Greetings from the proverbial climes of Yakutsk, Siberia, where even Saturday’s forecast high temperature of nine degrees is hotter than our picks. About the only thing we correctly predicted last week was that our picks were bound to cool considerably, writing in part:
we’d like to take this opportunity to bask in the glory of our faux awesomeness before it all comes crashing down
So bask we did, and man it was nice. But much like that Friday night college bender quickly morphed into a Sunday afternoon exam cramming session, reality hit us squarely in the face, as we had our worst weekend to date in 2021.
But if there’s anything we’re known for here at Gamble-Tron HQ, it’s
abject laziness and over-consumption of beer resiliency. And so we press forward, hoping that we can regain a shred of the magic carpet we’d been riding throughout the fall but knowing deep down that we just want to finish above .500. A couple more repeats of week nine and that will in and of itself be a pipe dream.
But before we make picks, let’s take one final spin around the week nine wheel of self-flagellation.
Why I’m a genius
Sheesh, pretty sparse in here this week! Maybe I need to play more totals, because two of the three winners were in that category. Washington and Stanford combined for precisely one touchdown in the game’s first 59:30, so that was an easy winner. Auburn-Ole Miss was a lot sweatier, especially given the halftime score. We’re still not sure how that stayed under the total, because six points between these teams over an entire half is bananas. The Ole Miss under principle is now on a 3-week winning streak. And special thanks to Wake Forest for running and hiding.
Why I’m an idiot
How much time do you have?
0-6 on Pac-12 spreads. OH AND SIX! We could have retained Gia, the Pole Assassin’s monkey to throw her feces at some logos on a wall and done better! The worst part is that things didn’t start off horribly, as Wake was never in doubt. After that, though, things went due south. Oregon was a harbinger of the impending collapse, as it could not pull away from Colorado despite holding a commanding position.
In true masochist fashion, so let’s go through a partial recap in “how it started vs. how it’s going” fashion, detail by painful detail.
- Oregon (-24) led 45-14 deep into the third quarter, but lost all of its discipline, sustaining Colorado drives with stupid penalties. Those drives ended in two Buffalo TDs (and one 2-point conversion because WHYYYYYYY?), and the Ducks failed me, again.
- USC (-21) led hapless Arizona 35-14 at halftime, then apparently decided that it is firmly against my having nice things as it coughed and wheezed its way to a measly seven point win. Seven point win. Over Arizona. Yes, that Arizona.
- Defense-starved Virginia scored 35 points IN ONE QUARTER, and led 49-45 after three. Somehow, Bronco Mendenhall thought 49 was good enough, while BYU scored the game’s final 21 to win going away.
The other results ran the typical gamut of reasons why I suck, such as how the Wisconsin-Iowa / Cal-OSU lines had a significant “this line is fishy” odor, but I took the bait anyway. Not sure what to say about UCLA other than they’re not nearly as good as I thought, and neither is Ohio State. I fell into the trap with them when I failed to account for the fact that the teams they were steamrolling all suck.
And as far as WSU, I knew better than to mess with a streak, but I did anyway and went with the opposing side for the first time since mid-September. A combo of factors came together to form a glorious WSU win, which is great! But if I’m being honest, I’d lay two TDs with ASU again tomorrow, and I’m confident that ASU wins eight of 10 games in that same setting. But the Cougs came to play, and we loved every minute of it.
Last week: 3-10
Season Total: 69-57-3
- BothwaysUphill: 2-5
- J.J. FeKl: 3-4
- cougman the II: 3-7
- x99163z: 2-4
Man, this week’s Pac-12 landscape looks rough from a matchup standpoint. No spreads under six points, and three in double digits. This means that every game will come down to the wire because sports!
Oh good, we’re back to Friday night games, because the one thing I need is to start the weekend with a sure loss again. Utah seems to be rather up and down this season, while Stanford has been mostly down unless #pac12refs intervene.
The Pick: Utes / Under 53.5
Long time readers of this column (all none of you) will remember that we had a multi-year streak where we just could not get on the right side of a UCLA line. Well, it appears as though Oregon has taken the “kiss of death” torch, because we keep losing with Oregon plays. That’s probably because we keep picking the Ducks to cover and they keep providing overwhelming evidence that they just aren’t anything special. Well, if they can’t beat a bad Washington team by a touchdown, that’ll be incredibly telling. Both teams are 2-6 ATS this season, so we’ll break the tie by going with the scenario that we prefer less.
The Pick: Academically Prowess
Put lots of faith in the Beavers last week, so of course they stunk the joint up. Didn’t put any faith in the Buffaloes last week, so of course they snuck in the back door to only lose by 23. In other words, both of these schools took their turn at kicking yours truly in the fellas in week nine. I know OSU is the better team, but it seems weird to lay double digits on the road.
The Pick: Colorado
This line opened at 10 and has...shifted over a point toward USC? Which just lost the conference’s best offensive player? ASU will be ready to go, and USC is at a decided disadvantage at the quarterback position, regardless of who is back there.
The Pick: Devils
Boy, yet another compelling matchup here. Arizona, somehow, has been hanging close despite not having won any games.
The Pick: Wildcats
Really been slacking on my “fade Kansas” principle. NO MORE
The Pick: KSU
The last time I took an under in an Iowa game, it beat the total all by itself. Can’t let that deter me here.
The Pick: Under
Liberty Flames at Ole Miss Rebels (-8.5)
HUGH FREEZE REVENGE GAME. Dan Wetzel put it best when he absolutely torched Ole Miss this week. Its fans and administration were totally fine with all the cheating and lying to recruits, but drew the line when Freeze called up some prostitutes. College football is still the best.
The Pick: Rebs / Under 67.5
Kentucky’s ship be sinkin’.
The Pick: Smokey
Boise State Broncos at Fresno State Bulldogs (-4.5)
Fresno has been somewhat under the radar after exploding onto the scene early in the season. That changed with a win over San Diego State, and the Bulldogs should keep things rolling against a decidedly mediocre Boise State Squad.
The Pick: Fres-YES
Totals! Get more totals!
Wake Forest-UNC under 77.5 #principleplay
Cincy-Tulsa over 54.5
Auburn-Texas A&M under 49.5
Baylor-TCU under 58.5
Good luck to you, and let’s watch it out there.