Hello again, and welcome to a new month. We’re willing to bet that there’s nobody more happy than team Gamble-Tron that the calendar tuned to a new month. After a blazing start to the season, October was not kind to us and our wagering tickets, so we’ll look for any and every excuse to feign optimism (even though down deep we know that momentum is not on our side).
But anyway, November is a better month on the whole. It has more holiday weekends, including a national day when the stated goals are to eat as much as humanly possibly and then watch football until falling into a food coma. Do you get that in October? I DON’T THINK SO! November is also the month when college football gets really interesting, as conference title races and College Football Playoff contention really heat up, even as the weather cools.
Plus, those of us who live south of Interstate 10 get to enjoy more warm weather without all the oppressive humidity that sits on our head for seemingly 11.99 months out of the year. So all in all, suck it, October! We’re on to a better month, and we never really liked you anyway! Unless we’d have done better on our picks then we’d totally be fine with you but such is life!
Last Week: 6-8
Season Total: 83-70 - Slip slidin’ away
Best Call of the Weekend
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
Ain’t nothing better than the 2-for-1 special! Neither of these was really in doubt, and it was obvious that the odds-makers put too much weight on the previous week’s results. Stanford can’t score points, and UCLA is really good at scoring points. Pretty great combo if you’re paying attention!
Worst Call of the Weekend
The worst worst call was probably Syracuse. Holy whiff, Batman. But unfortunately, there were more!
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
Why was this the worst call when it damn near won? Many reasons, actually. First, we had Oregon covering the spread, but wussed out for fear of a letdown. We also stared right down the barrel of the hook and pulled the trigger again. Cal + hook wineth, and Cal + hook loseth. Those are definitely words so don’t bother looking them up. Oh, and the goddamn college kicker couldn’t convert from 39 yards.
Gut Punch + Pill Kick of the Weekend
I could easily have put stupid Arizona State in this space, as it completely dominated Colorado, and was enroute to an easy cover until deciding to let Colorado take a punt 88 yards for a score in garbage time. But that wasn’t enough, as within 10 minutes, we took two more crippling blows in Tucson.
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
USC’s unspeakably bad defense was the only reason this game was close. Arizona has a good offense, but for God’s sake it ain’t 2019 LSU. Despite the ineptitude, USC still led by 16 into the final couple minutes. All it had to do was prevent Arizona from converting a 4th and 13 from the USC 22. What happened? Wildcat QB Jayden de Laura (who gave USC some serious indigestion with his running) threw a checkdown to Michael Wiley. Wiley caught the ball and evaded roughly 27 tacklers to get past the marker. A few plays later, Arizona was in the end zone, simultaneously getting inside the number and over the total. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it one more time for Alex “Failing upward is my thing” Grinch!
So to recap, we were staring at 9-5, and instead went 6-8 due to a 10-minute afternoon stretch. Gambling is so fun you guys!
All odds courtesy of our DraftKings partners
Washington State Cougars at Stanford Cardinal (+5 / Total = 49.5)
The line is curious, and the total is downright mind-boggling. If there’s one thing we’ve been able to count on this season, it’s been WSU games coming in under the total. I know Stanford has been largely terrible this season, and I know WSU has won five straight in this series, but have any of the line-setters watched WSU play over the last month? I don’t know whether they should be favored to beat any Power Five team by more than a field goal on the road. On the other hand, the Stanford Tree’s suspension is worth 1.5-2 points for the road team. Still...
The Picks: Stanford / Under 49.5 / Stanford Team Total Under 22.5
Congratulations to the Beavers, who made their first ever appearance in the College Football Playoff rankings. Hopefully they are still ranked next week! Either way, we’re siding with whatever that river thing is.
Oregon Ducks at Colorado Buffaloes (+31.5)
Thirty one and a half? My word. That speaks both to Oregon’s prowess and Colorado’s super terrible-ness. Man, do I ever hate laying this many points, especially after getting gutted by Colorado’s back door punt return last week. Abject anger at a team is a great reason to bet against it the next week, right?
The Pick: Oregon / Under 63
Arizona Wildcats at Utah Utes (-18)
Arizona seems like an entirely different team away from Tucson, while Utah is pretty steady, even if their head coach doesn’t have a shred of credibility with the media. At least, he shouldn’t. I get the feeling that Utah will be even more careful with playing injured guys than it was last week, and the Wildcats just may kick down the back door late in the game.
The Pick: Fightin’ Fisches
Cal Golden Bears at USC Trojans (-21)
Man, these last two games are just...ick. Speaking of “ick,” I give you Alex Grinch’s ghastly defense. If those guys can’t figure out a way to stop Cal’s inert offense, USC has real big problems.
The Pick: SC
EDIT: We still can’t see, and we still can’t count, as we completely missed a Pac-12 game.
UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils (+10.5)
I still don’t know if ASU is any good, but it is certainly playing better now that Herm Edwards has been excised. UCLA seems to be on another level. Unless it’s playing Oregon. It isn’t playing Oregon.
The Pick: UCLA
Other quick hitters because we’re about out of time and battery
Army vs. Air Force Under 41
SERVICE. ACADEMY. UNDERS.
The Pick: Over
The ‘Noles should have scored 60 last week. Miami can’t score at all.
The Pick: Osceola
Liberty Flames at Arkansas Razorbacks (-14.5)
The Pick: Arkansas
EDIT II: It’s a horror show in the midwest on the wind meter.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.