Well it wasn’t quite the banner year of 2017, but I’m happy to report that we once again turned a profit this year with the season win totals. Much like the weekly picks, the biggest plays were horrendous, but a steady middle carried us to the land of green.
The end result: 12-9-2, +3.2*
Here’s the pick-by-pick result with a little commentary on each of them:
FAU over 8.5 (-120) – LOSS (-6*)
Just a really disappointing season for the Owls and an embarrassing bet for yours truly. FAU wasn’t able to repeat the total domination of the C-USA again this year. A couple instances of poor capping by myself here. For one, I really regretted not betting the over with the boys of Boca last year and let that bleed over into my evaluation this year. The C-USA was also one of the last conferences I analyzed and in the back of my head I knew I hadn’t had a 5* play and kind of wanted one for blog purposes and forced it a bit here. Just a bad bet by me and a lesson to remember next year.
ECU under 3.5 (-130) – WIN (+4*)
I got a little nervous when the Pirates cleaned UNC’s clock in Week 2, but alas, they still ended up 3-9 with a bunch of blowout losses. Scottie Montgomery deservedly was fired after the season.
Florida State over 8 (-125) – LOSS (-5*)
This started horribly with that opening Monday night loss to VT at home and never got that much better. Although I did see a glimmer of hope after Bobby Petrino gifted them a win at Louisville and the Noles came out hot against Miami the next week. A win against the Canes would’ve gotten them to 4-2. FSU let that one get away and then got trounced four times in the second half of the season. If I take them again next year, somebody just take the blog away from me.
Maryland over 5 (-145) – PUSH (0*)
Better than a loss, but a two-point loss to Indiana and a one-point loss to Ohio State on a failed two-point conversion during the last three weeks makes this feel like a loser. Of course I bet this before all the Durkin stuff happened, so I would’ve absolutely taken a push if offered the opportunity back in late August.
Buffalo over 6.5 (-140) – WIN (+3*)
The Bulls went 10-2 and nearly won the MAC. One of the easiest wins of the year.
CMU over 4.5 (+120) – LOSS (-3*)
Another colossal failure. My mantra of “John Bonamego just wins football games” turned out to be wildly inaccurate as the Chips went 1-11 and my boy Bonamego got his walking papers. We’ll always have 2017, John-Boy.
Duke over 6 (-135) – WIN (+3*)
Pretty much your typical Blue Devils season. They were great in the underdog role and laid some massive eggs as the favorite. Fortunately, they started 4-0 and did enough in ACC play to scratch out seven wins.
Florida over 8 (+110) – WIN (+3.3*)
Yeah, I had a lot of doubts when the Gators lost to Kentucky for the first time in a thousand years during Week 2. Luckily they responded by winning five straight and adding three more to cap the season. As always, always take the over with a Mullen team. See you next year, Dan.
Illinois under 4 (-140) – PUSH (0*)
They somehow blew the doors off Minnesota in the first week of November to get this to a push. The Gophers beat Wisconsin and Minnesota by a combined 53 points in the course of the next three weeks. I’m not sure why I keep trying to predict what’s going to happen in this sport.
Iowa over 7.5 (even) – WIN (+3*)
In a shocking turn of events, a Kirk Ferentz team went 8-4. It could’ve been much better if the Hawks were a little better in late-game situations, but you can’t fight fate. And fate says that Iowa has to go 8-4.
LSU under 7 (-110) – LOSS (-3.3*)
I apologize to Coach O and Steve Ensminger for doubting them, although I’ve still got my eye on you, Ensminger.
Michigan State over 8.5 (-125) – LOSS (-3.75*)
If you would’ve told me at the start of the year that the Spartans would end up 2nd in Defensive S&P+, I probably would’ve made this a 4 or 5 star bet. That’s what MSU did and yet, they still end up 7-5. Why? The offense ranks 114th. WOOF. I don’t know what happened to Brian Lewerke, but he regressed into one of the league’s worst QBs this season and the running game was non-existent.
Nebraska under 6.5 (+110) – WIN (+3.3*)
I needed the Huskers to lose six games and…they started 0-6. Good thing, too, because they improved quite a bit the second half of the season. We’ll see what the total is next year, but I’m sure the over will be popular.
Ole Miss under 6 (-105) – WIN (+3*)
Special thanks to the Rebels for finishing the season 0-5. Your service did not go unnoticed. Extra thanks to the defense, who didn’t hold a single SEC team under 30 points.
Pitt over 5 (-140) – WIN (+3*)
YOUR 2018 ACC COASTAL DIVISION CHAMPION PITT PANTHERS.
Temple over 6.5 (-125) – WIN (+3*)
Talk about a damn rollercoaster. The Owls opened up the year with home losses to FCS Villanova and Temple. I was ready to throw in the towel and was even cheering for them to sacrifice themselves and lose to Buffalo and Maryland to help out my other bets. But they beat Maryland on their way to winning eight of ten to finish the year. Their only other losses were at UCF and BC. Once again, a change at QB turned the Temple season around.
Tennessee under 5.5 (-110) – WIN (+3*)
The Vols made me nervous a little bit. They were 5-5 with two weeks to go and two winnable games on the schedule. Thankfully, they lost those games by a combined 58 and the ticket cashes. I’m still not sure how to feel about the Jeremy Pruitt era in Knoxville. They showed flashes this year, but ultimately their defense failed them, which is Pruitt’s expertise.
Texas under 8.5 (+125) – LOSS (-3*)
It ends up being a loss, as the Longhorns went 9-3, but they did win six one-score games this year. Chances are you’ll find me on the under once again next year.
UCLA over 5.5 (+105) – LOSS (-3*)
The 0-5 start ended the dream quickly. Chipper needs his guys.
UMass over 5.5 (-120) – LOSS (-3.6*)
I’d make the excuse that Andrew Ford got hurt, but Ross Comis was actually quite good and perhaps even better than Ford. The truth is that the defense was a total trainwreck.
UNC under 5.5 (+125) – WIN (+3.75*)
Nothing sweeter than winning a plus-money total by 3.5 games. The Heels lost some close games, but they were truly awful this year. But hey! Good news UNC fans! You get your old coach back! And I mean old. Like 67 years old. The one who’s been spewing nonsense on ESPN for the last five years and peaked as a coach a decade ago. Congrats!
Utah State over 7.5 (-115) – WIN (+3*)
The Aggies went 10-2 and the only losses were close ones on the road against Michigan State and Boise. Not bad.
Wyoming over 6.5 (-150) – LOSS (-4.5*)
The Cowboys ended up 6-6. The schedule was tougher than anticipated, as they ended up facing five Top-30 teams, which they went 0-5 against. The loss that was the backbreaker was a 17-13 defeat to Hawaii. Unfortunately, their lack of offense is probably the reason they’ll watch bowl season from home, despite being eligible.