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Week 5 BTBS Picks

Because I'm so late getting this posted, let's just go ahead and use this as a live thread for today's early games. Schedule after the jump.

The new method I'm going with this week takes more of the raw 2010 results into account, and as I mentioned, it had a great week last week.  I'm fully prepared for it to win at about a .400 clip this week ... because Vegas hates me.

That's what I said last week.  I was right, and I was wrong.  Vegas does hate me -- in the games where the spread and projections were within two points (you would think I would go about .500 in those games since they were so incredibly close), I went 5-12.  Only, Vegas hates me more than I could imagine, as evidenced by last week's 16-33 record.  That's a .327 win percentage.  WOW.  Bet against me, and you'd have won serious money.  I'm at a complete and total loss here.  If you're using these picks to make bets, you deserve what you get at this point.

Last Week's Results

Week 4 Season
16-33 .327 88-95-3 .481
Big 12 Games
2-4 .333 17-17 .500
Upset Picks
0-3 .000 5-10-1 .344
0-1 .000 3-6 .333
"Feeling Safe"
2-3 .400 10-10 .500
"Feeling Queasy"
4-1 .800 10-8-1 .553
0-5 point spread
5-6 .455 23-21-1 .522
5-10 points
5-7 .417 23-17 .575
10-20 points 2-16 .111 19-39-1 .331
20-30 points
3-3 .500 19-11 .633
30+ points
1-1 .500 4-7 .364

In games with spreads under ten points or over 30, the picks went a mediocre 14-17.  Between 10 and 20?  Incredibly, historically, should-have-just-flipped-a-coin bad.  What the hell is going on here?  First of all, there's some bad luck involved.  By my count, there were five games decided within two points of the spread last week, and I went 0-5.  Expand it to within 3.5 points of the spread, and I believe I went something like 1-9 (it was a quick count, so don't hold me to that number...I was too depressed to dive in too deep).  And as you'll see after the jump, I'm already 0-1 this week in games within two points of the spread.

But beyond that, the amazing struggle in one specific spread range tells me I just don't have the ratings range set up correctly.  I'm still nailing 55% of picks with spreads under ten points and 56% of picks with spreads over 20.  But that 10-20 point range is incredibly baffling.

Now, I'm not going to switch back to the old way of making picks this week.  First of all, I haven't had time to dive into the numbers and figure out which method is better over the long-haul.  Second ... making a hasty switch did not benefit me last week, so I don't want to turn back around and make another one.  Plus, only 12 of this week's 49 FBS vs FBS games have projections within two points of the spread (24%), a major improvement over last week's 35%.  That might open things up for me to have a better week.  Or not.  Who knows.

Again, if you are using these picks to make real bets with real money, I don't know what to tell you.  I guess a) don't, and b) if you do, stick to the games within the 0-10 or 20-30 range.  If you're using my picks to bet on those in the 10-20 range, you've got a death wish.

This week's picks after the jump.

Your notes:

  • "LOCKS" signify games where the spread and projection are more than 17 points apart.  At this point, LOCKS are rare, as Vegas seems to have hacked into my damn computer.
  • If there is a "(!)" next to the spread, that means the projection and spread are within 2 points of each other ... and you should probably lay off of these picks if you are the betting type.  There are far too many of these this week.
  • Verdicts in all caps signify games where the underdog is picked to win straight up.
Date Time Game Projection Spread ATS Verdict
Thurs., 9/30 6:30pm Texas A&M at Oklahoma St. OSU by 7.2 OSU -3.5 Okla St. (L)
Fri., 10/1 7:00pm BYU at Utah State BYU by 5.4 BYU -4.5 (!) Byu (L)
Sat., 10/2 11:00am UL-Monroe at Auburn Auburn by 42.8 Auburn -35 Auburn
Vanderbilt at UConn UConn by 1.7 UConn -7.5 Vandy
Northwestern at Minnesota
NW'ern by 5.1
NW'ern -5.5 (!)
Kentucky at Ole Miss Kentucky by 1.2 Kentucky +3 KENTUCKY
Miami at Clemson Miami by 10.4 Miami -3.5 Miami
Kansas at Baylor Baylor by 3.9 Baylor -9 Kansas
Florida State at Virginia Virginia by 7.8 Virginia +7 VIRGINIA
Temple at Army Temple by 0.4 Temple -5 Army
Ohio State at Illinois Ohio St by 33.6 Ohio St -17.5 Ohio State
Ohio at E. Michigan Ohio by 4.6 Ohio -10 E. Mich.
12:00pm Kent State at Miami-OH Miami-OH by 5.6 Miami +3?? MIAMI-OH
1:00pm TCU at Colorado State TCU by 37.8 TCU -33 Tcu
Tulane at Rutgers Rutgers by 21.3 Rutgers -17 Rutgers
Idaho at W. Michigan W. Mich. by 6.1 W. Mich +3 W. MICH.
1:30pm Navy at Air Force Air Force by 3.3 Air Force -9.5 Air Force
2:30pm Washington St. at UCLA UCLA by 39.6 UCLA -27 Ucla
Michigan at Indiana Michigan by 15.5 Michigan -10 Michigan
Tennessee at LSU LSU by 19.2 LSU -16 Lsu
Wisconsin at Michigan St. Mich. St. by 2.5 Mich. St. +2 MICH. ST.
Virginia Tech at N.C. State Va Tech by 4.3 Va Tech -3.5 (!)
Va Tech
E. Carolina at N. Carolina UNC by 13.6 UNC -13.5 (!) N. Carolina
Buffalo at Bowling Green BGSU by 5.7 BGSU -3.5 Bowl. Green
Texas vs Oklahoma OU by 3.3 OU -3.5 (!) Texas
Florida Int'l at Pittsburgh Pitt by 20.5 Pitt -19 (!) Pitt
Ball State at C. Michigan C. Mich by 22.3 C. Mich -17.5 C. Mich.
5:00pm Duke at Maryland Maryland by 12.1 Maryland -7.5 Maryland
UTEP at New Mexico UTEP -11.1 UTEP -15 New Mexico
N. Illinois at Akron NIU by 9.1 NIU -14 Akron
5:30pm Arizona St. at Oregon St. OSU by 2.9 OSU -3.5 (!) Arizona St.
6:00pm Georgia at Colorado Georgia by 2.0 Georgia -4.5 Colorado
Florida Atlantic at S. Florida USF by 19.2 USF -21 (!) Fla. Atlantic
Texas Tech at Iowa State Tech by 12.1 Tech -7 Tech
Ga Tech at Wake Forest Ga Tech by 7.5 Ga Tech -10 Wake Forest
Tulsa at Memphis Tulsa by 5.3 Tulsa -9.5 Memphis
SMU at Rice SMU by 15.8 SMU -12.5 Smu
Louisville at Arkansas State Louisville by 8.8 Louisville -4.5 Louisville
Wyoming at Toledo Toledo by 9.4 Toledo -3.5 Toledo
6:30pm UL-Lafayette at N. Texas N. Texas by 8.0 N. Texas -4.5 N. Texas
7:00pm Washington at USC USC by 24.7 USC -10 Usc
Notre Dame at B. College Irish by 0.6 Irish -3 B.C.
Boise State at N. Mex. St. Boise by 41.0 Boise -43 (!) Nmsu
Florida at Alabama 'Bama by 9.8 'Bama -9 (!) Alabama
Stanford at Oregon Oregon by 0.3 Oregon -7 Stanford
Marshall at Southern Miss So Miss by 7.8 So Miss -9.5 (!) Marshall
7:05pm Penn State at Iowa Iowa by 13.8 Iowa -7 Iowa
9:00pm Nevada at UNLV Nevada by 24.1 Nevada -20.5 Nevada
10:30pm Louisiana Tech at Hawaii Hawaii by 7.9 Hawaii -8 (!) La Tech

Picks I am Feeling Safest About:

Yep, the "safe" picks have once again fallen behind the "queasy" picks, just like we knew they would.

  1. Iowa -7 Penn State.  Home crowd, freshman quarterback, defense that could get dialed in at any moment.

  2. Nevada -20.5 UNLV.  When Nevada rolls, they really roll.  It's in Vegas, which gives me pause, but I think they either win by 7 or 35.

  3. USC -10 Washington.  NOTE: I count 10-point spreads in the "5-10 point" range.  The "10-20 point" range actually starts at 10.5.  Therefore this one falls into the safe range ... and at this point, I think people might actually be sleeping on USC a little.  I think they win this one by about 28.

  4. Miami-OH +3 Kent State.  I'm not going to pretend to know much about Kent State, but it simply baffles me that the Golden Flashes are favored on the road here.  Does not compute.

  5. Maryland -7.5 Duke.  I thought Duke would be better than they are this year, and I was pretty sure Maryland would be worse.  But at this point, I'm pretty sure FIU is a better team than Duke, and Maryland ended up handling them just fine last week.  Then again, Maryland's had so many injuries that I'm not sure they have a complete two-deep at this point.

Picks I am Feeling Queasiest About:

Can I just say "all of them"?  Or maybe "OSU-ATM and BYU-USU"?

  1. New Mexico +15 UTEP.  First, it's in the 10-20 point death range. Second, I'm not sure UNM can stay within 20 points of anybody right now.

  2. FAU +21 South Florida.  USF played poorly last week but is still decent. Meanwhile, FAU just lost at home to North Texas.  North Texas!  If USF is capable of destroying someone, that someone will be FAU.

  3. Minnesota +5.5 Northwestern.  No idea why the spread is this low, and no idea how the projections are this close.

  4. Rutgers -17 Tulane.  Rutgers by all means SHOULD clean Tulane's clock ... but until I actually see them beat a team by 17, I'm not going to be convinced that they are capable.

  5. Pittsburgh -19 Florida International.  It's in the death range, and ... quite simply, FIU's a reasonably competitive team this year, and Pitt needs to prove to me that they can beat a decent team by three touchdowns.  At the moment, I don't think they can.