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Pac-12 Predictions: Week two betting guide

A conference matchup leads the slate.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Southern California vs Stanford John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

From Arizona’s disappointing home loss to BYU, to Cincinnati ruining Chip Kelly’s UCLA debut, this scribe took one on the chin last week. However, despite my 3-6-1 record, my editor at the Ralphie Report wants me to see this column through. So on to week 2 we go. Will Bryce Love jump back into the Heisman race as Stanford hosts USC? Can Herm Edwards improve to 2-0 with an upset over Michigan State in Tempe, Ariz.? And will the Buffaloes best the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Neb. for the first time since 2004? Here are my week 2 selections.




Arizona (0-1) vs. Houston (1-0)

10:00 AM MT, ABC/ESPN 2

Line: Houston -3 ½ (o/u 71)

Kevin Sumlin’s Arizona debut got off to a rocky start with a 28-23 home loss to BYU last weekend. The Wildcats will look to right the ship this Saturday in Houston against defensive tackle Ed Oliver – a projected top-five 2019 NFL Draft pick - and the Cougars. Arizona quarterback Kahlil Tate, who was held to just 14 yards rushing against BYU, saw limited action in a 19-16 loss to Houston last season. Look for him to break free from Oliver and the Cougars defense Saturday. Take the Wildcats in a high scoring affair.

UCLA (0-1) vs. 6 Oklahoma (1-0)

11:00 AM MT, Fox

Line: Oklahoma 30 ½ (o/u 64)

UCLA’s starting quarterback Wilton Speight injured his back in a 26-17 loss to Cincinnati last weekend and was replaced by true-freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Speight’s status for Saturday’s game against the sixth-ranked Sooners remains up in the air. Whether it’s Speight or Thompson-Robinson, it really won’t matter. The Sooners looked every bit like a national title contender after blowing out Lane Kiffin’s Owls 63-14 in week one. Look for Kyler Murray and the Sooners offense to cover the 30 ½ points in Norman on Saturday.

Colorado (1-0) vs. Nebraska (0-0)

1:30 PM MT, ABC

Line: Nebraska -3½ (o/u 64)

Maybe it’s because they are playing in Lincoln, Neb.? Maybe it’s the fact that this “rivalry” has been dominated by Nebraska? Could it be that oddsmakers weren’t able to get a good look at Scott Frost’s Cornhuskers after last weekend’s game against Akron was cancelled due to weather? Whatever the case, Colorado should be slightly favored in this scribe’s opinion. Steven Montez and the Buffaloes offense should put up plenty of points against a Cornhuskers defense that ranked dead last in the Big Ten in total defense (436.2 yards per game allowed) last season. If the Buffs can put pressure on true-freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez, they should take this one in Lincoln. I’m rolling with the Buffaloes for a second straight week.

Utah (1-0) vs. Northern Illinois (0-1)

5:30 PM MT, ESPN News

Line: Utah -10 ½ (o/u 47 ½)

Utes junior running back Zack Moss rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown in Utah’s 41-10 season-opening win over Weber State. Moss and company now face a stout Huskies defense led by talented defensive end Sutton Smith. Northern Illinois is coming off a 33-7 loss to Iowa in which they allowed 209 rushing yards on 48 carries. With quarterback Tyler Huntley (25-40, 279 yards, 4 TD vs. Weber State) behind center, expect the Utes to use a more balanced attack than the Hawkeyes did. I’m leaning Utah to win and barely cover the 10 ½ points.

17 USC (1-0) vs. 10 Stanford (1-0)

6:30 PM MT, Fox

Line: Stanford -6 (o/u 56 ½)

Bryce Love’s Heisman campaign took a hit when he managed just 29 rush yards on 18 carries in a 31-10 win over San Diego State. Were it not for the K.J. Costello-JJ Arcega-Whiteside connection, the Cardinal could’ve easily lost to the Aztecs. True-freshman quarterback JT Daniels and USC overcame a sluggish start to defeat UNLV 43-21. The difference in this one will be USC’s ability to limit big plays. The Trojans surrendered 308 yards on the ground to UNLV, including a 71-yard touchdown run by Lexington Thomas in the 1stquarter. Even though USC defeated Stanford twice last season, I like Bryce Love to get back on track this week and Stanford to cover in my LOCK OF THE WEEK.

California (1-0) vs. BYU (1-0)

8:15 PM MT, ESPN2

Line: BYU -2 ½ (o/u 46 ½)

Both the Golden Bears and the Cougars are coming off wins in week 1. California, and their rotating quarterbacks, defeated North Carolina by seven in Berkeley, while BYU shocked Arizona (and this scribe) in Tucson 28-23. The Cougars were able to contain Arizona’s Kahlil Tate and I like them to do the same with Bears running back Patrick Laird. BYU covers the 2 ½ points.

15 Michigan State (1-0) vs. Arizona State (1-0)

8:45 PM MT, ESPN

Line: Michigan State -6 (o/u 54)

Per, Big Ten teams were a perfect 7-0 against the spread versus Pac-12 teams last season. Michigan State snuck by Utah State 38-31 last week, while Arizona State looked impressive in a 49-7 romp over Texas San-Antonio. Based off last Saturday’s performances alone, you might be considering the Sun Devils in this contest. Don’t. Take Michigan State to cover the six points despite playing in Tempe, Ariz.

San Jose State (0-1) vs. Washington State (1-0)

9:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks

Line: Washington State -34 (o/u 65 ½)

Last week I took Wyoming at home against Washington State. That didn’t turn out too well as Mike Leach’s air raid attack hung 41 points on the Cowboys in Laramie, Wyo. The Cougars are back in Pullman, Wash. and will win Saturday against San Jose State. But by 34 points? That’s too much for me. Give me the Spartans and the points.


Portland State (0-1) vs. 23 Oregon (1-0), Noon MT, Pac-12 Networks

North Dakota (1-0) vs. 9 Washington (0-1), 3:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks

Southern Utah (0-1) vs. Oregon State (0-1), 6:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks

*Lines as of Thursday, September 6 per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook*