College football finally graced us with its return this past weekend. While it was glorious to spend a whole Saturday trying to indoctrinate my almost 2-year-old son in the ways of the pigskin, I came out of week one of college football with a pedestrian 3-3 record.
However, I was ecstatic when I discovered that Jim placed a bet on Alabama covering its point spread against Duke, based on my suggestion. It was not the start-to-finish domination that I had foreseen, but Alabama did just enough to get that spread covered and put some money in Jim’s pocket.
This week, we will dive into some more college football, start winning some money on NFL games and I will walk you through, what I think is, the money line of the year in combat sports.
UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier
In his second title lightweight title defense, the undefeated Nurmagomedov (27-0) will look to impose his will on interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier (25-5).
Nurmagomedov opens as a sizable -450 favorite, and that is fair. The Russian champion has mauled every opponent who has stared across the cage from him. From Rafael Dos Anjos to Al Ianquinta to Conor McGregor, “The Eagle” has taken them down to the canvas and used his brutal ground-and-pound to win with ease.
So, what gives Poirier the chance for the upset? I’ll quote iconic UFC color commentator Joe Rogan for the answer “Styles make fights.” Poirier has the perfect combination of skills that will spell trouble for the undisputed champion: Submission ability off of his back, a good takedown defense and volume striking that has enough pop to knock you out.
Nurmagomedov has and will score takedowns every opponent he faces. With that in mind, there are two questions Poirier has to answer to pull the upset: Can he get back up once taken down? What will he have left in the tank once he gets back up?
Because of his credentials in Jiu Jitsu, Poirier will not stay under Nurmagomedov long. Once the fight is back on the feet, Poirier will be looking for the off switch. If he clips Nurmagomedov, it will be like blood in the water.
I do not think this will be a first-round TKO by Poirier by any means, but I think he gets the knockout late or a majority decision to bring the UFC’s lightweight title back to Lafayette, La. I will hardly ever tell you to bet heavy on such an underdog, but bet heavy on Poirier at +330.
Beasley’s bet: Poirier (+330) via majority decision
No. 6 LSU at No.10 Texas
In what will, without a doubt, be college football’s Week 2 marquee matchup, LSU will go into hostile territory to tangle with the Longhorns of Texas. Both teams cruised to easy opening-day blowouts against cupcakes and both offenses looked dynamic.
The money line and spread are relatively close, with the Tigers being a slight favorite in both. What I find interesting is the 52.5-point over/under in this game. That is not a crazy high mark for a typical game, but most experts agree that LSU will eventually grind Texas into submission. That means they will use their battering running game and maybe the nation’s best defense to halt the Longhorns’ early hopes of a magical season.
That type of game usually does not produce a lot of points, so I think there is some good money to be made by taking the under. It is by no means the safest bet, considering the quarterback Texas will trot out, but risk is the spice of life.
Beasley’s bet: (Under 52.5) LSU 27, Texas 17
Titans at Browns
The Browns are heading into this year’s NFL season with a lot of hype and for good reason. Cleveland possesses one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Not to mention they are being led by the up-and-coming phenom Baker Mayfield. His bravado at quarterback should be worth a few wins at the very least.
Teams like Cleveland that are good, but not quite there yet, rely on hype to some extent. As much as they already have, beating up on a lowly Titans team should create even more.
The Browns are favored with a -5.5 spread. The spread is risky business in the NFL because of how evenly matched most teams are. This is will be a mismatch, though. Mayfield will live up to his nickname “Daddy” and put a spanking on the Titans.
Beasley’s bet: Browns 38, Titans 24