The Auburn Tigers mascot greets the crowd during the first half of the SEC Football Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Dec. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Mike Craven staff


Craven’s Corner: Betting on Texas to cover, Auburn to beat Florida

Posted October 2nd, 2019


The underdogs ruled Sunday and it cost us our first losing NFL week of the season. The corner is now 17-19 since the start of the NFL season. Not great, but there are plenty of opportunities to make that money back with a loaded week of football action beginning Thursday night with the Los Angeles Rams traveling to Seattle. 

A quick refresher: Betting looks difficult, but it is easy to grasp. A negative number denotes the favorite. The number after the negative represents how much money you’d need to bet to win $100. For example, a -265 favorite would require a $265 bet to win $100. Conversely, a positive number is the underdog. The number following the positive represents how much money you’d make on a $100. So, a +265 bet means $100 earns you $265.

We’re using as our general sports book. Remember that lines fluctuate based on bets and are subject to change before kickoff.


Got it? OK, let’s make some money:

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates the end of the first quarter against Oklahoma State during an NCAA college football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

College football

Texas -11 over West Virginia: Let’s not forget this is the same West Virginia team that nearly lost to James Madison and did lose by 31 points to Missouri. This is a potential trap game for the Longhorns with Oklahoma looming next weekend. Still, give me Texas off a bye week to win by at least two touchdowns over an overmatched West Virginia squad.

Kent State +37 over Wisconsin: This game is made for a backdoor cover. I expect Wisconsin to run away with this early and play backups for most of the fourth quarter. Kent State is a passing team built to score points. Here’s hoping Kent State can score more than 14. Wisconsin’s run-first offense isn’t built to blow out opponents and there’s no reason to run up the score in a non-conference contest.  

Oklahoma State -10 over Texas Tech: Texas Tech is on a two-game losing streak and both losses were by more than 10 points. Arizona beat the Red Raiders by 14, and that was before quarterback Alan Bowman was injured. Oklahoma State is rolling with a young, dynamic quarterback and running back Chubba Hubbard. I expect the Cowboys to make a statement in Lubbock.

Auburn -3 over Florida: The Gators are untested and without their planned starting quarterback. Texas native Kye Trask (Manvel) is playing great at quarterback, though he’s yet to face a defense as talented as Auburn. The Tigers are quietly emerging as a SEC contender behind a strong defense and freshman quarterback Bo Nix. Give me the great defense over an inexperienced quarterback. 

Baylor +1 over Kansas State: Baylor escaped at home last week against Iowa State. Kansas State was exposed by Oklahoma State. This should be a tight game, which is indicated by a one-point spread. Baylor played great through three quarters against Iowa State and I expect Matt Rhule’s team to put in a four-quarter effort to beat Kansas State. 

NFL games 

New England -16 over Washington: The Redskins lost by 21 to the New York Giants last week as Jay Gruden appears to be a dead duck head coach. Washington is expected to start rookie Dwayne Haskins, who looked lost in mop-up duty in his debut last week. Conversely, New England struggled in a win over Buffalo and wants to make that performance a memory by throttling the Redskins.  

Seattle over Los Angeles Rams: Thursday night games tend to get weird and I may bet the under at 49.5. I will bet the Seahawks to win outright at home against the defending NFC champions. The defense is looking solid and the offense actually averages more yards per play this season than the Rams. Los Angeles is the better team, but Seattle at home on a short week is the safer bet.  

Vikings -6 over New York Giants: The Giants are 2-0 with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Those wins are over Tampa Bay and Washington. The Vikings are on a different level defensively and should provide an overwhelming test for Jones. Minnesota is looking to bounce back from a division loss to Chicago. 

Arizona +3.5 over Cincinnati: The Bengals are terrible. Arizona isn’t good either, but at least there are high hopes with Kliff Kingsbury in charge and Kyler Murray at quarterback. The Cardinals can rush the passer and the Bengals can’t block anyone for longer than two seconds. This won’t be a game to watch, but all tickets cash the same. This could be Arizona’s best chance of scoring a victory. 

Titans -3 over Buffalo: I already like this line, but I love it if Bills quarterback Josh Allen can’t play after suffering a concussion in the loss against New England. Give me the Titans despite Buffalo sporting a legit defense. The Titans are in contention to win the AFC South alongside Houston.