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Pac-12 football odds and picks 2014: The Gamble-Tron, Week 11

We suffered another losing week, but that doesn't mean anything. Well, except that we aren't much good at this.

Jeff J Mitchell

Welcome to November, college football's most important month. Although this will be November's second Saturday, it far suprasses the first in terms of critical matchups. Several huge games dot the landscape, such as Notre Dame-Arizona State, Kansas State-TCU, Ohio State-Michigan State, Oregon-Utah, Presbyterian-Ole Miss, Alabama-LSU and Baylor-Oklahoma. For many teams, their playoff hopes hang in the balance. For our team, the only thing on the line is maintaining the all-time series lead over Oregon State. So there's that, I guess.

Why I'm a genius: Oregon's matchup with Stanford was clearly a game between two teams headed in opposite directions. It was pretty clear that the only reason the Ducks weren't double-digit favorites was because of Stanford's recent success in the series. Oregon showed early that this would be different, and it was never really close. It was a similar situation with Cal and OSU. OSU is a shell of its former self, and Cal is miles better than it was last year. The one thing I didn't see coming was Cal winning in large part due to the running game.

Why I'm an idiot: Hey Mississippi, what the hell did I ever do to you? First Ole Miss steps all over its junk at LSU, then MSU decides to put on its most uninspired effort of the season. I thought we were on good terms, Mississippi. I love Oxford, and my son shares the name of your capital city. Why on earth are you doing me like this? Additionally, after a one-week respite, I'm back to my complete inability to figure out UCLA. The Colorado pick was also looking good until they decided to let Phillip Lindsay touch the ball. Two fumbles later, Washington was on top for good.

Week Ten Results

  • stewak: 3-4 / -$400
  • 89Coug in FL: 3-4 /  -$45 (but bonus points for the boneyard line)
  • CarolinaCoug: 3-4 / -$30
  • Ryan Eames: 4-3 / $100
For the second straight week, betting big cost us quite a bit. The tally was 3-4, -$105. For the season, we are rapidly taking on water at 34-40-1, $625. Thank heavens for the next few weeks, since a hot streak is coming (please God let there be a hot streak coming).

Built-in excuse: I was fortunate enough to come out to New Mexico for a chance to fly once again this week. Fortunate because I thought I'd flown the mighty AC-130H for the last time months ago. The plane is not presurized, which means that when we fly up around 12,000 feet, the air is quite a bit thinner. I'm no physiologist, but I'd guess that isn't exactly conducive to clear thought when it comes to deciding whether to take Colorado and the points. Also, I am once again sampling some beer that isn't available in Florida. The best so far are Alaskan Pumpkin Porter and a locally-made Red Chili Cherry Stout, courtesy of Roosevelt Brewing Company and Public House. So after flying in thin air and having a couple cold ones when I land, I get the feeling that a hot streak is not coming.

Notre Dame at Arizona State (-2.5): If it were up to Notre Dame, this game wouldn't even be happening. They tried to buy their way out of it in 2013, but ASU refused to back down. I wonder if Todd Graham, now sitting at 7-1, would rather be playing Tulsa or another team of that ilk this week. Notre Dame is missing a vital player, as middle linebacker Joe Schmidt was lost for the season last week. For ASU, Taylor Kelly seems a little bit off. I'm not sure if it's due to being injured or that his backup played just as well as he did. Here's one quirky stat I found courtesy of Bruce Feldman: this season, teams are just 2-6 the week after facing Navy. One of these teams played Navy last week, and it wasn't ASU. This line seems like one of those where the odds-makers are begging people to take ASU. Hook, line, sinker.

The Pick: $40 on ASU

WSU at Oregon State (-8): Unfortunately, betting against WSU has become one of the few sure things in this space lately. It gets a little trickier this week though, as Oregon State seems to be in a death spiral that is almost as bad as WSU's...almost. They are pretty banged up, and Sean Mannion doesn't have the weapons he's used to having. I know WSU has been really bad lately, and I know it seems like they're playing out the string at times, but I think they have a shot here. Famous last words.

The Pick: $40 on WSU

UCLA (-4.5) at Washington: It's no secret that I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to UCLA, so I'm not going to pretend to have some sort of quality analysis here. I'm always wrong about UCLA, and I want Washington to lose. Guess what that means.

The Pick: $30 on Washington

Colorado at Arizona (-16.5): Arizona was supremely disappointing last week. They scored a touchdown on their first drive, then...jack squat. What on earth happened to that high-octane offense? UCLA demonstrated that they have a pretty stout defense, which they needed since their offense was constantly terrorized by Scooby Wright. Oh, and memo to Rod Gilmore: saying "Scooby snack" every time he made a tackle wasn't funny the first time, let alone the 15th time. Arizona bounces back in a big way this week.

The Pick: $80 on Arizona

Oregon (-8) at Utah: Much like Oregon's game with Stanford, this is a matchup of strengths. Oregon's offense finally solved Stanford last week, and Utah's defense hels ASU in check for most of the game. If we call that a wash, this will really come down to how well Oregon defends the Utah running game. I think they'll do just enough, and win by 10-14 points, but I don't feel good about it.

The Pick: $50 on Oregon

Kansas State at TCU (-6): Kansas State has been really good this year at not beating itself, and waiting for the opponent to make a mistake. It's been that way as long as Bill Snyder and his bowl game windbreakers have been in Manhattan. TCU was really impressive last week, not necessarily in their overall performance, but because they got down early in Morgantown, got down late in Morgantown, and still found a way to win. They won despite the fact that Trevone Boykin did not play very well. He will bounce back this week, and Jake Waters is still nursing a bad shoulder.

The Pick: $75 on TCU

Georgia Tech (-4) at NC State: Here is a lineup of the titans NC State has beaten this year: Georgia Southern (barely), Old Dominion, South Florida, Presbyterian, Syracuse. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has resumed its penchant for grinding up its opponents enroute to a 7-2 record. It seems like I hardly ever get a Georgia Tech pick right, whether I pick them to win or lose, so do with this what you will.

The Pick: $75 on the Ramblin' Wreck

HOMER GAME - Iowa (-1) at Minnesota: I spent the first two years of my college life at Iowa. It is a great school on a great campus. Saturday marks the annual battle for Floyd of Rosedale, possibly the greatest rivalry trophy in existence. It is a giant bronze pig that weighs 65 pounds, and its roots go back to 1935. Floyd was actually a live pig at one point, but he died of cholera. While I was at Iowa, we were 2-0 in this series, and that's about all the analysis I have. Well, that and Minnesota's quarterback can't throw. Although Jerry Kill has turned things around at Minnesota, and while Kirk Ferentz is probably the most overpaid coach in the country, give me theHawkeyes!

The Pick: $40 on Iowa