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

Brother against brother!

UK - Bannockburn - Battle of Bannockburn Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images

Welcome back, and happy day after Thanksgiving! Hopefully you enjoyed all of the typical holiday fare, or whatever you prefer, while taking in some bad football (cough, Detroit Lions, cough). Then again, as long as your food coma doesn’t do too much damage, you got to watch the Egg Bowl to cap off the evening! Mike Leach in a rivalry game. Definitely worth watching, unless you want his team to win!

The Gamble-Tron is definitely not taking the holiday off, and is drinking copious amounts of Polish and Ukrainian beer hard at work to give you the best picks money can buy. Regrettably, that means moving forward to “Rivalry Week.” Why is it regrettable? First, it’s a telltale sign that the season is almost over. It also means that we Cougar fans get to sit through the most torturous 210 minutes of the year. Of course I’m talking about Turkey Day at the house of the brother-in-law who prefers to watch Newsmax while dinner is being prepared. What did you think I was talking about? Let’s just move on.

Why I’m a Genius

Supplemental picks! We threw in five picks after the article originally published, and three of them cashed. Without doing any research (what else would you expect in this space?), it seems like Big 12 unders has been a hell of a solid “principle” play late in the season, and that was no different Saturday. We had three unders, and they all hit, including two in the Big 12. Maybe we should stick with it! (we won’t)

Gotta admit, I’m quite proud of team Gamble-Tron for nailing that Clemson total, because the Tigers haven’t exactly been proficient at lighting up the scoreboard in 2021. But Wake Forest’s defense has long been a panacea to struggling offenses, and Saturday was no different. On the Pac-12 front, I’m not here for “Cougs vs. Everyone”. But what I am here for is “Cougs vs. the Spread” and damned if it didn’t pay off yet again! Just don’t hold me to that.

Why I’m an Idiot

Alabama hadn’t been given much of our limited watching time this season, so we really hadn’t grasped how bad that defense is. Well we watched a lot of the game against Arkansas and, well, it was a frightening sight. Not in a good way. And as well as the totals went in the supplemental picks, the spreads were the opposite. Thanks, Bryan Harsin. What a disaster Auburn has become.

Speaking of disasters, how ‘bout those Washington Huskies?! Wait, we won that one. Moving right along. We sure as hell didn’t win the Oregon game! Yikes. And to think that WSU was a healthy Jayden de Laura away from probably winning in Salt Lake, while the Pac-12 favorite got thoroughly curb-stomped there. But I’ll save the biggest whiff for last. Holy moly, how bad have things gotten in Palo Alto this year? We thought Stanford would show a pulse since it was getting healthier. Instead, the Cal Bears - yes, those Cal Bears - left tread marks on the backs of every red jersey. That may have been our biggest miss of the season, which is really saying something! It’s a good thing for David Shaw that football is about 15,876th on Stanford’s list of priorities.

To give you an idea of how the Gamble-Tron coughed and wheezed down the stretch, there’s this. When we hit the rack, a 7-2 record was in the books. When we awoke, that record stood at, well, sheesh.

Last Week: 7-6

Season Total: 95-74-3

Reader Results

  • x99163z: 3-3
  • cougman the II: 6-5

Washington State Cougars (-2) at Washington Huskies

IT’S RIVALRY WEEK THROW OUT THE RECORDS WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN??!! Washington rightly opened as a 3-point favorite. Bizarrely, and counter to every bit of logic and reason, WSU is now the favorite. Well, I will happily (and yet sadly) collect my positive odds on the home team and cash in yet again.

The Pick: Washington money line (+110)

Colorado Buffaloes at Utah Utes (-23.5)

On this week of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to all the casinos who are gonna sucker everyone in to the favorites by setting the line just below a key number. Sold!

The Pick: USS Salt Lake City

Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils (-20)

As we saw last Friday, Arizona didn’t have the horses, and it probably won’t be any better for this outing. On the other hand, ASU is especially effective at killing itself. Has Herm been fired yet? If not, why not? As badly as I’d like to see the Territorial Cup wind up back in Tucson, I just don’t see the Wildcats putting up much resistance.

The Pick: “So for real we kinda wish Todd Graham were still here”

BYU Cougars (-6.5) at USC Trojans

ANOTHER GRUDGE MATCH BETWEEN BLOOD RIVALS! THROW OUT THE RECORDS! Well, I know USC would like to throw out the records! The “quit” factor in the Trojans is off the charts, while BYU will cap a double-digit win season in some place like Boise or Mobile or wherever. Congratulations?

The Pick: BYU

California Golden Bears at UCLA Bruins (-6.5)

Decent amount of intrigue here. The Bruins are coming in searching for win #8, having just hung a 60+ burger on their arch rivals. The Bears are also riding high, coming off their biggest win (30 points) over Stanford since a 41-6 romp in 2004. But that was against Buddy Teevens so I’m not even sure it counts. While Cal looked great against Stanford, it was Stanford. And UCLA is not Stanford. Sad Cal = sad Jon Wilner = yours truly howling with laughter.

The Pick: Bruins

Oregon State Beavers at Oregon Ducks (-6.5)

Laying less than a touchdown on the Ducks? Who are playing at home? With the division title on the line? After having lost the Civil War game in 2020? That’s a lot of questions?

The Pick: Puddles (yes I know it’s not Puddles but it should be)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-17.5) at Stanford Cardinal

I would lay another 10 points. That’s how bad things have gotten in Palo Alto.

The Pick: Touchdown (and another touchdown, and maybe a couple extra field goals) Jesus

But enough about the Pac-12

Here’s hoping my Iowa Hawkeyes hammer the hapless Nebraska Cornhuskers for the umpteenth consecutive time. Just not by too much!

Ohio State Buckeyes (-7) at Michigan Wolverines

Come on. Really? 7 measly points?

The Pick: Brutus

Clemson Tigers (-11) at South Carolina Gamecocks

Is Sakerlina as good as it’s shown lately? No. Is Clemson? Also no. But Clemson is still a lot better than its rival in Columbia.

The Pick: Climpson

Happy Gambling. Let’s be careful out there.


Time for more:

Navy -12.5
Miami -21
Houston -32
Army +3.5
FSU +3