I’ve got a major case of “new girl syndrome.”
We’ve all had it at some point in our lives. Maybe it was in grade school, when the class welcomed the new girl who just moved from out west, or as an adult, when the office hired that fresh-faced administrative assistant.
After months upon months of the same ole faces, life threw you high tight one and grabbed your attention with something different and exotic.
Suddenly, you were making frequent trips to the water cooler or playing on the other side of the school yard, just to better your chances of running into her. Your routine was a mess and you found it hard to focus on the daily tasks at hand.
By conventional standards, the new girl is rarely as hot as we perceive her to be. But when compared to the rest of your female co-workers or classmates, who you’ve become accustomed to, Amber Heard might as well have walked through the door.
My “new girl syndrome” started when college basketball tipped off. Sure, I’m supposed to keep a close eye on NCAA football and make sure I’m providing quality insight, but college hoops has always been and will always be my first love.
Couple the sparkling new basketball season with some drab weeks of college football and it’s not hard to see why I’ve lost my interest in post-secondary pigskin. Just take a look at Weeks 11 and 12.
The Week 11 slate seemed boring after LSU-Alabama the weekend before, with Stanford-Oregon as the standout game. And I treasure sleep more than anything the Pac-12 has to offer.
And how about Week 12’s barn-burners? Not to sell this weekend’s schedule short, but when Nebraska-Michigan looks like gem of the Saturday, I’m probably going to change channels faster than Kim Kardashian drunk-dialed Reggie Bush.
Still, I have a commitment to Covers.com
readers to provide my picks for each week’s NCAAF action, for their betting or fading pleasure (mostly fading).
In order to balance my love of college basketball and my dedication to college football, I’m weighing both sides of the equation by providing you with the best betting option for a few choice schools: Bet basketball or football.Duke Blue Devils
Duke football is a red-headed stepchild in Durham, especially since Coach K broke Bobby Knight’s all-time wins mark this week. But Blue Devils football has something that the heralded hoops squad does not: Betting value.
While the basketball team is 1-2 ATS and constantly getting inflated spreads, the football squad is a breakeven 5-5 ATS and has the offense to hang around in any game.Bet:
Duke footballAlabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is the opposite of Duke, with the football Gods reigning supreme in Tuscaloosa. The Tide took a big hit losing to LSU two weeks ago and let that carry over into a ho-hum effort versus Mississippi State, failing to cover the spread for the second straight game.
The Alabama slammers, on the other hand, hold terrific value in a competitive SEC. They have a dominant frontcourt with JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell and should get some manageable spreads in non-con play against big-name programs suffering down years.Bet:
Alabama basketballBoise State Broncos
The Broncos have been the best bet in football for more than 10 years. But Boise State has failed to cover in three straight games and won’t have any added motivation after having its BCS bubble burst versus TCU.
The basketball Broncos looked better than most expected in a win over Utah, which was kind of the theme for last year. There are some tough games ahead though, with some mid-major monsters like Long Beach State and Indiana State. Bet:
Boise State basketballVanderbilt Commodores
Vandy was supposed to be dandy on the hardwood, but got rocked by Cleveland State last weekend. The Commodores have a tough road ahead in non-con play, with the likes of Xavier and Louisville headling the sked. Things may not shape up until after Christmas.
Lost in the hoops hysteria in Nashville last weekend was the football team’s fifth straight payday. The pigskin version of the Commodores is 8-2 ATS and among the most profitable plays in college football. A little warning though, they play their final two games on the road.Bet:
Vanderbilt footballCentral Michigan Chippewas
The Chippewas are the worst bet in college football, posting a 1-10 ATS record thanks to an inflated aura in the MAC and inability to finish games. Central Michigan has allowed 93 of its total 240 points against conference foes in the fourth quarter – that’s almost 39 percent.
The basketball team may not fare much better. The Chippewas have some talent, most notably sophomore guard Trey Zeigler, but play at home just three times in their first 15 games of the season.Bet:
Pass on CMU
Heading into the vanilla Week 12 slate, I’m 18-26 ATS after another 2-2 performance. Hopefully, we can pick up some momentum before an amazing Week 13 board and the upcoming bowl season.Cincinnati Bearcats at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+3, 47.5)
Ah, the Big East. So bad, it’s good. Six of the conference’s eight teams still have a shot at the league crown and a ticket to a BCS bowl, despite no team boasting more than seven wins. No wonder Boise State wants in.
One of those teams is Rutgers, which has won back-to-back games SU and ATS. Another one is Cincinnati, which just lost its starting QB. So what’s with the Bearcats being field-goal faves on the road?
Isaiah Pead. I repeat, Isaiah Pead.Pick:
Cincinnati -3Wisconsin Badgers at Illinois Fighting Illini (+14, 50.5)
Say what you want about Ron Zook. He’s a man of his word.
Zook abruptly bounced from his weekly news conference after one reporter fired him a question about his job security at Illinois – the very topic Zook warned reporters to stay away from or he’d walk, just 20 minutes earlier.
"You just couldn't let it go, could you?", Zook shot at the reporter as he left.
It’s OK. We’ll all know the answer to the forbidden question after Wisconsin steamrolls into Champaign this Saturday.Pick:
Wisconsin -14Maryland Terrapins at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-10, 56)
It seems weird to see Wake Forest as 10 points better than any team. But the way Maryland’s season has played out, the Demon Deacs may be a steal Saturday.
Maryland lost starting QB Danny O'Brien to a broken arm in last week’s loss to Notre Dame. That injury is just salt on the wound for the Terps, who have lost six straight (1-5 ATS).
Head coach Randy Edsall is probably the least-popular person in College Park and couldn’t get a table at McDonald’s, let alone the local steakhouse.Pick:
Wake Forest -10Fresno State Bulldogs at Hawaii Warriors (-4.5, 63.5)
Football isn’t high up on the Fresno State’s to-do list this weekend.
The Bulldogs are looking for a little R&R away from player suspensions and controversial coaching resignations – and a 3-7 season that has spiraled out of control the past two months.
The Warriors are without QB Bryant Moniz, and that throws a major wrench into their high-flying offense.
Expect a very flat offensive performance in Saturday’s late-night degenerate special.Pick: