Welcome back to the column you should boo mercilessly, but you already knew that. Why should you voice your dissatisfaction with our predictions? Well, among myriad reasons, we’re boring. Taking the “under” when it comes to totals is about as killjoy as it gets. Who doesn’t want points? Points are exciting! Points make college football a joy to watch! WHAT KIND OF MONSTER WANTS ALABAMA-LSU EVERY DAMN WEEK??!!
/meekly raises hand
Look, I enjoy lots of touchdowns as much as the next guy, but there’s money to be made when the calendar turns to November and the weather turns ugly. My only regret is that I didn’t jump on a couple more totals as the wind and cold washed over the region, particularly in East Lansing and State College. I mean, all I had to do was listen to the great Beano Lightfoot:
“The legend lives on from George Perles on down of the team we all like to call Sparty. The Badgers they said punt the ball ‘til they’re dead when the gales of November come early.”
Yep, many punted early, and many punted often. We’ll check the weather forecast toward the end of the week to see if there are more high winds blowing off the lake they call “gitche gumee.” In the meantime, let’s take a look back.
Why I’m a genius: Speaking of the gales, thanks to this tweet:
Welcome to frigid Iowa City, where I think the windchill right now matches the number of colleges I attended. Join @3rd_Goal @Joe_Davis & myself for a battle in the @b1gfootball west. #Northwestern at #Iowa. 330 ET on FOX.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 10, 2018
We sent this tweet:
The Gamble-Tron doesn't foresee a ton of scoring in Iowa City today. $220 on Under 44.5.— PJ Kendall ✈ ⚰ (@Deathby105) November 10, 2018
These teams didn’t even eclipse 25! BIG TEN FOOTBALL CATCH THE EXCITEMENT! WAIT WHERE IS EVERYBODY GOING?!
The Cougs continue to deliver, thanks to a dominant second half. Too bad Chris “The Bear” Fallica was on the wrong side of our beloved Cougs, along with Kirk Herbstreit. But seriously, if you’re in to this sort of thing, listen to Stanford Steve and The Bear’s gambling podcast. I really enjoy it. Anyone who has seen USC’s offense lately, and Cal’s defense last week could have figured there was no way those two were combining for seven touchdowns. Like Iowa-Northwestern, this game didn’t sniff the total.
My Aggies continue to send me to payment window. They’re the closest there is to a sure thing this side of the Bills picking the worst quarterback in the draft. That Georgia pick wasn’t looking great at first, though the total was never really in doubt. Thank god for D’Andre Swift. I couldn’t have been the only person who looked at that Iowa line and thought, “That’s dumb. That is really really dumb.” But seriously, what on earth was Vegas thinking there?
Finally, there’s West Virginia. Laying double digits at home, and trailing a terrible TCU team after a quarter? Holgo hair don’t give a good goddamn.
33 straight Mountaineer points later, we were cashing another ticket.
Why I’m an idiot: Remember last week when I went a cool 5-0 ATS on my Saturday Pac-12 picks? Yeah, neither does anybody else. Aside from the Cougs, it was one kick to the fellas after another. It started with ASU, who beat a good team by 18 a week ago, but struggled to beat a bad team this week. College kids! Next up, we had Oregon, who we used to think was good, but is actually secret trash. They led by three points halfway through the fourth quarter, and couldn’t even cover a 4.5 spread as the underdog.
Oregon State continues to
have some moments of competence suck really really bad. They gave up nearly half-a-hundred to a Stanford team missing its best offensive player? Really? This screenshot is a pretty good referendum on the state of the Beavers defense.
Coming into the game, Colby Parkinson had three touchdowns for the season. Against that Chernobyl of an Oregon State defense, 67% OF HIS SIX CATCHES WENT FOR TOUCHDOWNS.
Oh, and there’s a special place in gambling hell for USC and their mouth-breathing coach. They were shutting Cal down, and out, and were primed to take a 21-0 lead. Next thing you know, Cal turns them over, scores 15 in a row, and Iman Marshall is trash talking the Cal coaches. Stay classy, Trojans.
Last week: 8-4 / $660
Season Total: 82-70-6
Cash Balance: $10,610
- stewak: 2-3 / -$130
- BothwaysUphill: 5-2 / $280
- Keith_Clark_: 3-2 / $80
- Hockeycoug: 4-3 / $70 - I was telling the other staff members that if I’d seen the way LSU ended that game, I’d have burned an entire village to the ground. Brutal beat.
- wsubrady27: 3-6-1 / -$370
- ThaiCoug: 1-4 / -$340
- 425CougFan: 6-6 / -$850 - Decent week, just put the big cash on the wrong picks. Been there.
Utah (-7/-110) at Colorado (+7/-110): So does Mike MacIntyre still have a job or not? He probably shouldn’t, as that 2016 season is looking more like an aberration by the day. Guiding your team through a five-game winning streak and a five-game losing streak in the same season is really hard to do! Then again, take a look at those five teams Colorado beat. Only one of them, ASU, doesn’t stink. Know who else doesn’t suck? Utah.
The Pick: $110 on Utah and $110 Under 48
Stanford (-2.5/-110) at Cal (+2.5/-110): Cal slew one dragon last week, beating USC for the first time since we all saw Janet Jackson’s bare breast. Can they take down two dragons in two weeks? If you thought we hadn’t beaten Washington in a while, the Bears haven’t won the big game since 2009. This is almost certainly their best shot since that 34-28 victory. One thing I do know is this game will almost certainly not finish 34-28.
The Pick: $110 on Cal and $220 Under 45
Arizona (+9.5/-110) at WSU (-9.5/-110): This game looks to me a lot like the last time we saw our beloved Cougs in Martin Stadium. I have a lot of confidence that they’ll win, but I just don’t know if they can pull away from Khalil Tate and the suddenly decent-to-good Wildcats. Ahh screw it, I can’t turn away from my favorite Cougar team now. Pretty sure I’ll regret it but whatever.
The Pick: $110 on the Cougs
OSU (+33/-110) at Washington (-33/-110): Oregon State has become UCLA for me. No matter which angle I take, I just can’t get on the right side of the worst team in the conference. Ok, I can - WSU and USC come to mind - but it feels like I’m wrong on them every time. I think OSU can get to 13 or 14. I don’t think Chris Petersen will try and run it up on his former OC. God f***ing dammit.
The Pick: $110 on the cellar dwellers
USC (-3.5/EVEN) at UCLA (+3.5/-EVEN): Reeeeeeaaaalllly wish this line was three, but since we can get 3.5 at even money, we’re willing to settle for that. I think it’s pretty simple for Clay Helton; if he loses this game, he’s a goner. Even if he wins, and then gets boatraced by Notre Dame, he’s probably out. I think he should be fired regardless, but I really want him to stay because USC will likely be much better with a different coach. I think the USC players know their coach’s job is on the line, and I bet they play hard for him. After all, they prefer to have a guy they can walk all over, right Iman?
The Pick: $100 on USC
ASU (+4/-110) at Oregon (-4/-110): This one is pretty simple. Well, at least it should be. Oregon is not a very good team right now, and ASU is...well...decent? I guess?
The Pick: $110 on Herman’s Helmets
Kansas (+35.5/-110) at Oklahoma (-35.5/-110): Yeah, I know Oklahoma can’t play a lick of defense. Speaking of which, thank heavens they fired their defensive coordinator a couple weeks ago. Totally turned that unit around! That said, Oklahoma can play some offense. Kansas and its dead coach walking can do neither.
The Pick: $220 on the Okies
Texas State (+23.5/-110) at Troy (-23.5/-110): I have no actual analysis. Yes, I know, second verse, same as the first. So anyway Troy is pretty good and Texas State is terrible.
The Pick: $220 on the best Trojans squad in FBS.
Utah State (-27/-110) at Colorado State (+27/-110): Ain’t no way I can quit my Aggies now.
The Pick: $110 on my sorta favorite team and $110 Over 68
Let’s hear from you. Go Cougs.