Poor Play Sabotages ‘Almost Perfect Picks’

It’s weekends like the last one that makes the Almost Perfect Picks Department long for the days when Southeastern Conference teams could be counted on to take care of business in the second week of the season. Yes, we’re talking to you, Auburn. And to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri.

We could throw in some others, including Alabama. The truth of the matter, of course, is that when Almost Perfect Picks miss the mark, it’s really the fault of the team that didn’t perform to reasonable expectations. In other words, Not Our Fault.

How bad was it? Just picking the actual winner wasn’t too tough. We missed on Arkansas at home against Toledo (yes, that Toledo) and South Carolina at home against Kentucky. Just saying, almost everyone would have missed those.

It was when we got into that morass of point spreads and the over/under that things really unraveled. Just to emphasize our warning that gambling can be hazardous to your wealth, we were only 3-7 against the spread and 4-6 vs. the over/under.

Here’s how the weekend went for the Almost Perfect Picks crew.

The day got off to a good start, by the barest. We thought Auburn playing Jacksonville State was a travesty, and it almost was...for Auburn. The Tigers’ game against an FCS level team would be expected to be something like what we picked...63-0. Instead, as everyone knows, Auburn was lucky to have a chance to tie the game in regulation and then won it in overtime, 27-20. Congratulations and War Damn Eagle! Because there was no line on the game, all we had to do was get the winner correct, and we did pick Auburn, so we can all be proud.

Georgia, favored by 20 1/2 points and with the over/under – the number of points expected to be scored by both teams – at 51, our pick was Georgia 42, Vandy 10, so we got the winner, but we were wrong on both the point spread and the o/u.

Ole Miss was favored by 28 1/2 with an o/u of 54 and our pick was Ole Miss winning 47-14. The Rebels made it easy with their 73-21 victory and we were right on the winner, the point spread, and the o/u.

The first major “uh-oh” is compliments of Arkansas, which was a 21 1/2 point favorite with an over/under of 54 and a prediction of winning 45-13. Toledo had the upset win, 16-12, making us wrong on all counts. Toledo? Really, Arkansas?

Oklahoma in Knoxville against Tennessee was expected to be close, and it was. The line was “pick it,” meaning no favorite, and the over/under was 61 1/2. Tied at the end of regulation and tied at the end of the first overtime, the Sooners won it, 31-24. Our pick had been Oklahoma 37, Tennessee 28, so we got the winner and the spread, but even with the extra playing time we were shy on the o/u.

There was actually a line on Missouri going to Arkansas State. The Tigers were a 10 1/2 point favorite and the o/u was 59. Our pick was Missouri 35, Arkansas State 20, and that wasn’t close to correct. Missouri won, 27-20, so we got the winner and the o/u, but missed on the point spread.

Almost lost in the throat-slashing incident that drew a tirade from Florida Coach Jim McElwain is that the Gators had a tough time beating East Carolina. Florida had been favored by 20 with an o/u of 53 1/2 and our pick was Florida 42, East Carolina 17. So we got the winner, but missed on the spread and the o/u with UF winning by only 31-24.

We were all excited about the new and improved Texas A&M offense as the Aggies welcomed Ball State. A&M was favored by 29 1/2 with an o/u of 63 1/2 and we picked it A&M 48, BS 13. The actual score was Texas A&M 56, Ball State 23. We got the winner right and the spread right, but we were wrong on the o/u.

We had reservations about picking South Carolina to beat Kentucky by 31-21. The Gamecocks were favored by 7 and the o/u was 57. The final score was Kentucky 26, South Carolina 22, so the only thing we got right was the over/under.

LSU was favored by 3 1/2 points at Mississippi State and the o/u was 56 1/2. We were correct in picking the winner with our prediction of LSU 31, MSU 17, and we got the o/u right, but the Bulldogs made it closer than anyone expected as the Tigers took a 21-19 decision.

It looked as if we were going to be pretty close on our prediction of Alabama (favored by 35 with an over/under of 56 1/2) when the Tide was driving for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Alas, an interception and a touchdown by the Blue Raiders made the final score Bama 37, MTSU 10. Our pick had been Bama 49, Middle Tennessee 13. So we got the winner, but missed on both the spread and the o/u.

So for the year, the Almost Perfect Picks have hit the winner consistently, 21-3. But against the spread it is 8-12 and vs. the over/under 11-10.

On Friday, we’ll see what we can do with this week’s games.

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