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

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Well, that week was a pleasant surprise.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Welcome to Week Three of college gambling football season. It was a considerably happier week in these parts, what with the Cougs getting a huge win at the Mid-State Correctional Annex University of New Jersey-Piscataway. It was also a banner week for yours truly, as the Gamble-Tron took what little data could be gleaned from the first week of action, and spit out an 8-2 record! We also hit the "over" in the WSU game, thanks mostly to WSU's "special" teams. With that, we should probably hang it up for good, right? Well, yeah, but we can't. We're on a roll!

Why I'm a genius: Oh man, I could go on for days! Utah was way over-valued after beating Michigan, especially against an in-state rival. It was clear that Utah State was looking straight past their first opponent. Even though Utah won, there is little chance they're going to blow anyone out this season. It was also pretty clear that Michigan wasn't as bad as they looked against Utah. Oregon State, however, is as bad as they look. A quick summary of their 2nd half possessions: 4 plays/25 yards, 3 plays/-13 yards, 3 plays/2 yards, 3 plays/-8 yards, 3 plays/3 yards. If you're scoring at home, Oregon State ran 16 plays in the 2nd half, totaling nine yards. Their longest drive lasted one minute, 55 seconds. 2009 WSU thinks that's a brutal stat line.

Colorado was, as I said, also not as bad as they looked in the opener. It was also a big advantage that UMass hadn't played the week before. The end result was a Colorado blowout. Same with Cal, although they struggled for most of the first half. Seems like they're gonna be pretty darn good this season. I won't try and proclaim genius status for picking Idaho to not cover a spread. At this point, you could give me 75 points and I'd still probably lay them if Idaho is involved. We really need to get Idaho and Kansas together. Oh hey, UCLA even covered! That's how incredible Saturday was! Alright, on to the bad stuff. BUT FIRST...

Why I'm a genius, bonus edition: I also said this, BACK IN JUNE.

Get in on BYU +6 at home against Boise State.

Why I'm an idiot: I refuse to admit that I was wrong about Stanford. Central Florida must be REALLY bad. Then there's WSU. I even said last week that the error or recency would cause an overreaction toward Rutgers. So what did I do? I went with the favorite anyway. The only good thing was that WSU, which probably should have won handily, remembered that it wasn't supposed to tackle anybody after punts and kicks, which allowed Rutgers two additional touchdowns, securing the "over" 62 in the process.

Then there's the money line upset, a grease fire all its own. Here's what I wrote:

There are three tempting games on the board: Kentucky +245, Georgia Southern +185 and Colorado State +200. Kentucky is the initial lean, mostly because South Carolina isn't very good.

Two of these three teams won, with Georgia Southern hammering Western Michigan. Which one did I take? The only team that lost, of course. In fairness, Colorado State pretty much kicked the game away in every imaginable fashion. Still, the upset of the week prediction was not my finest hour. Away we go.

Last Week: 8-2 ATS (plus the bonus WSU "over") / 0-1 Money Line / +$580

Total: 10-8 ATS / 1-1 Money Line / +$355

Reader Results:

  • cmaddex: 5-5 / 1-0
  • stewak: 4-6 / 1-0
  • Ryan Eames: 7-3 / 1-0
  • BothwaysUphill: 5-4 (must've thought Arizona was on a bye) / 0-1
  • Coug2828: 0-1 (back to the ATM for more Jermajesties)

New Mexico at Arizona State (UNM+27.5/-110, ASU -27.5/-110): Something just seems a little off in Tempe. First, Todd Graham's son resigns for some reason. Then ASU, which was supposed to contend in the Pac-12 South, gets beaten by three scores against Texas A&M. Finally, ASU finds itself in a dog fight against Cal Poly. In the process, Cal Poly ran for 284 yards and attempted all of eight passes. Guess what New Mexico loves to do on offense? Hint: not throw.

The Pick: $110 on Los Lobos

Georgia State at Oregon (GSU +44/-110, Oregon -44/-110): I really shouldn't be agonizing over a game between one of the nation's best teams, and one of the worst. Turns out Vernon Adams has a broken finger, which may or may not have been the reason he overthrew a wide open receiver on a play that would've won the game last week. I doubt he plays Saturday. Oregon's defense scares the heck out of me, because it isn't very good. Still, they take out their frustrations against the lowly Panthers.

The Pick: $110 on Oregon

Utah State at Washington (USU +6/-110, UW -6/-110): Expect Utah State's defense to make life a lot tougher on Jake Browning than Sacramento State did. However, Washington's young but talented defense will be even better against Utah State's anemic offense. Chuckie Keaton may be in his 12th year as Utah State's quarterback, and Utah State may be returning three starters from suspension, but UW wins by 7-10 points. Aside: This is Utah State's Indoor Practice Facility. Yep, Utah State has one, and we don't.

The Pick: $110 on Washington

Colorado vs. Colorado State (Colorado -3.5/-105, CSU +3.5/-115): While the Buffaloes looked great against UMass last week, they're still not a very good team. Colorado State isn't nearly as good as it was last year, particularly at quarterback. This line opened at four, and has dropped to three in some spots. I'll take the hook, and predict a field goal differential. Just don't ask who wins.

The Pick: $105 on Colorado State

Cal at Texas (Cal -6.5/-115, Texas +6.5/-105): So, this line is interesting. One question: My God, Texas, what in Sam Hell happened to you?! You're Texas for heaven's sake. You're getting a touchdown, at home, from a team that won ONE GAME in 2013. What happened to Texas, you ask? Well, first they wanted Johnny Manziel to play safety. Mack Brown denies this by saying they never offered Manziel a scholarship, AT ALL. Well that certainly clears things up, coach. Then they spurned Jameis Winston (though Mack Brown denies this as well) in favor of someone named David Ash. Then Mack Brown decided to stop recruiting altogether, and here we are.

On the surface, this is an easy call. Cal has a potent offense and an improved, if not good, defense. Texas has a decent defense, we think, and an offense that would make 1994 WSU look high-octane. For all their money and tradition, Texas hasn't found a quarterback since Colt McCoy left. That is astounding. They're starting two true freshmen on the offensive line. That is unbelievable. If we haven't seen the nadir of Texas football, we just may this season. It's time for Texas to take an Alamo-like stand. It went just fine the first time.

The Pick: $105 on Texas

Stanford at USC (Stanford +10/-115, USC -10/-105): Not much analysis here, snarky or otherwise. USC is going to beat Stanford with the same ease that its coach consumes Patron.

The Pick: $105 on USC

San Jose State at Oregon State (SJSU +7.5/-115, OSU -7.5/-105): Both teams opened the season by beating FCS teams, though OSU wasn't exactly impressive in doing so. Both teams went on the road in week two and got manhandled. Both teams have bad quarterbacks. When both teams are bad, take the points.

The Pick: $115 on Sparty West

Wyoming at WSU (Wyoming +24/-110, WSU -24/-110): Wyoming is bad, REALLY BAD. As in, got hammered by an Eastern Michigan team that hadn't won a road non-conference game since Timm Rosenbach was WSU's quarterback bad. I don't think it's a stretch to say that WSU isn't really that good, but this is a game in which they need to come out and establish dominance, which they do about as often as I take my kids cliff diving. Wyoming's top two quarterbacks are dinged up, and I expect a healthy dose of a ground game that is the best thing Wyoming has to offer. I'm going to regret this.

The Pick: $110 on WSU

BYU at UCLA (BYU +17/-110, UCLA -17/-110): Well hey there, UCLA! You made me some pretend money last week! No reason to get off the bandwagon now, right? RIGHT!? I realize that Tanner Mangum has been pulling miracle plays seemingly out of thin air recently, but there's no way that can continue. This is the game in which missing both their stud quarterback and running back finally catches up to BYU. Alas, there will be no guzzling from the sparkling cider bottle postgame.

The Pick: $110 on UCLA

Utah at Fresno State (Utah -14/-110, Fresno State +14/-110): We could also call this the Devontae Booker revenge game. After not being admitted to WSU, because of course, Booker wanted badly to attend Fresno State. He claims that Fresno wasn't completely honest with him, and he ended up at a JC before signing with Utah. I was tempted to take the home dog until I saw this quote from Fresno's head coach: "Red Wave, we need your help against #21 Utah this Saturday. Let's Black Out the stadium." So he's calling on the "Red" Wave (Fresno's student section, I guess) to wear...black. Makes total sense.

Oh, and Fresno's Twitter account proclaims them to be "Champions of the West" even though they...aren't. Still, Saturday night, home crowd, black out, back-up quarterback starting for the road team. Utah is walking into an ambush. Luckily for them Fresno stinks.

The Pick: $110 on Utah

Money Line Upset of the Week: Let's see who is tempting out there. There's South Florida +220 at the disaster that is Maryland. There's not-as-bad-as-they-look Auburn +230 at LSU. I'm way more tempted to take Rutgers +330 at Penn State than I should be. This comes down to either Auburn or Iowa State +260 at Toledo. War Damn Cyclone.

The Pick: $100 on Iowa State

So there you have it, predictions sure to end up in disaster. As with last week, you can take any upset winner on the schedule, not just the one(s) I suggest. What is your fearless forecast?