After two spotless weeks of straight-up picks, the slate gets a little harder to predict this week. Oregon at Stanford is the headliner. WSU at UCLA is the nightcap. Oregon State at California is one you can probably skip.
Anyway, let’s get to the picks. As always, all point spreads are courtesy of VegasInsider.com, and not brought to you by DraftKings or FanDuel. And as always, our pick for the Washington game will come in a separate post on Friday.
Last week: 6-0 straight-up, 4-2 against the spread
Season: 55-18 straight-up, 39-24-2 against the spread
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USC at Colorado, 6 p.m., ESPN (USC by 16.5) -- Could this be a trap game for USC? The Trojans looked less than amazing last week in a 38-30 win over Arizona. Then again, the Buffaloes didn’t look great against Stanford, either. The pick: USC 35, Colorado 17.
Oregon at Stanford, 4:30 p.m., FOX (Stanford by 10) -- Pac-12 North powers collide with a little less at stake than you might have originally thought. The Ducks do seem to be improving as the season goes along, and that’s obviously due in no small part to Vernon Adams getting healthy and playing quarterback again. And the Cardinal aren’t invincible. But ... I still think Stanford will move the ball well enough to remain unbeaten in league play. Don’t love the point spread, though. The pick: Stanford 34, Oregon 27.
Utah at Arizona, 7 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (Utah by 6) -- You couldn’t have convinced me, oh, about 10 days ago that there was any way Arizona could hang within six points of Utah. And you still can’t convince me, though I’m a little more willing to believe that it’s possible. Just not probable. Gionni Paul will recover another fumble, Arizona won’t score more than two touchdowns and the Utes will win relatively comfortably. The pick: Utah 31, Arizona 13.
Oregon State at California, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (Cal by 21.5) -- The Golden Bears will finally get bowl eligible after a four-game losing streak. And they’ll do it in style. The pick: California 42, Oregon State 14.
Washington State at UCLA, 7:45 p.m., ESPN (UCLA by 10.5) -- This feels like an awfully high point spread, but I know better than to question the men behind the curtain in Las Vegas. The Bruins are pretty tough against the pass -- they allow fewer yards per pass attempt than all but four FBS teams, and rank 16th nationally in pass defense efficiency -- so I think this will be a pretty big challenge for Luke Falk and WSU’s receivers. As well as the Cougars have been playing, I don’t see them losing by more than a touchdown. But I do think UCLA gets this one at home. The pick: UCLA 35, WSU 31.