Tracking the (Few) Winners and (Many) Losers

Thanks, Eli.

Thanks, Eli.

Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin. The entire city of Jacksonville. And Atlanta. And Tampa. Breaking Bad addicts. C-SPAN addicts. Lane Kiffin’s past. Matt Schaub’s present. Mark Sanchez’s future. Harry Reid. Harry Reid’s Capitol Hill colleagues (on both sides of the aisle). Jadeveon Clowney’s (NFL) draft stock. Robert Griffin III’s (fantasy) draft stock. Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow supporters. Bobby Hauck detractors.

And this completes the list of entities that have had it worse than I have over the past two months. Or so I keep telling myself, one losing week after another. The only thing that’s kept me from belly flopping off the Hoover Dam bridge: the long line of jumpers in front of me. Not that I derive any satisfaction from others’ misery (OK, fine, I do), but a lot of guys much wiser (and wealthier) than myself have taken a beating this football season—particularly in the NFL, where the only safe bet is the opposite of what makes sense.

So who is making money this season (aside from anyone fading my picks, I mean)? Those who ride very public streaks, such as:

• Betting Broncos games over the total—any total. Not only have all six of Denver’s games hurdled the total, but if you include first-half and second-half numbers, the “over” is 15-3 when the Broncos play. By the way, I recommended the “over” in Denver’s season opener. I haven’t done so since.

• Betting on Oregon, no matter the spread. The Ducks have covered in all six of their games—even though they’ve been favored by at least 26½ points in five of those contests. They’ve also cashed every first-half ticket. Alas, I told you to bet against Oregon. Twice.

• Fading the cellar-dwellers. New Mexico State is the worst team in college football, having been outscored by an average of 33 points per game. The Aggies are also 1-5 ATS. On the pro side, the Giants, Buccaneers and Jaguars are a combined 0-17 SU and 3-14 ATS.

So of course I like the winless Giants this week. Quite a bit, in fact. Even though the Giants are 3-point favorites. And even though their quarterback has thrown 15 interceptions in six games.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it looks like it’s my turn to jump …

Lucky Seven: Florida -3 at Missouri (Best Bet); UCLA +5 at Stanford; Boise State -21½ vs. UNR; Arizona State -3 vs. Washington; Colts +6½ vs. Broncos; Bears-Redskins OVER 50½; Giants -3 vs. Vikings. Last Week: 3-4 (0-1 Best Bet). Season: 18-27 (11-11 college; 7-16 NFL; 0-6 Best Bets).

Says Marco D’Angelo (@MarcoinVegas) from Disagree on UCLA. Stanford was in a sandwich spot last week, coming off the win over Washington and with this game against UCLA next. So there’s great line value with Stanford. And while the Bruins did win at Utah 34-27, they benefitted from six turnovers. That doesn’t happen here, as Stanford wins by double digits.

Matt Jacob appears Wednesdays on’s First Preview, which airs 10-11 a.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1100-AM.