Welcome to history in the making, as this is the first ever bowl-bound edition of the Gamble-Tron. The Cougs are the stars of the show this week, as they've covered the spread in every conference game this season. Matter of fact, against FBS competition, WSU is 7-1 ATS, and has won straight-up as an underdog three times. A guy could have made a mint betting on the Cougars this season. Even though we haven't made a ton of money, WSU is probably a big reason we're still in the black, albeit barely. Let's hope it continues this week.
Why I'm a genius: Never a doubt that the Cougs would cover! Across the mountains, the odds-makers overreacted in a big way to Washington's win over Arizona. Order was restored by the Utes, who won by double digits. That Stanford pick was looking a bit shaky, for about 10 minutes. I always hate laying more than two touchdowns (even though it seems like I do it all the damn time, and lose), but Colorado just isn't very good.
Man, what the heck is happening to Cal? I was very hesitant to lay more than a field goal on Oregon, but they won easily, and racked up almost 800 yards in the process. Shoulda loaded up on Vernon Adams. Also, there was a beating just waiting to happen in Norman, and that's exactly how things went. Oklahoma raced out to a big early lead, then poured it on late to win by about 80 points. Looks like the Paul Wulff magic is quickly wearing off in Ames.
Why I'm an idiot: Well, I had zero plans to bet on Baylor, so of course I jumped in at the last minute and bet a bunch of cash on them. Kansas State ran about four different plays the whole night, and Baylor's defense could barely stop them. Ugh. As far as UCLA, not even a damn state quarter can figure them out, so what chance does the Gamble-Tron have? They didn't score in the first or fourth quarters, and still won by six TDs. Man, Oregon State is horrible.
My ride on the Houston bandwagon came crashing down, as it was destined to do. I just didn't foresee the crash coming when they led 30-14 in the second half. So of course they had to hang on to win by three. Finally, it took Arizona a quarter to revert to its corpse-like form, but it was too late for the Trojans to cover. It was pretty obvious that USC, in a tradition that dates back decades, just figured it could run out of the tunnel and win the game. Once again, that wasn't the case.
It all amounted to our first winning week in a bit, but we still lost money due to one of those impulse buys that turned into buyer's remorse shortly afterward.
Last week: 5-4 / -$45
Season Totals: 39-34-2 / 3-6 / $220
- Brian Anderson: 4-3 / 0-1 / $15 - Man, Kentucky turned out to be BAD.
- coug2828: 3-1 (Thanks to Temple's Festivus miracle)
- Andrew Goodwin: 4-3 / -$25
- cougbud: 4-2 / $255
- stewak: 1-4 / 0-1 / -$435
- KINN1CK: 4-5-1 / -$150
- hollyweirdcoug: 4-3
- cmaddex: 5-4 / 0-1 / -$40
- Ryan Eames: 6-5 / $50
- Ickaber: 4-2 / $180 - nice debut!
- TheOriginalCougMan: 3-3 / -$30
USC at Colorado (USC -16.5/-110, USC +16.5/-110): We're back to Friday Night Lights in the Pac-12. 2015 Colorado is officially 2014 Colorado. In other words, they're good enough to scare a few teams, but not good enough to beat any of them. Tough to figure USC. They should have hammered Arizona, but that was far from the case. If USC just hands the ball to Ronald Jones 30 times, they'll roll. They won't do that, but they should win pretty easily.
The Pick: $110 on USC
Washington at Arizona State (UW +3/-120, ASU -3/-100): UW fans have spent the week whining about the officiating in the Utah game. Uh, Husky fans? It's probably a good idea to not turn the ball over four times. ASU is also a little salty about the officiating, what with WSU's fifth down and all. On the other hand, it's probably not a great idea to get outscored 21-3 in the fourth quarter. So now the two aggrieved teams meet in Tempe. Is it possible for the refs to rob both teams? I don't like either team, but ASU's blitz packages will rattle Jake Browning for a lot longer than they bothered Luke Falk. Plus, there's more value with ASU.
The Pick: Fear the Fork for $100
Oregon at Stanford (Oregon +10/-115, Stanford -10/-105): So the UW-ASU game starts at noon, and this one starts at 4:30. There are no other conference games that start in between these two. Meanwhile, the final three games start at 7:00, 7:30 and 7:45. La-rry! La-rry! La-rry!
A couple weeks ago, this would have been the easiest call on the board. Not anymore. Vernon Adams has made all the difference for the Oregon offense, and the defense has been upgraded from dumpster fire to smoldering tire fire. Still, I don't think Oregon has the answers on defense for Stanford's physical attack. The Ducks will keep it close for longer than the 139 Stanford fans in attendance would like, but the Cardinal should score late to put this one away.
The Pick: $105 on Stanford
Utah at Arizona (Utah -6/-110, Arizona +6/-110): Utah got back on track thanks to some timely turnovers against UW, but man, Travis Wilson is really holding that team back. They have a great defense and an outstanding running back. Their quarterback, on the other hand, is terrible. Arizona's isn't much better, and their defense is still on life support. I don't know how or why, but RichRod is going to make his last stand here, a few weeks before he's named the new head coach at South Carolina.
The Pick: $110 on Arizona
Oregon State at Cal (OSU +21/-110, Cal -21/-110): Pretty compelling matchup here. It's the worst Pac-12 North team for the entire season against the worst Pac-12 North team over the past month. OSU is led by its terrible quarterback, while Cal is led by its supremely-talented yet horribly-regressing quarterback.
Cal's defense looked really good earlier in the season when the opponents kept handing it the ball. Now that turnovers aren't happening anymore, Cal's defense is suddenly terrible again. I don't think Cal is good, but they're still far, far better than OSU. Plus, with Stanford and ASU to close the season, Cal REALLY needs this one to guarantee a bowl game. I'm going to plug my nose and lay all those precious points.
The Pick: $110 on Cal
WSU at UCLA (WSU +10.5/-105, UCLA -10.5/-115): Fun fact - This will be WSU's first and, quite likely, last game on natural grass all season. I don't know why, but I thought that was interesting. Anyway, while I think this will be WSU's second-toughest test all season, next to Stanford, the Cougs should be up to the task. My only reason for pause is the fact that Tom Bradley is a really, really good defensive coordinator.
Well, there's also the fact that Jim Mora won't have to worry about his delicate little team having to stand in the sun for the game. That guy has never met an excuse he didn't like. What a clown. As mentioned earlier, WSU has covered every point spread this season against Pac-12 teams. Never screw with a streak, even if that streak goes counter to every UCLA prediction the machine has ever made.
The Pick: $105 on WSU
New Mexico State at Boise State (NMSU +30/-110, BSU -30/-110): Let's go dumpster diving! I'll be honest, I haven't seen more than three quarters of Boise State this season, and I've seen exactly zero NMSU games. What I do know is that Boise State is still a really good team, while New Mexico State is a really bad team. The Pick: $220 on Boise State
EDIT: Well, here's another reason I'm an idiot. I could have sworn that the site I use said Boise State was playing NMSU. Turns out they're playing New Mexico. New Mexico is actually not terrible this year, so I'm taking that one off the board. As a courtesy to those of you who didn't catch this, you can keep the bet you have. If you win, you'll get credit. If you lose, you'll get your pretend money back.
Instead, let's go to my new city of residence, where Temple is giving a field goal to South Florida. South Florida is much-improved this season, but I don't think they're anywhere near as good as the Owls.
The Pick: $110 on Temple (-3)
Alabama at Mississippi State (Bama -7.5/-110, MSU +7.5/-110): Mississippi State may be 7-2, but they're living a lie. Their best win is, um, Auburn? Missouri? Meanwhile, since Alabama lost at home to now three-loss Ole Miss, they've outscored their opponents 189-77. That includes throwing a grenade or six into Leonard Fournette's Heisman campaign. They still have a subpar quarterback, but everything else about them is outstanding.
The Pick: RRRRROOOOOOLLLLLLL TIIIIIIIIIIIDE for $220