It’s Halloween weekend…yada yada yada, trick or treat pun, yada yada. Josh Damis and Jonathan Adams are here to guide you through this week’s Pac-12 games, as well as a few other key match-ups. Note: All picks are against the spread and our Oregon-Cal picks will be in a separate game preview post on Friday.
JA: Our first game this week is a Thursday night affair in Los Angeles, as Cal (+14) takes on USC. The schedule makers really screwed Cal here, as they have to play on the road only six days after their previous game, while USC hasn’t played in 12 days. I think we’ll see a lot of the Cal offense that only put up 11 points in the second half vs. Oregon and I like USC big (like double the spread) in this one.
JD: USC seems to be rolling now, and beating the bad teams the way they should. I think with the extra time to prepare, and Cal coming off an overtime victory on a short week, I like USC to cover. I’m taking the Trojans -14.
JA: Yeah, I think Vegas has spent the last month kind of disrespecting Utah, and now they’ve swung too far the other way. Two things would have helped Utah here: A night game and Washington not essentially coming off a bye week. Alas for the Utes that this game starts at 12:30 and that UW played OSU last week and that game was over in 15 minutes. It’s a bad sign for Utah that UCLA put up 45 points on them last week, and I expect Washington to score 35+ in this one. Further, I don’t think Utah has the kind of offense that will give UW a lot of trouble, so 24 points seems like their ceiling. I’ll lay the points and bet UW stays undefeated.
Washington State (-14) makes the short trip to Corvallis to take on Oregon State on Saturday night. This line seems way too low, and I suppose oddsmakers are looking at OSU’s performance vs. Cal as a blueprint for this one. But Cal QB Davis Webb was not playing at 100% (and WSU’s Luke Falk is better anyway) and Oregon State still had their starting QB. The Cougs have been kind of clunky on offense since blowing out Oregon and Stanford, but I think they bust out in a big way, and rout the offensively-challenged Beavers.
JA: It’s funny to me that Stanford is favored by more points this week than they scored last week. I assume Stanford’s new QB is an annoying preppy white guy with a terrible-looking throwing motion who will be really good just in time to beat Oregon because god forbid the Ducks ever play Stanford early in the season when they’re not as good. I’m hate-picking Stanford in this one.
Moving outside the Pac-12, unbeaten Nebraska is a 7.5-point underdog at Wisconsin. Nebraska has been the beneficiary of a weak schedule, and I think they get exposed this week. I’ll take the Badgers to cover at home.
JD: I like Wisconsin’s defense, but Nebraska is the more balanced team here. I think Wisconsin wins, but only by one score, so I’m taking Nebraska to cover +7.5.
JA: I like Florida State, as well. They’re at home, at night, and Clemson has been trying to lose a game all season. Plus a Clemoson loss is good for Washington, so of course it’s going to happen. College football is really dumb, Josh. Really. Dumb.