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Pac-12 Football Odds and Picks: The Gamble-Tron, Week...One? Three? Nine?

Who are we? Why are we here?

Female and two 1-year-old brown bear cubs in the snow in winter / spring. Photo by: ARTERRA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Hello! It’s great to be here! And by “here” I mean anywhere but earth! Is that enough exclamation points? Of course not! We’re happy to be back, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. The irony of the statement “long, strange trip” these days should not be lost on anyone.

There were many a day this summer and fall when we didn’t think this day would come. Too many virus cases, too much uncertainty and too little leadership signaled the demise of any 2020 college football season. But then the Big Ten decided to play and the Pac-12, like any good little brother, couldn’t stand to be alone on an island. But enough about that, let’s turn the corner!

We chose the hibernating bears for a reason. First, it seems like we have endured a long, cold and desolate winter. Second, HAVE YOU SEEN THE WSU BEAR FEATURE ON CBS SUNDAY MORNING???!!! If not, here you go! You’re welcome! MOAR EXCLAMATION POINTS

While we haven’t published anything in this space, the Gamble-Tron has thrown some plays out there, albeit with a significant isolation period in-between. The darkest days (we hope!) took place in the first couple weeks. We started off the season 3-6, and then the pandemic caught up with us.

And just like that, a 6-2-1 Saturday put us back in black at 9-8-1! We should probably hang it up now, but that would be boring as hell, and our 3.38 faithful readers deserve better. So let’s get to it, shall we?

We’re already on the board with one of the week’s biggest games, as the Trevor Lawrence - less Clemson Tigers visit the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

We just saw Clemson’s injury report, and let’s just say that may have been a tad premature. We remain undaunted.

UCLA Bruins (-6.5) at Colorado Buffaloes: UCLA stinks, but at least they aren’t starting a converted safety at quarterback. Smash cut to said safety - his name is Sam Noyer - throwing for 350 and four touchdowns.

The Pick: UCLA

Arizona Wildcats at Utah Utes (-13.5): This line has crept up to 14 in some places, so we’re happy to snag it under the key number. No idea what to think of the Utes, but they have to be at least two TDs better than Sumlin’s garbage barge.

The Pick: Utah

Arizona State Sun Devils at USC Trojans (-11.5): Herm’s helmets face off with the South’s presumptive favorite in the premier of #Pac12BeforeBrunch. The South, as always, is lousy, but this should be a tight game. Herm’s teams always seem to play it close.

The Pick: ASU

Stanford Cardinal at Oregon Ducks (-11): I know Stanford hasn’t been good for a while, and Oregon is supposed to be the class of the league. But there are too many losses on Oregon’s side, while Stanford at least has an experienced QB in Davis Mills. I don’t know if he’s any good but at least he’s played a but. It’s kinda like when you go to a bad buffet place. The food may be terrible, but at least there’s a lot of it.

The Pick: Trees

Washington Huskies at California Golden Bears (PK): This game won’t even be played, which is sad but also kinda hilarious because UW. Anyway, while I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if Washington won, Cal was quite successful last year when Chase Garbers started. On the contrary, they only won one of six games when Garbers didn’t start. Which game was that? I forget and let’s just move along.

The (would have been) Pick: Cal

Washington State Cougars at Oregon State Beavers (-1.5): The Cougs enter the game carrying a six-game series winning streak, in which they’ve won each game by an average of two touchdowns. Like many others, I’m bullish on the Beavs this year. As far as the Cougs, my expectations haven’t been this low in many years, and I’ve already talked myself into this season being a seven-game warmup for 2021. God I hope I’m wrong.

The Pick: OSU

Houston Cougars at Cincinnati Bearcats (-13.5): The Bearcats are really, really good. Like, NY6 good. Houston is...average.

The Pick: Cincy

West Virginia Mountaineers at Texas Longhorns (-6.5): This opened at Texas -11 and has careened downward. Since we crossed a key number, I’m going the other way.

The Pick: Hook ‘Em

Vanderbilt Commodores at Mississippi State Bulldogs (46.5 Total): If Leach can’t run it up on Vandy, what’s left to say? On the other hand, MSU has the SEC’s best...defense?

The Pick: Under

But wait, there’s more!

A few of us are taking part in a Pac-12 season-long picks contest online, courtesy of Tallysight. This is supposed to be a collection of picks from “experts” but they let yours truly take part so I’ll let you make your own inferences. Jeff Nusser and Nick Nordi are also joining in on the fun, and we highly encourage you to play along! Each of us picked the winner/over-under/against the spread for WSU’s game, picked the rest of the Pac-12 games against the spread, and then also added some hand-picked bets that seemed interesting.

This is all for entertainment purposes only, of course. You’ll note that the spread listed below refers to the line for the home team. You can click the tabs at the top to toggle between the kinds of bets. Jeff and Nick’s “winners” were straight up underdog picks for the week.