I was riding high. I was on top of the world. I was giving middle fingers to the children in my neighborhood just riding their bikes. I was, after all, on an absolute heater.
The first eight weeks of the football gambling season saw me have zero losing weeks. Zero. The last two weeks? Clunkers. I went 1-4 each time, though I did hit my whammy last week as a saving grace. Still, some self-reflection was needed.
I thought, “is it me? Have I lost my touch? Have I lost the pulse I had on the board?” Every gambler goes through a rough time now and then, but back-to-back 1-4 weeks? It sent me into a pit of despair.
It was a trying time in the Quirk household. My wife couldn’t look me in the eye, my dogs wouldn’t go for walks because they didn’t want to be seen with me, and all the cable news stations said there was turmoil in America which I can only assume was about me, though I’m not sure as I did not watch it all the way through.
Then I remembered something very important: I am Michael
fucking Quirk, dammit. I run these boards, and these boards run from me. I was down, but now I am back, and back with a vengeance. Nobody keeps a king from their throne and nobody takes a king’s crown. It’s time to ride.
Two weeks ago, the last time this segment was written, I gave five additional picks and went 4-1. This week, I am in such a zone that I saw 13 winners, and am going to give you my five favorites in Gamblin’ Dans and the other eight right here.
- Dolphins -2.5 vs Chargers — The Dolphins are white hot. Or teal and orange hot, I don’t know. Jason Sanders kicks a ton of field goals, which is good for a field goal line, but makes for wonky numbers.
- Cardinals -1.5 vs Bills — The Bills smacked the Seahawks last week after about a month of inconsistency. Arizona is coming off of a close loss against Miami, and they’re giving points. Interesting line is interesting.
- Vikings -2.5 vs Bears — Monday Night Football, baby. This line makes no sense. The Vikings played well last week, but that’s still Kirk Cousins taking snaps. Vegas is being sneaky here and I like it.
- Kentucky/Vanderbilt U42 — These two don’t hit overs. This line is super low, but Vandy is anemic on offense and all Kentucky does is run it. 27-7 seems like an appropriate score.
- Marshall -23.5 vs MTSU — Doc Holliday has the Herd absolutely humming. They’re straight body-bagging people, and MTSU has been on the other side. The Blue Raiders are fresh off of a bye, but still.
- Rutgers -6.5 vs Illinois — Rutgers whooped Michigan State and then was respectable in losses to Indiana and Ohio State, the early classes of the conference. Illinois sucks, but I couldn’t forgive myself if this doesn’t hit and I have to explain why I bet on Rutgers.
- Ole Miss -11 vs South Carolina — This line started at -7 and has absolutely skyrocketed. Ole Miss is coming off of a bye, and South Carolina also basically didn’t play last week. That said, Will Muschamp is on the hotseat, and knowing that, I don’t know if Lane Kiffin piles on or not.
- FSU/NC State O59.5 — These two teams are some of the best in the country at hitting the over. That FSU offense the last few weeks scares me a bit, but 59.5 in sunny weather with these two horrid defenses seems safe.
Like Maximus before me, I must ask if you are entertained. Alas, those were just the mozzarella sticks and spinach dip. Now it’s time for the entree, so put your bib on, loosen the belt, and get ready for five back-to-back winners.
Arkansas +17.5 vs Florida
I just cannot quit these Razorbacks. Never have I been more wrong about a team in the preseason than I was about Arkansas. They’re a covering monster at 6-0 so far this year ATS, covering by an average of 10.8 points per game. Last week, they absolutely dominated Tennessee in the second half, and now I am getting two touchdowns, a field goal, AND a hook?
Meanwhile, the Gators are coming off a big win against Georgia. Letdown game? Perhaps. What worries me more about UF is that game was apparently played on a gravel road given how many dudes were going down. They could be without offensive lineman Stewart Reese, linebacker Jeremiah Moon, and the best football player on planet Earth, Kyle Pitts. Injured and exhausted Gators have to beat America’s sweetheart Arkansas by 18 or more? No chance. Book it and Sooie it.
Coastal Carolina -10.5 vs Troy
Troy is 4-3 straight-up on the year and 3-4 ATS. Their four wins this year are against 2-5 Middle Tennessee, horrible 2-5 EKU by two points, 1-8 Texas State, and 3-5, 1-4 Arkansas State. That slate may as well be Buzz’s girlfriend, because woof.
On the other side is my beloved Coastal Carolina. Jamey Chadwell’s team is an absolute unit this year. They are 7-0 SU and 5-1-1 ATS this season, defeating teams by over 21 points per game and beating the spread by 17 points per game. Only one of Coastal’s wins has come by less than 14, and that was Louisiana’s lone loss of the season, when the Chanticleers won by three. Love a two-touchdown win by the boys from Conway here.
Virginia Tech -2.5 vs Miami
What have I always said? When you cannot understand a line, just take it. Don’t let your dumb-dumb brain fall into the trap of, “wow, I get the No. 9 team in the country AND I get 2.5 points?!” That’s how mortgages default. Me, on the other hand, am a thinking man. I am a sucker for sucker bets.
Neither of these teams have looked great lately, with Virginia Tech sitting at 4-3, fresh off a loss to Liberty. Miami, was blown out by Clemson before laying out three meh wins over Pittsburgh, UVA, and NC State. I love the U, everything about the U, the turnover chain, Benny Blades, give me all of it. Just not this week. Trust Vegas, they make lots of money. Take the birds.
Liberty -32.5 vs Western Carolina
Listen, I know Liberty is fresh off what their athletic department deemed the biggest win in program history, Hugh Freeze got a big ole raise, and they have NC State looming next week. Just like I should not drink tequila unsupervised or be too far from a bathroom after eating Quiznos, I know these things. I say that to say that the Catamounts suck.
WCU went 3-9 last year, and had losses of 63, 52, 41, 24, 22, 21, and 18 twice. They’re awful. Freeze also likes to smack around teams like that. During the 2015 Sugar Bowl season at Ole Miss, Freeze beat UT-Martin and Fresno State by a combined 149-24 the first two weeks of the year. This is a massive line, but I expect massive output from a legitimate Flame team.
WHAMMY: Tulsa -2.5 vs SMU
I really hope this game gets played. My first two Whammy selections of Alabama over LSU and Auburn over Mississippi State were wiped out by postponements. Covid-19 has been running through this week’s Whammy possibilities like a tent orgy at Coachella.
It leaves us, however, with an opportunity similar to the Hokies’ pick. SMU is 7-1 and No. 19 in the country, their lone loss coming at the hands of Cincinnati. Tulsa is no slouch, coming in at 3-1 with their only loss coming by way of Oklahoma State, and experiencing more cancellations than an NBC sitcom lineup. Tulsa can cover and has not played since the day before Halloween. Their defense can keep them in any game and the tell from Vegas here has me all in on the Golden Hurricane once more.