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RCT Bets the Big 12: Week 1

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West Virginia v Texas Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Well, if last year taught us anything, it’s that I have no idea how to bet and win at college football. I went 41-52-1 overall last year, losing $168 overall. So please don’t take my advice.

Like, ever.

Just don’t do it.

But, of course for entertainment purposes only, let’s do it again! And yes, I admit, this is a blatant ripoff of the WRNL series that they run.

Here’s how it works: Each week I’ll run down the slate of Big 12 games. I may not bet every game, I may not bet the same amount on each game, and I will probably make a few math errors which is OK since I’m not doing this with real money.

A friend of mine will also offer up to five “Top Plays of the Week” at the end of each column which I will pass on to you and, of course, I will also keep track of as the year goes along. His real name may or may not be “Brad” and his RCT handle, on the off-chance he ever comments, is DrCrushALot. Last year, Doc struggled early but rebounded to finish 27-25 in 2016.

And again I’ll remind you: This is purely for entertainment purposes only. I am not actually betting real money on these games. But if you are, obviously, don’t take my advice ever, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Bet with your head, not over it.

Once again, I’ll use the odds posted at Yahoo. Odds will be as of the day before publication, as lines can and do change. I will take the most common line offered. For example, if two books show -10 and one shows -9.5, I’ll go with -10. For the most part, FCS foes are generally not featured on Las Vegas sportsbooks, and therefore will be off the board.

This year, we’re gonna start with $1,000 virtual dollars and hope we don’t run out by Week 10.

I’m not sure if I ever did a bowl recap last year, where I actually did pretty well, going 4-2 with my picks and adding $81 to the bank.

Last year: 41-52-1

+/- for the year: -$168

NEW BANK: $1000

It’s a brand new season, boys. To borrow a phrase from baseball, hope springs eternal. Let’s roll.

Tulsa @ Oklahoma State

(Thursday, Aug 31)

Line: Oklahoma State -17

O/U: 69.5

Moneyline: +800

I spent way too much time researching this game, but here is what I found out. Tulsa is picked to finish anywhere from second to fourth in their division in the AAC. They have a decent to solid offensive line and a quarterback named Chad President to go along with probably the best running back in the AAC. That said Oklahoma State, is a popular dark-horse Final Four pick, and if they are who we think they are, I expect the Cowboys to announce themselves to America with a thrashing of the Golden Hurricane.

My bet: $40 Oklahoma State -17

Maryland @ Texas

Line: Texas -18

O/U: 56

Moneyline: +675

LOL Texas lost to Kansas last year! I’m sorry that’s all I can think of when I see burnt orange anywhere. (Burned orange? Burnt orange? Whatever.) Maryland is expected to be a middle of the pack Big 10 team this year, clearly better than Rutgers, Purdue, and Illinois, but after that, they’re all about the same in that conference until you get to the top four. Texas returns 17 starters from a team that lost to Kansas and everyone is buying on Tom Herman as the savior of the Longhorn football program. If Texas is for real this year, we should know by halftime.

My bet: $40 Texas -18 AND $40 on the OVER

UTEP @ Oklahoma

Line: OU -43

O/U: 62.5

Moneyline: +40,000

UTEP is supposed to be one of the worst teams in C-USA this year, but it is kinda tempting to see if I could turn $10 into hundreds of dollars. Not gonna do it, though. In fact, I’m not touching this game. Last thing I want is to get burned by a backdoor cover late in the fourth quarter of a 55-10 game.

My bet: NO BET

Eastern Washington @ Texas Tech

OFF THE BOARD

Did you know Eastern Washington is the preseason #4 ranked FCS team? Well, now you do. Good luck, Coach Bro. Hope your defense can stop them. If I could take the over on this game, I would.

My bet: Coach Bro officially gets put on the hot seat watch list after a close game with an FCS team.

Liberty @ Baylor

OFF THE BOARD

I hope Baylor loses this one and the next 11 after it.

My bet: Turner Gill loses yet another Big 12 game.

Southeast Missouri State @ Kansas

OFF THE BOARD

Last year, Rhode Island was the only team against whom KU scored more than 24 points. Think about that. Now think that KU should be better this year, and SEMO should be almost as bad as Rhode Island was. If you are coming to a KU game this fall, this is probably the one to be at.

My bet: SEMO will be lucky to get to double figures while KU makes a run at 70 points.

Central Arkansas @ Kansas State

OFF THE BOARD

For once, you might actually be able to take Bill Snyder at his word when he says “fill-in-the-blank-directional-crappy-school is very talented.” Central Arkansas is ranked #15 in the preseason FCS poll and was picked to finish second in the Southland behind perennial power Sam Houston State. K-State itself is loaded, though, and coming off a 9-3 season with one of the youngest squads Snyder has ever had.

My bet: K-State fans freak out during the first half, but the team asserts itself in the second half.

Northern Iowa @ Iowa

OFF THE BOARD

UNI has a history of knocking off both Iowa and Iowa State, and the Panthers are #20 in the FCS preseason poll despite a disappointing 6-5 campaign in 2016. For its part, Iowa State is the second-worst team in the Big 12, just ahead of Kansas, and much like Kansas, is hoping for 4 or 5 wins and a little bit of respectability and competitiveness in conference play.

My bet: Another close game in this series comes down to a field goal, but Iowa State comes out on top.

Jackson State @ TCU

OFF THE BOARD

This one should get ugly fast. Jackson State es no bueno.

My bet: TCU could score 100 if they wanted to bad enough.

West Virginia vs Virginia Tech

(Sunday, Sept 3, FedExField, Landover, MD)

Line: Virginia Tech -4

O/U: 52

Moneyline: +165

West Virginia returns a strong offense but lost four of its top five tacklers from last season, while Virginia Tech expects to be able to lean on its defense to win games in 2017. Tech will be starting a redshirt freshman at QB, while Florida transfer Will Grier takes over at WVU. I’m tempted to take the Under, but I think WVU is good enough to win outright.

My bet: $40 West Virginia moneyline

RECAP

$40 Oklahoma State -17

$40 Texas -18

$40 Maryland-Texas OVER 56

$40 West Virginia +165 moneyline

DrCrushALot’s Picks of the Week

Each week, DrCrushALot will provide a maximum of five games that he likes.

2016 record: 27-25

This picture clearly represents Week 1 of College Football:

We will all know that Week 1 happened and like a dog fart, we will suffer for a while and then try to forget it happened.

This year I am changing it up a bit. Instead of just picking against the spread, I’ll be putting my own Monopoly money (read: not actually betting real money) on the line. I will also start with $1,000

Tulsa @ Oklahoma State -17: While I don't believe Oklahoma State is worthy of their ranking, I do believe they will factor in the Big 12 race this year for once and up will run up the score on Tulsa.

Bet: $30 Oklahoma State -17

Ohio State at Indiana +20: Flip these venues and Ohio St would be 27 to 29 point favorite. I smell a first game of the year where Indiana plays tough for the first half and then Ohio State lights it up. Indiana is not ready to compete in the Big 10 yet.

Bet: $30 Ohio State -20

Michigan @ Florida +3: One of these teams is legit Top 10 team this year and my money is on Michigan and Jim Harbaugh.

Bet: $50 Michigan -3

“Easy Money” Play Special Addition – Not sure how USC opened at only a 21/22 point favorite over Western Michigan, but it’s up to 27.5 and still climbing to my guess would be 30/31 – getting in immediately was the play of the week.