After a successful run in baseball, I lost a trio of games on Thursday night. One game (Royals-Tigers under 8) was over in the first inning, while another (White Sox-Indians over 10) fell a run short of a push.
Then there were the Rays, who took an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth in Toronto and somehow managed to lose 9-8 after the Blue Jays posted seven runs in that frame alone. Brutal beat.
On the year, my MLB record stands at 51-30-1. With the season winding down, I’m going to be more selective with my baseball plays moving forward because this is the time of year that teams become unpredictable with their motivation. Even good teams mail it in with the postseason right around the corner.
Moving on to college football, here is what I like for Week 4. On the season, I am 9-7 (56%) with my CFB plays but there’s definite room for improvement.
379 TCU at 380 Texas, 3:30 p.m. CT
This is a spot where I feel TCU is undervalued and Texas, despite being the underdog, is a tad overvalued. The last impressive we had of these two teams was the Horned Frogs losing 40-28 to Ohio State while the Longhorns put together a big win over USC. But we’ve seen that Trojans team struggle this season and if it weren’t for TCU’s three turnovers versus OSU, that game would have been closer against the Buckeyes. Both of these teams have good defenses but I see TCU taking over in the trenches. Ben Banogu is one of the elite pass-rushers in the country and Texas’ offensive line hasn’t seen a front seven like TCU’s yet. The Frogs have to protect the ball but I don’t see the Longhorns winning back-to-back big games. Give me TCU at a small price.
Prediction: TCU -3
355 Stanford at 356 Oregon, 7:00 p.m. CT
I’m rolling the dice laying points with a road team playing in Eugene but I’ve got good reason to do so. Both teams are 3-0 but while Stanford has beaten San Diego State, USC and UC Davis, Oregon is unbeaten because it’s faced juggernauts Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State. We don’t know who the Ducks are quite yet but one thing that stands out so far is that quarterback Justin Herbert has struggled with his accuracy, even against these lesser opponents. The Tree gets Bryce Love back tonight after the Heisman hopeful missed last week’s game and Stanford clearly isn’t intimidated by playing at Autzen Stadium, where it is 16-13 all-time.
Prediction: Stanford -2.5
407 Wisconsin at 408 Iowa, 7:35 p.m. CT
It’s difficult to beat the Hawkeyes at night in Kinnick – just ask Ohio State (2017) and Michigan (2016). Iowa has the nation’s second-ranked defense and are 4-1 as home underdogs since 2014. Wisconsin should be better offensively with a stacked offensive line and returning running back Johnathan Taylor but the Badgers have scuffled on that side of the ball thus far. Having won five of its first six Big Ten openers, I like the Hawkeyes to pull off the small upset but will hedge a little but taking the field goal.
Prediction: Iowa +3
409 Arizona State at 410 Washington, 9:30 p.m. CT
As I did last week when the Sun Devils played San Diego State, I’m fading Herm Edwards’ team. The Huskies have started the season slow offensively but that was to be expected with senior quarterback Jake Browning playing for a new play-caller in Bush Hamdan. After they allowed 311 rushing yards to the Aztecs last week, I don’t expect the Sun Devils to slow down Myles Gaskin, who rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries last week versus Utah’s underrated defense. ASU doesn’t have much of a running game, which is problematic for tonight because throwing the ball plays into Washington’s strength. The Huskies own one of the best defensive backfields in the nation and with this being a revenge spot (ASU beat Washington last year in Tempe), I don’t see the 18 points being a problem.
Prediction: Washington -18
College Football: 9-7