Skull Session: Huge Betting Line Movement Favors Nebraska, Terrelle Pryor Reminds Everyone He Can Ball and Ohio State Assistants Who Could Replace DJ Durkin

By Kevin Harrish on November 1, 2018 at 4:59 am
We're almost to the blackness again.

Folks, we can cancel Halloween going forward because Ohio State SID Jerry Emig has won.

Thank you all for your effort, but the decision was rather easy.


Word of the Day: Acedia.

 BETTING LINE PLUMMETING. Ohio State opened as a 22.5 favorite over Nebraska, and now the line is nowhere near that as it's fallen all the way to 17.5 points on most sportsbooks.

At first, I thought this was just a public overreaction to Ohio State's loss to Purdue, but that's actually not the case; the public is very much Buckeyes. The sharp bets are on Nebraska, brining the line down.

Here's what that looks like, from

Folks, this is called reverse line movement.

As you can see, the vast majority of bets have been placed on Ohio State, yet the line is moving in that direction, which is the opposite of which you would expect. The reason is that though there are fewer bets on Nebraska, they are much, much bigger.

TL;DR, the smalltime, $10-a-game gamblers are all over the Buckeyes, but the high rollers are absolutely pounding Nebraska plus the points.

That scares me just a bit, because those guys are generally far more successful than your uncle Jerry at the casino.

On the other hand, I don't think I could ever find myself wagering actual money on 2-6 team to cover a three-touchdown spread against a preseason national title contender coming off of a loss followed by a bye week.

I'm not saying Nebraska won't cover, I'm just saying I sure wouldn't bet on it.

 “I CAN BALL, BRO.” People forget that about Terrelle Pryor, and he seems to think the Jets did before he was released from the team earlier this month.

From Mike Rodak of

Newly-signed Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrelle Pryor said Wednesday he has felt "underused," most recently in six games for the New York Jets to begin this season.

"I can ball," he said. "I can ball, bro. I'm not being cocky. I just know how I study, how I work, and how I practice. I compete at a high level. I expect high things from myself."

There's been speculation (from me, and almost exclusively me) this week that Pryor might actually take snaps at quarterback because the other option is a guy who throws an interception literally once every eight passes and there's just no way Pryor is worse than that.

However, it seems the Bills really are going to roll the dice with Nathan Peterman.

It will be Peterman's fourth career start and first since Week 1, when he was benched in the third quarter after throwing two interceptions. In eight career regular season and postseason appearances, Peterman has thrown 10 interceptions on 84 pass attempts.

"We're gonna help him do great," Pryor said. "If he plays this week, we're gonna help him be very successful. We're gonna make him look good this week."

I'm not sure a receiving corps of Randy Moss, Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens in their prime could make Nathan Peterman look good, but I genuinely appreciate the exuberant optimism, Terrelle.

 DJ DURKIN IS FIRED, ACTUALLY. Yesterday, I questioned how the hell DJ Durkin was going to remain the team's head coach with players walking out of meetings, openly trashing him on social media and sources telling the media that "nobody respects the guy."

Turns out, he's not!

I knew Durkin was done as soon as the governor of the Maryland publicly asked the university to reconsider their decision not to fire one of the state's highest-paid public employees.

Anyway, Maryland now needs a new head coach and Ohio State has a few. Pete Thamel put both Ryan Day and Greg Schiano on his list of potential Durkin replacements.

From Yahoo! Sports:

3. Ryan Day, Ohio State – His 3-0 interim stint was the final résumé boost he needed. He’s a Chip Kelly disciple with deep East Coast roots from stints at Boston College and Temple. In a down year without much movement, could he do better?


7. Greg Schiano, Ohio State DC – His miraculous tenure at Rutgers gives him credibility in the region and the head coaching experience to handle the task. Would the ghosts of Tennessee follow him here? Or would his local reputation outweigh any potential bad publicity?

Mark me down as fascinated to see what happens with Ohio State's coaching staff this offseason. You've got quite a few guys who could be looking for new gigs, some voluntarily, so possibly not so much.

 NO MORE TV TEDDY. Big Ten hoops games are going to be a little less theatrical this season as the Big Ten has decided not to rehire the infamous referee Ted Valentine for the 2018-19 season.

From the Chicago Tribune: 

“Let me tell you about the ‘TV Ted’ stuff,” Valentine said by phone. “Don’t mean nothing. Ted Valentine is always on TV, and they’ve got to attach a name somewhere. As I’ve gotten older, I laugh more, I smile more, I high-five kids. I have nothing to prove no more.”

Valentine, 60, has no plans to hang up his whistle. He will continue officiating in the Atlantic Coast, Southeastern and American Athletic conferences.

But the Big Ten, the conference with which he is most associated, opted not to offer him a contract for the 2018-19 season. Rick Boyages, who oversees the conference’s basketball officials, said at Big Ten media day that the conference typically uses 30 to 35 referees. Valentine will not be one of them.

Asked if the decision was due to the grading of his performance or Valentine’s reputation for theatrics, Boyages kept his remarks general: “We factor it all in.”

Part of me is sad to see Teddy go, and I'll always hold the unbelievable memory of him letting me make the call on a replay review of an Aaron Craft buzzer-beating layup before the half. He asked me if I thought he got it off – he clearly didn't, but I obviously lied – and he just nodded and signaled it counted, barely glancing at the monitor.

Love him or hate him, the man is an absolute legend.

 TYLER TRENT GETS TO WAVE. I don't think you could possibly concoct a better story than Tyler Trent participating in Iowa's wave to the overlooking children's hospital.

Man, I don't even know who to root for in that game, but I do know we'll all be united in rooting strongly against cancer.

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