It's only Tuesday (AND A DAY EARLY FOR THIS, SO YOU'RE WELCOME), but it's never too early to begin your meticulous preparation for wagering so that you can properly waffle over various point spreads from Wednesday night to Friday afternoon. And we all know it's not a real bet unless you interpret defensive passing efficiency statistics combined with the tides schedule in the Gulf and that one Tennessee fan who annoyed the hell out of you five years ago in Knoxville to mean that, YES, the road underdog will cover. So to add to the information most certainly necessary to making a successful bet, The Belly of the Beast is here to help.
But first, a free exercise in wagering to get the competitive juices flowing. In the video below, ah, hell. There is no competition. It's my tribute to Braves' manager Bobby Cox, whose managing career came to an end Monday night as the Braves lost to the Giants and were knocked out of the playoffs. Given that he dealt with the Pu-Pu Platter all year, he did a tremendous job getting this team into the playoffs before losing two games they probably should have won.
Julio Jones will be without the services of one of his hands, which will have no impact on his dropped passes
Jones, who went for eight catches, 118 yards, 1 TD against South Carolina, broke his left hand in the game and had surgery to insert a plate and screws. His status for the Ole Miss game is declared somewhere in the gray-ish area. Perhaps even charcoal (Fletch is the greatest). According to Nick Saban, his availability will be determined by his tolerance of the pain, which, and I'm no doctor, should be SIGNIFICANT. HE BROKE HIS FREAKING HAND. Against Ole Miss, I would imagine they'll miss his ability to run block since he's like 12 times the size of the biggest Ole Miss defensive back. I doubt they'll miss sending him deep down the field for a pass he's not going to catch.
INFLUENCE ON BET: Minor in terms of the spread, perhaps significant in over/under.
Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker out with an injury I pray to never have
Fluker is out of at least the Ole Miss game with a groin injury, and possibly even longer. I've had a sore groin muscle before and spent my days concentrating on not moving. My head could move on a swivel, but the rest of the body was not allowed to move. And when it did, PAIN AND SUFFERING ENSUED. I don't even want to know how badly a real groin injury hurts.
INFLUENCE ON BET: Ole Miss (+21)? Sign this moron up.
Georgia always did want to be Florida
And they're on their way with yet another arrest. Running back Caleb King is being held in the Athens-Clarke county jail for failing to appear in traffic court in a nearby county. We all knew the good times couldn't last that long at Georgia.
Mississippi State's middle-of-the-pack kickoff return team might be a little less middle-of-the-pack
Return man Leon Barry was lost for the year when he dislocated his ankle, which required surgery. The Bulldogs were sitting at 7th in the conference in kickoff return yard average and Berry was at 6th in the individual stats.
INFLUENCE ON BET: Is Florida planning to or even capable of scoring a lot in the game? Statistics tell us no, so I declare minimal impact here.
Kentucky could be without the service of one of its two good players
Running back Derrick Locke is battling a pair of stingers he received in the Ole Miss and Auburn games in consecutive weeks. Without Locke, someone you've never heard of will receive the majority of the carries.
INFLUENCE ON BET: Significant. If the backup running backs are terrible, then more of a burden falls on Mike Hartline, and history has shown us that such a burden is usually disastrous for Kentucky's hopes at winning or keeping it close.
Oregon State loses one of the brothers Rodgers
James, the receiver/return man/doeswhatever/nottherunningback/ will miss the remainder of the season after injuring his knee against Arizona on Saturday. I've watched Oregon State once this year (TCU game) and through my extremely talented observation skills, deduced that the Beavers better not lose either one of the brothers Rodgers or else their offense will grind to a slow crawl. Things may have changed since then, but I will gamble they have not.
INFLUENCE ON BET: Major.
Buffalo is so starved for winners, they stab one another in all the excitement of an actual win
Buffalo linebacker Scott Pettigrew was stabbed in the chest early Sunday morning after the Bulls win over a team I'm not going to look up. Thankfully, he was released from the hospital later that day and appears to be fine.
INFLUENCE ON BET: I wasn't aware the NFL allowed Buffalo to play in the league AND in college football. As bad as they are, I suppose they could use the practice.