Welcome to Week Nine of the Gamble-Tron, version 2.0. Why version 2.0? Well, the formerly trusty laptop decided to restart when this post was about half way done. Hooray technology! After this is written, Professor Frink's machine will be packed into the pickup on Wednesday, relocating to Tampa. That's right. We're subbing Florida's Redneck Riviera version of crazy for whatever version of insanity Tampa contains. As such, this will be a truncated version, at least by comparison. Stop clapping, that isn't very nice.
Why I'm a genius: Staring into my phone well after midnight to watch two garbage teams swing pillows at eachother hardly qualifies as genius, but the Buffs came through in fine fashion. Also, Houston over UCF wasn't exactly a genius call, but Houston did trail 10-7 at one point. They won 59-10. I guess it was sort of smart to only put $55 on Utah and Cal? Maybe?
Oh, and lookie here. Not only did we throw down some scratch on the Cougs covering the spread, we also picked them to win outright. And what do you know, they came through in a big way. They turned what would have been a decidedly "meh" weekend into a profitable one.
Why I'm an idiot: UCLA. Wash. Rinse. Repeat if desired. I DO NOT DESIRE, yet here we are. It's funny what happens to Cal when the other team isn't handing them the ball. Then there's USC. Once again, Vegas proved why it will always be smarter than the old Gamble-Tron. We took the bait, hook, line and sinker.
Oh, and a special shout out to Navy, who was up 31-7 (the line was -23), but decided to let Tulane score with less than 30 seconds remaining. Squids, all of you. Finally, many thanks to Stanford for being in prime position to cover, inside the UW 20 with a 17 point lead. One chop block and a Kevin Hogan javelin toss later, UW had the ball back and the game ended in a push. Brutal.
Last Week: 3-3-1 / 1-0 / $215
Season Total: 32-25-1 / 3-5 / $835
Reader Results: Note - Stanford opened at 17, so that's the official line for this column. Since it pushed, I won't count it in your official results.
- peep6543: 0-1 / -Texa$
- stewak: 3-3 / 0-1 / -$230
- TheOriginalCougMan: 3-3 / 0-1 (even though you picked the favorite to win) / -$30
- Dr. Coug-A-Lot: 4-2 / 0-1 / $60
- cougman the II: 4-2 / 0-2 / -$20
- Something Snazzy: 1-1 / -$420
- cougbud: 3-3 / -$49
- KINN1CK: 5-2 / $170
- cmaddex: 4-2 / 0-1 / 1-0: $190
- Ryan Eames: 4-3 / 0-1 / -$40
- BothwaysUphill: 3-3 / -$30
- coug2828: 3-3
- Eric L. Garcia: 4-0 / $340
- hollyweirdcoug: 3-2
- Brian Anderson: 4-1 / 0-1 / $330
Oregon at Arizona State (Oregon +2.5/-105, ASU -2.5/-115): The odds-makers require a little more juice for taking ASU, which means ASU has the slight edge. I don't know why, but I like the Ducks.
The Pick: $105 on Oregon
USC at Cal (USC -6/-110, Cal +6/-110): USC looked great last weekend, thanks in large part to Travis Wilson. Cal looked awful last weekend, thanks to everyone on the team. I am really tempted to think the Cal loss was a hiccup, but Sonny Dykes is now 0-9 against USC, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford. The average margin of defeat is 23.9 points. That, folks, is a trend. If USC avoids turnovers, they'll win easily.
The Pick: $110 on USC
Colorado at UCLA (Colorado +21/-110, UCLA -21/-110): UCLA also looked pretty good last week. Colorado looked decidedly worse, but they still picked up a road win for the first time in a while, thanks to the fact that they played OSU. This seems like a letdown spot for UCLA, and I won't be shocked at all if it's close. Still, Colorado is playing its second straight road game, and UCLA, despite a bevy of injuries, shouldn't struggle much. In other words, run to the betting with both fists full and take Colorado.
The Pick: $110 on UCLA
Oregon State at Utah (OSU +23.5/-110, Utah -23.5/-110): Travis Wilson finally showed his true colors last Saturday, proving that if Utah needs to lean on him to win, forget it. OSU played some guy not named Seth Collins, and he was just as bad as Seth Collins. Utah should be quite motivated to lay the wood to somebody after their humiliation in LA. Sorry, Beavs, but that somebody is you.
The Pick: $110 on Utah
Stanford at WSU (Stanford -12/-110, WSU +12/-110): Though the Cougs have played Stanford somewhat close a couple times over the last few years, the offense seems to struggle a lot in the process. WSU is awfully dependent on yards after the catch, and Stanford has done a masterful job of taking that away with sound tackling. Stanford's defense isn't as good this year as it has been, but it's still the best defense WSU has faced.
In addition to that, Stanford has some guy named Christian McCaffrey. In case you haven't heard of him, he's pretty good. Kevin Hogan is also having his best season, despite the fact that his wind up is longer than Nuke Laloosh's. The Cougs will get their points, but Stanford will wear down the defense and score late to cover.
The Pick: $110 on Stanford
Arizona at Washington (Arizona +4.5/-110, UW -4.5/-110) : No line yet due to Jake Browning's iffy status again. I'll update as a line becomes available, but I don't see any way UW loses this game.
***UPDATE*** Some of you were taken aback when I said that I don't see UW losing. Well, the odds-makers tend to agree, installing UW as the favorite. I stand by that, given what I've seen out of Arizona recently. They needed a furious rally to beat Colorado, then they lost at home to WSU, and WSU should have beaten them worse than they did.
So now they visit UW, who may not be able to pass, but they sure as hell can run the ball. Arizona can stop neither the run nor the pass. Also, Arizona is playing quarterback musical chairs and UW has a damn good defense. This game will go back and forth, and I think the Huskies win it in a close one. In that case, give me those points. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if UW wins by two or more scores.
The Pick: $110 on Arizona
Vanderbilt at Houston (Vandy +11.5/-110, Houston -11.5/-110): Vandy has greatly improved on defense this year. That offense is still terrible, though. Houston has an outstanding offense, and is itching to make a statement againstt a Power Five team, even if that team is crappy Vanderbilt.
The Pick: $110 on Houston
Notre Dame at Temple (ND -9.5/-115, Temple +9.5/-105): COLLEGE GAMEDAY REJECTION REVENGE GAME. Sorry, Owls. This ain't personal.
The Pick: $230 on Notre Dame
Money Line Upset: Man, there is not one thing out there in my usual six-to-eight point range that I like. I was tempted to skip it, but let's go with the fact that Tennessee is coming off a tough loss in Tuscaloosa, while Kentucky had a few extra days of rest.
The Pick: $100 on Kentucky (+275)