9.25: THE SATURDAY PARLAY

Good morning and welcome to the first edition of THE SATURDAY PARLAY. I’m a new sports gambler, but I’m not new to throwing my money away. There’s probably no real need for a big, formal introduction for this post (and series for rest of the year), but I will lay down some rules on how things will go.

  1. Yes I’m using my money for this. No, I’m not spending any more than $1 on any of these parlays.
  2. All of my parlays will include no fewer than six picks.
  3. MACtion is a must. I’m gambling on non-MAC games too.

Alright, let’s go see which games will cost me my dollar this weekend.

NORTHWESTERN (-13.5, -110) VS. OHIO

After last week, I’ll take Ohio’s opponent and the points for the rest of the season. Northwestern’s been a snoozer this year, but if I had to guess which team is going to make more big plays, it’s the Big Ten team at home. (Sure that line of thinking has bitten people in the ass before, but Ohio’s particularly bad this year.)

PENN STATE (-30, -105) VS. VILLANOVA

Villanova actually does have a quarterback (career 56 TD, 15 INT) which should mean that there will be some good play out of the visiting FCS team. The problem that he, Daniel Smith, will run into is that Penn State’s simply a very good football team this year. Penn State has zero touchdowns allowed through the air so far this year (4 INT). Opposing QBs against Penn State are averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. The only schools with fewer yards per pass attempt allowed are Texas A&M (3.0), Baylor (4.2), Washington (4.2), and Florida Atlantic (4.8).

OVER 56.5 (-110), BALL STATE VS. TOLEDO

This game I feel the least good about, but I could see this be a clash of two storms that previously had their own problems to deal with now clash and become this giant super tornado of craziness that sweeps through The Scheu. If Ball State can establish some efficiency on offense (Toledo’s got a tough DL to get through, so good luck running the ball) then I can see Toledo drawing up more huge, vertical strikes with its pass game to rally back and work towards this over.

I could also see this game being two DJ Roombas playing bumper cars with each other, which is how we’ll actually reach the under.

OVER 48 (-115), ARMY VS. MIAMI OH

In Net Points Per Drive, which is offensive drive points scored minus defensive drive points allowed (via BCFtoys.com) Army is second in the country at 3.23. In offensive points per drive, Army ranks first in the nation. More straight-forwardly: Army’s outscored its opponents 133-66 this year. Miami’s probably not going to keep up the pace offensively, but defensively it might end up leaving the door open for Army to make some big plays. Miami’s 116th nationally in DPD.

WESTERN MICHIGAN (-2.5, -115) VS. SAN JOSE STATE

I think WMU’s offense will be able to take down San Jose State, who is having a pretty decent season for themselves so far. SJSU, the defending Mountain West champs, beat their FCS team to open the year, lost at USC, then narrowly beat Hawaii on the road. It’ll be SJSU’s third road game in a row, and WMU’s coming home after it just beat Pitt 44-41.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (-21, -110) VS. MAINE

NIU had a really bad Week 3 against Michigan, but we’ve seen enough in the first couple of weeks to know that NIU can play and put up points. Huskies ought to be at a place where it can at least score on its first two possessions of this game.

UNDER 70 (+100), MARYLAND VS. KENT STATE

Kent State’s overdue for some points and Maryland isn’t great about blowing teams out. Kent State’s big losses were to top-10 Texas A&M and Iowa programs, which Maryland just isn’t. There’s really the chance for Kent State to win this game, but the three-game sample to look at also includes a 60-10 game against VMI. I don’t know if Kent State’s going to score that many points again against teams not named VMI, and I don’t know if Maryland’s going to put up 40 points on their end either. If this were in the 50’s, then maybe I’d take the over for fun. But 70’s a high bar, no matter how much of a fan you are over this Kent State offense.

MY 7-PICK PARLAY ODDS: +9396 (to pay $94.96)

Best of luck on your games this weekend, fellow gamblers.

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