Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, who gives some words of wisdom to quarterback Kellen Mond (11), has the Aggies on the rise with their second big win in a row. [Laura McKenzie / Bryan-College Station Eagle]

Mike Craven

Hookem.com staff

Column

Cravens’ Corner: Take the Longhorns, Aggies as underdogs; Tom Brady on Thursday

Posted October 7th, 2020

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Craven’s Corner must recover from our first losing week of the season, a 2-3 start to October.

We’re still placing bets with house money, however, due to our 16-8 record on the season. We’ll place five more bets this weekend in hopes of returning to our winning ways while enjoying a stacked Saturday of college football. The slate of NFL games leaves something to be desired, though. 

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

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As for point spreads, the team with the negative number is a favorite. For example, Oklahoma is a -2.5 point favorite over Texas this week. The Sooners would need to win by at least 3 points to cash. Texas would need to lose by 2.5 points or fewer. 

We’re using BetMGM.com 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: 

The Longhorn Band makes its way into the Cotton Bowl  before the 2015 Texas-Oklahoma game. The bands won’t make it to this year’s game because of the pandemic, which also has canceled the annual State Fair, too. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman)

College football

Texas +3 over Oklahoma: Tom Herman-coached teams perform better as underdogs than favorites. Texas is the underdog heading into another Red River Rivalry game despite both teams limping in after losses; Texas fell to TCU and Oklahoma is on a two-game skid after losses to Kansas State and Iowa State. The line is really 2.5, but I’m buying the extra half-point to avoid losing if Oklahoma wins by a field goal. My money is on a close game and Texas is the team with the senior quarterback this time. 

Texas A&M +7 over Florida: The vultures are already beginning to circle around this Texas A&M team following a lackluster performance in an expected loss to Alabama. Jimbo Fisher needs a big win to help build his team’s confidence. Florida was our pick to win the SEC before the season for +1000 odds. Quarterback Kyle Trask is a Texan who played high school football at Manvel in south Houston. He was actually named after A&M’s Kyle Field, where this game will be played. I expect Florida to win, but the Aggies can keep it within a touchdown at home. 

Miami +14 over Clemson: I love this Miami team coached by former Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz because I love Hurricanes  quarterback D’Eriq King, a transfer from Houston. King actually started in front of Trask while at Manvel. The Hurricanes are a solid squad with wins over Louisville and Florida State. Clemson is the front-runner to win the national championship, but Dabo Swinney teams can sleepwalk through an ACC contest. Miami is talented enough to keep this game within two scores. 

 

NFL

Buccaneers -4.5 over Bears: Chicago is already on its second quarterback with Westlake’s Nick Foles now at the helm. Tampa Bay is quarterbacked by Tom Brady, the greatest of all-time. Brady’s best days are behind him, but he’s still good enough to beat this Bears team by a touchdown. Bears defensive star Khalil Mack is questionable for the Thursday night game. My confidence grows further if Brady doesn’t need to watch Mack coming from his blindside. 

Falcons -2 over Panthers: The Falcons will eventually win a game and the Panthers are coming off an upset win over Arizona. Bad teams rarely over-perform in consecutive weeks, so I’m betting on the Panthers regressing to the mean while Atlanta plays well out of pride. An offense with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Todd Gurley can’t start 0-5. 

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