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

Can things get better? Probably not!

Sunset In Berlin Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

Welcome to week nine! It was team Gamble-Tron’s understanding that the days were getting shorter, the weather was getting cooler, and winter was coming. But apparently climate change has also affected our picks, because they’re still quite warm! With that, we’d like to take this opportunity to bask in the glory of our faux awesomeness before it all comes crashing down, so we won’t waste anyone’s time with any sort of intro or theme.

Why I’m a Genius

Have you seen this week’s Tallysight results?

I said, have you seen this week’s Tallysight results?!


If I were smart (I’m not), I’d give this gig up immediately and go out on top. So anyway let’s reflect on last week, then pick some more games. Alas.

Rode the Cougs again to a fifth straight W! I know they could have won, but at least we were able to get something out of the crappy outcome. Finally got on the right side of the Ducks, but that was some journey. Looked awful, then looked great, then teetered on disaster before coming home. All hail the Ole Miss under principle play! We’re eyeballing it once again, but it’ll go bad at some point.

Ohio State and Wake Forest scored 54 and 70 respectively, which was enough, but that Wake game was pretty damn sweaty regardless. Sheesh. We haven’t been huge fans of Texas A&M this year (or ever), but when they’re rolling, they can pile up the points. Also helped that South Carolina is horribad. And speaking of principle plays, Clemson unders would have made a guy some serious coin this season.

Why I’m an Idiot

Well for one thing, we published last week’s column after the San Jose State game ended. Never get old, folks. But worse than that, nobody likes a flip-flopper, and we got severely punished for waffling. To boot, we had both OSU and Cal written in as winners all week long, but when it came time to submit, we changed both of them. Thus, the possibility of a great week turned into merely a decent week. Frickin’ idiot!

And then there’s the weekly Friday night crapfest. Look, Arizona, if you’re not gonna get boatraced again, the least you could do is close the deal and beat Washington. But NOOOOOOOO! And I don’t know what the hell I was thinking with USC. They suck so bad. Really thought I was in a good place with that Cincy-Navy total, so of course it came in a whopping two points short. Super bleeping duper. No such close call with Temple, which got poleaxed by a bad, bad USF team. Oh well.

Last Week: 10-6

Season Total: 66-47-3

Reader Results:

  • BothwaysUphill: 5-2
  • J.J. FeKl: 7-3
  • cougman the II: 5-5

One look at the schedule reveals that there is no Friday night Pac-12 game. This is good news, but I’m sure I’ll be able to avoid jumping in with a bad pick or four. We do have a full slate this week, with six conference matchups, so let’s dive in to what looks like an incredibly malodorous Pac-12 lineup.

Washington State Cougars at Arizona State Sun Devils (-15)

Welp, I think this may be the end of the “Cougs beat the spread” streak. While WSU has played eight consecutive games, the Cheaty McCheatfaces had last week off. ASU is also better than WSU in just about every statistical category imaginable. WSU faced long odds the last time it was in Tempe, and probably should have won. God 2019 sucked. But it’s now 2021, and it is tough to imagine WSU keeping this close

The Pick: ASU

Colorado Buffaloes at Oregon Ducks (-24)

Here we are again with the Ducks, who have spent the majority of 2021 playing to the level of their competition. First they win in Columbus, then they choke one away at Stanford, then they let Arizona hang around for far too long, then they go to UCLA and come away with a win. Related: Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best player in college football and deserves a spot among Heisman finalists. But of course he’s not a quarterback sooo...

The Pick: Oregon

Oregon State Beavers (-1) at California Golden Bears

I guess I’m missing something here. Maybe the odds-makers thought so much of Cal’s rousing win over Colorado that they shrunk this line. Or maybe they’re expecting a bit of a letdown after OSU took down Utah. Because if they’re looking at this objectively, there’s no way in hell that anyone who pays attention would think Cal is within a field goal of OSU at this point.

The Pick: Beavers

Arizona Wildcats at USC Trojans (-21)

Never thought I’d say this, but I really wish WSU had another shot at USC! Well, I also would have said that in 2018, and 1996, and 1992, and 1989 but that’s neither here nor there. Should USC be giving 21 points to anyone? If we’re being honest, they probably shouldn’t be giving half that to anyone! Such is the state of Wildcat football.

The Pick: USC

UCLA Bruins at Utah Utes (-6.5)

This all hinges on the health of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and seeing as how he damn near needed a gurney to leave the field Saturday, we’re not altogether confident that he’ll be ready. On the other hand, Ethan Garbers seems like a decent backup and, like Jake Haener, is better than anyone Washington can trot out there. I think we’ll see a healthy dose of those UCLA running backs, which should keep it close.

The Pick: UCLA

Washington Huskies at Stanford Cardinal (-2)

Arizona was dominating Washington last Friday, until it wasn’t. What would have been one of many humiliating losses throughout Washington football history instead became a narrow escape against the worst Power Five team this side of Nashville. Now it goes back on the road to face another pretty bad team. Unfortunately for the Huskies, the bad team they’re playing this week isn’t nearly as bad as the bad team they almost lost to last week.

The Pick: Stanford / Under 48

Iowa Hawkeyes at Wisconsin Badgers (-3.5)

I’d love to know what exactly Wisconsin has done this season to merit this point spread. Sure, they beat Purdue a week after Purdue pants’d Iowa, but that’s not really a good reason. Additionally, the total is a mere 36.5. When the point total is that low, why on earth wouldn’t a guy take a field goal plus?

The Pick: Iowa

Virginia Cavaliers at BYU Cougars (-3)

Intriguing one here. Although severe rains drenched much of the west coast last weekend, we don’t think there will be anything that soaks Provo, except for the usual soaking that takes place there.

The Pick: Wahoos Money line (+120)

Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes (-10 first half)

Ohio State’s offense is near “full death machine” status, and Penn State is this week’s unfortunate victim.

The Pick: Buckeyes

Duke Blue Devils at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-16)

Wake scored 70 points with under 18 minutes time-of-possession last week, and averaged 15.8 yards per pass attempt!!! I don’t know if they’ll keep that up, but they should run Duke out of the stadium.

The Pick: Deacs

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Northwestern Wildcats (Total = 43.5)

Two slow teams that don’t score much. I’d guess there won’t be 6+ touchdowns here.

The Pick: Under

Ole Miss Rebels at Auburn Tigers (Total = 66.5)

Let’s make it a baker’s dozen and ride the principle again.

The Pick: Under

Staff Picks

Last Week’s Results

Season Results