In the spirit of the season, I wanted to kick off this week’s column with a list of things for which I’m thankful. Then I thought: Have you seen your record this football season? Exactly what is there to be thankful for?
Well, after a couple of days of deep reflection, here’s what I came up with: I’m thankful that I have an intense fear of incarceration (because Lord knows I’ve wanted to whack a few underperforming coaches and players the past three months). I’m thankful for President Barack Obama and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the only two men on the planet with worse approval ratings than mine. And I’m thankful for the manufacturers of brown paper bags, the kind my kids now insist on wearing over their heads in public.
All kidding aside, you don’t need a finance degree to deduce that I’ve delivered a poor return on investment this season. But allow me to pour a little liquid into that half-empty glass: If you had wagered opposite of my “best bets”—and, frankly, why wouldn’t you be doing this?—and backed my other selections, you’d be hitting at a 55 percent clip. That’s plenty good enough for a profitable season! (I knew that public relations class I took in college would eventually pay off.)
Speaking of wanting to put a positive spin on an underachieving season, let’s turn the focus to Georgia. The Bulldogs entered 2013 with national title hopes, and here they sit at 6-4 after last week’s devastating 43-38 loss at Auburn, which scored on a 73-yard Hail Mary pass with 25 seconds left—on fourth-and-18! (Of course I was on the Bulldogs last week.)
Throw that heartbreaking defeat on top of upset losses to Clemson, Missouri and Vanderbilt, and I see Georgia as a dead team walking heading into this week’s home finale against Kentucky. Sure, Kentucky is 2-8, but the Wildcats were feisty in narrow SEC road losses at South Carolina (35-28) and Mississippi State (28-22), covering easily in both games. They also were feisty against Georgia the previous two years, losing 29-24 as a 25½-point underdog and 19-10 as a 30½-point pup.
One more reason to like the ’Cats against the Dawgs: Georgia has filled your wallet about as much as I have this fall, cashing exactly once in 10 games.
Lucky Seven: Kentucky +23½ at Georgia (Best Bet); Oklahoma State +10 vs. Baylor; Cal +32 at Stanford; Panthers -3½ at Dolphins; Buccaneers-Lions OVER 48½; Chargers +5 at Chiefs; Cardinals -2 vs. Colts.
Last Week: 3-3-1 (0-1 Best Bet). Season: 35-44-1 (19-21 college; 16-23-1 NFL; 1-10 Best Bets).
Says Vegas Runner (@VegasRunner) from Pregame.com: Disagree with the Panthers. The line is inflated because the Panthers have beaten the 49ers and Patriots the last two weeks. Both offenses average the exact same yards per play, and Miami’s defense is underrated. Grab the value with the Dolphins in a game they could win straight-up.
Matt Jacob appears Wednesdays on Pregame.com’s First Preview, which airs 10-11 a.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1100-AM.