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Pac-12 Football Odds and Picks: The Gamble-Tron, Week Three

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Back back back to earth

Partial Lunar Eclipse In Indonesia Photo by WF Sihardian/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Welcome back. When we last left you, our record was looking good, and we were seeking to find some Week Two inefficiencies in the market. That...did not go well. It started off well enough, and we may have hit a couple speed bumps, but when Colorado finished off its comeback and Penn State surged in the second half to hit the over, things were looking quite nice.

Then the sun set.

First, USC exploded on Stanford after a 17-3 deficit. Then Hawaii let OSU hang around for the entire game. Finally, two-touchdown favorite Washington couldn’t beat Cal. And thus, we coughed and wheezed our way to the finish line with an 0-3 record. What’s the bright side? Well, I’ll happily take Washington to cover every spread from here to eternity if it means a loss.

Why I love gambling: It is so satisfying when you play a hunch, backed up by a little historical data, and it comes through. Such was the case with NMSU-Alabama. It just seemed like Saban let off the gas in these types of games, and damned if Bama didn’t get out to a huge lead and bleed the clock to win by 52. Woooo!

Why I hate gambling: Well for one, two more goddamn pushes. Additionally, I tried to fade North Carolina by laying 4.5 on Miami. So of course Miami rallies to take a five-point lead late in the game, and then craps down its legs when facing a true freshman quarterback. God they suck.

Where did the second push come from? Also, Miami wasn’t on the docket, was it? Well, I felt froggy on Twitter.

Another bummer is when you know you’re going to lose a bet, so you start rooting for the team you faded. This happened with Army-Michigan, so of course Army couldn’t close the deal and I was doubly disappointed. STOP PASSING ARMY IT’S NOT WHAT YOU DO. LIKE, EVER.

Last Week: 7-9-2

Season Total: 17-13-4

Reader Results:

  • stewak: 6-2
  • BothwaysUphill: 4-3
  • ezcrew: 3-1-1 (I did see the Texas line go to seven in some spots)
  • dumpsterfire15: 7-4-1 (thanks to Jimbo for kicking in the back door)
  • 425CougFan: 6-2
  • .:R: 4-2-1
  • wsubrady27: 3-7

Washington State Cougars (-9) at Houston Cougars: In a battle of Cougs vs. Coogs, the Houston version clearly has motivation on its side, as that 1988 Aloha Bowl loss undoubtedly still stings. Then again, I’m sure Mike Leach won’t let his players forget about the cheap shot a Houston player took at a WSU player as time expired, causing a near-brawl. For the last six months, I figured I’d take Houston here, but sometimes the homerism gets the best of me. So anyway, lock up Houston.

The Pick: Our Cougs

Air Force Falcons at Colorado Buffaloes (-4): Umm, am I missing something here? Colorado is 2-0, and coming off a stunning comeback win over Nebraska. Air Force beat Colgate. That’s it. How is this game only a four point spread? That line stinks. Stinks I say! This is me, running toward the smell.

The Pick: Wild Blue Yonder

Stanford Cardinal (+7.5) at Central Florida Golden Knights: This is a tough one. I just get the feeling that Stanford is going to beat the heat and at least keep it close. I’m not one of those “Back the Pac” people, and I couldn’t care less whether 11 of the 12 conference teams lose every week. (yes, I know this isn’t always possible). But anyway, the conference really needs this one.

The Pick: Stanford

USC Trojans (-4) at BYU Cougars: How suddenly things seem to have turned around for Southern Cal. Could Clay Helton actually remain employed? The good news - Kedon Slovis may turn out to be pretty good. The bad news - Clay is about to have a new boss, as USC is in search of another ex-football player with zero experience to run the athletic department. The decent news - BYU ain’t that great, and we know their fan base has absolutely no idea what to do with a Trojan.

The Pick: USC

Arizona State Sun Devils (+13.5) at Michigan State Spartans: This is another smelly line. What exactly has Michigan State done to merit a two touchdown spread against a comparable team? I know ASU didn’t look good last week, but Herm’s Helmets always seem to play close games, and it’s not like Sparty is often seen blowing out Power Five competition, Holiday Bowls excepted.

The Pick: Devils

North Texas Mean Green at California Golden Bears (-14): Cal is coming off a huge road win, which ended like 45 minutes ago. North Texas isn’t very good - they gave up 45 to SMU - but something tells me that circumstances are ripe for a Cal letdown.

The Pick: UNT

Hawaii Warriors at Washington Huskies (-21): Huge matchup here, as the Pac-12’s first-place Rainbow Warriors (2-0 conference record) face the LOLOLOLOLOLast-place Washington Huskies (0-1 conference record). Hawaii is a completely different team when they leave the islands, and Washington will get to play at a normal time, so if they lose they can’t blame the weather this time.

The Pick: Your last-place Huskies

Oklahoma Sooners at UCLA Bruins (+23.5): Man, I have gone back-and-forth on this game. On one hand, Oklahoma is still a juggernaut, while UCLA gets worse by the week. On the other hand, UCLA looked respectable against eventual CFP participant OU last season. There’s also the absolute certainty that UCLA is looking right past the Sooners to their date in Pullman next Saturday. I’m going contrarian this week. Mostly.

The Pick: UCLA

Texas Tech Red Raiders at Arizona Wildcats (+2.5): Good lord, I have no earthly idea. In this case, I’m taking the home team getting points.

The Pick: Wildcats / Over 76

First half picks sure to go wrong:

North Carolina Tar Heels at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-1.5): I faded the Heels last week, and it should’ve won dammit! I’m going back to that well, and hoping to find some high-quality H2O.

The Pick: Deacs

Alabama Crimson Tide (-15.5) at South Carolina Gamecocks: It was really cool to see Ryan Hilinski have a great debut last weekend. This weekend will not go so well, as the Tide love to jump on their opponents.

The Pick: Tua

Oklahoma State Cowboys (-7) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane: This one’s for T. Boone!

The Pick: ‘Pokes

Other randomness:

Pitt Panthers at Penn State Nittany Lions (-17): If you don’t think James Franklin wants to score 70, I don’t know what to tell you.

The Pick: We are...

I’m sure stupidity will overtake me once again on Saturday, in the form of more Twitter picks. Until then...