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Pac-12 Football Odds and Picks: The Gamble-Tron’s Final Act

Didn’t we just start this thing?

Gorch Jib 1 Photo by Stephan Schulz/picture alliance via Getty Images

For the last time in 2020, welcome back. Does it feel like the season just started? Well, that’s kinda because it’s true! It’s mid-December and the Washington State Cougars have played a whopping three games. Does it seem like this season has lasted forever? Also kinda true! All of the events - both within and in addition to sports - that have taken place since the opening win over the Oregon State Beavers makes it feel like that game happened a decade ago.

But even though the Pac-12 just began play last month, we’re already preparing to tie the moorings on this abbreviated 2020 football season. We could probably continue on with our annual bowl picks, but who knows which ones will even be played? I mean, the first matchup of bowl season was already canceled! So here we are, ready to give out our last set of rock-solid lead pipe cinch “bet on these games as if they’ve already been played!” picks. As always, I enjoy doing this more than anything else on the site, and I appreciate each and every one of you who clicks and reads this nonsense. So, let’s do it again next SEPTEMBER, ok? Ok.

Why I’m a genius: Started the week with a resounding win, as the Arizona State Sun Devils just, well, I don’t think there’s a proper way to describe what they did to the Arizona Wildcats. Also snuck in a last-minute Iowa pick that lifted us to even for the week.

Why I’m an idiot: Twitter giveth, and Twitter (almost always) taketh. We threw out a couple first half bets that didn’t come home, even though Georgia very well should have. And despite the fact that we should know better, we jumped on the Nebraska Cornhuskers after learning that Minnesota would be missing like 30 players. Anecdotally, fading a team when it’s revealed that they’re missing a bunch of guys hasn’t been a wise decision this season. That is especially true when that team is playing Nebraska because Nebraska sucks.

Last Week: 6-6-2

Season Total: 55-53-1

USC Trojans (-3) vs. Washington Huskies Colorado Buffaloes Oregon Ducks: Just imagine if the Cougs would have held on to that first half lead against the Ducks. They’d be facing USC with the Pac-12 title on the line this week. Ok, I think they would? Doesn’t matter. But anyway I think Oregon is positively ordinary, but I’d probably take them if this line were more than three because USC has only played one dominant game this season. Well, I heard they did.

The Pick: USC / Over 62

Washington State Cougars at Utah Utes (-10.5): Tough draw for the Cougs, who will end the “season” having played in Martin Stadium all of one time. Also indicative of the Pac-12’s incompetence that they’re having to play at Utah, who has played two home games this season. But whatever, I’m just hopeful that they actually get to play, primarily because it starts at 7:30pm! I have no idea what to expect, but this seems like a lot of points.

The Pick: Cougs

Stanford Cardinal at UCLA Bruins (-7.5): The nomads have now gone from practicing in a public Seattle park to beating Washington to beating OSU to traveling all the way to L.A. for their final game. That they’ve managed to cobble together three straights wins after opening with two bad losses is pretty damn impressive, given the circumstances. Both of these teams are better than average (UCLA is probably the second-best team in the league) and both have played tight games against quality opponents. In that case, give me a touchdown-plus.

The Pick: Prodigal Sons

Arizona State Sun Devils (-7) at Oregon State Beavers: I’ve seen a fair amount of the Sun Devils this year, and they are pretty darn good. The problem is that they have one lapse here or there that seems to derail them, as happened against UCLA. The Beavs, meanwhile, have played every game close this year. They’ve only won two of six games (aside: THEY’VE PLAYED SIX GAMES), but only one of those was decided by more than six points. That one game was their 10-point loss to our Cougs. tl;dr the Beavers are good at staying within a touchdown.

The Pick: OSU / Over 54

Washington, Cal and Arizona are all idle this week due to COVID outbreak / contact tracing issues, while Colorado’s equipment truck is sitting at a Love’s somewhere in Southern Utah waiting on the phone to ring. I feel kinda bad for the Buffs, but chances are that even if they hadn’t spit the bit against Utah last week, Larry Scott and his merry band of idiots would have figured out a way to screw them out of a title shot anyway.

Texas A&M Aggies (-13.5) at Tennessee Volunteers: If you want to point to evidence of SEC bias, look at A&M, who hasn’t been anywhere near as impressive as its ranking would suggest. Even so, the Aggies are way better than Tennessee, and they need to make a final statement.

The Pick: A&M /barfs

Alabama Crimson Tide (-17) vs. Florida Gators: Wipe them out. All of them.

The Pick: RTR

Missouri Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs (Total = 50.5)

In nine games this season, Mike Leach’s team has tallied 156 points. Since the 44-point bonanza at LSU, that total is 112. If we remove the nine points put up by the defense, Mike Leach’s offense has averaged 12.9 points-per-game over the last eight. Just imagine what this season would look like if he didn’t have a solid defense. But hey, at least he can use his position to try and bully a beat reporter. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

The Pick: Under

Oh, and while we’re here:

If I live to be 150, I will never have an easier path to free money.

Northwestern Wildcats vs Ohio State Buckeyes (-20.5): While I think it’s patently absurd that Ohio State basically gets a FastPass to the CFP, I don’t see how the Wildcats and their lack of offense keep this close.

The Pick: Buckeyes

Cincinnati Bearcats (-14) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Cincinnati has to be out for blood after the latest round of CFP rankings, doesn’t it?

The Pick: Fightin’ Fickells

Army Black Knights at Air Force Falcons (Total = 38)

Going to the “Service Academy Under” principle here, with the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy on the line. Also, I had no idea how much Jeff Monken haaaaaaaates Air Force and Troy Calhoun.

The Pick: Under

Onto the Tallyshight picks where lookie here! YOU’RE WELCOME, INVESTORS!