FOX Sports Betting Analyst
I wish I could explain the pain of betting on an 8-point college football underdog that scores 40 points on the road and still doesn’t cover.
My sheet for this weekend has two college bets and two NFL plays. Remember, this place isn’t the space for a million picks or five-team parlays, either. These will always be the games I love the most.
Let’s go to work.
UL Monroe Warhawks @ Texas State Bobcats (-17, O/U 63.5)
It’s Sun Belt time!
Here are some Texas State final scores this year: 42-31, 77-34, 35-24, 50-36, 34-30.
Points generally aren’t an issue because the Bobcats can flat-out score, and they’re far from sensational on defense. That blueprint tends to lead to plenty of 21-point quarters. Oh, and kicker Mason Shipley has only attempted five field goals all season. They’re almost allergic to kicking.
The Bobcats offensive line will do basically whatever it wants, and assuming we get a couple of quick touchdowns early, the scoring should snowball. And once UL Monroe is down multiple scores, it’ll be in catch-up mode.
Texas State might mess around and score 50.
PICK: Over 63.5 points scored by both teams combined
USC Trojans @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-2.5, O/U 60.5)
This total has been all over the place.
Circa Sports opened it at 61.5 last Sunday, and it climbed as high as 64 before getting blasted all the way down to 58.5. It’s been one of the wildest ones to monitor over the last six days and change.
That said, Notre Dame can’t prefer a shootout.
You think the Irish want to go toe-to-toe with reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and his loaded receiver room? I expect Notre Dame to run the rock with success and eat up the time of possession.
Expect plenty of power football from Marcus Freeman’s offense in a valiant attempt to win the line of scrimmage and keep Williams on the sideline.
PICK: Under 60.5 points scored by both teams combined
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Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins (-13.5, O/U 47.5)
Are the Panthers cooked?
Mid-October is usually around the time you can sense if an NFL team still gives a damn, and let’s just say things aren’t looking too hot.
Rookie quarterback Bryce Young has struggled with accuracy, the running game is almost non-existent, the head coach is throwing shade at management, and there’s a real concern about effort and commitment at 0-5.
Meanwhile, Miami is in the drivers’ seat in the AFC East with an MVP-caliber quarterback and a head coach that’s pushing all the right buttons. As long as the Dolphins protect the football, this game could easily be 31-10 or 34-17.
I don’t love laying big chalk, but I will here.
PICK: Dolphins (-13.5) to win by more than 13.5 points
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New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders (-3, O/U 41.5)
I hate myself.
Coming into the season, I was all about Under 7.5 wins for the Patriots. I didn’t like their quarterback, their offensive line or their weapons, and bringing in guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Zeke Elliott felt desperate.
And yet, I bet New England the last two weeks, only to watch them get bludgeoned 72-3 by the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints combined.
There’s still no chance I’ll lay a field goal with the Raiders. Josh McDaniels has a bad habit of letting lesser teams hang around, and I’m going to continue riding this Patriots personal mission down to the rim — or until the wheels completely fall off.
Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Watch New England escape with a 23-20 win.
PICK: Patriots (+3) to lose by fewer than 3 points, or win outright
2023 Record: (13-14-1, -2.2)
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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