Football Betting Bliss or Miss: The Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat
by Josh Nagel - 10/28/2008
Sometimes, trusting your instinct can pay off when you have the wherewithal to follow through with it. You see the line and one side immediately stands out; then you spend the rest of your time between that moment and kick-off convincing yourself that it's too good to be true.
You decided to back off at the last second, and writhe in non-bettor's remorse as your initial pick comes through easily, and now you can only question why you didn't trust yourself. These are difficult times, but the best thing you can do is decide that the next time you see something that feels like a sure thing, go ahead and bet it and live with the outcome. It leads to fewer moments of regret.
This type of thinking is the subject of this week's Bliss or Miss, which chronicles the ups and downs of a big football weekend.
Bliss: Georgia +1 vs. LSU. Final score: Georgia 52, LSU 38.
This was one that immediately stood out when the lines were released. With all due respect to LSU's terrific home record, it should be noted that the Tigers are better in night games and, on the off chance they lose a home, it is usually a day game. It also should be noted that Georgia is the much better team. It stood to reason that if Florida could hang 50 on the LSU defense, this explosive Georgia club should be able to put some numbers up as well.
But the overriding factor here was that LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee is a mistake-prone freshman starting in the SEC. Georgia's Matthew Stafford was in Lee's shoes a couple of years ago and struggled as well. Despite LSU coach Les Miles' efforts to hide Lee's weaknesses and alternate him with a running quarterback, the bottom line is that you can't win SEC games against elite teams with an inexperienced quarterback.
With a bet on Georgia firmly in hand, I watched as these observations were gloriously confirmed on the first play of the game, as Lee was intercepted for a touchdown, setting the stage for a lopsided win for the Bulldogs. This felt a lot better than finding a way to talk myself out of it.
Miss: Kansas -1 vs. Texas Tech. Final score: Texas Tech 63, Kansas 21.
Like many of Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing's passes Saturday, this pick missed the mark. To make an unnecessarily long story short, this basically was a case of reverse psychology gone bad.
You see, last weekend Kansas was competitive in a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma that could have been a lot closer if not for a few terrible calls that went against the Jayhawks and a couple of red zone turnovers. Not to mention the fact that Reesing and the Jayhawks have gone somewhat under the radar in the quarterback-rich Big 12, and this game might be their chance to get some respect.
Instead, everything fell apart. Instead of being upset about what might have been against Okalahoma and coming out with a vengeance, Kansas looked like it lacked focus from the start. In other words, the near miss might have the opposite effect, and the Jayhawks suffered from an emotional hangover.
Once Graham Harrell started methodically picking apart the Kansas defense and putting up touchdowns every time Texas Tech touched the ball, the Jayhawks looked resigned to defeat. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is merciless when he smells blood, and the final score was an indication of one team that wasn't ready to play and another that was ready to take advantage.