LAST WEEK: 3-3
Simply put, you can’t win them all. Another even week, but this one stings a little bit. Minnesota was a three-point underdog at Iowa and that game ended with a brutal beat as the Gophers lost their first game of the season by four points. The Gophers trailed 23-13 before scoring a touchdown with 3:27 left in the game, needing only the extra point to make the matchup a push. Instead, they missed it and threw an interception on their final possesion to prevent a cover. That wasn’t even the worst beat of the weekend.
In the 49ers-Cardinals game on Sunday, the Cardinals stuck around as 10-point underdogs all day, including holding a 16-point lead at one point. The last play of the game put that to bed, as Arizona fumbled trying to string together a miracle. The ball was booted all the way back into the end zone, and San Francisco fell on it for a defensive touchdown as time expired. Despite the Cardinals covering nearly wire to wire, the score ended at 36-26, delivering a brutal push to bettors on both sides.
But there’s less than a week left until my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, so rather than focus on those bad beats, let’s dive in and take a look at what I’m thankful for this week.
All-time record: 25-20
NCAA Football: 14-11
NCAA Basketball: 1-1
All line info used in this series is courtesy of OddsShark.com. The Pitt News does not condone illegal gambling. Sports gambling is illegal in Pennsylvania under the age of 21.
I’m thankful for: P.J. Fleck and Minnesota -13.5
Thank you, coach Fleck, for your catchphrase that is way too complicated to understand but still beautifully inspirational. Thank you, Gophers, for having one of the greatest mascots in all of sports and capitalizing on the Dramatic Gopher meme as a gimmick inside your stadium. Thank you, Northwestern, for having an offense so lethargic and incapable that 13.5 points at your own stadium should be an easy spread this week.
I’m thankful for: Boston College +20
Thank you for the matchup between junior running back AJ Dillon and the Notre Dame rush defense which ranks 79th in the nation with 169.9 yards allowed per game. Thank you, Dillon, for being the definition of an absolute unit and averaging 5.3 yards per carry and 145 yards per game on the ground. Thank you, Eagles coach Steve Addazio, for needing a win in either this game or the final game of the season here against Pitt to avoid missing a bowl game — and a scorching hot seat.
I’m thankful for: The Rainbow Warriors -3
Thank you, Hawaii football, for always being there late at night when I don’t want my day of degeneracy to end. Thank you, Stadium on Facebook, for being the weirdest method of consumption I’ve ever used for college football, yet still the perfect streaming partner for Hawaii. Thank you, Cole McDonald, for being bold enough to rock dreadlocks while throwing for 3,000 yards and leading the Rainbow Warriors’ offense under center. And thank you, San Diego State, for giving us Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Strasburg — but Hawaii still covers the three points at home on the island.
I’m thankful for: Detroit -3.5
Thank you to my father for never allowing me to grow up a fan of the Washington football team. Thank you to D.C.’s new favorite team, the Washington Nationals, as well as the Capitals, Mystics and, to an extent, even the Wizards for continuing to highlight both the on- and off-field incompetence of Washington and its leadership.
Thank you to owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen for being incredibly unqualified for those roles. And thank you, Detroit head coach Matt Patricia and either Matt Stafford or Jeff Driskel, for taking advantage of Washington on the road in the same way Sam Darnold and the Jets did last week.
I’m thankful for: Under 40.5
Thank you, Danny “Dimes” Jones and Mitch Trubisky, for continuing the Duke-UNC rivalry at all levels of all sports. Thank you, Chicago general manager Ryan Pace, for suffering through reminders each waking second of your decision to not only draft Trubisky over last season’s MVP Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, but to give up a haul of assets to move up one slot for that selection. Thank you, Giants coach Pat Shurmur, for often appearing incapable of in-game management and not yet reaching the offensive efficiency that got you hired out of Minnesota.
And thank you to the under for being as tasty as a Thanksgiving turkey!
Friday Night Basketball Parlay:
Houston at No. 11 Oregon -7.5 (CBB)
Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards (NBA)
Cleveland Cavaliers at Dallas Mavericks (NBA)
I’m thankful for: Four team parlays for letting me pick as many favorites as I want while still giving me value on the bet. Oregon -7.5 (-110), Wizards moneyline (-235) and Mavericks moneyline (-460) — 100 units to win 231.31 units.
Thank you, college basketball, for being just one step short of anarchy and never failing to spice up my Friday nights. Thank you, Wizards, for giving yourselves a fighting shot this season thanks to underrated signings like Mo Wagner and Davis Bertans to complement the ever-elite Bradley Beal. Thank you to Charlotte for letting Kemba Walker walk in free agency and getting no return, leaving the roster diminished and unproductive this season.
Thank you Luka Doncic for reminding me that someone just a few months my elder can accomplish feats such as becoming the second player under the age of 21 (LeBron James) to record a 40-point triple-double in a win over San Antonio.
Thank you to my parlays for always reminding me that I’m so close, but often so far away … maybe this one will get lucky!