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

We’ve been locked in a vault all week.

Museo de la Estacion Central del Ferrocarril Carlos Antonio Lopez in Asunción in Paraguay Photo by Christian Ender/Getty Images

Hello! Welcome to the dozenth (holy crap that didn’t autocorrect!) week of our little gambling corner of the internet. We’re somewhat nervous, for many reasons. Foremost, the old knees are shaking because we’re, well, we’re old. Second, this is the week when our beloved Cougs have a great chance to clinch a bowl berth for a sixth straight (non-pandemic) year!

We’re also nervous because we haven’t had the normal amount of prep time this week. Normally, we read up a tad during the day about which way the point spread winds are blowing, and which sides have an edge. This week we’ve been in a planning conference that is taking place exclusively inside a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility). This means that we haven’t had our usual access to the interwebs during work hours our lunch hour AND ONLY OUR LUNCH HOUR YES BOSS WE’RE DILIGENTLY MINDING OUR TASKS AT ALL TIMES WHEN WE’RE NOT IN THE VAULT WHY ARE YOU ASKING.

You don’t care about any of that. The only thing that the remaining two of you care about is riding our coattails to a litany of winning tickets, so we won’t bellyache anymore about our internet-less plight. Hell, when it comes to picking games, the less information, the better. Let’s get to it.

Why I’m a genius

Last-minute picks that didn’t get the Twitter death knell! After all three of you finished reading the column, I snuck back in early Saturday to throw an extra five picks on the board. Unlike my usually-dumb Twitter picks, they went 3-2! One of those wins provided a 3-hour sauna session’s-worth of sweat, but still came in under the total. We also didn’t lose faith in Fresno, and were rewarded handsomely. And as far as the Michigan-Penn State total, that should have been part of the original card. Easy $$$.

Elsewhere, we are really glad we caught the Cougs when they were getting 16, because that line sunk as low as 13.5 before game time. Oh, and did we mention that we had Oregon -13.5 on the Tally Sight picks?! I DARE ANYONE TO BEAT THAT MIDDLE. Admittedly, we also lucked out on the Washington Huskies, as we jumped on the line before it went past four. That would have been a miserable beat if we’d had ASU -5.5. Either way, LOL CHOKING DOG HUSKIES.

Kinda felt uneasy about laying 12 points with the Beavers against the garbage barge that is Stanford, for many reasons, but that was a no-doubter. Hard to fathom how bad Oregon’s loss on The Farm looks now. Finally, many thanks to Holgo and the Houston Cougars for beating down the Temple Owls and getting our day started well.

Why I’m an idiot

Hoo boy, were there a couple totals that were cosmically-awful whiffs. We were on the Under 62 in Texas-Kansas. In case you didn’t see the score, which featured a catastrophic turn in an already awful Texas season, both teams nearly beat the total by themselves. We then matriculated to Lubbock, where we had under 57 in Texas Tech-Iowa State. Only missed that one by 24!

Note: Best returning roster in program history, Iowa State? Good job, good effort.

Also on the last-minute picks front, we were quite confident once the Oklahoma line dropped below four near kickoff. I guess we know why the line kept dropping! I really thought Utah would dominate a decimated Arizona team, but the Wildcats seem to have improved by leaps and bounds over the last couple weeks. Here’s hoping that doesn’t continue!

I shouldn’t be as mad about the UTEP and Clemson losses as I am, but goddammit those both should have won. Seriously, Clemson allows an opening kick return to go 99 for a score, doesn’t allow a point for the rest of the game, and wins by 37. DID I MENTION THE LINE WAS CLEMSON -38 WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. UTEP was a heartbreaker, too. I finally got behind the Miners against a bad team and they couldn’t bring home a winner. Oh well.

Last week: 8-6

Season Total: 88-68-3

Reader Results

Getting lonely in here! Special thanks to the two commenters who have stuck with the column up to now.

  • x99163z: 3-2
  • cougman the II: 5-7

Arizona Wildcats at Washington State Cougars (-13.5)

Life as a Cougar fan, in one sentence: I am absolutely terrified at the fact that WSU is a two-touchdown favorite over a 1-9 team. Why? Well, probably because I want so badly for the Cougar players to be rewarded with a bowl game, and this is their best chance to clinch it. Damn Utah State game. This line opened at 14, but has vacillated between 13.5 and 15.5. The thought/hope/prayer here is that Arizona played as well as humanly possible last week, and still game up two scores short. I think the Cougs will be ready to go, and hopefully the Friday voodoo doesn’t strike yet again.

The Pick: Cougs

Oregon Ducks at Utah Utes (-3.5)

Let’s see, the team that’s 9-1 and #3 in the country is catching more than a field goal against the team that’s 7-3 and struggled mightily against the conference’s worst team last week? Looks like the classic Lee Corso “somebody knows something” special. Oh well, I’m taking the bait (in the form of that hook) anyway.

The Pick: Oregon

Washington Huskies (-7) at Colorado Buffaloes

In its four Pac-12 road games, Colorado is 0-4, and has been outscored by an average of 25.5 points. In its three Pac-12 home games, Colorado is 2-1, shutting out Arizona and beating Oregon State along the way. The Buffs are a different team in Boulder, and they’re catching a TD at home? Hell yeah I’m taking them.

The Pick: Shoulder to Shoulder

California Golden Bears (-5) at Stanford Cardinal

David Shaw announced that several key players are expected to return for this game, and the line has been dropping. Luckily we decided a few weeks ago to start this column on Mondays!

The Pick: Stanford

Arizona State Sun Devils (-3) at Oregon State Beavers

This could be the most fun game of the week. The Beavers finally clinched a bowl game after losses in two straight games against bad teams, while ASU is having a disappointing yet predictable season. Kind of a tricky spot for ASU here, as they make a second straight trip to the PNW. If they start this game like they did in Seattle, they’ll get buried, because the Beavers won’t Dawg it like UW did. OSU’s up and down season continues, but at least they’ve got that bowl to aim for.

The Pick: ASU

UCLA Bruins (-3) at USC Trojans

There’s one, and only one, thing I know when it comes to this rivalry: it has the best uniform situation of any game, anywhere. Why? Because both teams wear the home colors! WHY DOESN’T EVERY RIVALRY GAME FEATURE THIS NUANCE??!!! Outside of that, I’ve got no clue about how this game is gonna go.

The Pick: Bruins

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Tigers (Total = 56.5)

8+ touchdowns? In a game where one of the teams is Clemson? Are you insane??!!

The Pick: Over

Arkansas Razorbacks at Alabama Crimson Tide (-20.5)

Sucker line. Welp, here I am!

The Pick: ‘Bama

I wanted to get this published early since the Cougs are playing Friday, so there will probably be a (gigantic) edit later on. Happy gambling!


Auburn -7.5

Iowa State-Oklahoma Under 60

Baylor-Kansas State Under 50.5

Cincinnati-SMU Under 65

MTSU -3.5