Welcome to Week Two of the Pac-12 picks. It was a weird week in the conference. I don’t need to tell you one reason for that, but there were others. USC acted all tough running out of the tunnel, then proceeded to suffer one of its worst losses ever. Oregon State had a real shot to win as a 13-point underdog.
UCLA looked bad, then looked really good, then looked bad again. Stanford won, and looked good for a bit, but probably could have done better. All of that leads us to Week Two, which is probably the trickiest week of the gambling year. There is a tendency to overreact to what we saw in the first round of games, and the lines can often reflect that. So the goal is to take advantage of those overreactions. Let’s see how it goes.
Why I’m a genius: 5-2 in the Pac-12! Admittedly a bit lucky on the Kansas State and BYU picks, but I’m not about to give them back. The Alabama game went exactly to script. They let USC hang around for a bit, then clamped down, making it appear as if they had 15 guys playing defense.
Also had a feeling that OSU would keep it close. Not because they’re any good, but because Minnesota shouldn’t be a 13-point favorite over the Minnesota St. Screaming Eagles. Oh, and Texas A&M had me looking like a super genius for a while. Then they decided to give it all back. Finally, they TOTALLY REDEEMED THEMSELVES.
Why I’m an idiot: I wasn’t smart enough to stick with the Pac-12. Additionally, I appear to have forgotten that LSU and Florida, both big favorites, can’t actually score points. You may not be aware of this, but a favorite must actually score points in order to cover the point spread.
I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for picking Rutgers to cover a nearly four touchdown spread, but man, turns out they really suck. Oh, and talk about a bad beat in the Colorado game. Came right down to the end. CSU was getting 36 points, right? Colorado may be good. That isn’t good.
Last week: 5-4
Season Total: 5-5
Cash Balance: $1205
Reader Results: (Why did so many of you skip the Stanford game?)
- cmaddex: 2-7 / -$570
- stewak: 3-6 (we’ll pretend the Cal game didn’t happen) / -$360
- Ryan Eames: 4-4 / -$40
- BothwaysUphill: 6-2 / $380
- Brian Anderson: 3-5 / -$635
- MileHighPharmer: 4-5 / -$150
- Ickaber: 3-6 / -$360
- WazzuBrando: 3-5 / -$360
- WazzuPope: 4-5 / -$150
- hollyweirdcoug: 3-5 / -$360
- Navy.Coug: 2-6 (I have no idea whether you picked Rutgers or UW) / -$790
On to this week...
WSU (+11.5/-110) at Boise State (-11.5/-110): As much as I tell myself not to overreact to the first week, that game last Saturday was really, really bad. Too many penalties, too many blown assignments, too much of the same crap we’ve seen in the past. This week, they get a Boise State team that always gets fired up for games like this. You can bet they’ll be ready, and they have FBS-level players throughout the roster, unlike the team that only scored 45. So until proven otherwise, WSU doesn’t have the defense to stay competitive against good offenses, especially on the line, where the depth isn’t close to what it should be after five years with Joe Salave’a.
The Pick: $110 on the team that will never be in a Power Five league
BONUS PICK: $110 on “Over” 72.5
Utah State (+16.5/-110) at USC (-16.5/-110): So, uh, about that game last weekend. USC looked competitive. Then Alabama when on its typical second-half killing spree, and suddenly the only thing USC could do was stomp on crotches. It’s pretty tough to tell how good a team is after one game, if that one game was against Alabama. So we’ll take the Trojans in a bounce-back spot amid a murderous schedule.
The Pick: $110 on USC
Idaho (+37/-110) at Washington (-37/-110): Washington is really good. Are they a Top 10 team? No. But they are winning at least nine games. Idaho, on the other hand, is not good. Idaho does have ‘scoreboard’ on WSU for this week, though, as they were able to beat their Big Sky opponent. Well, they aren’t playing a Big Sky opponent Saturday.
The Pick: $110 on Washington
BYU (+3.5/-115) at Utah (-3.5/-110): Admittedly, we didn’t see much of Utah last weekend, and we didn’t see any of BYU. Eastern time and all. Anyway, these bitter rivals will meet for the second time in three games Saturday. Last time, Utah looked as if it may win 120-0, only to see BYU nearly pull off a comeback. This time, BYU won’t need to pull off such a rally. Even though it costs a little extra, that hook will be the difference.
The Pick: $115 on BYU
UNLV (+26/-110) at UCLA (-26/-110): Tough loss for the Bruins last week. The Texas A&M defensive line terrorized Josh Rosen for much of the game, but Rosen showed why he’ll be a Top Five draft pick in 2018 as he led UCLA back to a tie. I don’t think anybody knows if UNLV is any good, especially since they scheduled an FCS patsy last weekend. Well, they did win by 50. Still...
The Pick: $110 on UCLA
Texas Tech (+3/-110) at ASU (-3/-110): Both of these teams beat up on FCS opponents last Saturday, so we really have no idea what to make of them. ASU is starting new players all over the field including at quarterback. Texas Tech is not starting a new QB. Matter of fact, they’re starting Patrick Mahomes. In case you didn’t know, he’s really good. As per usual, Tech’s defense is the opposite of really good, but I don’t think it’ll matter. Let’s take the Red Raiders straight up.
The Pick: $100 on Texas Tech to win (+135)
Cal (+7.5/-110) at San Diego St. (-7.5/-110): When last we saw Cal, they were not covering by half-a-point against Hawaii down under. When last we saw San Diego State, well, now that I think about it, I haven’t watched San Diego State for more than four minutes since WSU choked away a game down there in 2011. Rocky Long’s teams almost always have good defenses. Sonny Dykes’ teams, uh, let’s move on. This game should be tight for a while, but for the second time this weekend, the Mountain West favorite should cover.
The Pick: $110 on Las Aztecas
Virginia (+24.5/-110) at Oregon (-24.5/-110): Well lookie here, Virginia got embarrassed by an FCS team last weekend too. We’re not alone you guys! So Richmond beat UVa by 17. Now the Wahoos have to travel clear across the country to play Oregon. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this begins, middles, or ends well for Bronco Mendenhall’s new squad.
The Pick: $110 on Oregon
Tulsa (+29/-110) at Ohio State (-29/-110): When the dumpster spits you out, you dive deeper! The Buckeyes may have been playing a crappy MAC team last weekend, but man did they ever look good. They were also a part of a certain person’s three-team parlay (along with Kansas State and Alabama) that came home. So we’re riding the wave again this Saturday.
The Pick: $110 on Ohio State
REMINDER: You are welcome to pick these games, or any other that you want. I will count them in the weekly results.