Welcome back. We’re already nearly halfway through the season. Where has the time gone!? It seems like just yesterday that we were clutching our rosaries in hopes that WSU wouldn’t lose to an FCS team for the third straight year. Now that game is far in the rearview mirror, as the Cougs have played (and won) six games.
Last week was the worst week we’ve had all season. The good news is we’re still in the black. Well, I guess you could say the good news is that we’re in the black for now. One really bad week and we’ll be back to begging for markers at that Vegas casino where you can play War. Bankruptcy is only a couple backdoor covers away.
We’ve got a full slate of games this week, so let’s get going.
Last Week: 4-4
Season Total: 32-26-2
Cash Balance: $680
WSU (-14.5/-110) at Cal (+14.5/-110): After a hot start that included wins over ACC and SEC teams, the Bears have careened back to earth and left a crater in their wake. Following their latest beatdown in Seattle, Cal coach Justin Wilcox said, among other things, “Really everything’s on the table...We’ve just got to be better in every phase of the game...” and “Everybody’s getting evaluated, we watched the tape with the players.”
I haven’t played competitive football since 1993 but, uh, don’t the coaches always watch tape with the players? Don’t coaches always evaluate everybody? They say they do. Anyway, I haven’t seen a WSU opponent with this much internal strife since, well, the Holiday Bowl.
The Pick: $110 on Cal
Utah (+13/-110) at USC (-13/-110): Psst...USC might not be very good. Double psst...Utah might not be very good, either. That’s especially true if Troy Williams gets the nod again this weekend. Stanford probably should have covered last weekend, but they decided to let Utah back into it with a bunch of targeting calls. USC should have covered, too, but decided to sleep walk through the game. Sam Darnold hasn’t been himself since, well, since the Rose Bowl. Then again, maybe Darnold was over-hyped coming into the season. I know, I can’t believe it either! What I’m saying is I don’t know what to do here.
The Pick: $110 on USC
Colorado (-11.5/-110) at OSU!!!!! (+11.5/-110): Speaking of turmoil, how about those Gary Andersen text messages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lots of coaches thrown under the bus!!!!!! Lots and lots and lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!! Elaine Benes totally would have dated Gary Andersen. Colorado seems ok if they aren’t playing a quarterback who can run. Among a litany of things OSU does not have (along with a coach and hope for the future) is a running quarterback. Feels like the Buffs need a bounce-back. Like every other week this year, the Beavs should play the part of trampoline.
The Pick: $220 on Colorado
UCLA (-1/-110) at Arizona (+1/-110): This one opened with Arizona as a one-point favorite. That means Vegas, despite Arizona’s QB running for five city blocks last week, thinks UCLA is a point better than Arizona. Since then, the line has moved over to UCLA’s side. Huh? Is a bye week really enough time to cure what ills the awful UCLA defense? While Khalil Tate took Colorado by surprise (aside: It doesn’t say much for RichRod that this kid only played because the started got hurt), he won’t be able to do it again. You’d think after half a season I’d have a read on most of these teams. You’d be wrong.
The Pick: $110 on UCLA
Oregon (+10.5/-110) at Stanford (-10.5/-110): Neither one of these teams has a good quarterback situation at the moment. Oregon’s is due to injury. Stanford’s is due to, well, good old ineptitude. Braxton Burmeister got a rude welcome to the starting lineup against WSU, and while Stanford’s defense isn’t as good, I don’t think the Ducks have enough talent to keep it close for the entire game. Bryce Love should break another long run to get this one over the hump.
The Pick: $110 on Stanford
Washington (-17/-110) at ASU (+17/-110): Much like UCLA a few years ago, I can’t get on the right side of the Huskies no matter which way I go. So I guess I’ll just pick them every week since A) They’re way better than every cupcake on the schedule, and B) ASU stinks.
The Pick: $110 on Washington
Arkansas (+29.5/-110) at Alabama (-29.5/-110): I had a feeling I jumped on the Tide a week too late. Well, I’m riding those boys into the ground. Nick Saban blamed everyone but himself for Alabama’s atypical performance in College Station, just like he blames everyone but himself for doubting the team before a 60-point win. Well, Arkansas is terrible, and Alabama is back home. They should get back to their old selves.
The Pick: $220 on Alabama
Auburn (-6.5/-110) at LSU (+6.5/-110): LSU gutted out a win in the Swamp last weekend, thanks mostly to college kickers. Auburn, meanwhile, totally screwed me by letting Ole Miss close the gap from 35-3 at halftime to 44-23 at the end. An easy cover turned into a push because the dominant team let its foot off the gas. Sigh. You owe me, Malzahn. You owe me.
The Pick: $220 on Aubie
Northwestern at Maryland (O/U 51/-110): Northwestern has a really bad offense. Maryland has a 3rd-string quarterback.
The Pick: $110 on the Under
UConn at Temple (O/U 61.5): Not gonna lie, I’m following Tom Fornelli’s advice here. He usually has a good read on over/unders. Of course, his “under” pick on Kentucky/Mizzou last week whiffed badly. Oh well, let’s try again.
The Pick: $110 on the Under
Wyoming (+3/-110) at Utah State (-3/-110): WRONG TEAM IS FAVORED. And maybe this is the game where “hot NFL prospect who can’t complete a pass against a Power Five Team” Brett Smith takes off.
The Pick: $110 on the Pokes