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Week 3: Pac-12 Betting Guide

Places your bets based on this guide.

Michigan State v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If there were two things that I learned in Week 2, it’s that Chip Kelly’s Bruins cannot be counted upon in non-conference games and California’s Justin Wilcox is one of the more underrated head coaches in the nation. UCLA’s loss to San Diego State and California’s upset over Washington were the only blemishes for this scribe on the second full Saturday of play. Another winning week and I might have move to Sin City and start my own “consulting” firm.

Here are my Week 3 selections, free of charge. As always, tread lightly.

Overall Record (ATS): 12-5

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

#20 Washington State (2-0) vs. Houston (1-1)

Time, Network: 7:15pm MT, ESPN (from NRG Stadium, Houston, Tex.)

Spread: Washington State -9 12 (o/u 73 12 )

Washington State faces their first big test of the young season as former colleagues Mike Leach and Dana Holgorsen go head-to-head for the first time in their coaching careers. Expect a high-scoring affair with Houston’s rushing attack - yes, I said rushing attack - being the difference. In a 49-31 season-opening loss to Oklahoma, Holgorsen’s Cougars rushed for 241 yards. Meanwhile, Leach’s Cougars allowed 216 rushing yards to Northern Colorado last week. Washington State should win, but give me Houston getting nine and a half to cover.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Air Force (1-0) vs. Colorado (2-0)

Time, Network: 11:00am MT, Pac-12 Networks

Spread: Colorado -3 12 (o/u 58 12 )

Will the Buffaloes experience a letdown after last weekend’s thrilling 34-31 victory in overtime over Nebraska? This scribe doesn’t believe so. Sure the Falcons rushed for 438 yards in their 48-7 season-opening win over Colgate, but Mel Tucker should have his team well-prepared to face Air Force’s option attack. As the defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at Georgia from 2016-’18, Tucker had to prepare the Bulldogs to annually face Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense. Take the Buffaloes to cover.

Stanford (1-1) vs. #17 UCF (2-0)

Time, Network: 1:30pm MT, ESPN

Spread: UCF -9 (o/u 62)

The Cardinal are coming off a disappointing 45-20 loss at USC, while the undefeated Knights have outscored their first two opponents — FAMU and FAU — by a combined score of 110 to 14. Stanford’s offense should receive a boost with quarterback K.J. Costello back from injury, but will it be enough to keep this one close? Doubtful. Josh Heupel’s UCF squad has scored 30 or more points in 28 straight games. Whether it’s Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush or freshman Dillon Gabriel under center for the Knights, it shouldn’t matter. Give me the Knights to cover and make a big statement at home.

#24 USC (2-0) vs. BYU (1-1)

Time, Network: 1:30pm MT, ABC

Spread: USC -4 (o/u 56 12 )

BYU is coming off a thrilling 29-26 2OT-win over Tennessee, while USC took it to Stanford last week. While freshman Kedon Slovis looked very impressive in his first career start, it’ll be the Trojans running backs that will be the difference this week. BYU is allowing 252.0 rushing yards per game (128th in FBS) this season, so look for USC’s Vavae Malepeai and Stephen Carr to run wild Saturday afternoon. Take the Trojans to cover.

Arizona State (2-0) vs. #18 Michigan State (2-0)

Time, Network: 2:00pm MT, Fox

Spread: Michigan State -14 12 (o/u 42)

Despite starting 2-0, Arizona State’s offense did not look great in wins over Kent State and Sacramento State. Now Eno Benjamin and the Sun Devils travel to East Lansing, Mich. to take on the top rushing defense in the country. In wins over Tulsa and Western Michigan, the Spartans have allowed a total of negative-three rushing yards. NEGATIVE-THREE. If Arizona State expects to knock off Michigan State for the second-straight year, freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels will have to have a big game through the air. I don’t see that happening. Don’t let last season’s result fool you. Spartans cover easily.

North Texas (1-1) vs. California (2-0)

Time, Network: 2:15pm MT, Pac-12 Networks

Spread: California -14 (o/u 50 12 )

Seth Littrell’s offense returns eight starters from a team that went 9-4 last season. They’ll be going up against one of the better defenses in the nation. The difference in this game will be California running backs Christopher Brown Jr. and Marcel Dancy. North Texas’ defense has surrendered an average of 197.0 yards and a total of seven touchdowns on the ground through two games. The Mean Green might be able to hang with the Golden Bears early on, but in the end, California covers the two touchdowns they’re being spotted.

Hawaii (2-0) vs. #23 Washington (1-1)

Time, Network: 5:30pm MT, Pac-12 Networks

Spread: Washington -21 12 (o/u 58 12 )

Will the Rainbow Warriors knock off three Pac-12 teams to start the season? Don’t bet on it. Hosting Arizona and Oregon State is one thing, traveling to Seattle to face a Huskies squad coming off a disappointing one-point loss to California is another. Expect Chris Petersen’s gang to bounce back in a big way. Take the Huskies to cover the 21 and a half points.

#5 Oklahoma (2-0) vs. UCLA (0-2)

Time, Network: 6:00pm MT, Fox

Spread: Oklahoma -23 12 (o/u 72 12 )

Oklahoma opened as 17 point favorites but the line has since jumped to 23 1/2. I’d jump on this as soon as you can before it goes up any further. The Sooners offense leads the nation averaging 709.5 yards per game. UCLA’s defense allowed an average of 395.0 yards per game (84th in FBS) in losses to Cincinnati and San Diego State. Sooners will cover.

Texas Tech (2-0) vs. Arizona (1-1)

Time, Network: 8:30pm MT, ESPN

Spread: Texas Tech -2 (o/u 76 12 )

Expect this game to be a shootout like the oddsmakers suggest. Arizona’s ground game behind running backs J.J. Taylor and Gary Brightwell, as well as quartarback Khalil Tate should allow the Wildcats to outlast the Red Raiders. I’m taking Arizona and the two points.

Points Spreads Not Available (all Saturday games)

Idaho State (1-0) vs. #11 Utah (2-0)

Time, Network: 2:15pm MT, Pac-12 Networks

Cal Poly (1-1) vs. Oregon State (0-2)

Time, Network: 2:15pm MT, Pac-12 Networks

Montana (2-0) vs. #15 Oregon (1-1)

Time, Network: 8:45pm MT, Pac-12 Networks

*Point spreads are as of Thursday, September 12 per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook*