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

The weeks are melting away

Autumn Colours In Wales Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

We are already near the season’s midpoint and, like every other year, wondering where all the time went. The older we get, the faster time seems to move, and that’s especially true for college football season. The week-to-week routine, which is absent from January-August, takes hold as summer turns to fall and early winter, and before you know it, you’re scrambling to find last-minute Christmas gifts at the gas station. That’s just me? Ok then.

Despite the rhythmic pace the college football season takes on, it’s often difficult to get into a groove when it comes to picking games. There are so many variables (weather, injuries, “give a crap” factor, etc.) that it’s nearly impossible to accurately predict what college students and their adult minders will do from week to week. It’s what makes this exercise both maddening and exhilarating. On to the results!

Why I’m a genius: It’s not always who you bet, sometimes it’s how you bet. I may only have been one game above .500, but every game on which I put down a little extra cash came home a winner. Let’s start with the Cougs. Never a doubt there! It’s still a mystery to me why WSU opened as the favorite and closed as a home dog. Across the mountains, that’s five Washington games, five unders. Down in Oregon, the Costanza Method is still unbeaten! It’s especially sweet considering how teams in Oregon’s spot had performed of late.

Notre Dame and Stanford looked to be relatively even, but considering Stanford’s predicament, seemed like an easy call. Turned out it was! I’m really glad I didn’t watch that USC game, because I might have thrown the remote through the TV as USC did everything in its power to lose the game. Shout out to the Arizona kicker for making me a winner!

Speaking of a team trying to give me a stroke, West Virginia, come on down! The Mountaineers did whatever they wanted, taking a 35-10 lead into halftime. So of course Texas Tech came out with a backup quarterback (who is horrid) and closed within a score before a came-clinching pick-six. Too close for me! What wasn’t too close? The UCF game. Pat Narduzzi may not be long for Pittsburgh.

Why I’m an idiot: I really need to stop with the last-second Twitter picks, as you can see.

My percentage would have been better without that 2-4 record. The only reason I totally avoided disaster was my heavy bet on Okie State, but most of the rest of those picks didn’t come close to cashing. Can’t seem to zero in on Washington yet. Their offense is consistently inconsistent.

Beavs, oh, Beavs. You keep producing just enough offense to almost cover. Of course, it didn’t help that the clinching score came in garbage time, courtesy of a 41-yard bomb. Boooo, Herm! Boooo! While I was sleeping, UCLA was playing tough at Colorado. Then they started the second half, and, loser! This has to be really weird for Chuck Kelly. Finally, I thought Old Dominion would suffer a big letdown after the Va Tech upset. They did lose, but not by enough.

Last Week: 9-8 / $620

Season Total: 43-36-2

Cash Balance: $8,840

Reader Results:

  • stewak: 5-5 / -$35
  • MyHopesareAsinine: 4-5 / -$50
  • Keith_Clark_: 2-5 / -$350
  • BothwaysUphill: 5-4 / $60
  • CougarCottage: 3-1 / $1,042
  • cougman the II: 7-4 / $260
  • MagicCoug: 5-3 / $170
  • ThaiCoug: 5-3 / $270
  • sdcoug09: 9-3 / $570 (pretty good debut!)
  • cougbud: 3-7 / $261
  • wsubrady27: 5-3 / $170 (nice call on that Texas Under)
  • .:R: 4-3 / $70
  • 425CougFan: 5-0 (!!!!!) / $1,010
  • Hockeycoug: 2-2 / -$20

It took until Week Six to get our first lineup of purely conference games. This should be where we excel. It is not where we excel.

ASU (+2.5/-110) at Colorado (-2.5/-110): The Sun Devils head northeast to try and /checks notes, get a leg up on the only unbeaten team in the Pac-12 South? Now sure, Colorado’s opponents thus far have one more win than a dead person, but considering preseason expectations, the Buffs probably won’t apologize. I have no idea how good either of these teams are, but Herm’s Helmets have been tested to a much greater extent.

The Pick: $110 on ASU

Washington (-21.5/-110) at UCLA (+21.5/-110): A glance at UCLA’s remaining schedule reveals a high degree of likelihood that they won’t win a game this season. Guess who else knows about not winning a game for an entire season. Yep, the fans of this week’s opponent. Anyway, until Washington demonstrates the kind of offensive production over a few more games, and proves that BYU wasn’t an outlier, I’ll take the home team getting a hook over three touchdowns.

The Pick: $110 on UCLA and $220 Under 51

Utah (+5/-110) at Stanford (-5/-110): One thing we suck at (among many) at Gamble-Tron HQ is researching trends. Stupid jobs and families. We do believe the back end of consecutive road games to be a perennially tough spot. That’s where Utah finds itself this week. And while the Ute defense seems far more geared toward stopping a Stanford-type offense that WSU’s, and while Bryce (I totally should not have stayed at Stanford) Love may be dinged up, the Cardinal really need this one. I mean, so does Utah, but whatever.

The Pick: $110 on Stanford and $110 on Under 46

WSU (-16.5/-110) at OSU (+16.5/-110): From a win/lose standpoint, this game is a tad scary. From a gambling standpoint, this game is all out frightening. OSU hasn’t beaten an FBS opponent, and has lost its P5 games by 46, 21 and 28 points. Even lightly-regarded Arizona dominated the Beavers in Corvallis. On the other hand, WSU has won by 17 or more just one time in its last nine trips to OSU, and that came in 2010. That game will go down as one of the most baffling results in the history of WSU football.

The last time WSU played in Corvallis, they were heavy favorites as well, and needed a near-miraculous comeback to win. I gave the points in that one, and lost. To add to that, OSU’s offense has looked more than competent, especially on the ground. WSU is clearly the better team, and this is the type of game they’ve done well in this season, easily dispatching lesser opponents. I have no idea why but I could write several more words about this game. Alas, you have zero interest in that.

The Pick: Plugging my nose, covering my eyes and putting $110 on the Cougs

Cal (-2/-110) at Arizona (+2/-110): The opening line was…odd. Despite the disparity in this season’s results, Arizona opened as the favorite. Didn’t take long for that to cross the Rubicon over to Cal, where it currently sits, and will almost certainly remain. Aside from the Oregon State game, Arizona has had trouble scoring this season. Against all conventional wisdom, Cal has come to rely on its defense. I want to take Cal. I should take Cal. I’m not gonna take Cal.

The Pick: $110 on Arizona

Kansas (+28.5/-110) at West Virginia (-28.5/-110): I can’t let West Virginia’s near-collapse last week scare me off. Plus, “Operation Fade Kansas” is back in full effect.

The Pick: $110 on the ‘Neers

Florida State (+12.5/-110) at Miami (-12.5/-110): What am I missing here? Don’t answer that. But seriously, this line opened at 13, and it dropped? Miami is a fringe top 10 team, while Florida State is a fringe Bottom 25 team. I am completely baffled as to why this line isn’t north of 17. I’ll take the bait. I’ll probably end up in a crab pot destined for Dutch Harbor, but still.

The Pick: $330 on the Turnover Chain

Utah State (+2.5/-110) at BYU (-2.5/-110): Feels like a bounce back spot for the second-rate Cougars as they come back home to face a sort of kind of maybe at some point rival. They should have more success on the ground than they had in Seattle.

The Pick: $110 on BYU

SMU (+24/-110) at Central Florida (-24/-110): This line opened at 26 and dropped to 24. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

The Pick: $220 on the Knights

Oklahoma (-8.5/-110) vs. Texas (+8.5/-110): I could foresee at OU boatrace. Texas has been far worse than OU over the past few years, but the last four games have been decided by seven points or less. Tom Herman always seems to excel as the underdog, and the ‘Horns are getting north of eight? I’ll take it.

The Pick: $Hook ‘em for $110

Happy Gambling.