Waiting to wager not the worst thing

I want to discuss how I have been approaching leading up to the next week of college football games during this very challenging and unique season.

For years, I have made a handful of bets early in the week trying to lock in good numbers before they potentially move against me. However, things have been much different this season. I have been stuck in a few situations where I have put in a decent amount of time handicapping a particular game and finding out as much information as I can. I find a position that I like and I bet it only to find out later in the week the game has been canceled.

I’ve also endured a few examples of betting a game early in the week when I find information supporting a side or total that I feel presents a betting edge for me only to then find out later in the week approaching the opening kickoff of the game that a team in the game that I’ve locked in a wager on has a cluster COVID-19 situation with their players that went unreported and wasn’t even mentioned anywhere earlier in the week.

I am bringing this up to recommend to all our Gaming Today readers that it isn’t the worst thing to wait until later in the week to place bets in college football, even if it means risking potential line movement against some of your positions.

We’ve already seen a total of six games canceled for this week due to COVID-19 infections on certain teams and this number will probably rise a bit more before the end of the week. There are teams who have canceled practices due to having COVID-19 cases within the team. Those teams are waiting to see their test results improve throughout the week before ruling on the status of their upcoming game this weekend.

There is a reason why the phrase ‘patience is a virtue’ makes a lot of sense. Sometimes it is best to wait before jumping in to the betting waters. I know several of my colleagues in the sports betting and handicapping industry would agree with me. This is a college football season that has turned into the ultimate “expected the unexpected” season all part of an “expect the unexpected” year that we’ve seen here in 2020.

Here my picks for this week…

Saturday

Iowa -2.5 at Penn State. Penn State has been fade material for me and they will remain that way this week as they host Iowa.

The Nittany Lions are 0-4 SU and ATS this season which is coming off the rails for James Franklin’s squad. The offense has been stuck in mud and particularly ineffective in the red zone in recent games, making too many mistakes, namely turnovers. The defense has not lived up to their preseason expectations either.

Iowa suffered a couple tough losses to Purdue and Northwestern to begin the season but have responded with resounding blowout wins against Michigan State and Minnesota. The ground attack should have success for the Hawkeyes here and QB Spencer Petras is getting better each week. IOWA

Clemson -35 at Florida State. Florida State has all sorts of problems right now. Seminoles players are opting out due to COVID-19. Injuries are mounting including to starting QB Jordan Travis who didn’t play last week and may not play here either.

FSU is a dismal 2-6 SU and ATS this season and they’ve been blown out by double digits in three straight games against Louisville, Pittsburgh and NC State. Mike Norvell doesn't sound positive most of the time these days in his press conferences. It's a very bad situation all around with a season falling apart once again for the Seminoles.

They get Clemson at the worst time here with the Tigers off a bye week following their OT loss to Notre Dame. Trevor Lawrence will be back as starting QB for the Tigers and he should carve up this awful 'Noles defense which has surrendered 38+ points in three straight games. This is a go-for-the-jugular spot for the massive road favorite. CLEMSON

Liberty at NC State, Total 67: The Flames are 8-0 on the season and will look to remain undefeated against NC State. The Liberty up-tempo offense under head coach Hugh Freeze has been a well-oiled machine led by Auburn transfer QB Malik Willis, scoring 30+ points in seven of their games.

NC State’s defense gave up at least 40 points against Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech -- the three best offenses they’ve faced. On the flip side, the Wolfpack offense, which is also a fast-paced, up-tempo attack, is improving by the week with Bailey Hockman at QB. He's getting more comfortable after taking the place of injured Devin Leary.

These teams are a combined 12-4 to the Over this season. Expect more of the same here. OVER

Washington State +2 at Stanford. Stanford is going through major growing pains this season. The offense is a work in progress devoid of a great line and skill position talent while the defense is not anywhere close to the level of the good Stanford defenses in past seasons under head coach David Shaw. This is a program in decline, make no mistake about it. Stanford is 0-2 SU and ATS to begin the season losing to Oregon and Colorado.  Washington State made a great hire bringing in Nick Rolovich as head coach to replace Mike Leach. Rolovich turned Hawaii into a winner and I’m sure he will make the Cougars a better team as well. They have a talented freshman QB in Jayden de Lauraleading the offense. They beat Oregon State and were impressive in defeat battling a very good Oregon team last week. Two programs going in opposite directions. WASHINGTON STATE

Last week: 1-2

Season: 14-21-1