After going 1-4 in Week 11, this scribe has fallen into a hole he might not be able to get out of. So much so that I seriously thought about flipping a coin for all five Week 12 matchups. Through 11 weeks, I’ve provided picks for 67 Pac-12 contests. Only 28 have been correct for a 41.8 percent success rate. With two weeks left in the regular season it’s time to put up or shut up.
OVERALL RECORD: 28-38-1 (7-4 LOCK OF THE WEEK)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17
19 UTAH (7-3, 5-3 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12)
11:30 AM MT, Pac-12 Networks
Line: Utah -7 (o/u 47 ½)
With stars Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss lost to injuries, Utah rallied to beat Oregon 32-25 at home last weekend. Colorado is coming off a 31-7 home loss to 8th-ranked Washington State. After taking the Buffs to cover the last three weeks, you would think this scribe would’ve learned a lesson. Not at all. It’s the final home game of the year for Mike MacIntyre’s Buffaloes and they can become bowl eligible with a victory over their Pac-12 South rival. Colorado is tied for the conference lead in turnover margin. Look for the Buffs defense to take advantage of two or more Utes mistakes, while the Steven Montez to Laviska Shenault connection will be in full effect in Boulder. Take the Buffs and the seven points.
USC (5-5, 4-4 Pac-12) vs. UCLA (2-8, 2-5 Pac-12)
1:30 PM MT, Fox
Line: USC -3 (o/u 54 ½)
Head coach Chip Kelly gets his first crack at the Bruins crosstown rival USC. The Bruins have lost three straight games outright and are 4-6 against the spread this season. The Trojans have dropped three of their last four and are 3-7 ATS. True-freshman J.T. Daniels has struggled in his last two contests, failing to reach 200 passing yards in each game. But the Trojans shouldn’t need him too much Saturday. UCLA’s defense is surrendering 215.5 rushing yards to opponents. As a result, look for USC’s Aca’Cedric Ware and Vavae Malepeai to have big games on the ground. I’m rolling with the Trojans to claim their fourth straight victory bell by three points or more.
Oregon State (2-8, 1-6 Pac-12) vs. 18 Washington (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12)
2:30PM MT, Pac-12 Networks
Line: Washington -32 ½ (o/u 58 ½)
I’m not going to beat around the bush here. The Beavers are awful. The Huskies on the other hand aren’t exactly blowing out conference opponents. In their five Pac-12 wins, Washington has won by an average margin of 9.3 points. Oregon State can’t hang with Washington straight up, but given 32 and a half points, I’m taking the Beavers.
Arizona (5-5, 4-3 Pac-12) vs. 8 Washington State (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12)
8:30 PM MT, ESPN
Line: Washington State -10 ½ (o/u 62 ½)
When it comes to points per game, Washington State and Arizona rank one and two in conference play. Both teams are also averaging over 450 yards per game on the season, so expect a shootout in Pullman. After dropping a heartbreaker to USC in late September, Washington State has won six straight by an average of 11.7 points per game. But it’s the Cougars defense that might just be the strength of their team. Washington State ranks 20thin the FBS in total defense (324.1 yards per game allowed) and leads the Pac-12 in sacks (30). Tracy Claeys’ unit will be too much for Khalil Tate and the Wildcats to handle. Take the Cougars to cover at home.
Arizona State (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12) vs. Oregon (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12)
8:30 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks
Line: Oregon -3 ½ (o/u 64)
The Ducks have lost three of their last four games, but those losses were all on the road. Arizona State has won three straight games, including a 31-28 victory over UCLA last weekend. Bruins quarterback Wilton Speight torched the Sun Devils for 355 yards through the air in that game. Now they’ll face Oregon’s Justin Herbert, (2,621 pass yards, 25 TD, 6 INT this season) a potential first-round pick NFL Draft pick who ranks second in the Pac-12 in touchdown passes behind Washington State’s Gardner Minshew II. The Ducks will be looking for revenge after being upset by the Sun Devils on a last second field goal last season. Prior to that game they had won 10 straight against Arizona State. With Saturday night’s game at Autzen Stadium, take the Ducks to cover.
NOTE: Stanford vs. California postponed (air quality). Will be played December 1, 2018. *Lines as of Friday, November 16 per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook*