Were it not for Utah’s 35-0 win over California, this scribe would’ve gone 0-for-5 in Week 9. Instead, a 1-4 mark brings my overall record to a very respectable 32-24-1, but as you’ve seen in previous weeks, yours truly can do much better. Only four games on the docket for Week 10, which kicks off with ninth-ranked Utes traveling to Seattle and ends with the Buffaloes looking to knock off a red-hot Bruins squad in the Rose Bowl. Buckle up! Only a few more weeks left in the regular season. Here are my picks for Week 10 and as always, tread lightly!
Overall Record: 32-24-1
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2
#9 Utah (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) vs. Washington (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 2:00pm MT, Fox
Spread: Utah -3 (o/u 47 1⁄2 )
History is against Utah in this matchup. The Utes are 1-12 all-time versus the Huskies, with their lone win coming in Seattle in 2015. That said, this year’s Utah squad is different, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Utes are third among FBS teams in total defense, having allowed just 231 yards per game. As for the Huskies, after putting up 48 points per game in non-conference play, they are averaging just 28.4 points in league play. Washington has also struggled on third downs, converting just 35.4 percent of the time. Utah meanwhile leads the conference in third down defense, allowing opponents to move the chains just 26.3 percent of the time. Advantage Utes. Sure Seattle can be a tough place to play, but give me Utah giving three in this contest.
Oregon State (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) vs. Arizona (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 2:30pm MT, Pac-12 Networks
Spread: Arizona -5 (o/u 71 1⁄2 )
Two of the Pac-12s best offenses and worst defenses this season meet in what should be a shootout in Tucson. Oregon State’s two conference wins came against very ‘suspect’ offenses, California and UCLA. Arizona’s two-quarterback system with Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell should give the Beavers defense fits. Sure, the Beavers are coming off a bye, while the Wildcats have dropped three straight. Don’t read too much into that. Expect a high-scoring affair in Tucson with the Wildcats covering the five points.
#7 Oregon (7-1, 5-0 Pac-12) vs. USC (5-3, 4-1 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 6:00pm MT, Fox
Spread: Oregon -4 (o/u 62)
I’m very tempted to take USC in this matchup. The Trojans are 4-0 at home this season and 4-1 in conference play, right in the heat of the Pac-12 South race. Plus the Ducks gave up a total of 66 points in their last two games, narrow wins over Washington and Washington State. The difference in this one could come down to which team can hold onto the pigskin. Oregon ranks third among FBS teams with a plus-11 turnover margin. USC is minus-six in that category, 118th in FBS. If the Trojans can hang onto the ball, they have a good chance to upend the Ducks at home, but I don’t see it happening. I’m taking Oregon to cover.
Colorado (3-5, 1-4 Pac-12) vs. UCLA (3-5, 3-2 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 7:00pm MT, Pac-12 Networks
Spread: UCLA -6 1⁄2 (o/u 64 1⁄2 )
If you’ve made it this far in this scribe’s selections, you know I’ve taken Utah, Arizona and Oregon, all favorites, to cover. Here’s my first and only underdog selection for this Saturday. Big surprise here. Despite the fact that the Buffaloes have dropped four straight and the Bruins are riding a two-game winning streak, Colorado has taken two of the last three against UCLA; plus four of the last five games in this series have been decided by 10 points or less. The Bruins (127th) and Buffaloes (129th) are each allowing over 300 passing yards per game to opponents. Steven Montez and Dorian Thompson-Robinson should have big games through the air. Montez, with game-changers like Laviska Shenault and Tony Brown at his disposal, will outplay Thompson-Robinson enough to keep this one close. Give me the Buffaloes getting six and a half.
*Point spreads are as of Saturday, November 2 per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook unless noted*