Beneath the clothes you find a man.
And beneath the man you find his….
Here we are, shooting the opening scene for Season 3 of A-Rob’s Money Train. For those of you that know me, you’re aware I tend to get wrapped up in nostalgic reflection. It seems like just yesterday I sat down to do my first YouTube show and A-Rob’s Money Train was born. That was two years ago and many of you have been faithful passengers from day one. Last year I made the transition to a blog and the response has been fantastic. For your support I thank you, and I promise the best is yet to come.
The betting god’s have shined brightly upon us and I expect more of the same this year. Whether you’re new to the blog or been reading for awhile, I want to reiterate that I take what I do here seriously. This is a form of art that I love. It gives me energy and invokes my passions. I do joke and have fun, but at the end of the day, I’m working my ass off to help you win fat cash stacks. I don’t hide behind a pay wall because A-Rob is a man of the people. I look over you as a shepherd does his flock. All I ask in return is for you to tell a friend! Turn them onto the movement we have going here. Let’s grow our audience and have our best season yet. I’m in. Are you?
Let’s get hot out the gate. Here’s the picks for week one:
Northwestern +1 @ Purdue (Thursday)
No need to wait til Saturday to begin this year’s campaign of debauchery. Northwestern-Purdue offers the most intrigue out of Thursday night’s slate of games. Upon further consideration, Northwestern is the move. The public is falling on the side of Purdue but that seems to be the result of two different reputations these programs carry. Sure Brohm deserves credit for being a good coach, but people seem to be forgetting that his Purdue team was 7-6 last year while Northwestern finished the year with double digit wins and an 8-game win streak. I expect Northwestern to be solid again this season and is the more proven team out of the two.
FAU +21 @ Oklahoma
Has this line been heavily adjusted because of Lane Kiffin? Yes.
Should it be? Yes.
Sure, Oklahoma has playoff contention type talent, but if I’m ever presented with the opportunity to get 3 touchdowns with Lane at the helm, I’m jumping on board dammit. From the Money Train, to the Lane Train, real recognizes real. FAU may be Conference USA, but I get the feel Kiffin has more talent on his roster than you may even think. He’s bringing in transfer / JUCO types and he’s a hell of a play caller. We all know offense is his forte and he’s got 10 starters back on defense. They very well may give OU a scare on their home field. Who doesn’t want to see the season start this way?? This is college football and much crazier things have happened.
Ole Miss +2.5 vs Texas Tech (Houston)
This one looks like it could be an OK Corral type shootout in NRG Stadium. Texas Tech of course comes out of the Big 12 where they play defense like they do in the Arena League. Kingsbury does seem to have the program moving in a positive direction, and I do believe his team may surprise some people this year. However, I think Ole Miss has the ability to sneak up on people as well. Jordan Ta’amu takes over at quarterback from Hawaii, which seems to be becoming a small quarterback factory (Mariota, Tua). He’s got the best receiving core in the nation to throw to, led by phenom AJ Brown. Ole Miss will struggle on defense but I think they put up enough points in this one to win a track meet.
Texas -13.5 @ Maryland (FedEx Field)
Texas is going to absolutely roll this Maryland team. First of all, Maryland literally let one of their players die. Due to the complete ineptitude of the inner workings of that program, a player actually died. The team is surrounded in turmoil and they just got bad juju written all over them. Secondly, I think Texas is due for a coming out party that puts the rest of their conference on watch. Tom Herman and Texas were close to a breakthrough season last year and they can get started off on the right foot by obliterating Maryland. Not to mention, this game is a revenge spot since they spoiled Herman’s inaugural game. I think Texas takes care of business and I’m expecting good things from them this year.
Auburn vs Washington +1.5 (Atlanta)
My first instinct was to stay far away from this, but hell, this is one of the best games of the weekend and I want to bet it. Neutral site my ass, this is basically a pseudo home game for Auburn. The last time Washington played a team from Alabama in this building it did not go well for them. The public is all over Auburn. That may be the result of sound logic, but for some reason I don’t trust this Auburn team. Stidham is coming off a surgery, they lost their stud running back, and Malzahn’s teams have a real knack for starting seasons slow. The Huskies have been darn good the past two years and I’ll say this team they have is Petersen’s most talented yet. Chris Petersen is a master schemer, harkening back to his days at Boise State, and I like being on his side with this much time to prepare.
Central Michigan +17 @ Kentucky
Sometimes games catch your eye and you like them on matter of principal alone. I don’t know a ton about CMU’s talent level this year, but I do know they were able to knock off Oklahoma State in 2016. And if they’re capable of that, there is no doubt in my mind they could play UK close. How many times has Kentucky struggled out the gate against a middling mid-major opponent? I feel like that happens fairly often. Let me put it this way, would even UK fans be comfortable laying 17 against anybody? Take Central Michigan and enjoy the thought of Kentucky fans uncomfortably squirming when the game is close in the 4th.
Tennessee +10 vs West Virginia
I already know what you’re thinking and all I have to say is don’t bother trying to help me. There is no remedy to this. I will f***ing die on this hill if that’s what it comes to.
The thing is, by Saturday I’ll have firmly talked myself into the Tennessee moneyline. Every offseason I say I’m done getting my hopes up. And then this time of the year rolls around and I’m a full blown sheep. I’m having to trim the wool from eyes as we speak just so I can see the computer screen in front of me. The Butch Jones era is over and let me tell you something. The football gods OWE US THIS WEST VIRGINIA GAME AFTER EVERYTHING THIS FANBASE HAS BEEN THROUGH. Destiny is beckoning. Fate is calling. The sleeping giant will rise again.
Who the hell is WVU anyway? Traditionally they don’t hold a candle to Tennessee. Who does WVU even beat? They finish with 7 wins at best in a broke ass conference where they aren’t even considered a top tier team. And let me tell you, Will ‘Steroid Arm’ Grier can get him some, cause when Saturday afternoon rolls around, Pruitt is going to blitz the hell out of him. I’m setting the Will Grier interception over/under at 2.5. Offensively, UT’s getting away from finesse ball. We’ve installed a fullback and I get the feeling we are going to run wild on WVU’s weak defensive front. Pruitt has literally been telling UT boosters to bet money on the Vols in this game. Do you know the type of balls it takes to be saying that when you haven’t even coached a single game yet? Brass balls. I love it and I am here for all of it. Go Vols baby.
Boise State @ Troy +10.5
This spot is just too tasty to pass up.
Fade the public / darling team = check.
Double digit home dog = also check.
Boise State is primed for a good season but watch out for Troy. Note this is the same team that beat LSU in Baton Rouge just last season. Boise State is going to have to come down from Idaho to play on the road, in hot/humid Alabama, against a team that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Michigan +1 @ Notre Dame
I’m breaking protocol on this one but sometimes it has be done. Despite Michigan being a strong public side, the line continues to move toward Notre Dame. This means smart money has to be coming in on ND so if you want to be on the side of the sharps, feel free to ride with them. However, sometimes the public gets to be right, and this sharp is hoping on board for this one. Notre Dame has a great team and South Bend is a tough place to play. This is a renewed rivalry and some rivalry-flukiness needs to be considered.
Its more than fair to criticize Harbaugh’s tenure at Michigan. But to be honest, I think some of it has been too harsh. Sure he’s underachieved, but he’s in a tough division and this is target year number four for him. Last year Michigan was highly touted and due to a lot of inexperience, they didn’t produce. Now, Michigan is an experienced team that should boast one of the best defenses in the entire country. Not to mention the x-factor that is Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson. Patterson is the real-deal-holy-field and this is Harbaugh’s first crack with an even halfway decent quarterback.
LSU +3.5 vs Miami (Sunday – Arlington)
I’m leaning heavily on my gut in week one and something tells me people are writing off this LSU team too quickly. Make no mistake about it, Ed Orgeron is planted firmly on the hot seat. This is his biggest game to date. Now most coaches that find themselves on the hot seat rarely coach their way off, and I’m not even saying Orgeron makes it to next season. But I do get the feel his players play for him and they feel disrespected. LSU is inexperienced but still loaded with talent. They’ll have some ball players ready to rock and roll come Sunday night. As far as Miami is concerned, with an offseason to reflect on what they did last year, I’m now convinced that they’re fraudulent. They crumbled down the stretch and who is supremely confident in Mark Richt when it comes to winning big games? The U used to have swagger, but now when they trot out there in those god-awful all black uniforms, something just doesn’t feel the same about them.