So here’s what we’re going to do – in addition to our weekly chat with David Purdum of ESPN Chalk, I’m going to bet my own "money" on one game each week and keep track of it for everybody to see.
I don’t bet in the real world, but I’ve thought, like I know a bunch of you have, that it would be fun to take a small bankroll at the start of each year and bet a season. I, of course, would only pick games I really felt good about. Some weeks it’d be one game, one week it’d be three.
To be clear, I’m not doing this in real life. This is mostly a thought exercise, just to see how it goes.
I’m going to start with a mythical $500. I picked that figure because it’s an amount I think the average person could talk an average spouse into putting into a betting pool for a year. When I win, "half" will go back into my bank and "half" will go into my pocket. When I lose, well, we all know what happens then. David will help me keep track of all the money, figuring in the fees, odds, etc.
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There are no games this week that I love, but it seems silly not to bet week one so I’m going to take BYU plus-7 against Nebraska for $25. (David tells me not to bet more than five percent of my bankroll on any one game.) Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall is 7-1 in his last eight season openers and those wins aren’t just resume-padders. He’s beaten Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington, Ole Miss and Washington State in that span.
More importantly, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, who averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game last year when healthy, returns from a knee injury, and Nebraska’s rush defense stunk last year. The Cornhuskers finished No. 80 in the nation in rush defense last year, giving up more than 177 yards per game.
I’ll keep a running total of how I’m doing each week in What Vegas Thinks (our weekly chat with David).