’t matter.
Washington State is down to its third-string quarterback, Kevin Lopina, who has five interceptions and no touchdown completions. Lopina also broke a vertebrae in September, which is just one of about a million injuries on the Cougs’ offense this season.
The top two running backs are also banged up, the line has seen more rotations than a turnstile, and starting tight end Devin Frischknecht is probably out.
Colorado State vs. Utah (-23, 48)
CSU is one of those teams that has been improving steadily since the start of the season and this line hasn't caught up to that yet.
The Rams have won the overall yard margin in their last three games, even though they lost two of them. And after the way the Froggies beat up on BYU Thursday night, the Rams’ 13-7 loss to TCU last week is starting to look pretty decent.
I have a feeling they’re going to give the Utes a tougher test than they bargained for Saturday.
Pick: Colorado State
Syracuse vs. South Florida (-24, 50)
It was almost hard to watch Syracuse coach Greg Robinson celebrate a first-quarter field goal last week like he was a contestant on the Price is Right who’d just won the Showcase Showdown.
Syracuse went on to lose to West Virginia, 17-6 of course, and the Orange are now 1-5 on the season.
Reports say Cuse can feel a win coming and maybe that’s what Robinson went all Prozac about. Reality says they’re going to get hammered by South Florida.
Matt Grothe loves beating up on Cuse and the Bulls have covered easily the last three meetings.
Pick: South Florida
Idaho vs. Louisiana Tech (-20.5, 55)
The Vandals probably aren’t the first team you think of betting on when you look at the college board on Saturdays. They rank just a fart away from last place in Division 1-A in just about every defensive category and the 70-0 loss to Arizona to start the season has enough stink to scare away anybody.
But I’m sayin’ there’s a chance this week.
Idaho catches Louisiana Tech in a tough spot, the week after they return from a long trip and a tough loss to Hawaii. The week before that, the ‘Dogs were whipped on the blue turf in Boise and next week they travel to the other side of the country when they visit Army at West Point.
It’s a sandwich game with a little extra spread on it.
Everybody loves sandwiches.