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

Slow improvement is still improvement!

‘The Bandit’ - 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for SXSW

Welcome back. This has been somewhat of a melancholy week at Gamble-Tron headquarters, given the passing of legendary actor Burt Reynolds. Now, to be fair, he was only the second-best actor ever to be named Burt. And no, the best isn’t Burt Ward. Not only was Reynolds a good athlete in real life, one of his most famous roles (non-backwoods category) came in The Longest Yard as Paul Crewe, who played QB for the inmates.

And while you all know about his roles in Cannon Ball Run and Smokey and the Bandit, a quick search through his lengthy IMDB page shows some other great roles. He played characters named Johnny Ringo, Navajo Joe and Sam Whiskey, and appeared in shows with titles like Skullduggery, White Lightning (where his character name was Gator McCluskey), and of course, Stroker Ace. How great are those title and character names?!

Reynolds even had a bit part in possibly the greatest sports movie of all time, Six Pack, in which a bunch of pre-teens somehow are able to form a pit crew at a NASCAR race. All of that aside, Reynold’s crowning achievement occurred in 1992 when he appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210. What does any of this have to do with WSU or gambling? Well, nothing. I just wanted an excuse to show y’all this clip. You’re welcome.

Why I’m a genius: I was a bit scared of the Houston pick after watching the predictions segment in College Gameday. Took five seconds of game time to erase those fears. Slid by with that Utah pick, but taking a flyer on the Under made it especially sweet. The Cal quarterback situation is quite odd, but luckily BYU went back to being BYU. HER-MAN HER-MAN HER-MAN! He may be an idiot savant, but Herm Edwards can sure motivate some young men.

As I hinted at last week, there was no chance the karma gods were going to let Liberty get close to Army. Sure enough, the Black Knights rolled the tanks into covertown. Had a feeling about Kansas State not being the underdog threat they’ve traditionally been. Mississippi State has too many thoroughbreds, despite Nick Fitzgerald and his ghastly passes.

Why I’m an idiot: Oklahoma was easing into the cover column, right up until they weren’t. GOD I HATE BACKDOOR COVERS. Nebraska was another one that should have been a win, so of course their freshman dynamo Adrian Martinez gets hurt and there’s nobody behind him but a walk-on because everybody else left town. I knew better than to take USC and their driver’s permit-owning quarterback. It’s weird how much worse Clay Helton looks without Sam Darnold.

WSU should have won by 48. WSU did not win by 48. WSU also did not score as many points on San Jose State as UC Davis did. I knew, I KNEW I was getting on Hawaii’s bandwagon a week late. The road to gambling hell is paved with betting slips like mine. Finally, it seems like just last week that I was lamenting not taking Alabama every week OH WAIT THAT WAS LAST WEEK. So what did I do? Yep, picked against Alabama! You can’t fix stupid.

Last Week: 7-6

Season Total: 11-14-1

Cash Balance: $7,370

Reader Results:

  • cougbud: 4-8 / -$480
  • Keith_Clark_: 3-5 / -$250
  • .:R: 4-7 / -$370
  • stewak: 5-3 / +120
  • BothwaysUphill: 5-6 / -$160
  • cmaddex: 5-3 / $170
  • MyHopesareAsinine: 4-4 / -$40
  • MagicCoug: 2-6 / -$460
  • ThaiCoug: 3-9 / -$590

San Jose State (+41/-110) at Oregon (-41/-110): Sparty West (and Worst) is going back out on the road, likely in an effort to pick up a check that will fund most of their athletic department for the year. I don’t think they score more than 10, and Oregon can name its score. The only worry is that Justin Herbert is on the bench after only a few series. Oh well.

The Pick: $220 on Oregon

Oregon State (+4.5/-110) at Nevada (-4.5/-110): In week one, Nevada scored 77 points, while OSU gave up 77. In week two, Nevada scored only 10 points. Zero research hints at Nevada’s one-game swing being one of the biggest ever. I have no idea whether Nevada is any good (I suspect they aren’t). I know OSU isn’t good. I want to take Nevada, but this feels like a George Costanza situation.

The Pick: $110 on the Beavs

USC (+3/-110) at Texas (-3/-110): What a matchup. Vince Young vs. Matt Leinart. Pete Carroll vs. Mack Brown. Cowboy boots vs. board shorts. Wait, what year is this? Oh, that’s right. So anyway, it’s pretty bizarre that a game between two teams with that much history is largely an afterthought, but here we are. I’m going with Bruce Feldman’s body blow theory here, seeing as how Southern Cal played a road game against a bruising opponent last week. But man, Texas sucks so bad. Oh well, always bet on brisket.

The Pick: $110 on Texas

Washington (-6/-110) at Utah (+6/-110): Am I the only person who thinks this line should be closer to 10? Utah’s offense has been hideous, and Washington’s hasn’t been much better. Meanwhile, the defenses are both quite stout. The odds-makers must give Utah’s home field more credit than I do.

The Pick: $110 on Washington and $110 on Under 47.5

Fresno State (-1/-110) at UCLA (+1/-110): Both teams are coming off heart-breaking situations last week. Fresno had all but tied the game at Minnesota, but their trick play went awry at the last second. UCLA didn’t play a close game, but they broke my heart with their stupid touchdown at the end of the game. I think Fresno is the better team. Hell, they are probably the best FSU in America this season.

The Pick: $110 on Fres-YES

ASU (-5/-110) at San Diego State (+5/-110): The most bizarre story of the week isn’t that ASU took down Michigan State. It’s that there are so many “experts” already writing the “Looks like I was wrong about Herm Edwards!” column. IT’S BEEN TWO GODDAMN WEEKS SHEEPLE DID YOU EVER STOP AND THINK THAT MAYBE TODD GRAHAM LEFT SOME TALENT BEHIND AND ALSO MAYBE MICHIGAN STATE ISN’T THAT GOOD OF COURSE YOU DIDN’T. This is ASU's dead cat bounce season. It may even include a win here.

The Pick: $110 on the Aztecs

Boston College (-6/-110) at Wake Forest (+6/-110): This one got moved up to Thursday due to the approaching hurricane. Aside: Guess what I don’t miss about living in the South! I’m all about jumping aboard the BC bandwagon this year.

The Pick: $110 on the Eagles

Georgia Southern (+35/-110) at Clemson (-35/-110): This is a weird situation. Clemson is a five touchdown favorite, but the total is sitting at 44.5. Probably has something to do with what will likely be a quagmire on Saturday, but that’s an awfully tight margin. I don’t think this game is gonna happen, but if it does, I’ll take the underdog since Clemson is coming off a very emotional game at Texas A&M.

The Pick: $110 on Ga Southern

New Mexico (-4.5/-110) at New Mexico State (+4.5/-110): I know the Lobos aren’t any good, but aren’t the Aggies supposed to be super duper terrible? This opened at seven and has sunk to 4.5. Time to pounce.

The Pick: $220 on New Mexico

Vanderbilt (+15/-110) at Notre Dame (-15/-110): Maybe it’s just me, but Notre Dame seems to be overrated after that Michigan win. Lol it can’t just be me, those guys are overrated every year. Vandy? Well, I guess we’ll see.

The Pick: Anchor Down for $110

SMU (+35/-110) at Michigan (-35/-110): Michigan seems to be a team that dominates inferior opponents, but still can’t beat anybody who has similar talent. SMU, bless their hearts, does not have similar talent.

The Pick: $110 on Big Blue

Boise State at Oklahoma State (O/U 63.5/-110): This should be a fun game.

The Pick: $220 on the Over