Welcome back! Is it the sixth week of the season already?! Seems like just yesterday that we were letting our heart win out over our head when taking WSU to cover a huge spread over Utah State. Luckily the game was canceled and our money was refunded. At least that’s how we prefer to remember it. But now there’s a chill in the air, the weeds in the lawn aren’t growing as quickly, and the days are getting shorter. You might call this glorious time of year “fall” but we here at Gamble-Tron HQ prefer to say YO EVERYBODY IT’S HOODIE SEASON!
While we’ve spent much of our adult life in Florida - where hoodies go to die - there is ample opportunity to don the world’s greatest piece of clothing in Central Europe, and that’s just what we plan to do once we get back there in a couple days. One thing the hoodie excels at is keeping its wearer warm (which is its one job, I guess), and Team Gamble-Tron will don three, four or more hoodies if they keep our picks nice and warm. While we didn’t do as well as we probably should have last week (two dumb pushes and a razor-thin loss on a total), we’re still well in the black. For now, anyway.
Why I’m a genius
Twitter! Who knew?! The Twitter picks got off to a shaky start on Friday because Maryland’s quarterback decided to throw every pass to the defense. So Iowa - who had scored like 11 points all season - scored 51 because it started every possession inside the Maryland five yard line.*
*This may not be entirely accurate
As a result of this one-game calamity, we quintupled down, because that always works, right?
Seven Maryland turnovers. SEVEN. Never gamble. Time to start chasing as we wait for our flight to push back.— PJ Kendall ✈ ⚰ (@Deathby105) October 2, 2021
UAB-Liberty Over 49
Ohio St -8.5 (1st half)
Cincy-ND Under 24.5 (1st half)
Well, in a classic “broken clock is right twice per day” situation, it actually did! Four of those five came home without a sweat. But of course it’s the fifth one that really sticks in the old craw. UAB-Liberty finished 36-12. If you don’t have a calculator handy, that adds up to 48 points. Gut punch.
Another one that won without any stress was Nebraska. While I was thrilled with the win, I don’t know if I’m ready to live in a world where the Cornhuskers are a competent team, and it appears that we’re about there. We were also all over the Alabama-Ole Miss under on principle alone, because there was no way Nick Saban was gonna let the Lane Train roll through his home stadium. And how ‘bout those Cougs! We’ve ridden them to wins two weeks in a row!
Why I’m an idiot
I placed too much faith in Chuck Kelly, which is never a sound strategy. Also, I forgot that his starting quarterback was banged up, despite the fact that I watched him leave the Stanford game with a hanging shoulder the week before. Nobody’s fault but mine. I also placed too much faith in Chip’s long lost brother Brian! More notably, I was completely ignorant of the fact that Notre Dame’s quarterback situation resembles that of the 1992 Seattle Seahawks. Hint: not very good!
Good job, good effort, Oregon Ducks. Sheesh. Maybe consider showing up for the first half? But even though we were never going to win that pick, we’d still like to recognize the fact that they were completely screwed over by the officials. I’ll also call myself an idiot for thinking Texas would cover the five at TCU. Yes, they totally should have, but it’s pretty obvious that TCU treats that game as its Super Bowl. There’s also the part where Texas STILL SHOULD HAVE COVERED but we’re totally fine with a push. Just like we love the push on the USC-Colorado total. Yup. Definitely over it!
Last Week: 9-6-2
Season Total: 47-33-2
- J.J. FeKl: 2-6-1
- x99163z: 1-2 (we canceled out Oregon-Stanford, though it’s quite a deft strategy to pick both teams)
- BothwaysUphill: 3-4
- .:R: 3-6
- CrimsonCrusade12: 4-4-1
On to this week, where there are all of four Pac-12 games. That’s it, that’s all.
I didn’t look up the last time OSU was favored in Pullman, but I’ll guess it’s been a while, probably 2013 or 2009. But judging by the last couple weeks, the Beavs should probably be laying at least six points. Just a week after USC shredded WSU, OSU went into the Coliseum and boatraced the Men of Troy. They followed that once-in-a-half century achievement by beating Washington for the first time in a long time.
But that win is a tad misleading. While the Beavers ran all over Washington (like everyone else this year), Chance Nolan threw for 48 yards. Not in a quarter, in the whole game. If the Cougs can mitigate the run threat to a manageable level, I like their chances. The rub comes when WSU has the ball, because it has not shown a consistent ability to finish drives, which is always critical for a team with marginal talent. But it’s homecoming, and the home team is getting more than a field goal. I’ll take it.
The Pick: Cougs
Stanford is primed for a letdown after a huge (and referee-induced) win over Oregon, while Arizona State was quite impressive in its win over UCLA. I think ASU is the better team, and I really wish this would sneak up to 14 (!) but I just can’t trust the Sun Devils to beat a decent team by two touchdowns yet.
The Pick: Stanford
My word. If this weren’t a Pac-12 game, we wouldn’t go within 500 miles of this one. But we must do our best Icarus impression and at least conduct a fly-by. You can always tell when the odds-makers are at a loss if, of all the spreads they can make, they just go “uhh, home team by 3!” I don’t think either team is anything special, but I just can’t buy Utah winning at USC, especially because the Utes haven’t won there since BEFORE THE LAST INFLUENZA PANDEMIC.
The Pick: Traveler
UCLA Bruins (-16) at Arizona Wildcats
Bleck. This is another one that I’d rather plug my nose and bypass, but press on we must. The Wildcats are coming off an off week, and the Bruins are coming off a home beatdown at the hands of ASU. We figured Dorian Thompson-Robinson was banged up, and maybe he is, but Arizona seems to be really bad! UCLA needs this one if it wants to hang in the Pac-12 South race, and I think that’s the difference here.
The Pick: UCLA
Still riding the Texas bandwagon despite the fact that they never should have pushed last week. The ‘Horns always seem to play above their heads in this game, even though that oftentimes hasn’t been good enough to win. Either way, this should be close.
The Pick: Texas
Really tempted to take the Buckeyes -11.5 in the first half, but we’re confident that Ohio State is looking to make a series of statements, especially after Oregon lost last week. While its defense is still nothing special, Ohio State’s offense is humming.
The Pick: Urban Meyer’s Pint House and Lousy Husband Trap
Rutgers’ point totals against Power Five competition: 17, 13, 13. Michigan State’s point totals against Power Five competition: 38, 38, 23. We see Sparty’s total being closer to 23 than 38 on Saturday, while Rutgers won’t score much at all.
The Pick: Under
Once again, we really wish we’d jumped on this when it opened at 14.5! Oh well, let’s take a look at Jimbo Fisher’s comments this summer, when asked about Nick Saban and Alabama:
“We’re going to beat his ass when he’s there, don’t worry,” Fisher responded as the crowd laughed.
It was so absurd that I’d long since forgotten about that comment. But I guarantee you that there’s one red ass who has not forgotten.
The Pick: Alabama
See you on Twitter once we lose our butts early on!