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The Gamble-Tron has all the anti-bodies you need

Let’s kick off gambling season 2020!

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March Madness Viewing Party At The Westgate Las Vegas Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Good morning, and fair warning:

***While I highly encourage reader participation on the topic, we ain’t here no more for your “I just hope there is a season” and “Hopefully we get to see the Cougs in 2020 at all but it is dumb to even think about” takes. I’ve seen and heard them all. So while I would love to hear what you think about the subject in the headline - or just about anything else - check your internet Epidemiology MDs at the door. The opinions of yours truly do not necessarily reflect those of the website’s fellow authors. Thank you.***

It’s quite an exciting time, given the current circumstances, as many a gambling outlet recently released the win totals for college football 2020. While we’re still a long way out from the season, and while the lack of spring practice throws an additional layer of fog into the mix, trying to find value among the heap of possible sucker bets is always an interesting exercise.

The folks who derive these win totals definitely do their homework, so finding that value can be quite the challenge. One thing that often gets me is looking at the total without knowing the schedule. I’ll often look at Team X and think, “Huh? They’re not that bad. They’re definitely good enough to beat the total.” Then I look at the schedule and say, “Oh, so that’s why the total is so low.” However, I do have one absolute, rock solid, lead pipe “YOU CAN BET ON THIS TOTAL AS IF THE SEASON HAS ALREADY HAPPENED” winner down the way.

But first, let’s have a look at the Pac-12, shall we? All numbers courtesy of Draft Kings and Caesars, found here, depending on which numbers I liked better. Like mama says, shop around.

Keep in mind that these are regular season win totals only.

Washington State Cougars - 7.5 (Over -137 / Under +110): Um, let me see if I have this correct. I can get +110 on Under 7.5 on a team with a new coach, no spring practice, no experienced quarterback, and a defense that folded faster in 2019 than France in 1940? For real?

Early Lean: Under

Oregon Ducks - 9.5 (Over +110 / Under -137): Tricky one here, as the Ducks are also breaking in a new QB, and have a testy first couple games. First is well-known giant slayer North Dakota State, followed by the Ohio State Buckeyes. The conference schedule is what has me leaning in one direction, however, as it couldn’t be more favorable in terms of home and road opponents.

Early Lean: Over

Oregon State Beavers - 4 (Over -121 / Under +100): First, congratulations to head coach Jonathan Smith for getting a new contract because he almost got OSU bowl eligible. Set those standards high, Beavers! OSU also has a chance to do some damage at home, getting visits from Portland State, the Colorado State Rams, WSU, UCLA and Arizona. They can figure out a way to get 3-4 wins there, and steal one on the road, methinks.

Early Lean: Over (There’s a really good opportunity to middle this one, as you can take the Over from Draft Kings and Under 5.5 at Caesars, then pray for 5-7. It’s not impossible)

Washington Huskies - 8 (Over -121 / Under +100): Seems like everybody is breaking in new quarterbacks throughout the conference. Luckily for Washington, so is Michigan. I think the Huskies can get to nine, largely because despite the coaching change, there is a high level of continuity on the staff. I also don’t think the dropoff at quarterback will be very pronounced.

Early Lean: Over

California Golden Bears - 7 (Over and Under -110): Lots of reasons to be bullish on Cal this season, particularly if Chase Garbers can stay healthy. While he’s nothing special, Cal is a much better team when he’s taking the snaps. The schedule is tricky, though, as they miss both Arizona and Colorado, probably the worst two teams in the conference.

Early Lean: Under

Stanford Cardinal - 5.5 (Over and Under -110): Without looking, I’m gonna guess that Stanford’s preseason win total hasn’t been this low since probably 2009. The program’s erosion under David Shaw, which began in 2016, is really starting to pick up speed. The Cardinal should be 3-1 headed into their idle week, and host WSU, OSU, Colorado and the BYU Cougars afterward. I bet they get at least six, and this is a chance to get some value.

Early Lean: Over

Arizona Wildcats - 5 (Over and Under -110): In the immortal words of the great warrior/poet Michael Ray Richardson, the ship be sinking.

Early Lean: Under

Arizona State Sun Devils - 8 (Over +125 / Under -145): It’s funny how so many media members have been lamenting the fact that they were wrong about the Herm Edwards experiment. In reality, he hasn’t done anything to set himself apart from the Shamwow salesman who preceded him. The Devils have a good shot at 6-1 out of the gate, but I’m still not buying.

Early Lean: Under

Colorado Buffaloes - 3 (Over -137 / Under +110): Hoo boy, things sure went south for the Buffaloes in this offseason. Their only good offensive player left early, and their coach jumped ship during a fundraiser! If the Buffs can start 2-1, they have a decent shot to get to three. The lean here is a push, but we gotta take a side.

Early Lean: Under

UCLA Bruins - 6 (Over +110 / Under -137): I’d say the shine has worn completely off ol’ Chuck Kelly in Westwood after two bad seasons, but maybe that’s just me. The Bruins do have a potentially good quarterback returning in Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and they are gifted a schedule that misses both Oregon and Washington. Outside of that, I doubt there’s much of a reason to be optimistic, especially given that dumpster fire of a defense.

Early Lean: Under

Man, the Gamble-Tron isn’t exactly bullish on the South!

USC Trojans - 8 (Over +130 / Under +110): If Clay Helton can’t win the division this year, what are we even doing here? Due to eligibility exhaustion and transfers, the Trojans return the conference’s best quarterback in Kedon Slovis. They also bring back a talented receiving corps, and might get a defensive uptick due to the coordinator change. Oh, and did I mention that everyone else in the division might be down? Somebody has to win this division, right? RIGHT??!!

Early Lean: Over

Utah Utes - 8.5 (Over and Under -110): Remember those 14 seconds when people thought Utah might be a playoff team before it lost the final two games by a combined score of 75-25? Good times! The Utes should still be decent, as Kyle Whittingham specializes in fielding decent teams. However, they suffered a ton of attrition, and Utah isn’t a program that reloads.

Early Lean: Under

Ok, time for the Master Lock lead pipe cinch “move on this line as if already been played!” bet of the century (of the week):

Mississippi State Bulldogs: UNDER 7 (-137)

Did you lose your ass in the stock market last month? 401(k) in the dumps? Withdraw it all, pay the fees, and lay it down on Mike Leach not sniffing seven wins. MSU has consecutive games against the Texas A&M Aggies, Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers and Auburn Tigers. That means the Bulldogs need to win every other game in order to hit the Over. In those eight games, they play Tulane and Kentucky (both bowl winners in 2019), and travel to face NC State. They then conclude their season at the Ole Miss Rebels. That, my friends, is not a 7-win recipe in a Mike Leach debut season. Etch it in stone.

WSU Athletics

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Regarding the article, I’m prepared to sacrifice every soda, hard cider and macro brew on Earth in order to save carbonation for craft beers. We can do this, America.

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