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Picking the Pac: Predictions and betting odds

Shane Dieffenbach Avatar
October 29, 2021

All is right in the Pac-12 this week with no Friday games and mostly late-night kickoffs. It’s a six-game schedule this week with no byes, offering greater clarity int eg race for the two division titles. 

The race for the Pac-12 South is still wide open. Losses by Utah and UCLA put Arizona State in a favorable position . In the North, Oregon still holds the upper hand, but its rival at Oregon State is right on its tail.

Here’s this week’s slate of conference games (all on Saturday), along with kickoff times, betting odds and picks from PHNX Sun Devils’ beat reporters Brittany Bowyer and Shane Dieffenbach. 

*All odds from DraftKings Sportsbook. Use code PHNX at signup.*

Washington State at Arizona State – 12 p.m.

It’s Arizona State’s homecoming, and for the first time in nearly two years, it’s a daytime kickoff in Tempe. The Sun Devils had a much-needed bye following a disappointing loss to Utah, plagued with penalties and missed opportunities. ASU coaches say they have drawn up a specific plan to attack the problems and believe they’ll see improvements this week. Washington State is looking to pick up its first win under interim head coach Jake Dickert. The Cougars nearly did so last week against BYU. Offensively, the Cougars are averaging 371.9 offensive yards per game while the defense allows slightly more at 391. Washington State’s defense falls in the middle of the FBS, something Arizona State’s offense should be able to capitalize on, as they average 430 yards per game.

Britt’s Pick: ASU  

Shane’s Pick: ASU  

Spread:  Arizona State -16.5

Total:  53

Moneyline: Washington State +500/Arizona State -720  

Colorado at No. 7 Oregon – 12:30 p.m.

Colorado’s offensive struggles were emphasized in the game against Cal last week. The Buffaloes only were able to put up 104 total offensive yards, and Colorado is dead last in the FBS for total offense , averaging 238 yards per game. Things won’t be any easier this week then they hit the road to face Oregon. While the Ducks’ defense isn’t as scary as years past, the offense has the potential to be potent, especially if the Buffs can’t do anything offensively to answer. Oregon is averaging 33.9 points per game, 32nd in FBS.

Britt’s Pick: Oregon  

Shane’s Pick:  Oregon 

Spread:  Oregon -24

Total:  49

Moneyline:  Colorado +1400/Oregon -3300

Arizona at USC – 4:00 p.m.

It’s going to be a grueling five weeks for the Wildcats as they push through the remainder of the season still in search of victory. The Cats nearly got one last week against Washington, leading most of the game before the Huskies came storming back to win. Now, the Wildcats will be hitting the road to take on the Trojans, whose tumultuous season pales in comparison. Arizona is down to its final scholarship quarterback on the roster, leaving two walk-ons as the only remaining depth. Offensive has taken a big hit throughout the season, continuously trying to adjust. If the Wildcats have any shot of making this a close game, the defense will have to play lights-out, carrying some of the load of trying to score. Meanwhile, USC’s offense is averaging 445 yards per game. The Wildcats’ offense, by comparison, is ranked No.106 in the FBS and averages only 339 yards per game.

Britt’s Pick: USC  

Shane’s Pick:   USC

Spread:  USC -21.5

Total:  56.5

Moneyline: Arizona +900/USC -1600 

Oregon State at Cal – 4 pm

Cal started the season slowly, struggling to find an offensive rhythm, but last week the Bears made a statement. The Bears are a very defensive-minded team, and last week’s game was an exclamation point on why. They held Colorado to 104 total offensive yards and three points. This week, they’ll be faced with a tougher challenge: stopping the Beavers, who are averaging 6.7 yards per play. The Beavers have been slowly working their way to this kind of season since Jonathan Smith was hired in late 2017.  

Britt’s Pick: Cal  

Shane’s Pick: Cal  

Spread:  Oregon State -1.5

Total:  55

Moneyline:  Cal +110/Oregon State -130

UCLA at Utah – 7 p.m.

This is by far the biggest game of the weekend, especially when it comes to determining the Pac-12 South. Should UCLA win, along with an Arizona State win, the Sun Devils would be in control of the Pac-12 South. For Utah, a win would help keep their grip on the division as they prepare for a tough slate to close out the season. Both teams have a strong defense and agile quarterbacks with the ability to pass or run. UCLA’s offense looked like the early frontrunner to take the South, but tough losses put a damper on things. The Bruins are putting up an average of 416 yards offensively, but things are still up in the air with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. It appears he will play this week, pushing through an injury to his hand, but there’s no telling how this will impact the Bruins. The defense is still struggling, currently allowing more than 385 yards per game. Utah’s stats are nearly identical in yardage, allowing an average of 361 yards per game defensively while averaging 409 yards on offense. For Utah, QB Cameron Rising has helped bring a new element with his movement that was initially lacking and added depth to the playbook. This is the must-watch game of the weekend. 

Britt’s Pick: UCLA  

Shane’s Pick:  Utah 

Spread: Utah -6.5 

Total: 60.5 

Moneyline: UCLA +195/Utah -240 

Washington at Stanford – 7:30 p.m.

Washington’s quarterback Dylan Morris and his ability to pass the ball will be the biggest X-factor in the game. It’s been an up and down season for him, and fans haven’t been sold on his performance so far. Last week against Arizona, Morris had moments where he shined, but those moments often have been few and far between. The offense is averaging only 349 yards per game and is towards the bottom of the FBS. Defensively, the Huskies are in a much better position, allowing an average of 334 yards per game. It’s the second best out of all Pac-12 teams. Stanford, on the other hand, is coming off a bye and will be looking for redemption after dropping back-to-back games. Offensively, the Cardinal averages only 351 yards per game, only two more yards than the Huskies, while the defense allows 405 yards per game. It’s likely going to be a brawl. 

Britt’s Pick: Stanford  

Shane’s Pick: Stanford

Spread:  Stanford -2.5

Total:  47

Moneyline: Washington +120/Stanford -140 

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