“A win is a win, right?”
The Grand  Geek had walked down to my modest office from the swanky Almost Perfect Picks Department suite.
“Some are harder to come by than others and sometimes expected wins sometimes get away,” I said. “I thought last week that there would be some difficult games to figure, and as the scores came in I thought it might be a rough week.”
He nodded and said, “We were surprised by a few. Obviously, no one expected Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M team to lose a home game to Appalachian State. Maybe they need to pay more.
“You think about the Tennessee game in overtime. Tennessee scored first and kicked the extra point and Pittsburgh didn’t score. Now, if Pittsburgh has the ball first and doesn’t score and then Tennessee does, the game is over. The difference? The line was 6 ½ and Tennessee won by 7. If Tennessee is second with the ball they win by 6.
“Sort of like a business partnership. The difference between 51 and 49 – as in 51 percent ownership vs. 49 percent – is a lot more than 2.
“Back to that Tennessee game. Who could predict that Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback, Kedon Slovis, would go out with an injury in the first half? Or, for that matter, that Texas would lose Quinn Ewers in the first half?”
I agreed.
He handed over the results and headed back down the hall where I could see the Nerds waiting for him outside the War Room.
In a reversal from the first week, the Nerds were better on the over-unders and worse against the points spreads. They were 9-3 picking winners, only 4-8 vs. the betting lines, and 8-4 vs. the over-unders.
For the year the record is 22-4 on winners and 13-13 on both the spreads and the o-u.
• South Carolina (1-0) at Arkansas (1-0). Arkansas favored by 8 1/2 points (-8 1/2), over-under 53 points. PREDICTION: Arkansas 35, South Carolina 21. ACTUAL: Arkansas 44, South Carolina 30. Correct on everything, winner, vs. the line, on the o-u.
• Missouri (1-0) at Kansas State (1-0 ). Kansas State -7 1/2, o-u 57.  PREDICTION: Missouri 24, Kansas State 21. ACTUAL: Kansas State 40, Missouri 12. Wrong on winner and the spread, right on o-u.
• Wake Forest (1-0) at Vanderbilt (2-0). Wake Forest -12 1/2, o-u 66.  PREDICTION: Wake Forest 31, Vanderbilt 21. ACTUAL: Wake Forest 45, Vanderbilt 25. Correct on winner and o-u, wrong vs. the line.
• Appalachian State (0-1) at Texas A&M (1-0). Texas A&M -18, o-u 52 1/2. .PREDICTION: Texas A&M 41, Appalachian State 17. ACTUAL: Appalachian State 17, Texas A&M 14. Wrong on everything – winner, spread, o-u.
• Tennessee (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0). Tennessee -6 1/2, o-u 66.  PREDICTION: Tennessee 45, Pittsburgh 31. ACTUAL: Tennessee 34, Pittsburgh 17 (overtime). Correct on winner and vs. the line, incorrect on o-u.
• Samford (1-0) at Georgia (1-0). Georgia -52, o-u 64 1./2.  PREDICTION: Georgia 63, Samford 0. ACTUAL: Georgia 33, Samford 0. Right on winner, wrong on spread and o-u.
• Kentucky (1-0) at Florida (1-0). Florida -4 1/2, o-u 52 1/2.  PREDICTION: Florida 27, Kentucky 24. ACTUAL: Kentucky 26, Florida 16. Missed on winner, but got the line and the o-u, right.
• Central Arkansas (0-1) at Ole Miss (1-0). Ole Miss -34, o-u 65.  PREDICTION: Ole Miss 38, Central Arkansas 17. ACTUAL: Ole Miss 59, Central Arkansas 3. Correct on winner and o-u, incorrect on spread.
• San Jose State (1-0) at Auburn (1-0). Auburn -23, o-u 50.  PREDICTION: Auburn 45, San Jose State 6. ACTUAL: Auburn 24, San Jose State 16. Right on winner, wrong on line and o-u.
• Southern University (1-0) at LSU (0-1). LSU -47 ½, o-u 58.  PREDICTION: LSU 49, Southern 6. ACTUAL: LSU 65, Southern 17. Correct on winner and o-u, incorrect on spread.
• Mississippi State (1-0) at Arizona (1-0). Mississippi State -10 1/2, o-u 59 1/2.  PREDICTION: Mississippi State 38, Arizona 27.  ACTUAL: Mississippi State 39, Arizona 17. Correct on everything, winner, vs. the line, o-u.
• Alabama (1-0) at Texas (1-0). Alabama -20, o-u 64 1/2.  PREDICTION: Alabama 31, Texas 10. ACTUAL: Alabama 20, Texas 19. Right on winner and o-u, wrong on spread.
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