The Pac-12 Conference moves into Week 12 with the two big games which will almost certainly decide the two spots in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Utah, USC, Oregon, and UCLA have been the four best teams in the Pac-12 all season long. Washington has made a late surge, but the Huskies haven’t been quite as consistent as the four teams above UW in the standings. These will be two fun, high-octane games, but they also have a lot of injury questions which will make it hard to bet on these games on the point spread in any direction.
Utah Utes at Oregon Ducks
Odds: Utah -2.5
The Oregon Ducks were originally a favorite for this game, but there has been some significant line movement to Utah over the past few days because of an increasing belief, based on the comments of an Oregon player, that Bo Nix will not play in this game. This has not been confirmed by Oregon coach Dan Lanning or anyone inside the Oregon program, but it is now quite possible that Nix might not play, and you will have to monitor this situation heading into kickoff late Saturday night.
You might not see a posted line at some books, but before this line off the board, the general consensus was that Utah was a two- or 2.5-point favorite. Watch for more line movement before kickoff if it appears that Bo Nix will play. You want to follow the injury reports very closely here.
Nix was injured in the fourth quarter of last week’s Oregon loss to Washington. He came back into the game after the injury, however, which led to a pervasive thought that Nix would indeed play in this game. Now, that doesn’t seem nearly as certain. It really seems hard to believe Nix won’t play, but maybe Oregon is trying to be extra cautious, or maybe even secretive, about this larger process. You can bet that Utah is going to prepare for this game as though Bo Nix will play, but if Nix doesn’t play, that is a decisive development. If Nix plays, pick Oregon. If Nix does not play, take Utah.
Pick: Utah -2.5
USC Trojans at UCLA Bruins
Odds: USC -2.5
This is a big game in the city of Los Angeles. These two crosstown rivals used to play for the right to go to the Rose Bowl. For the past few decades, their games generally haven’t meant a whole lot in the Pac-12 race or in the larger national picture. This year, the excitement is back. The winner of this game will almost certainly go to the Pac-12 Championship Game and will have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl.
USC has Heisman Trophy candidate Caleb Williams at quarterback. USC has regularly scored more than 40 points in its 2022 games, with a few exceptions. The Trojans’ offense is hard to stop, especially with coach Lincoln Riley calling plays. USC expects to have receivers Jordan Addison and Mario Williams back in the lineup this week. Both players had been injured in previous weeks.
The USC defense is a huge source of opportunity for UCLA. USC’s defense faces a really tough task in this game. Having played poorly in recent weeks, it’s not clear at all if USC will be able to improve against Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Zach Charbonnet, and the rest of a high-octane UCLA offense. The Bruins have the more experienced and veteran team in this game. They should be able to expose the USC defense and win a high-scoring shootout.
Pick: UCLA +2.5
Oregon State Beavers at Arizona State Sun Devils
Odds: Oregon State –8
The Beavers are a great home team and a mediocre road team. On the year, this is a team that’s 4-1 at home with the one home defeat being a 17-14 shortcoming at the hands of the USC Trojans. They are 2-2 on the road with some dicey performances. They were smoked on the road by Utah and then barely edged Fresno State and Stanford. The two wins came by a combined four points.
They might win this game outright, but it doesn’t figure to be easy against Arizona State. Nobody is going to sit here and convince you that Arizona State is a good team. They’re 3-7 and have lost three of their last four games. This feels like one of those sleep games where everyone just assumes Oregon State will roll but what’s more likely is that the Sun Devils compete here and find a way to cover.
After a quick Bookmaker review of the line movement, it’s clear that some sharp money has trickled in on Oregon State but it doesn’t mean they’re right take the points.