Houston Cougars -- An Early Lock of the Century

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I realize that my Best Bets for the weekend are usually a Friday thing, and rest assured after my fast start last week, no one is chomping harder at the bit to get back to the business of picking winners than me. (By the way, did ya see? 4-2, bitches! I know 6-0 and 5-1 are more desirable, but as my friend Wooly B says, "If we just go 2-1 every week, we're winning more than we're losing." Words to live by, kids.)

But there are solid plays, best bets and then there's a line that looks so ridiculous that you feel like you're cheating in giving it out. When a line like this seems so far off in men's basketball, you double check and make sure that Vegas isn't putting out a line on the women's teams. When it happens in football, you double check to see what year it is.

So let me tell you that I've checked once, twice, over and over again....indeed it's 2010. And the University of Houston has the most prolific offense in college football. And UCLA is a steaming pile of Neuheisel turd casserole. And the play each other Saturday night.

And the Coogs are only favored by three points.

Let me repeat, the Coogs are favored by THREE points.

The nation's most high powered offense from a season ago, with their Heisman candidate quarterback, three Biletnikoff watch listers, C-USA offensive player of the week running back, and a second running back who may end up a better pro pospect than all of them, travel to the West Coast to take on a UCLA team....

1. ...that is 11-16 under Neuheisel since he returned to Westwood in 2008. As best I can tell, unless the Coogs intend to show up in California wearing Tennessee Volunteer gear (Neuheisel managed to cobble together a 2-0 record against the Fulmer/Kiffin 2008-09 poo poo platter.), they should be fine. And by fine, I mean win by at least three touchdowns. Sorry Bruins, Phil Fulmer's not coming through that door. Jonathan Crompton's not coming through that door.

2. ...that is 0-2 so far this season, losing 31-22 to a Kansas State team that is picked somewhere around 15th in the Big 12 and 35-0 at home to a Stanford team whose interest level in playing the Bruins was the football equivalent of half-heartedly emptying your spam folder. And they beat them by THIRTY FUCKING FIVE.

3. ...whose coach had these sage words for the fans after the Stanford game...

Nice catch, Coach! "We can't get any wo-- uh, FIRST DOWNS..." The only thing that would have been better would have been if the "W" in "worse had snuck out further and he would have had to choose a word that actually began with "W".

"We can't get any wo..MEN. Women! We can't get any women if we keep playing this shitty..."

And why in the blue hell is Neuheisel addressing the crowd after the game? I remember my coach used to do this after house league soccer games, gather the parents around and tell them what went right and what went wrong and what the team will work on. Cool for parents of eight-year-old towheads, not so much for Bruin fans who want to get back out to the tailgate party to get their Chardonnay on.

4. ....whose crowd was just described to me by Travis Rodgers (southern California resident and fellow 1560 employee) as "utterly apathetic." Sounds like that half-full stadium will be half-rocking on Saturday night!

5. ....that of the BCS conference teams the Coogs have played in the last season-plus ranks well behind the 2009 versions of Texas Tech (win), Oklahoma State (win on the road), and Mississippi State (another road win).

My point is this, people -- if you have a bookie, that's not enough. Go get two or three more. Find out what your maximum bet is with each. And get on the Coogs. Now.

And remember, if something goes wrong Saturday night, there's always Sunday.

That is all.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

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