This is the latest in our series of stories previewing the 2018 Washington State Cougars football season. For other installments, click here.
Welcome to Year Five of this labor of love that often turns into episodes of rage on a weekly basis. Man, I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for that long. The only thing that outpaces the number of Gamble-Tron losses is the amount of beer consumed in that time. If we’re being honest, the beer won in a blowout.
So here we are, on the cusp of another Cougar Football season, which is accompanied by Pac-12 football season, which brings with it loads of more pretend gambling fun. Now that we reside in Germany, it’ll be a little more of a challenge this year, as we won’t be able to watch nearly as much college football as we’ve normally watched over the last, /checks notes, 25+ years??!! That’s not depressing at all.
On the other hand, watching hours upon hours up on hours of college football hasn’t helped a lick when it comes to accurately predicting outcomes, so maybe less is more? We’ll cling to anything at this point.
On a related note, I saw this tweet the other day and wondered how Mr. Russo was able to crawl inside the Gamble-Tron’s mind.
The best part of college football is just how often nobody knows what the hell they are doing.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) August 26, 2018
Let’s move on to what’s really important. Thanks to a very profitable bowl season, due largely to huge bets placed on Florida Atlantic and Appalachian State, we’re starting out 2018 well into the black. It’s only a matter of time until that spirals out of control. And awaaaaaaay we go!
As always, I encourage any and all of you to play along. I will always publish everyone’s previous week’s results, and you are not bound to pick the same games I do. Pick them all, pick different games altogether, pick a few. I just enjoy the interaction, and I’m sure you all enjoy beating the tar out of me.
Cash Balance: $7,820
Colorado State Rams (+7.5/-110) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (-7.5/-110): Colorado State had a Week Zero game last season, and rolled over Oregon State. They lost by two TDs to the Buffs the next weekend. This year, they played another Week Zero game, and were on the wrong end of a Hawaii curb-stomping. Colorado has won three straight in the series. All signs point to another easy Colorado win. On the other hand...
As God is my witness that will never not be funny. This photo has to come through at some point, right? RIGHT??!!
The Pick: $110 on the Rams
San Diego State Aztecs (+15.5/-110) at Stanford Cardinal (-15.5/-110): The Cardinal are out for payback after falling to the Aztecs last season. Stanford had nobody to blame but itself for last year’s loss, as Bryce Love ran for 184 yards on just 13(!!!) carries. Maybe give him the ball a few more times, David. Stanford shouldn’t struggle a whole lot, but they will be tested, and Rocky Long will have his guys ready to play.
The Pick: $110 on SDSU
Washington State Cougars (-3/-110) at Wyoming Cowboys (+3/-110): As we stated way back when, this line opened much, much higher, at WSU -7.5. I was really really, and I mean REALLY hoping this would settle at 3.5. Alas, here we are. Look, I have no goddamn idea what to expect out of this Cougar team, both on Saturday and for the season as a whole. Can they beat Wyoming? Yes. Should they beat Wyoming? Of course. Will they beat Wyoming? If they do, it’ll be pretty close.
The Pick: $110 on Wyoming
Oregon State Beavers (+37/-110) at Ohio State Buckeyes (-37/-110): Urban Meyer is morally and ethically bankrupt, but you already knew that. Besides, he won’t be coaching the team anyway. Will all of this preseason turmoil bring the Buckeyes together, or show fraying at the edges of the program? That remains to be seen, because Oregon State is terrible, and Ohio State should cover the spread early in the second half. In other words, get ready for a 21-13 game entering the fourth quarter.
The Pick: $110 on Ohio State
BYU Cougars (+11.5/-110) at Arizona Wildcats (-11.5/-110): BYU lost nine games last season. Six of them were by 16 points or more. Arizona has Khalil Tate, and Kevin Sumlin always starts better than he finishes, both in individual games and over entire seasons.
The Pick: $110 on Arizona
UTSA Roadrunners (+19/-110) at Arizona State Sun Devils (-19/-110): It’s finally here! Herm Edwards day! I was pretty surprised to see all of the talent ASU has coming back. But the schedule...man, that schedule. UTSA managed a 6-5 record last year, and has been anything but an easy “W” over the past few seasons. ASU should be pretty decent this year, even if their record may not reflect it. They have a ton of offensive talent, and a competent coordinator running the defense. This is a dead cat bounce kind of season for ASU. It starts here.
The Pick: $110 on Herman’s Hermits
UNLV Rebels (+25.5/-110) at USC Trojans (-25.5/-110): USC’s starting quarterback should be wearing his high school letterman jacket and stuffing skinny kids into lockers. Instead, he’s taking the first snap for the Trojans at the L.A. Coliseum. I don’t know how good he’ll be, but he does have a lot of talent around him, and UNLV is terrible.
The Pick: $110 on USC
Cincinnati Bearcats (+17/-110) at UCLA Bruins (-17/-110): Raise your hand if you have any idea what to expect from UCLA this year. If your hand is up, you’re a liar. I don’t know much about Cincinnati, except that they lost by four touchdowns to a terrible East Carolina team last year, and Andy Dalton sucks.
The Pick: $110 on Charles Kelly
Washington Huskies (+2.5/-110) vs. Auburn Tigers (-2.5/-110): This game opened at Auburn -3, and is trending downward to as low as Auburn -1 in some spots. I really really really wish the line had stuck at three, because it would have made taking UW a lot easier. Now that it’s trending toward UW, my instinct is to jump on the Tigers, especially since their defensive line will give UW its toughest test of the season. This is purely a reverse jinx situation.
The Pick: $110 on UW
North Carolina Tar Heels (+7/-110) at California Golden Bears (-7/-110): Man, this is a tough one. I was all over the Bears last year when they went to Chapel Hill as an underdog. Turned out they won outright. UNC was horribad last season, and Larry Fedora has apparently turned to an unnamed 3-Star General for advice about the future of football. I think this is a seven point game.
The Pick: $110 on UNC
Bowling Green Falcons (+30.5/-110) at Oregon Ducks (-30.5/-110): This feels like one of those games where the favorite is up by like 24 at halftime, puts the scrubs in, and staggers toward the final whistle. If there’s one thing the Gamble-Tron loves, it’s the back door...cover.
The Pick: $110 on the
The Gamble-Tron has learned that Bowling Green’s coach is someone names Mike Jinks. In two seasons, Mike Jinks is 6-18. DID I MENTION THAT BOWLING GREEN HIRED A GUY NAMED JINKS
$110 on the Ducks
Alabama Crimson Tide (-24/-110) vs. Louisville Cardinals (+24/-110): Who is starting at quarterback for the Tide? Who cares? I see dead people. Or people in neck braces. Whatever.
The Pick: $220 on Nick and the Sabans
Navy Midshipmen (-11/-110) at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (+11/-110): This line opened at Navy -15.5. After Hawaii hammered Colorado State, it moved dramatically. The classic Week One overreaction is ripe for the picking, and I’ve got my basket in hand.
The Pick: $110 on Navy
So there you have it, the first weekly edition of our exercise in futility for 2018. Let me know who you like, who you don’t like, and most importantly, how stupid I am. IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON!!!