Our sure-thing, stone-cold lock, college football/golf cross-sport parlay of the week: Ok, Cool. Hook 'Em!
Last week, in the headline for the STSCLCFBGPOTW, we posed a simple question: Are we really going to bet on UCLA football? Turns out my concerns were legitimate, as the Bruins, a 6-point favorite at home, lost the game outright to Oregon State, a program that had gone 10-42 over its last 52 games. The Beavers 48-31 win at the Rose Bowl has been characterized by some as the worst loss in UCLA history, and it now seems like a foregone conclusion that the Chip Kelly experiment is nearing its end. I really do know how to mush things, don't I?
It's a shame, because yet again we nailed one leg of the parlay with ease, as Patrick Cantlay not only finished in the top 5 at the Shriners, he damn near won the event in a playoff. Another week, another "almost" cashed ticket. If you think that means we are going to quit, you are sorely mistaken.
This week we turn our attention to the Red River Shootout, one of college football's most storied rivalries between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners. There's just something about this game every year that makes it can't-miss material no matter where each team is in the standings. Maybe it's the noon kickoff, the Crimson vs. Burnt Orange color clash happening both on the field and in the stands, or the fact you can practically smell the various fried foods being made at the State Fair of Texas through your TV screen when the camera pans over it throughout the game. There are only a handful of scenes like it in the sport.
Now that I'm done waxing poetic about the game, let's get to the pick, which includes a Texas Longhorn not named Scottie Scheffler (though he's a sneaky good bet this week too) who is looking for a big week at the Houston Open.
PGA Tour: Beau Hossler to finish top 20 at the Houston Open
CFB: Oklahoma Sooners at Texas Longhorns, Over 75.5 total points
Parlay odds: +473 (a $10 bet would win you $47.30, returning $57.30)
After a strong 2017-'18 season for Beau Hossler, the former Texas standout was expected to finally break out a season ago. He did not, instead collecting only three top 25 finishes, zero top 10s and making under $700,000 in total earnings. Hossler is in need of a bounce back year in 2019-'20, and he appeared to be on the right track for that last week at the Shriners, where he opened with rounds of 67 and 65 before fading on the weekend and eventually tying for 29th. Still, that was a nice step forward after a missed cut at the Safeway Open, and it should give him some confidence this week in Houston, where he lost to Ian Poulter in a playoff in April of 2018. Top 20 this week doesn't seem like too much to ask for from the Hoss.
And then there's Texas vs. Oklahoma, a game that's produced scores of 48-45 and 45-40 two of the last three years. Simply put, I will die before I take the under in the Red River Shootout, even if it's the most square play on the board this weekend. Once totals start getting into the 70s, the sharp move is probably to bet the under, especially given that the Sooners defense has shown plenty of improvement this year, holding their last four opponents to 20 points or less (that's a good day for a Big 12 defense). But the Longhorns offense is probably the only one that can keep up with them this season, and it would be stunning if this is not an up-tempo, back-and-forth affair at the Cotton Bowl. Now that I've said that, I fully expect it to be 10-6 at halftime.
Just kidding, back to positive vibes only. Let's get it done this week, folks. Say it with me now..."Ok, cool. Hook 'Em!"