For a 4-4 team, Texas provides more bang for the buck than any other team in college football.
We’ve been covering this topic for several weeks, but the Longhorns’ accomplishment in the gambling circles officially falls into the astounding range.
Texas is riding a seven-game unbeaten streak against the point spread — the longest in the NCAA this year. Generally there aren’t more than three or four seven-game winning strings among the 128 FBS teams in a given season. That’s how rare this is — a 2 to 3 percent chance of any one team pulling it off.
A person who wagered $110 on Texas to beat San Jose State on Sept. 9 and rolled over his winnings every game afterward would now be ahead by a figure approaching $10,000.
Heading into the first Saturday in November, the top four teams in the country to bet on — the Gamblers College Football Playoff, if you will — are Texas, Georgia Tech, Iowa State and Notre Dame.
The Yellow Jackets (6-0-1) are the only unbeaten team against the spread in 2017, but they lost their perfect mark last week when they fell to Clemson 24-10 as a 14-point underdog. That snapped a six-game streak vs. the line.
The Longhorns are tied with the Cyclones and Irish at 7-1. Iowa State’s only blemish was the 17-7 setback against Texas as a five-point dog. Notre Dame failed to cover as a 5½-point favorite against Georgia, which beat the Irish 20-19.
Obviously, Texas is long overdue for a defeat against the spread. Eighth-ranked TCU is a prime candidate to get that job done as a 6½- to seven-point favorite in Fort Worth, except that the Horned Frogs lack a high-powered offense and both teams have suffocating, shutdown defenses.
A few more numbers to back the Horns here: Texas is 3-0 ATS on the road this year, and TCU is 1-3 ATS at home and just 4-4 on the season vs. the line. The Frogs are only 2-9 ATS in their past 11 home games. One more: The visiting team is 4-1 both straight up and ATS in the past five years of this series.
Still, the law of averages is ready to take a bite out of Texas and that crazy winning streak, especially against such a well-coached team with a senior quarterback playing at home.
The call here: TCU 24, Texas 13.
BUCKING THE LINE
I’ve been given an imaginary $1,000 bankroll for the college football season. Will I turn a profit — or need a loan by bowl season?
Update: Everything came together on a 6-0 Saturday against the point spread and a 6-1 week. That netted $147 profit and put the kitty into the black for the first time all year at $1,043. The season record is 22-21-2 vs. the line.
New bankroll: $1,043
West Virginia (-2½) over Iowa State: The Cyclones, like fellow point-spread top-four team Texas, are living on borrowed time against the line. This looks like the spot where they cave. The Mountaineers, playing at home, badly need this one to remain relevant. $44
Oklahoma State (-2½) over Oklahoma: The Sooners’ long-held grip on Bedlam should be reversed this time because the Cowboys can go point for point against OU and offer a slightly better defense, plus the home field. $33
Maryland (-2½) over Rutgers: Guess there’s something about that 2½ number we’re attracted to this week. The Terps (4-4) know they must win this one to have any bowl hopes with a tough finishing schedule ahead. $33
Arizona State (-4) over Colorado: The Sun Devils have been good enough to beat Washington and Oregon in Tempe, and the Buffs have struggled all year away from Boulder. $22