The college football season shifts into Week 9 with the Pac-12 not having any games which will get huge national attention unless a major upset occurs. The top teams in the conference are favored to win big. It will be fascinating to see if any of them trip up and cause a shakeup in the standings and the race for the Pac-12 Championship Game this December in Las Vegas.
Oregon Ducks at California Golden Bears
Odds: Oregon -17
This is a game which seems to be an easy one for Oregon. However, Oregon lost in its last game in Berkeley against Cal. The Ducks also struggled against Cal last season. The Golden Bears, under head coach Justin Wilcox (who is from Oregon and was considered a candidate for the Oregon head coaching job last year), have given Oregon problems. Could this be another game in which the Bears solve the Ducks and slow them down?
History says that Cal will be very competitive in this game, but the 2022 season shows that Oregon has been taking off like a rocket ship in recent weeks, with quarterback Bo Nix playing great football and putting up huge numbers. Cal, meanwhile, has looked really bad on offense and does not show any signs of being able to keep pace with the Ducks, who are locked in and thriving after blowing out UCLA to take over undisputed possession of first place in the conference. Oregon should be able to blow the doors off this game.
This number was higher in the week but after a quick BetOnline review, it shows we’ve dropped to -17. That’s a better number for Oregon bettors.
Pick: Oregon -17
Arizona State Sun Devils at Colorado Buffaloes
Odds: Arizona State -13.5
The Arizona State Sun Devils have a quarterback controversy. Emory Jones was a transfer from Florida who started the season as the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart. He recently suffered a concussion and was replaced by backup Trenton Bourguet, who promptly put up 45 points in a win over Washington a few weeks ago. Jones returned to the starting lineup last week against Stanford and produced only 14 points in a 15-14 loss.
Now, it’s uncertain if Jones will remain the starter for this game. ASU coach Shaun Aguano has not yet made a decision. It has also been noted, however, that Aguano will take over offensive play-calling for this game. That might be the change Arizona State needs to win this game decisively. Colorado got crushed last week by Oregon State and remains the worst team in the Pac-12 by a large margin.
Pick: Arizona State -13.5
Stanford Cardinal at UCLA Bruins
Odds: UCLA -16.5
The UCLA Bruins were buried by a very good Oregon team. There’s no shame in losing to a very good team which is playing at a high level. UCLA has far better athletes and superior offensive talent compared to Stanford. The Cardinal have won each of their last two games, but Stanford has scored a grand total of only one touchdown in those two games.
The Stanford offense will have to score several touchdowns to have any real chance in this game. The far more likely outcome is that Stanford’s sputtering offense will enable UCLA to take full control of this game and pull away for a lopsided win in the second half.