Our sure-thing, stone-cold lock, college football/golf cross-sport parlay of the week: Looking for some Fitz-magic
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For a few weeks, our STSCLCFGCSP went up in flames due to some poor college football handicapping. Finally, that turned around last week, when we told you San Diego State would run all over San Jose State and cover the 7.5-point spread. The Aztecs ran for 260 yards on 55 attempts, winning 27-17 on the road to improve their record to 6-1 on the year.
Naturally, the golf portion of our parlay was not only wrong, it was comically wrong. Scott Piercy to finish top 10? He didn't even finish top 70, checking in at 75th, which was especially painful given there were ... (checks notes) ... 76 players in the field. Whoops!
Without a single parlay victory to my name this season, and coming off my worst pick yet, I'm here to say it can only go up from here. This week I've got a great feeling, which is approximately the 1 millionth consecutive week I've said that in my gambling career. It has to turn around at some point, right?!? Right?!?!? SOMEONE ANSWER ME!!
For what will surely be our eighth L in a row (has it been that many?), we turn to one of the bottom two teams in the Big 10, a clear sign that I've learned nothing from past transgressions like betting on UCLA. To the pick!
PGA Tour: Matthew Fitzpatrick to finish top 20 at the ZOZO Championship
CFB: Northwestern Wildcats (+8) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Parlay odds: +455 (a $10 bet would win you $45, returning $55)
Let's start with Matthew Fitzpatrick, who only spent a semester at NU but still reps his school quite hard. Over his last 10 worldwide starts, the five-time European Tour winner has finished T-26 or better seven times, and that includes three runner-ups and a T-4 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. He's now climbed to 26th in the Official World Golf Ranking, his highest standing, and it feels like that rise is only going to continue this season. While I'd love to bet him top 10 or even top 5 as I expect him to contend, top 20 feels quite safe, as he often plays well in events with strong fields like the inaugural ZOZO has. He also has good history in Asia, finishing T-16 or better in three of his four appearances at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
That brings us to Matt's Cats, who have been so dreadful on offense this season that it's been painful to watch. Do you know how many points they've scored on the year? 38. 38! LSU's offense can score 38 before you crack your second beer. It's taken NU six games to score 38. They've scored more than 10 once. That's legitimately hard to do.
With that said, this Saturday's game at home against Iowa is the peak of Northwestern football. No matter what their record is, this is a game Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats can absolutely compete in. It'll be a sleepy 11 a.m. kickoff at Ryan Field, the sky will be cold and grey and the two teams will combine for 300 yards rushing on 200 rushing attempts. I expect a score like 17-10, 14-10, 14-7, 13-6, hell, 3-0 is a possibility.
The actual spread is Northwestern +10, but to jack up the odds just a bit I went with an alternate spread of +8. I'm fully aware of how this will likely bite me in the ass and Iowa will win 17-7, but I truly believe Northwestern keeps this thing at a touchdown or less and maybe they can even pull off an upset and turn this season around. A few trends that support this include: Northwestern is 11-3-1 against the spread in their last 15 October games, per winnersandwhiners.com, and Iowa is 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, as well as 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games. Let's hope for some Fitz-magic this week, folks.