We finished off week zero and week one with a record of 13-7 for a nice winning percentage out of the gate of 65%. (Some of you did even better than this because you got a better number on Houston-Oklahoma than I did. I lost on the picks here with Wednesday’s number of 82, but pushed based on Friday’s number of 80 on “Lock It In.”).
We’re also 2-0 on our blood bank guarantees out of the gate, which is a nice bonus as well.
On Monday I gave out Notre Dame -18 and the under 55 on the radio show, on Outkick the Show, on Twitter, and on TV on “Lock It In.” We pushed on the Notre Dame -18 and covered on the under, running our season total to 14-7.
As I started doing last year as “Lock It In” grew in popularity and more of you took note of the additional picks I was making on TV there, I’m going to continue to include “Lock It In” college football gambling picks in this year’s tally as well. This way every pick I’m making in college football will be tallied in one place. (In other words, if I make a pick on television, but it’s a non-traditional day — a Monday or a Tuesday for instance when we haven’t put up the picks on Wednesday yet — it will count on our weekly picks here. That won’t happen very often as I typically make the same picks both here and on TV, but I’m just laying out the parameters. When we have a conflict in a line which changes the result, as happened last week with the Houston-Oklahoma game, we’ll be using the lines posted here on the website, not the TV lines. Clearly, on TV, we’ll be using the lines we give out on TV. And if you’re wondering where our TV lines come from, we use FoxBet, which is now up and running as a legal sportsbook in New Jersey. We send in our picks several hours before the show airs, before noon eastern, each day.)
The Notre Dame under win puts us at 14-7 on the year, for a nice 66.7% winning percentage so far.
This means fade the picks guy is rocked beyond belief.
Not surprisingly, that Outkick winning percentage also translated to TV where I’ve actually won 78.6% of my college football bets on TV so far this season. (Much to the chagrin of Rachel Bonnetta and crew, with the Notre Dame under win I’m now 11-3 to start the year on “Lock It In” TV picks.)
Bend the knee, your king is here! pic.twitter.com/vctU056lfh
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 2, 2019
So that’s a stellar beginning to the college football season no matter how you slice it.
Can we keep the roll going?
There’s only one way to find out, let’s charge straight into week 2 and go 11-0.
This will be the third year we’ve had the picks up early on the Outkick VIP message board. If you love to ride with the Outkick picks — or hate me and want to fade everything that I do — I post my picks Monday afternoon on the VIP message board so you can get the earliest numbers possible. Then I’ll post the picks for free here on Wednesday afternoon. This year’s new VIP’s will receive an autographed copy of my new book, Republicans Buy Sneakers Too, access to our VIP events across the nation, a VIP message board, a VIP phone line for my radio show, and other cool experiences, potentially involving the TV show(s), which will be announced on the VIP message board. So make sure you sign up for Outkick VIP today.
This week I’ve got eleven picks for you so here comes 11-0:
Vanderbilt at Purdue the over 55.5, now 55.5
Last week Purdue collapsed and lost a crushing game at Nevada on a 56 yard field goal on the final play of the game.
Meanwhile Vanderbilt was beaten pretty soundly by Georgia.
The question is, will Vandy’s offense be any good at all? I think it will be given their talent at wideout, running back and tight end. Which is why I think they’ll score points on Purdue. Meanwhile we know Purdue will score on Vandy.
Which is why I believe the number in this game is WAY too low.
The over hits by double digits, meaning you’ve already notched a nice easy win to enjoy just as the fourth quarter begins.
Syracuse at Maryland the over 58, now 57
Last week Dino Babers’s team posted a shutout, which has to be the first shutout posted by a Dino Babers coached team in history.
Syracuse wants to score points and so does Maryland, who is coming off a 79 point victory in week one.
Points, points, points!
Which is why this number seems jarringly low to me.
Another over, baby!
West Virginia at Mizzou -14, now Mizzou -14
One of the challenges of gambling is trying to figure out whether the performance you saw in week one is representative of a team or not.
I don’t think what we saw from Mizzou is representative of their team.
In fact, I think the Tigers got rattled on the road and never were able to get settled in when Wyoming got hot and made a couple of big plays. Wyoming scored touchdowns on three explosive plays from thirty yards out on a fumble return, on a 61 yard run, and on a 75 yard run to turn a 14-0 deficit into a 24-17 lead.
Back home in Columbia I think Mizzou will play much more in control and these big play explosions for West Virginia won’t be there.
As if that weren’t enough, West Virginia is 1-10-1 against the spread in the past five years as an underdog.
Make it 1-11-1 — Mizzou covers. (FYI, pay attention to this line as it may dip down to 13.5 at some point between now and kickoff. If it does, jump on it. You can always buy a half point as well, but in general I try to avoid doing that especially when I think this number will likely dip below two touchdowns).
Cincinnati +16.5 at Ohio State, now Cincinnati +16
The Bearcat defense was fantastic in week one and this game, to me, sets up as a great chance for Cincinnati to give Ohio State a real run, especially in the first three quarters.
Consider: the Bearcats played on Thursday, which means they get two extra days to prepare, they’re traveling a short distance in state, which means there are no travel issues at all, their head coach, Luke Fickell, used to be the interim head coach at Ohio State, and Ohio State is starting a quarterback, Justin Fields, who has only started one game in his career.
As if that weren’t enough Cincinnati won 11 games last year, meaning the moment won’t be too big for them, and just about every player for the Bearcats wishes they’d been recruited by Ohio State, meaning they are going to be laser focused all week.
Meanwhile the Buckeyes don’t even see Cincinnati as a rival, meaning they are unlikely to be as focused as they were in week one or in the weeks ahead in Big Ten rivalry games.
Finally, while Ohio State got off to a really fast start, surging up 28-0 early on FAU, they were outscored 21-17 in the final three quarters of that game.
Does all of this mean Cincinnati pulls off a double digit upset win on the road?
Of course not.
But does it mean I like the Bearcats chances to cover?
Texas A&M +18 at Clemson and the over 61, now Texas A&M +17.5 and 64.5
Last year these two teams played and Clemson won a tight one 28-26 in College Station.
That was before Trevor Lawrence was the starter and before Clemson went 15-0 and won the national championship.
But this line still seems wildly high to me.
Especially since Jimbo Fisher is very used to playing against Clemson because of his tenure at Florida State.
Maybe Clemson will come out and crush A&M, but I just don’t see it.
This Aggie team isn’t going to be in awe over playing Clemson or the night venue in the ACC, they play Alabama every year for god’s sake, they’re used to the attention and the pressure.
I think what’s more likely is both teams have offensive success and the final ends up being 38-28 Tigers, meaning you cover and hit the over.
Illinois -20 at UConn, now Illinois -20
Last week UConn struggled to beat Wagner 24-21.
As the Huskies leave the AAC their football team is a mess.
Meanwhile Lovie Smith’s Illinois team took it to Akron and, dare I say it, there’s hope Illinois isn’t the worst major college defensive team.
This week the fighting Illini keep rolling, thoroughly crushing the UConn spirit en route to a big victory.
(By the way, you know you’re a degenerate when you’re all in on Illinois-UConn. Let’s roll, boys.)
BYU at Vols -3, now Vols -3.5
This line opened at Vols -2 and held at -2.5 for a little while before powering through -3. This is a great one to pay attention to because I love it at Tennessee -2.5 much more than I do at -3 or -3.5.
That’s because I think this will be a low scoring, defensive struggle.
Look, here’s the simple truth, Jeremy Pruitt absolutely, positively has to win this football game.
He just has to do it.
If he doesn’t things will get even uglier with at Florida, Georgia and at Alabama all on the schedule by mid-October.
Pruitt’s tenure at Tennessee is still very young, but I think he’ll bow up the defense and find a way to get a win here. Remember, this guy beat Auburn and Kentucky last year with a lesser team than this year’s Vols.
On the other side, BYU looked pedestrian against Utah.
I see a brutal slugfest coming and the Vols winning a close one.
Arkansas +7 at Ole Miss, now Arkansas +6.5
In the past four years here are the margins of victory in this series: Ole Miss by four, Arkansas by one, four, and one.
A touchdown just feels like way too many points in this game.
I don’t believe either Arkansas or Ole Miss are very good, but I also don’t believe either team is that much better than the other either.
That’s especially the case when there’s a decent chance this is the only SEC game either team will have a great chance to win this year.
So give me the Razorbacks to keep it close.
Stanford +3 at Southern Cal, now Stanford +1
There’s uncertainty at quarterback for Stanford, K.J. Costello is questionable, but there isn’t any uncertainty for USC, they’re starting a true freshman after J.T. Daniels was knocked out for the season.
So when this line initially came out I did a double take. Had USC really opened as a three point favorite? Yep.
I jumped all over that line and it has since come down quite a bit. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Stanford ends up favored in this game by kickoff.
That’s because with quarterback uncertainty, coaching becomes even more important. Would you rather roll with David Shaw or Clay Helton? (That’s not a trick question).
Stanford has won eight of the past 12 in this series.
I think by late Saturday night on the west coast it will be nine of the past 13, take the Cardinal.
LSU -5 at Texas
I kept waiting and hoping this line would come back down to around a field goal, but it appears that isn’t going to happen so I’m finally pulling the trigger here and hopping on LSU-5 today.
I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time reading and studying this game and ultimately what I come back to is this: I think LSU’s got an offense this year.
I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but I really do believe this despite the years of evidence to the contrary.
Given that we already know what the LSU defense is capable of, how do you not hop all over the Tigers here? Especially with Texas players warming up in the t-shirts proclaiming themselves the real DBU.
I know Tom Herman has been great as an underdog, but Coach O has been pretty good in big out of conference games during his coaching tenure.
Come Saturday in Austin he notches the biggest win of his Tiger coaching career.
There you have it, we’re going 11-0!
Get rich, kids!