Every year I look at week one and tell myself this is the year. This is the year that there are a bunch of favorites that actually cover the spread in the first week instead of stumbling and staying within the allowed points. Recently, that rule has been amended to "always bet the underdog in week 1, except WSU, because LOLWSU," but I ignored it again (well, not the WSU part). Underdogs and teams playing WSU went 8-1 last week in the Pac-12, but I had to pick favorites. Lesson learned. Finally. Hopefully now that this is in writing, we will remember this next year.
Speaking of remembering, remember a year or two ago when the Big Ten wanted to prove to the rest of the country they were "back" and pointed to a weekend where they had five or six big matchups as their statement weekend and failed miserably? Well, the Pac-12 has a similar weekend lined up now and it’s not going to be pretty. Sorry USC and Oregon, you’re on your own. Disappointing predictions coming up!
UTAH (-7.5) at UTAH STATE: Both defenses in this game are good enough that the score should be low and the game should be close. Bet against a QB named Chuckie at home at your own peril. Take the Aggies and the points.
USC (-26) at SYRACUSE: West Coast team playing on the East Coast alert! While last week I figured USC would get out to a six-touchdown lead and let Hawaii cover after the starters were pulled, I see the opposite happening here. Syracuse will be down a field goal at halftime and USC will rattle off three touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to end it. The spread, however, is 26 and those two extra points have killed many a gambler. Do you want to be a statistic? I don’t stand for many things, but let me bring you up to speed: Waffles are better than pancakes, Arrested Development is better than Seinfeld and USC is only 24 points better than Syracuse. Take the Orange and the points.
WISCONSIN (-7) at OREGON STATE: Well, last week, our "free money pick of the week" ended up letting San Jose State believe it was a real college. But seriously, Free money pick of the week: Wisconsin and give the touchdown. Bet your house! Bet my house! BET ALL THE HOUSES!
FRESNO STATE (+35) at OREGON: For those watching the broadcast of this game, prepare to be relieved for the first time you don’t have to listen to announcers complain about how a Pac-12 school hasn’t given Pat Hill a shot. Oregon welcomes the state of Fresno into the House of Backdoor Covers (patent pending) this weekend for….well, another backdoor cover. Oregon might win every home game by four touchdowns and end up 0-6 ATS this season. Bet Fresno and the the points.
WASHINGTON (+24) at LSU: Just when I give up all hope that Washington has a sense of humor, I see a fantastic
Beat LSU Cover the Spread campaign over social media that makes me believe again they don’t really take Swagger Suits seriously. The reward for the Huskies this week is a 41-20 beatdown, which DOES in fact cover the spread. Plan the parade now!
NEBRASKA (-5.5) at UCLA: This one is really really driving me crazy. My head is telling me Nebraska, just because they’re Nebraska, and UCLA can’t possibly be as good as they looked last weekend. This is the point where I will overthink myself and lose all my money. Take Nebraska and the points. If you’re as unsure as I am about this, hedge a UCLA +200 money line to make yourself feel better.
DUKE (+15) at STANFORD: Last week saw the
return of the Buddy Teevens era second year of David Shaw get off to an uninspiring start, nearly allowing San Jose to believe they are actually a state. Duke, who did not receive their yearly #25 pre-season vote from Steve Spurrier, went out and crushed FIU, winning their first opener against an FBS team since 2002. Reading that stat made me wonder aloud if WSU not winning an opener against an FBS team since 2005 is now the longest drought in the BCS. Back to positive thoughts: Stanford bounces back and beats Duke 41-24. Take Stanford and give the points.
OKLAHOMA STATE (-10.5) at ARIZONA: If Wisconsin -7 is free money, this might be free money-lite. It’s hard to see the Cowboys winning by fewer than 13 or 14 here. While I think Toledo is a better team than we want to give them credit, Arizona is still going to be outmatched by good teams, and I can’t see their defense stopping a team that scored a thousand points last weekend. Take Oklahoma State, give the points back.
ILLINOIS (+3.5) at ARIZONA STATE: BACKUP QUARTERBACK ALERT! Nathan Scheelhaase’s foot fell off at the ankle last week and will either not play or be limping all over the field on Saturday. The Sun Devils offense played exactly like we were hoping the Cougs would perform last week (albeit against an FCS team), and will likely keep rolling all along enough to beat a team without its QB by a touchdown.
WASHINGTON STATE, CALIFORNIA & COLORADO playing directional schools. Please don’t lose, Cougs.
Last Week: 4-5
Good luck and hopefully you finish the week with a small fortune; provided you didn’t start with a large one.