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

If momentum were a thing, we might have a little.

Hurricane Ian Slams Into West Coast Of Florida Photo by NOAA via Getty Images

Greetings from one of the few parts of Florida that Ian didn’t mess with. A welcome change! The last week or so was rather stressful here at Gamble-Tron HQ, especially during the 2-day period when the forecast storm track kept creeping westward. It would have been rather fitting to get wiped out by a hurricane before we got even half of our stuff put away in the new house, but as fortune would have it, Mother Nature decided to greet this part of the state with a cold front, which steered the storm east and brought us cooler temps and low humidity. In other words, as much of the state got waylaid, the weather up here has been magnificent!

But we still have a fair amount of friends in the Tampa area, so we have been checking in frequently with them. Thankfully, aside from some minor flooding and lots of fallen trees, things seem to have gone ok.

Things are also going ok back here in gambling land, as we were able to squeak out another winning week. But treachery never feels too far away, and what seems like a minor wind gust of a weekend can quickly turn to disaster. A late touchdown here, a key injury there and suddenly there’s a Cat Five series of bad beats wiping out our once-thriving account. That said, ain’t no hurricane shudders or backup generators in the Gamble-Tron’s world. We play on the razor’s edge, and leave our fate up to the gambling deities. May Pete Axthelm and and Beano Cook rest in peace.

Last Week: 8-6

Season Total: 44-27

Best Call(s) of the Weekend

I am the Under overlord! Sometimes! Took the Under 70.5 in USC-Oregon State, and was rather comfortable that I’d cash a winning ticket when it was 7-3 at halftime. Then there was the pillow fight on the Plains.

Missouri Tigers at Auburn Tigers (Total = 51.5)

T.J. Finley is hurt, and isn’t anything special anyway. Missouri can’t score. Even an idiot history major like me can do this math.

The Pick: Under

Now normally, when you are trying to nurse an Under past the finish line, watching your precious total get subjected to overtime - after a dumb coach just assumes that his kicker will hit the game winner (he did not) - is a death knell. But when this game went to extra frames, I wasn’t the least bit concerned. Sure enough, a field goal won it for Auburn, as the Tigers beat the Tigers 17-14. 31 points! In an overtime game!

Worst Call of the Weekend

Tough decision between the disastrous Wildcat performance in Strawberry Canyon and Michigan’s garbage performance, but we’ll keep it regional.

Arizona Wildcats at California Golden Bears (-3.5)

Very underrated crazy series of late. As bad as Arizona has been over the last handful of seasons, it has a six game winning streak over Cal. Every one of those six games has been decided by seven points or fewer. Arizona is coming off a big win (if such a thing can exist when you beat an FCS team), while Cal has to be kicking itself for not coming out of South Bend with a victory. We Cougs know how that feels. In any case, I’ll take those points.

The Pick: Fightin’ de Lauras

Call me an idiot (ok it’s been 15 minutes, you can stop doing that now), but I didn’t anticipate Cal’s running back going for 274 (!!!) yards, leading the Bears to an astonishing 49 points for the first time in the Wilcox era.

Gut Punch of the Weekend

The Cougs just had to score a garbage touchdown. Just had to. But we’ll go elsewhere.

Clemson Tigers at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+7)

The last time Wake beat Clemson, Tommy Bowden was coaching. Dabo Swinney has never lost to the Deacs, and only one of his 13 straight wins was by one score. Yeah, Clemson’s offense is smelly as hell. And yeah, Wake has Sam Hartman back. But Clemson’s defensive linemen ain’t here for your long mesh, Dave Clawson.

The Pick: IPTAY

The smelly Clemson offense put up 38 points in regulation, and it still wasn’t enough. Then, when I still had a shot, and after the Tigers somehow got to 51, they couldn’t convert the 2-point try, and my bet was toast.

Onward and upward.

All odds courtesy of DraftKings. Go to DraftKings!

Pac-12 Picks

California Golden Bears at Washington State Cougars (-4)

Oh perfect. WSU pulls defeat from victory’s jaws, loses a shot at some serious national publicity, and here comes Cal. Well thank god this will be a normal game compared to what we saw last week, right? Right??!! Hahaha no. There can be no such thing as a normal game when these two teams play. Instead, we get consecutive kick return touchdowns, missed chip shots, fake punt disasters, fumbled punt snap near disasters-turned first downs, and penalties assessed on the wrong team. And if that weren’t enough, 2020 saw a game cancelation while the players were waiting on the bus! So how on earth do we pick this game? Let’s go to the Gamble-Tron’s gym, where there’s a big board that contains logos for schools around the country, and tells patrons to stick a pin into their favorite.

Apparently nobody cares about Oregon’s geography but that’s neither here nor there.

The Cougs have four (yours truly put in the first pin), while Cal has one (or is it two? I can’t tell if the second tack was put there originally). Either way, the difference is inside the number.

The Pick: Cal

Washington Huskies at UCLA Bruins (+2)

Hang on. Washington isn’t playing at home? Is that even allowed this season? UCLA hasn’t exactly had a tough road either, facing one of the weakest schedules of any Power Five team so far. Washington has looked much better than the Bruins, while playing a tougher schedule. Aside: anyone still super impressed by the win over Michigan State? Neither are we. Still, Washington is better than UCLA, and it’ll be evident sooner than later on Friday night.

The Pick: Washington

Oregon State Beavers at Utah Utes (-10)

Really tough spot for the Beavs here in what, to yours truly, is the most interesting conference game of the weekend. OSU almost pulled off the Pac-12’s biggest upset of the young season. Instead, it lost in the final minutes, and now goes on the road to face an increasingly-ferocious Utah team. Could be just me, but I think we’ll reach December and be completely baffled at the fact that a mediocre Florida team beat Utah.

The Pick: Utes

Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona Wildcats (-16.5)

I don’t know about anyone else, but I drastically overrated Arizona after its opening day beatdown over San Diego State. Since then, the Wildcat defense has been strugg-a-ling, giving up 39, 31 and 49 points in the ensuing three games. Who else has been struggling? Anyone and anything associated with football in the state of Colorado. The Buffaloes are the worst Power Five team in the country, the Rams might be the worst FBS team in the country, and the Denver Broncos couldn’t even beat the sorry-a** Seattle Seahawks! Talk about ineptitude! All told, CU and CSU have been outscored 327-90 in eight games. Where was I? Oh yeah, this dumpster fire of a game.

The Pick: Sonorans

Arizona State Sun Devils at USC Trojans (-23.5)

No idea what to expect out of USC after that incredibly stagnant offensive performance in Corvallis. I do know that someday, all those turnovers the Trojans defense is getting will dry up. This week will probably not be that time, and I assume the USC offense is looking to atone for some sins of the past weekend. Plus, I have to get this before it passes a key number, which it almost certainly will.

The Pick: USC

Stanford Cardinal at Oregon Ducks (-15.5)

Stanford going on the road for a second straight week, following a butt-kicking in Seattle, and now without its potential star running back. And while Oregon found itself in a bar fight last Saturday, it’ll have revenge on the brain, given the fact that the refs Cardinal were the only team to beat the Ducks in the season’s first 11 weeks.

The Pick: Oregon

Too Many for the Road

Man oh man, after a lackluster early showing last weekend, we were soooooooo tempted to jump on Twitter and start chasing. Among the games we liked were North Carolina (glad we skipped that one!), Florida State (would’ve been an easy winner), and LSU (another layup!). Oh well, all we can do is put on a brave face and vow to not suck so bad this time. Once again, let’s start with a tweet.

In a clear case of correlation equals causation, the line has moved to 4.5 since this tweet. We carry that much weight with the odds-makers.

UTSA Roadrunners at Middle Tennessee (+4)

The thought here is that the Blue Raiders are overvalued after curb-stomping the Miami Hurricanes. This is also a team that was on the wrong end of a 44-7 beatdown from James Madison.

The Pick: Alamo Café

Air Force Falcons at Navy Midshipmen (Total = 38.5)

Service. Academy. Matchup. Principle.

The Pick: Under

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Florida State Seminoles (Total = 64)

Bad defenses, decent-to-good quarterbacks, lots of points.

The Pick: Over

Georgia Bulldogs at Missouri Tigers (+29)

#GoDawgs messed around with Kent State last weekend with Kent State in a clear lookahead situation. Not saying that Missouri is anything worth looking ahead to, but it does present a conference road game. And after what we witnessed on The Plains last weekend, I’ll go out on a limb and predict that UGa will be in death maching mode.

The Picks: Dawgs to cover and Missouri team total Under 12.5

LSU Tigers at Auburn Tigers (Aubie Team Total = 19.5)

The Tigers take on the Tigers for the second straight week, and the Auburn version of the Tigers still stinks on offense.

The Pick: Under

Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes (Total = 42.5)

I mean, how can you not?

The Pick: Under

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears (-2.5)

Iron sharpens iron, and Baylor has been far more tested this season than Okie State has.

The Pick: Bears

Money Line Upset of the Week (which hasn’t exactly been a regular feature)

Tulane Green Wave at Houston Cougars

Houston is already packing it in.

The Pick: Wave (+155)

Happy Wagering

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

Staff Picks