Welcome to the second edition of our sure-thing, stone-cold lock, college football/golf cross-sport parlay of the week (STSCLCFBGPOTW for short), in which we pair one of our favorite college football bets of the week with a golf bet to jack up the odds and try to do the impossible: win a parlay. We're already off to a rousing, 0-1 start.
That said, we were in the mix momentarily last Saturday night, when even after the Georgia Bulldogs looked like they might lose the game outright to Notre Dame, they damn near pulled off a backdoor cover. Needing to win by more than 14 points for the first leg of our two-leg parlay to hit, the Dawgs led 20-10 with just over 10 minutes remaining. With all the momentum already in their favor, Georgia defensive back J.R. Reed intercepted Irish quarterback Ian Book at the Georgia 33-yard line, setting up a potential dagger drive. A touchdown and the extra point would put them up 17, forcing ND to have to get aggressive, which could have potentially led to another turnover.
Alas, the Irish showed some real guts, eventually losing 23-17 and covering the two-touchdown spread. We still would have needed former Dawg Brian Harman to finish inside the top 10 at the Sanderson Farms, and just like his football team, he almost backdoored it! His bogey-free, final-round 67 put him right on the borderline of the top 10, but he settled for a T-14. "Almost" covered, "almost" finished in the top 10. "Almost" means absolutely nothing in gambling.
This week our luck turns at the Safeway Open, where we're looking to a five-time major champion and his Alma Mater to turn our fortunes around. That's right, we're talking Phil Mickelson and his Arizona State Sun Devils. Like last week, this wager is being made on the DraftKings Sportsbook app. To the pick!
PGA Tour: Phil Mickelson to make the cut at the Safeway Open
Arizona State Sun Devils (+5) at California Golden Bears
Arizona State Sun Devils at California Golden Bears OVER 40
Parlay Odds: +552 (a $10 bet would win you $55.18, returning $65.18)
Ok, hear us out. No, we should not be going the three-leg parlay route after being unable to hit a two-leg parlay, but with Lefty a -155 favorite to make the cut in Napa, we had to add one more leg to juice the odds just a bit.
While Mickelson's body looks incredible, his on-course performance has looked putrid since cutting all that weight. But there is no better place to get it right for Lefty than at the Safeway, where he's started his season each of the last three seasons by going T-8, T-3 and T-17. In all three of those starts, he's broken 70 on Thursday and Friday, including a first-round 65 a year ago. With plenty of time off to recharge, refocus and hang out with Larry David, we fully expect Mickelson to start strong at Safeway, make the weekend, and maybe even linger on the leader board to make Sunday really interesting.
The best part about this parlay is that you'll know you're still alive on Friday when you find out if Mickelson makes the cut. Then, just hours later, Arizona State vs. California kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET. So this week we don't have to wait until Sunday to find out our fate. After a close, 34-31 loss at home to Colorado, this is a great bounce back spot for the Sun Devils, who were primed to be the Pac 12 sleeper team after shocking Michigan State in East Lansing. Now, that team is 4-0, No. 15 ranked Cal, a team that doesn't appear to be as good as their record indicates. Yes, they had a big upset win over Washington, but the Bears have since eked out victories over a 2-2 North Texas team and an Ole Miss team that might lose by a billion to Alabama this weekend.
That, plus the fact the Pac 12 loves to eat their own (see: UCLA's 67-63 win over Washington State), makes us love the Sun Devils catching five even in front of what's sure to be a raucous crowd in Berkeley. As for the over/under, 40 seems low, though the Cal defense has been stout over its first four games. But this is a late-night Pac 12 game that's guaranteed to have a few wacky college football plays occur. A blocked punt, a pick six or OT could be all we need to cash the over at 40. Forks up!