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Giving Away Money 2021: Week 12 picks against the spread to enhance your filthy lucre

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3-0 to start the week ain’t bad!

Las Vegas

Good morning! Hope you degenerates and degenerated (but likly not Degenereses) are well. Pretty good mood this morning, though busy AF. This penultimate week started out 3-0 after a hellaciously bumpy, hold-on-to-your-butts few weeks where practically everyone has been a damned moron on Saturdays.

When performance conforms to the math, reality is so much easier to bear.

Here are this week’s picks — as well as the single most toxic line of Week 12 to steer clear of (and, man, there are about a dozen you could choose from on that score):

ABSOLUTELY NOT. NOPE, NEIN, NYET, NADA, NEVER, NON.

Oh, there were several here to choose from, including: Alabama vs. Arkansas, USC vs. UCLA, and Virginia Tech at Miami. But, no, none of those are as gross as this one:

Ole Miss -36.5 vs. Vandy — The Rebels will smoke the ‘Dores. But this is here for two reasons. 1. The calculated spread value’s highest tally, is -37.91; the other three all fall below -36.5, and overall CI to win by 37 is just 52%. 2. It’s the week before the Egg Bowl. No way is anyone’s focus going to be on a horseshit Vanderbilt team; particularly not with a short week upcoming. Get in, get out, get the W, clear the bench, don’t have any injuries. Absolutely toxic.

That said, here are handy 7-8 that are good...at least on paper. And, ask Steve Sarkisian what that’s worth (I still maintain that the solid two hours I spent laughing at the box score and Twitter meltdowns more than made up for the $25 I lost on that game). In fact, I just thought about the box score again and started giggling out loud.

Dare you to click this link and try to keep a straight face.

Now, here we go. All lines and movement are via DraftKings. As always, odds and lines are subject to change, and T&Cs apply. (See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)

REASONABLY DECENT GAMES, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES

UTEP -9 vs. Rice — The Owls are 2-8 ATS, have the worse defense, worse offense, worse TO differential, more penalties...and are Rice. Those two ATS covers? The spread was 20+ in both games. The Miners are 6-4, conversely, but have been great at home ATS, 4-1 (just 2-3 OTR). Overall, this just seems to be a good play, where the Miners solid defense looks to stymie the Owls offense and collect a 7th W that will hopefully keep them out of the New Mexico or El Paso Bowl. I suspect they get it, and so does the algo.
UTEP -12.86, 88% CI

Like last week’s UNLV game (buffs nails), I’m going against the grain here personally and taking WKU to cover -9.5 vs. FAU. The Owls have been grim of late, and the Hilltoppers have been fantastic ATS (7-3 and on a 4-game streak ATS). While it’s just 74% CI (at -8.89), I have faith in WKU to get that extra FG to push it over the top and defy models. This is purely a trend pick, and that’s often more sensible than hunches or math. Feel free to do with it what you will.

Army -37 vs. UMass— The Minutemen have been competitive just once all season, at BC, in a cross-state rivalry of sorts. Outside of that, they’ve gotten shellacked, and have gone 0-fer the spread since September 18...and they still lost by 14 points. So, when numbers say Army wins this one by about 42, I shall trust it.
Army -41.39 at 99% CI

Minnesota -7 at Indiana — Actually should be a bit higher (into the low double digits). IU’s issues this season are legion, but you can start with the Big 10-worst -10 TOM. Or that their offense that is among the least efficient in the major conferences (it’s Kansas- or Colorado-bad; even Vanderbilt has moved the ball better). Or you can look to a defense that simply cannot get penetration, generate sacks, or make negative plays at the LOS. Ugly, ugly game coming.
This was close enough to almost be considered a “Great” game, and likely still might be. Fleck is 7-3-1 as a road favorite in B1G play, which for the B1G is a pretty danged good ATS track record, particularly away from the Twin Cities.
UMN -12.76, 88.59% CI. Minnie 26 IU 13

GT +17 at ND — Talent is still not there for the Bees, in this classic tale of two teams heading in opposite directions — both on the scoreboard and the balance sheets. ND wins, covers its 5th out of the last 6 games, and should do so fairly handily.
Here’s hoping this week isn’t the annual “Listless Brian Kelly Almost-Loss To A Bad Team,” because on paper there’s absolutely no reason for the Golden Domers to not roll big-time. Or did that already happen with Toledo? Only one way to find out!
ND -25.91 at 98% CI

UAB +4.5 at UTSA — The resurgent, defensive-minded Blazers are on a tear now that they’re in CUSA play. And with it, they’ve morphed into a decent team ATS (6-3-1). But UTSA has just been on another plane this season (particularly ATS, 8-2 overall; perfect at home).
We’ll take the trend, esp. at home, and the TD+ cover here. It won’t be easy though.
UTSA -8.17 (84% CI)

THE CLOSEST THING WE HAVE TO A MORTAL LOCK IN A SEASON WHERE EVERYONE IS HELLBENT ON BEING DUMB

Ohio State -19 vs Michigan State — The Spartans’ secondary is positively inflammable — literally the worst in the country. That’s Mel Tucker’s dirty secret. While OSU’s dirty secret is that its defense has forced a lot of TOs, and though it gives up some points, yards are hard to come by. Against an MSU team that generally has to drive the field, that’s not gonna’ work out so hot.
To beat OSU (or generally be competitive), you have to play enough defense, run tempo, and spread the ball around all over the field. That’s not Sparty’s game. Oh, sure, MSU will score. But the No. 1 explosive offense against the No. 109th in explosive efficiency, and its worst overall passing defense...on the road..against a finally-healthy OSU WR corps...with a Buckeyes team trying desperately to avoid that nasty 2-3 matchhup?

Absolute beating on tap.

Or not. It is 2021.

OSU -23.27 at 91% (and it will likely be far, far worse).

Poll

Does Alabama cover -21 vs Arkansas?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Nope
    (132 votes)
  • 32%
    Yep
    (76 votes)
  • 10%
    Push
    (25 votes)
233 votes total Vote Now

That’s it. Go forth lads and lasses to profit and a fat bank. You can also check out plenty more at our SuperGroup.

I have about 15-18 more over here, if you like mathy football and trying not to lose your ass gambling.