This is a very sad Monday as I sit to pen this column, partly because of my 1-6 record last week but most of all for the passing of Arnold Palmer.
I was part of “Arnie’s Army” back then and my cousin Bruce Saber attended a golf outing with Mr. Palmer just a few years ago. He told me Palmer was a first class gentleman and just a regular guy. Bruce has a great photo of him and Arnie hanging in his sports room.
Palmer was born in Latrobe, Pa., which is a short 40 miles from Pittsburgh. He did a ton of charity work in that area and will go down as one of the greats of the 20th century, both as a golfer and an even better person. The golf world is saddened.
I have been writing this column since 2000 and need to say this is the absolute worst I have been. Maybe the game has passed me by? I am still trying to figure out how Florida blew it after leading 21-0 and the USC/Utah game was another debacle. The only good thing is I had no NFL!
A new week and a new beginning so let’s see if we can turn this thing around before the men in the white coats come and take me away.
Connecticut +28.5 at HOUSTON: Talk about revenge games, well, this is a good week for them starting with this one. The Cougars suffered their only defeat last year to UConn when playing without their starting QB. Houston at full strength this time around and will love to pour it on. They will not call off the dogs. We will bet this game early as it can only go higher. Five star. HOUSTON.
Toledo +4 at BYU: Sticking with the Cougars, we will go with the ones from BYU who may be the best 1-3 football team in the land with losses of 20-19 vs. Utah, 17-14 vs. UCLA and 35-32 at West Virginia this past weekend. The Rockets have gone 0-7 ATS as dogs of more than 3 points when coming off an ATS non-conference win and 0-5 ATS off an extra week of rest. BYU.
Saturday, Oct. 1
Memphis +14 at MISSISSIPPI: Ole Miss under head coach Hugh Freeze comes into this game off a blowout win over Georgia and looks for revenge from last year’s 37-24 loss to the Tigers in Memphis. The Rebels have the firepower to outscore the Tigers in what will be a high scoring game. Ole Miss has gone 7-0 ATS as non-conference favorites of 20 or less points. No mistakes here as Mississippi will be going on back-to-back road games vs. Arkansas and Miles-less LSU but get a bye next week. OLE MISS.
Illinois +22 at NEBRASKA: Revenge is in the air in Lincoln as the Huskers lost to Illinois in Champaign last year 14-13 and have had this one circled. The Illini have gone 0-5 ATS the last five as a dog of 10 or more points when playing a team with a win percentage of .600 or higher. The Huskers stay undefeated with a blowout win! NEBRASKA.
TENN -3.5 at Georgia: The Vols down 21-0 last week roared back with 38 straight points. The victory over Florida was a huge boost for the undefeated Vols as they hit the road. They have gone 5-0 the last five as a road chalk of 10 or less points, Rocky Top should remain unbeaten. TENNESSEE.
FLORIDA -9.5 at Vanderbilt: The Gators will be in a bad mood after blowing that 21-0 lead last week. They catch Vandy off a huge road win, 31-30 in OT at Western Kentucky. Several trends favor the Gators, who are 5-0 off back-to-back ATS losses, 4-0 ATS after giving up 35 or more points and 4-0 ATS in games before playing LSU. That’s UF’s next opponent. FLORIDA.
MISSOURI +13 at LSU: Must take the dog here, as the LSU program is in a shambles with long time, 12-year head coach Les Miles being fired last week. Mizzou has played well in all four of their games with a huge effort two weeks ago vs. Georgia, losing 28-27. One great trend Missouri is on is they have gone 12-0 ATS off back-to-back home games and 8-0 ATS as a double digit road dog when coming off a double digit win. They beat Delaware State last week 79-0. MISSOURI.
OREGON -1 at Washington St.: Revenge gets out game of the night as we get the Ducks off last year’s 45-38 loss in Eugene. Oregon off back- to-back defeats and can ill afford to lose this game. The Cougars have gone 0-6 ATS when coming off a double digit non-conference win and 0-5 ATS after scoring 35 or more points and playing a team that is .400 or higher coming off a SU ATS loss. All systems say go for the quackers! OREGON.
Last week: 1-6
Horse racing note: South Point has launched its new horse betting app just in time for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup. If you own a smart phone or iPhone just take the short drive out and sign up. It’s easy – if I can do it anyone can and I wasn’t even walking around lucky.
This is a new week so get off the couch, get out and make a bet.