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

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We’re firing away until the bullets run out!

Welcome back! You probably aren’t wondering where that cover photo came from. Well, I’ll tell you anyway. When I was taking in the Texas Longhorns game last Saturday, I decided to crown this Texas Tech fan the “H-E-B grocery stores fan of the week.” Why? Because he was hilarious and drunk, but not to the point of being obnoxious. For example, Texas has a thing in the stadium where one side yells “Texas!” and the other side yells “Fight!” We happened to be on the “Fight!” side, and this dude kept yelling “Tech!” instead. It was funny every time, and earned him a couple middle fingers from some ginger in the student section, who had probably been overserved and was absolutely overexposed to the sun.

This photo was taken shortly after his beloved Red Raiders scored a late touchdown, cutting their deficit to...35 points. I’ve run across my share of inebriated fans who were anything but funny over the years - I am a Cougar fan after all - but this guy hit the sweet spot. It didn’t matter that his team was down by five stinking touchdowns, he was going “Guns Up” til the game ended. That’s a great attitude to have, and we here at Gamble-Tron HQ plan to follow suit. Despite the poor showing last week, we’re blazing our way into this week. One of the best sentences in the English language, when you’re in an AC-130, is “Rounds on target, fire for effect.” We’ll probably be off target, but we’re firing for effect anyway! LET’S (BLEEPING) GO!

Why I’m a genius

If this were Jeopardy!, I’d have hit the Daily Double on the Texas game. Hell, the Horns hit the over all by themselves, with more than a touchdown to spare! Made the right call on Louisville over Florida State, but damn did they make me sweat it out. The Cardinals led 31-7 after 29 minutes, then decided that was enough offense for the day, as they coughed and wheezed their way to a 31-23 win. Whatevs, I’ll take it. And lookie there, the Cougs actually beat the double-digit spread! Didn’t do that last year at Utah, so I guess that’s progress!

Why I’m an idiot

I took USC. Full stop.

But wait, there’s more! It wasn’t until after I published last week’s post that I learned of Stanford’s horrific run defense. What, you expected me to do actual research before placing a bet? Like that’ll ever happen. That Washington-Cal Under was looking bad, then was looking great, then Cal had to force OT and, well, the least they could have done at that point was win the game but nooooooo!

Speaking of totals, I don’t know if Notre Dame-Wisconsin made a Bad Beats appearance this week, but it sure as hell should have. After three quarters, the score was 10-10. Then Notre Dame returned a kick for a score (who the hell even returns kicks anymore!!??). Even so, we were safely headed toward a win through 57 minutes. Then Notre Dame takes back not one, BUT TWO interceptions for scores, turning a no-doubter into a loser. Have I mentioned that you should never gamble?

Oh, and we won’t talk about Twitter. Ok we will.

A brief recap:

  • Western Kentucky was inside the number for nearly the entire game and Notre Dame won going away. Good!
  • Missouri led BC and its backup QB for much of the game, then got intercepted in OT to seal a loss. Bad!
  • Michigan led by 17 - AT HALFTIME - and then quit playing. Really bad!
  • Central Michigan scored 21 straight in the 4th quarter after scoring all of 10 points in the first 45 minutes, and the total landed at 58. Pass the cyanide!

Someone, anyone, delete my Twitter account or this wanton and altogether moronic habit will continue. So anyway, let’s do this again, shall we?

Last Week: 8-10

Season Total: 38-27

Reader Results:

  • BothwaysUphill: 4-4
  • J.J. FeKl: 6-3
  • x99163z: 1-4
  • CrimsonCrusade12: 5-4
  • cougman the II: 6-4

Washington State Cougars at California Golden Bears (-8)

WSU has not been impressive this season, and I’m pretty well convinced that they could take the ‘97 offense paired with the ‘94 defense to Cal and they’d still find a way to lose by two touchdowns. That’s the way things have gone in Strawberry Canyon of late. But this is the first time a WSU team has matched a masked coach against a guy on crutches. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

The Pick: Cougs

USC Trojans (-7) at Colorado Buffaloes

Yuck. USC can’t be as bad as it was last Saturday, can it? Well, we think it can. Colorado can’t be as bad as it’s been all season, can it? We also think it can! The sum of those two statements equals a game that nobody should be forced to endure. This reminds us of legendary prognosticator Pete Axthelm, who used to call games like this “Broken Windshield Specials.” Meaning, if someone walked by your car and saw two tickets to this game on the dashboard, they’d break through your windshield and leave two more. There’s also the part where Colorado has never beaten USC. Like, not one time.

The Pick: Tommy, Under 51

Washington Huskies at Oregon State Beavers (-2.5)

Ok, so someone has to help me out with this one, as this line opened at Washington -4 and now sits at Beavs -2.5. Yes, we live in a world where OSU IS LAYING POINTS TO THE HUSKIES WHICH PROBABLY MEANS JIMMY LAKE SHOULD BE FIRED RIGHT NOW. That’s not hyperbole. Over the last nine games in this series, Washington is 9-0, has won by an average score of 39-15, and has put up 41 or more points five times. This line has me positively gobsmacked. For clarification...

gobsmacked: astounded or astonished

Godsmack: angry early 2000s band

Anyway, maybe I Stand Alone on this one, but Whatever. I feel like I must Speak the truth here and side with The Enemy. I will not be upset if this places a serious amount of Voodoo on Washington. Oh, and if Nick Rolovich ran an offense with tight ends, we’re 100% certain that Cade Otton would transfer to WSU immediately.

The Pick: Washington money line (+120) - Absolutely no attempt at a jinx here. Why are you asking? Let’s just move along.

Oregon Ducks (-7.5) at Stanford Cardinal

I think I’m getting a little value here, based on Oregon’s no-show against Arizona’s corpse last weekend. Also, UCLA exploited a bad Stanford rush defense to the tune of 200+ yards. If UCLA can do that, Oregon sure as hell can, too. And hopefully someone told Mario Cristobal that village idiot Rod Gilmore is a Stanford alumnus. Run it up, Ducks, and damn the hook.

The Pick: Oregon

Arizona State Sun Devils at UCLA Bruins (-3)

This one is simple - UCLA is a pretty good team and doesn’t beat itself. ASU is an average team that is always stepping on its, uh, fork.

The Pick: Bruins

Cincinnati Bearcats (-2.5) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

We’ve reached, the “Huh???” portion of the article. This opened at Irish -1 and has flipped more than a field goal toward the road team. I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t square with me. I know Notre Dame hasn’t looked like a juggernaut, but it’s 4-0 and playing at home. I’m sure I’ll regret this but whatever. It’s just money.

The Pick: Notre Dame money line (+115)

Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers (-2)

Once again, huh? Wisconsin can. Not. Score. This is quite the departure from the last time these teams met at Camp Randall, when Bucky absolutely steamrolled #GoBlue. I can’t figure out this line, principally because Wisconsin’s quarterback play has been really really bad. Therefore, I’m taking the bait again, though the fact that this is Michigan’s first road game gives me a fair amount of pause.

The Pick: Michigan money line (+105)

Ole Miss Rebels at Alabama Crimson Tide (Total = 79.5)

Once again, principle play here. For humorous purposes, I can say with 100% certainty that we will see multiple sideline shots in which Nick Saban is pulling his hair out, throwing his headset and screaming at everyone while Ole Miss’s band plays the fight song.

The Pick: Under

Northwestern Wildcats at Nebraska Cornhuskers (-11)

Northwestern is a bad team, while Nebraska is a good bad team. Nebraska often plays well enough to win, but some sort of special teams disaster always does it in. I think the Huskers are primed to take out some frustration on the Wildcats.

The Pick: Herbie

Texas Longhorns (-5) at TCU Horned Frogs

This is a textbook example of why I really really really need to pay attention to the opening line. TCU opened at -1, and we’ve gone a full six points in the other direction. I will not be deterred, as Gary Patterson is a Whiny Little B**ch. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, reference his comments in the wake of getting owned by SMU in the Iron Skillet Game.

The Pick: Horns

I will not tweet out more picks. I will not tweet out more picks. I will not tweet out more picks.

So I’ll almost certainly tweet out more picks. Let’s watch it out there.

Staff Picks

Standings

Last Week

Season