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

Craven’s Corner: Back Texas A&M, WVU in college football; Bills, Ravens in the NFL

Posted November 4th, 2020

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We’re back. Craven’s Corner cashed for the first time since September with a 5-3 record last week. We were 3-1 on college bets, pushing our season college record  to 17-13 with a 14-15-2 mark in the NFL. Overall, we are three games above .500 with a 31-28-2 record through nine weeks of sports betting. This week, we’ll place five bets in college and four in the NFL. 

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. 

As for point spreads, the team with the negative number is a favorite. For example, Oklahoma was a -2.5 point favorite over Texas in the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners needed to win by at least 3 points to cash. Texas needed to lose by 2.5 points or fewer. 

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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:

 

College football

Boise State +3 over BYU: One of the more intriguing games of the week. COVID-19 issues are on display here — undefeated BYU has already played seven games, compared to only two for Boise. Still, despite that disparity in games played, I’m leaning toward Boise State because the Broncos are home and BYU hasn’t played many quality opponents. BYU beat UTSA by seven points earlier in the season. Boise State has won its first two games by an average of 24 points. 

West Virginia +7 over Texas: Texas looked great on defense in a road win over Oklahoma State. The Longhorns are back home to host a West Virginia squad playing great football, specifically on defense. The Mountaineers swamped Kansas State last week, 37-10. I expect Texas to win and move to 5-2 on the season, but not by more than a touchdown. The Longhorns must stop West Virginia running back Leddie Brown, who has 694 yards through six games. 

Texas A&M -10 over South Carolina: Texas A&M is the best team in Texas. The Aggies are on a roll other than an understandable loss to Alabama. Jimbo Fisher’s squad beat Arkansas by 11 points the last time out, and this South Carolina team is about on par with that Razorbacks squad. A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is playing his best football as a senior, completing 64.7% of his passes for 1,244 yards and 12 touchdown passes to just two interceptions. 

UTSA  +3.5 over Rice: UTSA was building momentum while Rice was waiting to start the season. Injuries at quarterback derailed some of that momentum for the Roadrunners, losing four of their last five. Rice is 1-1 compared to a 4-4 record by UTSA. I’ll give UTSA the edge because of running back Sincere McCormick, who’s leading the country in rushing with 921 yards.  

Florida +3.5 over Georgia: Clemson-Notre Dame would be the biggest game in the country if not for Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence missing the game because of a positive COVID-19 test. That means eyes shift to the SEC and this showdown between Florida and Georgia with the winner becoming the clear favorite to win the SEC East. Give me Florida because of quarterback Kyle Trask. 

 

NFL

Bills +3 over Seahawks: The two teams enter the game with a combined 12-3 record. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is the front-runner to win his first NFL MVP award, but it is a long trip to the East Coast. The combination of quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs is enough to upset the Seahawks. 

Ravens -2.5 over Colts: I expect the Ravens to bounce back from a four-point loss to Pittsburgh with at least a three-point win over Indianapolis. The Colts are a surprising 5-2 on the season coming off a 20-point win over Detroit. Indianapolis quarterback Phillip Rivers throws too many interceptions to bet on the Colts against a squad with an opportunistic defense like Baltimore’s. 

Washington Football Team MFL (-162) over Giants: The Giants are in a two-team race for worst team in the league distinction, along with the Jets. Washington lost the first matchup between these two teams by one point back in October, but the Football Team has switched quarterbacks since then. I give Washington an advantage coming off of an open week.  

Chargers -1 over Raiders: Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert is playing above expectations early for the Chargers. The Oregon product is completing 67.4% of his passes for 1,820 yards and 15 touchdown passes to five interceptions. Los Angeles would be on a two-game winning streak if not for the recent one-point loss to Denver.

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