“Beat the Spread,” Week 4: Still in the redWritten by Matt Sussman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s time again to play “Beat the Spread” with UT and BG football. For a refresher on the rules, consult the introductory article.
Note to self: invent games only if you know you’re going to be good at it.
Week 3 Results
Ohio State 38, Toledo 0
Actual margin of victory: OSU by 38
Sportsbook’s prediction: OSU by 20.5 (off by 17.5 points)
Sussman’s prediction: OSU by 13 (off by 25 points)
Marshall 17, Bowling Green 10
Actual margin of victory: Marshall by 7
Sportsbook’s prediction: Marshall by 3 (4 points)
Sussman’s prediction: Bowling Green by 7 (14 points)
The bookies win the week 39-21.5, and if these posts were actual money, at least one of my knees would be broken by now. For the season the sportsbook is ahead 97-75. It looks bad, but I’m just one wacky prediction coming true away from being back in this. What’s that? The eighth-ranked team in the country plays BG? That qualifies!
Toledo at Florida International, 7 p.m. Saturday
This is a revenge game for the Rockets, who let FIU temporarily control the Glass Bowl last year in a 35-16 victory. The Golden Panthers are 0-2 this year, with road losses to Alabama and Rutgers, so their home opener is their best chance to get in the win column so far. However, after licking their wounds from Ohio State, UT is out with something to prove.
Even though it was against superior competition, FIU is only scoring 14.5 points per game. Despite that nasty shutout, UT is still averaging 28.3 per game against BCS conference teams. That offense will bounce back in remarkable ways against a mid-level Sun Belt Conference opponent. And with no proven running backs in the Golden Panthers’ arsenal, the Rockets secondary is going to have a field day defending the pass. After this game, Barry Church might want to play in Miami more often.
The Sportsbook Spread: FIU by 1
My Spread: Toledo by 16
No. 8 Boise State at Bowling Green, 7 p.m. Saturday
Boise State is officially the Gonzaga of college football. They’re the mid-major that “made it” on the national scene. It took year after disrespected year, but an undefeated season will probably mean the Blue Man Group could contend for a BCS title. Consider: when they upset Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl to finish undefeated, they came into that game ranked ninth. There are two things I would love nothing more to see this year:
(1) Boise State playing for a national championship, and
(2) BG winning this game.
Sadly, these two events are mutually exclusive and only one is grounded in reality. The Falcons are going to get pulverized in this game. However, the one surprising facet of this year’s BGSU team has been — and this is unexpected given Dave Clawson’s offensive expertise — the defense. They’re allowing less than 20 points per game against some pretty solid competition. The 40 points per game average for the Broncos may go down slightly in this game. They can probably hold Boise to 30 points, but don’t look for BG to light up the scoreboard against a team that shut out Miami University and let Oregon score just eight.
The Sportsbook Spread: Boise State by 16.5
My Spread: Boise State by 12
Think you can do better than me? Clearly you can’t do worse. Share your predictions in the comments.