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Picking the Pac: Weekly Predictions and Betting Odds

Shane Dieffenbach Avatar
October 15, 2021

While there were only four Pac-12 games last weekend, the results brought more clarity to the conference race. Following a win against Stanford on Friday, the Sun Devils cemented their place as the favorites to win the Pac-12 South, but they’ll face another tough test this week against Utah. The Utes, the only other unbeaten team in conference play aside from ASU, are coming off a momentum-building win against USC.

Arizona remains the conference’s only team without a win overall, and the Wildcats’ will have to face Colorado on the road after losing quarterback Jordan McCloud to a lower-leg injury against UCLA. 

The most unexpected result came from the lone Pac-12 North matchup. Oregon State, which has a bye this week, fell to Washington State, generating even more uncertainty in the Pac-12 North, where five teams are separated by a half game in the standings.

Here’s this week’s slate of conference games, 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.*

Teams with a bye this week are Oregon State and USC

Cal @ #9 Oregon  – Friday at 7:30 p.m.

After falling to Stanford in OT, Oregon had a much needed bye week to rest and regroup. The Ducks are banged up and will be without key players such as running back CJ Verdell and safety Bennett Williams. Williams had what Mario Cristobal described as a freak knee injury in the walkthrough before Stanford, while Verdell suffered a severe lower-leg injury in the game and was carted off the field. For Cal, it’s been a rough start to the season, as they just can’t seem to get things rolling on offense. The Golden Bears rank 10th in the conference in scoring offense at 24.2 points per game. That’s not a good sign against the Ducks, who lead the conference at 35.8 points per game. Also on a bye last week, Cal is coming off its most discouraging performance of the season in a 21-6 loss to Washington State. 

Britt’s Pick: Oregon

Shane’s Pick: Oregon

Spread: Oregon -13.5

Total: 54

Moneyline: Cal +450/Oregon -650

Arizona @ Colorado – Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

You could argue that this will be the worst game of the week, given Arizona’s ongoing struggles and Colorado’s lack of offensive production (13.8 points per game). If the Wildcats want to get in the win column, however, this might be the place to start. The last time Arizona won, it was against Colorado on Oct. 5, 2019, but a lot has changed since then. Most recently, the Wildcats announced quarterback Jordan McCloud is out for the remainder of the season due to knee and ankle injuries sustained last week against UCLA. This game could end up being close, but a road game for the Wildcats and Colorado’s defense could lift the Buffaloes to a win this week. 

Britt’s Pick: Colorado

Shane’s Pick: Colorado

Spread: Colorado -6.5

Total: 46

Moneyline: Arizona +205/Colorado -255

Stanford @ Washington State – Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Stanford, despite a loss to Arizona State last week, has been a fairly consistent team following its disappointing performance in week one. Tanner McKee is among the best quarterbacks in the conference, making Stanford look like a dark horse contender for the Pac-12 North title. The Cougars had a rough start to the season, but back-to-back wins have Washington State feeling confident. Comparing both teams defensively, things are almost dead even. The Cougars give up an average of 399.7 yards per game while Stanford allows an average of 408.2. Things will likely come down to Washington State’s ability to stop McKee, as right now the Cougars give up an average of 230.5 passing yards per game. This will likely be somewhat of a wildcard game for the conference, but basing it off stats, Stanford should get the win.

Britt’s Pick: Stanford

Shane’s Pick: Stanford

Spread: Stanford -1

Total: 52.5

Moneyline: Washington State +105/Stanford -125

UCLA @ Washington –  5:30pm

Another team struggling with offensive production is Washington, and UCLA’s defense has shown an ability to clamp down when opponents lack an offensive identity. While Washington may have pulled out a couple of wins this season, its offensive struggles (24.6 points per game) should set up the perfect opportunity for UCLA’s defense to feast. 

Britt’s Pick: UCLA

Shane’s Pick: UCLA

Spread: Washington -1.5

Total: 55

Moneyline: UCLA +100/Washington -120

#18 Arizona State @ Utah – Saturday, 7 p.m.

There’s no hotter team in the Pac-12 than Arizona State, but the Sun Devils have another tough challenge against a physical Utah program. The Utes started slowly with back-to-back non-conference losses. They also dealt with the death of defensive back Aaron Lowe, who was shot at a house party in Salt Lake City on Sept. 22. It was an emotional start to the week for the Red Rocks, as Utah players attended Lowe’s funeral in Texas. Meanwhile for ASU, Herm Edwards has preached about playing with passion, not emotion, following the myriad on penalties early on. The Sun Devils will look to capitalize on the former by feeding off the intensity of the crowd in the game.

Britt’s Pick: Arizona State

Shane’s Pick: Arizona State

Spread: Arizona State -1

Total: 51.5

Moneyline: Utah -105/ Arizona State -115

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