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Pac-12 Football odds and picks: The Gamble-Tron, Week Five

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2016 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 3 Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Welcome back. As I’m writing this, it’s National Drink a Beer Day. That pretty much where the good news ends in this space. Why? Last week started well enough, but then the sun went down. Then it wasn’t so great. I don’t know what the deal is, but we always seem to start off well, followed by several bouts of coughing and wheezing down the stretch.

For example, last week we went to bed to bed looking pretty good, but with a few games still going on. When we woke up, every game in progress turned into a loser. That has happened at least twice this season. So we won’t blame ourselves for the awful record this season. Instead, it’s the night’s fault. Yep, that’s it.

Why I’m a genius: Tough to take credit for Utah. USC totally should have won that game, but Clay Helton is the head coach with a guaranteed five-year contract, so USC did smart things like punt from inside the Utah 40. I will take credit for Ole Miss. Georgia was WAY overrated, and Ole Miss had lost to FSU and Alabama. Those teams aren’t bad. The Stanford cover was nothing but pure luck, and Boise State was obvious because OSU is pretty awful.

Why I’m an idiot: My god, Notre Dame. You go ahead 14-0 in less that six minutes, then proceed to crap all over yourselves. Thanks for that. Same with you, Oregon. I know we predicted that you wouldn’t be that good this season, but you couldn’t beat Colorado’s backup quarterback? Super Duper.

You know what really sucks? When you pick Washington to cover the spread and they don’t, but they still win the game. Oh, and great job, Cal. Took a nice lead into halftime, then gave up 31 points in the fourth quarter. 31 points! IN ONE QUARTER. Andy Buh thinks that’s some awful defense. Let’s move forward.

Last Week: 4-4 / 0-1 Upset Pick

Season Total: 15-22-1 / 0-1

Cash Balance: $35 (Sweet Jesus that went away fast)

Reader Results:

  • stewak: 4-2 / $185
  • Ryan Eames: 5-3 / $175
  • MileHighPharmer: 7-3 / $370
  • Dr. Coug-A-Lot: 7-1 / $543
  • SirBenjaminPK: 4-4 / -$40
  • hollyweirdcoug: 5-3 / $60
  • Navy.Coug: 5-3 / $60
  • BothwaysUphill: 6-2 / $380

Stanford (+3/-105) at Washington (-3/-115): Here we are. For all intents and purposes, the Pac-12 North will be decided before the calendar turns to October. Neat. The initial lean was Stanford. However, Washington continues to live with a horseshoe jammed up its backside, as both Stanford corners are out. Also out is receiver Francis Owusu, who left the UCLA game due to a blatant example of targeting that wasn’t really targeting because Pac-12 refs. Those injuries will be too much for Stanford to overcome against the best Jake to ever play quarterback at Washington.

The Pick: $115 on Washington

Oregon State (+18.5/-110) at Colorado (-18.5/-110): Ok, all credit to the Buffaloes for going into Eugene and leaving with what could be a program-changing win. As we mentioned, they did it with a backup quarterback. That’s pretty incredible, even though Oregon isn’t that great. OSU stinks, that much we know. Still, doesn’t this line feel inflated by at least a field goal? We think so.

The Pick: $110 on Oregon State

Utah (+2/-110) at Cal (-2/-110): Cal is alot better than we thought they’d be this year. Ok, the Cal offense is better than we thought they’d be. The defense is positively putrid, like always. I don’t think Utah is anything special, but they can run the ball. Cal is helpless to stop the run. I think the wrong team is favored. Then again, I haven’t correctly predicted a spread involving Cal all season, so take this for what it’s worth.

The Pick: $110 on Utah

Arizona State (+10/-110) at USC (-10/-110): This is the most bizarre Pac-12 line of the week. USC is 1-3, can’t get out of its own way, and should probably be calling Tom Herman. ASU is 4-0, and scoring tons of points. So USC is favored by double digits? Huh??!! As Lee Corso is fond of saying, somebody knows something. I’m going with that somebody, unlike last season when I went with unbeaten Utah at USC, despite the fact that USC was favored.

The Pick: $110 on USC

Oregon (-1.5/-110) at WSU (+1.5/-110): Story time. I go to the gym on base a few times per week during my lunch break. I often wear those WSU shirts they give away before games. A couple weeks before the season started, a guy started chatting me up. In case you were wondering (you weren’t) I hate it when people talk to me at the gym. Well, I hate it when people talk to me in general, but that’s neither here nor there.

Point is, I go to the gym so I can leave. This guy sees my WSU shirt and tells me he went to Oregon. He questions why my WSU shirt says “Best in the West.” You know, the one they gave away before WSU lost to goddamn Portland State. So I tell him it’s part of the Fight Song, and that is enough to make him go away.

I see this guy at least once per week, and he always wants to talk about WSU and Oregon. Talking to him after EWU was particularly enjoyable. The best part is that this guy works out in his uniform pants and t-shirt. If you frequent a gym, that’s akin to a guy working out in his slacks and undershirt. In other words, I’m sure this guy is great to share a cubicle with in the afternoon. Please, Cougs, don’t make me have to answer to this guy after a loss to Oregon.

I’ll be honest, I have no idea here. I’d be much more comfortable if Royce Freeman were still out. Alas, it looks like he’s going to play. Despite WSU’s victory in Autzen last season, Freeman ran for 246 yards on just 27 carries. Again, I have no clue (as per usual). So let’s flip a coin. I’ve always been a tails fan, so Heads is Oregon and Tails is the Cougs. /literally flips a coin. As God is my witness, it came up Tails.

The Pick: $110 on WSU

Arizona (+13.5/-110) at UCLA (-13.5/-110): Well look at that! We called a UCLA game correctly! Ok, it was totally lucky, but still. On the other side, Arizona should have beaten UW last week, but of course they didn’t. Something seems off with the Bruins this year, mostly because they lost every receiver. My lean is toward the Wildcats.

The Pick: $110 on UCLA

Kansas (+28.5/-110) at Texas Tech (-28.5/-110): Texas Tech might score 80. Texas Tech normally gives up just as much (seriously, you guys are absolutely embarrassing on defense). But this is Kansas. Kansas

The Pick: Guns up for $550

Purdue (+10/-100) at Maryland (-10/-120): So, Purdue is really bad. Maryland seems, decent? I’m going to regret this.

The Pick: $120 on the Terps

Happy betting.