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Pac-12 Football odds and picks: The Gamble-Tron, Bowl edition

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Like a phoenix rising from the ashes!

New York Reacts To George Zimmerman Verdict Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Merry Christmas (Eve)! You have better things to do today, like hit up the gas station for that last-minute present, insert a bourbon IV to make your in-laws tolerable, or (gasp) go out into the cold and shovel the driveway. No such problem at Gamble-Tron HQ, where it’s a balmy 78 degrees. Regardless, we hope you’re all having a great holiday.

Following a profitable (thanks once more to non-Pac-12 bets) final installment, we had planned to put the Gamble-Tron into mothballs until next fall. The Cougs pulled their annual face plant in the Apple Cup, and our Pac-12 picks were really, really, really bad. Morale was in the crapper, and there wasn’t much motivation to risk our menial winnings.

Final Week: 5-8

Season Total: 71-72-5

Cash Balance: $505

It was time to regroup and reevaluate why it is we can’t come close to accurately forecasting the conference we watch more than any other. No reason to risk more cash.

BUT WAIT

We just couldn’t resist, and we found a big ol’ marker.

FAU has been blowing people out for most of the season, and Akron didn’t belong on the same field. I know bowls are always wonky, but I couldn’t pass this one up.

All is well with the world. This was the most obvious pick of the bowl season. There was another obvious one.

If you took the Aztecs, like I did, this was probably the most frustrating game you’ve ever watched. San Diego State looked like none of their players had ever seen an option offense, even though THEY SEE AT LEAST ONE EVERY YEAR.

So, time to lick our wounds and accept the handsome profit, right? WRONG!

I didn’t turn on the game until App State led 27-0. Stress-free gambling is the best gambling. So, how do things stand now?

Bowl Record: 2-1

Overall Record: 73-73-5

Cash Balance: $7,470

Since the Pac-12 hasn’t begun its bowl season yet (just ask Oregon), let’s try and predict what are some of the most unpredictable results in all sporting matches. The key here is to stay behind our skis and head into 2018 with a positive balance. Shouldn’t be too hard, which is why we’re screwed.

Heart of Dallas Bowl - Utah (-6.5/-110) vs. West Virginia (+6.5/-110): Good news for West Virginia: Will Grier and David Sills are returning next season. Bad news for West Virginia: Grier probably isn’t playing in this game. If there are two things we know about Utah, it’s that they crap the bed during the second half of every season, then win their lower-tier bowl game.

The Pick: $220 on Utah and $220 on the Under 56

Cactus Bowl - Kansas St (-3/-115) vs. UCLA (+3/+115): With Josh Rosen opting to sit this one out, the line has gone up to as much as 7 in some places. Well, there’s an old song that suggests “you better shop around,” and that’s what we did. Last-minute Christmas shopping revealed that the line is still 3 at the MGM Grand. Gotta take the Wildcats in what will likely be Bill Snyder’s last game before he quits next August and forces KSU to hire his kid even though they really want to hire Jim Leavitt.

The Pick: $230 on Kansas State

Alamo Bowl - Stanford (+2.5/-110) vs. TCU (-2.5/-110): I have a really hard time trusting KJ Costello when he’s facing Gary Patterson, who’s had a long time to prepare. Bryce Love should get his yards, but I don’t think he’ll get enough. The difference in this game will be determined by whether TCU’s offense can generate enough points. We say they can, barely.

The Pick: $220 on TCU

Foster Farms Bowl - Purdue (+3.5/-110) vs. Arizona (-3.5/-110): Purdue had a sneaky-good run defense this year. Arizona still stinks, for the most part, on defense. Khalil Tate is as dangerous as ever, but he’s not exactly playing on a fast track in Santa Clara. I think Purdue will try and slow this game down as much as they can, and they should keep it close.

The Pick: $220 on Purdue

Holiday Bowl - Michigan St (+1.5/-110) vs. WSU (-1.5/-110): This opened at WSU -2.5, but most places have come to their senses, and it’s a PK at some casinos. I’m gonna lean on WSU’s penchant for no-showing against defenses with a pulse. That, coupled with the fact that WSU’s best defender will miss the first half, makes for another snoozer, leaving a pretty bad taste in the mouths of Cougar fans for the second straight offseason.

The Pick: $110 on Sparty

Sun Bowl - NC State (-7/-110) vs. ASU (+7/-110): Subplots galore for the Sun Devils, as lame duck Todd Graham is coaching his final game before Herm Edwards, aka the guy who hates devils, takes over and watches the program burn to the ground. Look for this to be one of the most inexplicable results of the bowl season, as ASU should probably lose by 24.

The Pick: $110 on the Fork

Cotton Bowl - USC (+7.5/-110) vs. Ohio State (-7.5/-110): This game should really be called The Cotton Bowl presented by Tom Hansen’s corpse which is currently doing summersaults underground. A bit wordy, yes, but true. Pretty simply, I don’t think Ohio State is very good. I don’t think USC is very good either, but they can keep it close.

The Pick: $220 on USC

Fiesta Bowl - Washington (+2.5/-110) vs. Penn State (-2.5/-110): I really really really wish I’d jumped on this game when it opened at PSU -4.5. But I’m lazy, so now it’s a measly 2.5. No matter, as UW is going to take away Saquon Barkley and make Trace McSorley beat them. I don’t think he can.

The Pick: $110 on UW and $330 on the under 56

Camping World Bowl - Oklahoma State (-4/-110) vs. Virginia Tech (+4/-110): This line opened at 6.5, and has gone down. What am I missing? OK State is way better. Not that that matters on bowl games. Into the trap I go.

The Pick: $220 on the Pokes

Hawaii Bowl: Houston (-2.5/-110) vs. Fresno State (+2.5/-110): I guess I’m missing something here, too, because Fresno State is the better team, and they’re getting points. Hook, line, sinker.

The Pick: 220 on the Green V

Depending on how these play out, I may or may not check back in with more picks on Twitter. Merry Christmas, and Go Cougs

Football

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Beer

Best beer I had this week: Pretty solid week overall. Gotta go with Funky Buddha’s Last Buffalo in the Park, which is back for its second go-around. It’s much easier to procure this time, which is nice. After that, I tried to branch away from my usual barrel-aged porters and stouts, opting for a Mikkeller Alaskan Wild Ale. I’ve never eaten a tree branch before, but I suspect that’s what this beer tasted like. Couldn’t come close to finishing it.

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Non-Sports

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