The Pac-12 Conference moves into Week 10 with its top teams in control of the conference race. Oregon, USC, UCLA and Utah are all still in the hunt for the conference championship. They are trying to hold serve this weekend and next weekend, because if they do, they will set up a huge day on November 19 in which they play each other. USC will face UCLA and Utah will travel to Oregon.
Those games could essentially be semifinals, with the winners advancing to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Will any of those teams stumble this weekend? USC is a huge favorite at home against California. Utah is a massive favorite at home against Arizona. Let’s find out about UCLA and Oregon, plus another Pac-12 game which could be very close in Week 10:
Oregon Ducks at Colorado Buffaloes
Odds: Oregon -30.5
The Ducks don’t figure to be significantly challenged by Colorado, but you want to know if they are going to cover the huge spread of over 30 points in Boulder. Consider the fact that Oregon failed to score on multiple red-zone possessions last week against California. The Ducks dropped some passes and generally played well below their capabilities on offense. After a ragged and uneven effort versus Cal, Oregon will be motivated to play with more precision and sharpness against Colorado.
One could make the counterargument that Oregon will be looking past Colorado and preparing for Washington the week after. The Ducks have a bitter and nasty rivalry with the Huskies, so that could draw their attention and lead to a distracted, unfocused performance against the Buffs, who are one of the worst Power Five conference teams in America.
However, Colorado is so bad that Oregon can probably score 21 very quick points in this game. If Oregon does get a big early lead, it can build on it, and Colorado doesn’t have the offense which can get a lot of garbage-time scores to reduce UO’s margin of victory. And make sure you shop around as Bookmaker has 30.5 but other books have it a point higher.
Pick: Oregon -30.5
UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils
Odds: UCLA -10.5
This is a highly intriguing game. You might have noticed that Arizona State has switched starting quarterbacks in the middle of the season. Trenton Bourguet has replaced Emory Jones as the ASU starter under center. Arizona State scored 42 points against Colorado with Bourguet at quarterback. The Sun Devils scored 45 points against Washington on Oct. 8 when Bourguet was an emergency replacement for Jones, who suffered a concussion.
Arizona State might not beat UCLA, but its offense with Bourguet is significantly better than it was under Jones. That should test UCLA’s leaky defense and make this game a lot more competitive than some experts think it will be. UCLA’s offense will probably do whatever it wants, but Arizona State can score enough to keep this game close.
Pick: Arizona State +10.5
Washington State Cougars at Stanford Cardinal
Odds: Washington State -5
Washington State has a quality defense, and Stanford does not have a good offensive line. Stanford has a good defense, and Washington State does not have a good offensive line. The lack of offensive line play in this game should keep the contest low-scoring. This means that even if Washington State wins outright, Stanford should be able to cover the spread. This game is likely to be decided in the final two minutes of regulation. Neither team is likely to pull away from the other.