Greetings from Nashville, where the Gamble-Tron is seeking temporary respite amid a road trip from Navarre, Florida, to Carmel, Indiana. Today's leg was about seven hours, with a six year-old and a two year-old in the back seat. I'll say one thing. If I ever meet the person who invented the head rest DVD player, I am going to kiss him or her on the mouth.
As you may or may not know, Week 1 of the college football betting season was, in the words of Charles Barkley, turrible when it came to my predictions. In order to reverse last week's betting fiasco, and hopefully get some good mojo, I took a jog through the Vanderbilt campus, and even ran around the football stadium. What's that you say? They lost last week? To Temple? By 30? In that stadium? Let's just move on.
Here are the results for those of you who decided to play along at home:
- Stewak: 4-4 / $1000
- harpstar: 4-4 / $975
- Dr. Coug-A-Lot: 5-3 / $970
- Carolina Coug: 4-4 / $950
- PJ Kendall: 2-6 / $925
- ezcrew: 2-6 $925
- airon26: 2-6 / $240
As you can see, nobody did really well, but I really stunk.
Why I'm a genius: Yeah, I've got nothing.
Why I'm an idiot: In general, the Mountain West Conference. More specifically, I picked UNLV and Fresno State to cover their respective point spreads. They were outscored by a combined 110-26.
Arizona (-7) at UT San Antonio: After some early game jitters, Anu Solomon looked pretty darn good in his debut for the Wildcats. UTSA looked really good as well, going on the road and dominating Houston by 20 points. Larry Coker has done a very commendable job down in the Alamo City. He has a veteran team, and they're not afraid of anybody.
The Pick: $15 on UTSA
WSU (-4) at Nevada: I told myself all last week that the Rutgers game was scary. So what did I do? I laid eight points. That didn't go well. I told myself this week that WSU would have to prove to me that they're not a bad team yet again. The attempted reverse jinx lives on.
$10 on Nevada Nope. Try as I might, and even though I picked Nevada to win outright in Sherwood and Winters' post, I just can't do it. Here is yet another lesson in the "Bet with your head and not your heart" handbook. $50 on WSU
Fresno State at Utah (-11): I really have no idea what to make of this game. Fresno State got murdered at USC, but USC has some major talent. Utah rolled over Idaho State, but they played Idaho State. When in doubt, take double digit points.
The Pick: $15 on Fresno State
Colorado (-17) at UMass: This has to be the WTF game of the week. Why is Colorado playing on the road at UMass? How on earth is Colorado favored to beat anyone by nearly three touchdowns? Why in the name of Marcus Camby does UMass think playing FBS football is a good idea?
The Pick: $20 on Colorado
Arizona State (-25) at New Mexico: As we are all aware, ASU lost nearly their entire defense, but they do return most of a potent offense. Also, they're playing New Mexico. Brian Urlacher ain't walking through that door.
The Pick: $20 on ASU
Memphis at UCLA (-24): I don't think it's possible for a unit to look as bad as UCLA's offensive line looked last Saturday (non-WSU defense division). Brett Hundley, who is not as good as the pundits keep trying to tell everyone, was running for his life. However, this week they get Memphis in front of a
rabid, full-throated sellout 70 percent capacity crowd in the Rose Bowl. That's a cure for what ails nearly everyone.
The Pick: $15 on UCLA
Michigan State at Oregon (-12): Between this game and the one to follow here in the column, this is quite the week in the conference. I'm pretty surprised that Oregon is getting so much respect by the odds-makers here. MSU lost a couple key pieces on defense, but they are still a nasty bunch. Connor Cook is solid under center, and Sparty returns nearly all of its skill position talent. They will not be intimidated by Autzen Stadium. Oregon wins, but not by more than 10.
The Pick: $15 on Michigan State
USC at Stanford (-2.5): This is a huge matchup, and one that feels like it should be happening in late October, not early September. Both teams looked impressive last week, with USC hammering Fresno State and Stanford shutting out something called UC Davis. This line opened at 4, and has gone down to 2.5. That's a good reason to go the other way. Plus, Steve Sarkisian has won exacly zero big games as a head coach.
The Pick: $15 on Stanford
Oregon State (-11) at Hawaii: Judging purely by last week, this line is way too high. Hawaii could have, and probably should have, beaten Washington. Oregon State struggled, yet again, with an FCS opponent before pulling away in the second half. Laying double digit points at Hawaii for the second straight week? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I'm an idiot.
The Pick: $15 on Hawaii