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College Football Odds and Picks: The Gamble-Tron, Week Nine

We’re on a short timeline!

Antique shop collectibles Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Welcome to week nine of the Gamble-Tron! Time for a little inside baseball, or in this case, inside betting. Although it always looks like we cobble this weekly article together in about 47 seconds, the truth is that it’s normally a week-long process. We usually start our recap on Monday, putting together pieces here and there until you see the finished product on Friday.

There’s a little strategery involved, as we like to see how lines adjust throughout the week. But mostly it’s because we’re lazy and have a short attention span, which means that after a few paragraphs, we’re on to watching the BBC or getting into car to pick up someone from football practice, soccer practice, Boy Scouts or some other event that sucks up most of our free time.

But not this week! Not only did Mrs. Kendall split town for work. Not only does the older boy have his final football game of the season Thursday night, but your Washington State Cougars are playing on Thursday! That really accelerates our timeline! Not only that, but by my calculations, this is the only Pac-12 conference game of the season that’s taking place on a Thursday. Seems like that hasn’t been the case in many years. God forbid they play this one on a Friday, like several other teams are doing this season.

So when we go like 2-9 this weekend, we already have our built-in excuse. I’m sure Knuckles and Vito will understand when they come looking for payment.

Last Week: 6-5 (5-5 in the column plus we finally remembered that Mike Leach was facing Nick Saban)

Season Total: 77-62

Best Call of the Weekend

Arizona State Sun Devils at Stanford Cardinal (-3)

Stanford beats its first FBS opponent in over a year, and suddenly it’s a favorite? INTERIM COACH DISRESPECT LEVEL: 10+. Do the odds-makers really want to give Stanford credit for beating a Notre Dame team that also lost at home to Marshall? Really? Meanwhile, ASU comes off an idle week (still not a bye!), and should be ready to go.

The Pick: ASU / Under 53.5

Double your pleasure, double your funds! This played out almost exactly as we thought it would. Broken clocks and whatnot. ASU got out to a lead and held it for much of the game. Stanford didn’t sniff the end zone, but somehow left the 86 attendees celebrating a win.

Worst Call of the Weekend

UCLA Bruins at Oregon Ducks (-6.5)

It’s the game of the year of the week in the Pac-12! College GameDay is in town! We can only hope that it’s just as entertaining as the Utah-USC ending was. With every passing week, I am more impressed with UCLA. I don’t think this will be easy, and the Bruins might not even win, but it should stay within a score.

The Pick: Chipster / Under 71

Welp, we swept one 2-for-1 special, so it was only fitting that we took a double kick to the pills in another one. This game was 3-3 after a quarter. There were 10 points in the third quarter. So for half the game, the teams combined for 16 points. AND IT STILL EXCEEDED THE 70+ TOTAL. I’M NOT MAD AT ALL. UCLA had 448 yards, 26 first downs, never punted, and ran for 186. Also, it didn’t come close to beating the number. What in tarnation!!??

Blues Traveler Game of the Week

Washington Huskies at Cal Golden Bears (+7.5)

Poor old Cal. It started off the season decently enough. It even had a chance to win at Notre Dame before fading late, then boatraced Arizona. Since then, it again faded late in Pullman, then took an “L” in Boulder Nothing is going right. Meanwhile, Washington is back to its winning ways, as Michael Penix strafed Arizona for 500+ yards. Gotta load up on the only team with a decent offense, right? LOL NOPE.

The Pick: Cal

I have a prayer to pray. That’s really all this was. And when I’m feeling stuck and need a buck. I don’t rely on luck because The Hook brings you back. I ain’t tellin’ you no lie. The Hoooooook...On that you can rely!

On to week nine!

All odds courtesy of our friends at DraftKings.

Pac-12 Picks

Four home dogs? Three well into the double digits? Do yourself a favor and take the significant other and/or family to the pumpkin patch and cider mill this weekend. You won’t miss anything.

Utah Utes at Washington State Cougars (+7)

Are you familiar with the term “Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic”? That’s what this tweet brought to our mind.

Throw that in with no Renard Bell, no Nakia Watson, plus one of the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks on the other side, and this could get as ugly as the last time WSU played on Thursday of Halloween weekend.

The Pick: Utah / Under 56.5

Oregon Ducks at Cal Golden Bears (+17.5)

Man, this one is surprisingly difficult to handicap. On one hand, Oregon has been nearly flawless since the opening week catastrophe in Georgia. On the other hand, Cal - even though it’s terrible - has a knack for mucking things up and preventing teams from blowing past it in Strawberry Canyon. The fool’s errand is to look at last weekend’s game in order to make an inference about what will happen here, but I Oregon has to suffer a little let down, doesn’t it?

The Pick: Tightwad Hill

USC Trojans at Arizona Wildcats (+15)

The total on this is 76.5!! Shows you what the odds-makers think of both defenses, particularly Alex Grinch’s smoke & mirrors & three card monte & hydroplane race unit. In all honesty, I can’t believe this line is under 20, especially with a total that high. Both teams have had a week off. I assume Arizona spent it not practicing defense, while USC tried to come to terms with the fact that it didn’t get every call against Utah, like normal. I just don’t see how the Wildcats keep this close, but I’m confident that Jayden de Laura will play the Trojans better this time around.

The Pick: Trojans / Under 76.5 principle play

Arizona State Sun Devils at Colorado Buffaloes (+13)

Jumped off the “never pick Colorado under any circumstances” proviso a week too early, as the Buffs were back to their old and terrible ways last Saturday. So now, it’s either take the home dog getting nearly two full touchdowns, or trust Emory Jones and ASU to go on the road for a second straight week and boatrace a bad team. Rosemary and her newborn ain’t got nothing on this dilemma.

The Pick: Devils

Stanford Cardinal at UCLA Bruins (-16.5)

What’s this? A home team that’s favored? What’s this line if UCLA plays a competitive game and Stanford doesn’t get gifted a win? I’d guess around 20. That makes this a value play if we’ve ever seen one, especially since it’s tucked under a key number.

The Pick: Bruins / Stanford Team Total Under 24.5

Northwestern Wildcats at Iowa Hawkeyes (Total = 37.5)

Northwestern is on track to go winless in North America this year. Iowa is on track to...ok Iowa left the tracks before the season began.

The Pick: Under

We also jumped on a few openers this week.

Calls. Calla. I’ve heard it both ways. Anyhoo, since then, Syracuse has gone from two-point dog to 2.5-point favorite and Illinois is now laying 7.5. We like that. Oh, and Coastal is now a 2.5-point dog. Uh oh.

As always, let’s watch it out

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.

Staff Picks