Upon arriving in my now famous flight to Las Vegas last Friday morning, my wife and I checked into the Mirage and I stopped at the Sportsbook to bet on the Coug game. Now I know as well as you do not to bet on your own team. I preach it; I live it. But in Vegas, go ahead. Everyone else is doing it. So after dropping off our luggage and my WSU -8.5 ticket, we meet our friends Rudy and TJ at the Pai Gow tables in the Flamingo. (Side note: Is there a more ridiculous game than Pai Gow? I learned how to play on Friday and it’s the dumbest thing ever created. Nobody ever wins. Nobody ever loses. It’s a never-ending push-fest that might as well be called "stay at this table long enough to get your free drink-Gow." I think I played thirty hands and pushed 25 or 26 of them.)
So Rudy asks me what I think of the game. I tell him I’m pretty confident the Cougs will get the 8.5 they need.
"8.5? Dude, it’s only 8 here."
"That won’t matter. They’ll get the 8.5."
Flash forward six or seven hours later, Deone Buchanan continues his quest to lead the nation in personal fouls and the ten-thousand Cougar faithful are upset that their Cougs aren’t going to cover and on my phone I run into this gem:
This is why you never bet on your team. Ever.— Neil Stover (@neilstover) September 15, 2012
Well Neil, some of us were planning on using those funds from gambling on our own team to get you a new air mattress and waffle iron for your new apartment, but that’s all out the window. Never give a hindsight lecture to gamblers when they’re losing. We’re not above biting and pulling hair.
I ended up ahead on the weekend thanks to Louisville, Utah State, Alabama and Fresno, but for the next year, it’s still going to chap me that I didn’t wait to bet on the Cougs until I crossed the street.
On to this week’s picks:
OREGON STATE (+8) at UCLA – Rule 1: Ride the hot team until it lets you down. UCLA is now 3-0 convincingly against the spread, which is pretty ridiculous for an LA team that usually has to give an extra point or two. The Beavers may still be for real, but I think Wisconsin’s performance against Utah State last weekend means they probably have to prove it again. Take the Bruins and give the points.
COLORADO (+19.5) at WASHINGTON STATE – The Buffs are bad. Really bad. Like I bet my mortgage on Fresno last week bad. All that being said, I still refuse to believe the Cougs are three touchdowns better than anyone and Vegas seems to have us pegged pretty accurately. I can’t seem to shake the feeling this is a 16 point game. But if there’s one thing you should know about me, is that I never learn my lesson on anything. Take the Cougs and give all those points.
CALIFORNIA (+16.5) at USC: The Pac-12’s only 0-3 team ATS? Your USC Trojans! Oregon, WSU and Washington are all 0-2, but at least they’re not 0-3 yet, right? Cal showed enough last week in Columbus that they should be able to stay within two touchdowns against Troy.
UTAH (+7) at ARIZONA STATE: If you were in Vegas last weekend, chances are you lost a significant amount of money betting against Utah. BYU -4 last weekend was the year’s surefire-no chance of failing-bet all the houses lock. For a minute, I thought I might have to head back to the sportsbook to cash in when BYU was going to take it to overtime, but two missed kicks later and Vegas takes all our money…..again. Utah has some fight to them, and I think Arizona St wins this by a field goal. Take the seven points and the Utes.
ARIZONA (+23.5) at OREGON: Running with our ongoing Duck theme, Oregon is going to get backdoor covers at home all season. Add this one to the list. Remember when Matt Scott played in Pullman a few years ago when Nick Foles got hurt and it nearly allowed the Cougs to not be terrible? Apparently that same Scott has roughly a thousand yards already. It’s Bo Levi Mitchell all over again. Related: whatever it is, take the over. Arizona is going to stay within three touchdowns, so take the points and the Wildcats.
Last Week: 4-3
If you want to see what the National dudes think about our game, watch this video! Who doesn't love videos?
Good luck this week and may your picks net you a small fortune, provided you didn't start with a big one.