Issue #2 — “The Hook” (October 21st, 2022)

The game last weekend we would love to have attended

Alabama at Tennessee.  This one is a no-brainer.  It was simply the game of the year.  Over 102,000 people rocked Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.  The Vols got out to a 21-7 first-quarter lead but the Crimson Tide behind Bryce Young would come back in an epic shootout.  Halfway through the 4th quarter with the score tied at 42, ‘Bama’s Dallas Turner would pick up a Hendon Hooker fumble and return it eleven yards for a touchdown and a Tide seven-point lead.  Tennessee would respond though with Hooker’s fifth touchdown pass of the day to tie the game, and three minutes and change later Chase McGrath would will a 40-yard field goal through the uprights that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.  Tennessee wins 52-49!  If you love college football as we do, it does not get any better than this.


The game last weekend we wouldn’t have attended if they played in our backyard

Commanders at Bears.  This one was tougher to pick.  On Saturday, we had a couple of junior varsity games with Utah State at Colorado State and Nevada at Hawaii.  I used to spend my summers in Fort Collins, Colorado, so it’s hard for me to dump on the Rams – even though they have decided to play 2022 without an offense.  And Hawaii – hell you could get me to sit through a cricket match if it were in Hawaii – not if it was in my backyard though.  So the Commanders and Bears made it easier by giving us a Thursday Night football game that could put Ambien out of business.  The game started a bit slowly, with the Commanders (again, two years and you came up with “Commanders”?) taking a 3-0 lead into halftime.  The ‘Ders (that doesn’t work, does it?) held on to win 12-7 behind 99 yards passing from Carson Wentz.  Yawn.

commanders vs bears

The guy who could really use a beer and a hug

Dustin Hopkins, Los Angeles Chargers.  The Chargers’ kicker Dustin Hopkins came into the Monday Night game against the Broncos with a hamstring injury, but he decided to gut it out.  When the Chargers scored a touchdown in the 2nd quarter, Hopkins nailed the extra point but went down to a knee after the kick, clearly in pain.  It looked as if he wouldn’t come back as punter JK Scott was seen practicing his placekicking form although he looked as awkward as an hour-old gazelle.  Hopkins sucked it up again with a 37-yard field goal just before halftime.  He kicked three more three-pointers in the second half, one to tie the game at the end of the fourth quarter and one to win it in overtime.  This Bud’s for you Dustin!

Dustin Hopkins

Hey, didn’t you used to be?!?

Football in New York.  Last Sunday, the New York Jets rolled into Lambeau Field and laid the smackdown on the Green Bay Packers 27-10.  Rookie Breece Hall ran for 116 yards and the Jet D sacked Aaron Rodgers four times.  Meanwhile, back in the Meadowlands, the Giants moved to 5-1 by dominating the 4th quarter against Lamar Jackson and the visiting Ravens.  The Giants have not made the playoffs since 2016 and the Jets haven’t seen the postseason since 2010.  Could this be the year that both (gasp!) teams go to the playoffs?  We’ll see.  And of course, we can’t forget about the upstate Buffalo Bills, who only went on the road to beat Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.  Expectations are a bit higher for the Bills than their NYC / New Jersey counterparts though.

jets and giants

We’re all thinking it, but I’m going to say it…

Bailey Zappe should start over Mac Jones.    Look, Zappe was the steal of the draft.  The Patriots got the NCAA all-time leading passer in the 4th round.  If you watched any Western Kentucky football last year, you got to see this guy sling the ball around like no one else in college football, and he was more than a product of the system.  He pushes the ball downfield and he is hyper-accurate.  In his 3 games this season, he has a passer rating of 111.4.  In Jones’ games before he got hurt, he had a 76.2.  Mac Jones was a first-round pick and he is only in his second year, but Bailey Zappe is the future of the Patriots.

Bailey Zappe

Our moneyline pup of the week…

UCLA +200 Oregon.  If you read “The Hook” last week, you know that we had Iowa State in this spot at +500.  The Cyclones were 17-point dogs and we picked them to win outright, which they… almost did.  Iowa State had a 4-point lead in the 4th quarter but just could not hang on as Texas walked away with a 24-21 win.  This week we’ll go to a great PAC 12 matchup between two teams in Oregon and UCLA who can put points up in bunches.  Both have eclipsed 40 points in all but one of their games this season.  We see this game as a toss-up, and we are surprised to see Oregon laying 6.5 at home.  We took the points in a free play at and we’ll double down here by taking UCLA at +200, which we feel is a great value play in what will be an entertaining game.  You can play this one with us at BetUS.


Our “under the radar” play of the week…

Hawaii +6.5 Colorado State.  We admit it, this one is WAY under the radar, but hey, the cash you win from the Rainbow Warriors is just as green as the dough from Ohio State or Georgia, right?  If you look at the power rankings of the 131 FBS schools, you have to scroll way on down before you get to these two.  Both have the dubious distinction of getting absolutely destroyed at Michigan early in the year.  Since then each has gone on to win one game – both beating a beleaguered Nevada team.  We admitted earlier in this column to having a soft spot for the Rams, but they should not be favored over the first eleven people in your Facebook feed.  Hawaii has covered four of their last five with the most recent two covers by over 20 points.  They are improving and we’ll call for the outright upset of Colorado State. Join us by grabbing Hawaii and the points at BetOnline.


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