Sun. Jan 19th, 2020

The Dumb Brain — College Football Week 2

Nothin to see here... just sweeping stats, data and analytics under the rug.

Welcome into ‘The Dumb Brain’! I believe the title speaks for itself. For the last few years, I have been unable to follow hard data and analytics backing a gambling pick for one simple reason — my dumb brain gets in the way.

I’ve never been able to follow the advice of “gambling experts” and their data simply because this is gambling. If you don’t feel a pick in your gut or believe in it, why take it?

Each week for the rest of the season, I’ll give you my card for the upcoming Saturday slate and my dumb brain’s reasoning behind each pick. If you feel these picks too, follow them with me, or fade me if you’d like — *hint* there’s a reason this is called the dumb brain.

These picks will cover the bigger games of the weekend because, quite frankly, I don’t really give a damn about Charlotte/Appalachian State or Coastal Carolina/Kansas games of the weekend — no offense to the irrelevant teams of the CFB world. So let’s get into the card.

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Week 2 (YTD: 0-0-0)

Cincinnati (+16) at #5 Ohio State O/U 53.5 Noon EST, ABC

For some reason or another, Ohio State is favored by less than three touchdowns in this game and the total is set under 60. Honestly feels like a couple sucker’s bets if I’ve ever seen them. Well, sign me up because I always fall into this trap.

Ohio State’s offense had 28 in the blink of an eye in week one, granted it was against FAU. Cincinnati did allow a not-great UCLA offense to move the ball up and down the field on their defense. Fortunately for Cincy, all of UCLA was eating the extra-buttery popcorn before the game and they got a few redzone turnovers.

The Pick: Ohio State -16 and OVER 53.5. I think Justin Fields and this offense are the real deal and Cincinnati won’t be able to keep them below 40.

#25 Nebraska (-4.5) at Colorado O/U 64.5, 3:30 EST, FOX

Many people — myself included — were drinking the Nebraska Kool-Aid all offseason, then they hit the field last week. They didn’t lose to South Alabama, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t try. They were outgained, more penalized, South Alabama had more first downs, won the time of possession and Adrian Martinez didn’t look all that sharp.

The Pick: Colorado +4.5. Give me a home dog any day of the week when the opposing defense comes in looking that rough. Sprinkle some on the moneyline (+165) too.

#12 Texas A&M (+17.5) at #1 Clemson O/U 63, 3:30 EST, ABC

The second-biggest game of the weekend has all the makings of being a great game and I was fully on-board with that and riding with Texas A&M and the points until I heard one statistic. Clemson has won 11 consecutive games by 20+ points — all the games Trevor “Sunshine” Lawrence has started and finished. That stretch includes a conference championship game, a CFP semifinal and a CFP national championship.

The Pick: Clemson -17.5. Clemson is at home and I’m going to ride a streak like that until it ends.

New Mexico State (+55.5) at #2 Alabama O/U 65, 4:00 EST, SEC Network

Look, I know the saying “you don’t get rich betting against Alabama,” but Vegas cannot throw a number as ridiculous as 55.5 out there and expect me not to take it. Alabama kills the cupcakes on their schedule, but they’ve only one by 56 once in the last three years and the final score was 56-0.

The Pick: New Mexico State +55.5. I mean it’s FIFTY-F***ING-FIVE AND A HALF. This is college football and, even against Alabama, anything can happen in garbage-time.

#18 UCF (-10.5) at FAU O/U 67.5, 7:00 EST, CBS Sports Network

I hate UCF as much as anyone, but if there’s two things they do well, it’s score points and give up points. I think Lane Kiffin and his offense will be get back on track when they aren’t playing one of the most talented defenses in the country in The Shoe. 

The Pick: OVER 67.5. As long as the total stays under 70, you should feel comfortable taking it.

#6 LSU (-6.5) at #9 Texas O/U 57, 7:30 EST, ABC

The marquee matchup of the weekend and the biggest non-conference game of the season. Both of these teams are desperately trying to get back to the level of national championship-contention and the winner will be right back on that path.

LSU’s new-look offense has folks in Tigerland buzzing and this defense has a nasty combination of NFL talent and depth and highly-regarded as one of the top defenses in the country. 

On the other side, there’s Tom Herman’s incredible record of 13-2-1 as an underdog along with 10 outright wins. Sam Elhinger is one of the favorite heisman contenders outside of the big-two of Tua and Trevor.

The Pick: LSU -6.5 and OVER 57. Look, I’m as big an LSU-homer you’ll ever meet, but Texas won’t see a defense as good as this, or anything close, the rest of the season. Texas is down to one scholarship running back and having to throw more is not the answer against the best secondary in the country. I like LSU 38-28 so hit that over also.

Cal (+13.5) at #14 Washington O/U 43.5, 10:30 EST, FOX Sports 1

Ahhhh, we get into the late-night-snack edition of the card. This is the game everyone either half-watches at the pregame or all the degenerates scramble to place bets on to try and get a win at the end of the night to make the day better.

The Pick: Washington -13.5. Jacob Eason looked too good last weekend to have me not hammer Washington against a bad Cal team.

Oregon State (+6.5) at Hawaii O/U 77.5, 11:59 EST, Facebook

I know I said I don’t care about the irrelevant teams and their games, but this is a degenerate game through and through. If you’re watching Hawaii games kick off at midnight on the east coast, I don’t want to say you have a problem, but maybe take a deep breath and go to bed.

The Pick: Hawaii -6.5. Two words — the island. Teams don’t come to the island and leave with a win, especially with how terrible Oregon State looked on defense last week against Oklahoma State last week. 

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