We sports bettors are a finicky lot.
One week, we hate a team, the next we fall in love faster than Elizabeth Taylor. And oddsmakers know it.
That’s why they adjust their lines according to what happened last week, as much as they don’t want to sometimes.
That’s the theme for this week’s picks – lines that have been set too hastily in hopes of matching public perception. But we know better, don’t we?
Especially after going 1-3 last week. I’m now 22-17-2 on the season.
Purdue vs. Iowa (-18.5, 44)
Oddsmakers opened the Hawkeyes as two-touchdown faves but it seems they underestimated the fetish bettors have quickly developed after watching them upset Penn State last week.
Penn State didn’t really look like it went into that game taking Iowa seriously. Unlike Iowa, the Nits didn’t even have heaters going on their sideline, thinking they could beat this team with only long underwear. No heaters people!
Penn State went to sleep in the fourth and allowed the Hawkeyes to kick the winning field goal in the nick of time and Iowa became an instant big fave.
I don’t think Purdue is exactly giddy about visiting that pink locker room this week, but the Boilers should be able to keep it within a couple of scores against this blasé Hawkeye offense.
South Carolina vs. Florida (-22.5, 49.5)
Whoa, what happened here? Penn State loses, suddenly waking the nation up to the fact the Gators are pretty darn good after all, and they’re made whopping faves against the ol’ ball coach.
Florida went from no respect to too much in just a few short weeks. I love this Gators squad but they’re going to get the Cocks’ best game this week and I’m worried that all the Bama-Florida talk could be a distraction.
Pick: South Carolina
Troy vs. LSU (-16.5, 54)
LSU has three losses, which is enough to make Tigers fans hate everybody. Troy, on the other hand, has a penchant for playing BCS schools tough and those in Baton Rouge will remember the too-close-for-comfort victory over the Trojans in ’04.
But this is still LSU. And this is still Troy - that team from the Sun Belt Conference. Some of you in Baton Rouge may have heard of it.
Even though Tigers QB Jarrett Lee stinks worse than whatever is in my refrigerator, this will be a confidence builder for him. And les Tigres owe a big win to their fans after dropping two of their last three at home.
USC vs. Stanford (+24, 48.5)
OK, so this isn’t one of those games where oddsmakers have overreacted. In fact, they’ve underreacted.
This is the first meeting since the Cardinal pulled off the biggest upset in college football history and USC will be the punch line of that laugh-up for a very long time.
Pete Carroll will actually be petitioning officials to put more time on the clock so he can run up the score even more on Saturday.