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Pac-12 Rundown: Those (on-paper) Mismatches

This week’s Pac-12 schedule isn’t going to wow the onlookers. Only the Utah-Washington St. contest features teams with winning records this season.

This will be about ranked Oregon, USC, Utah and UCLA taking care of business. Three of the four ranked teams in the Pac-12 favored by more than 10 points this week.

Cornerback Clark Phillips III #1
Cornerback Clark Phillips III #1 | Christian petersen/getty images/afp

It’s the first time in four weeks that one of the Pac-12 games doesn’t include a pair of ranked foes

Oregon has climbed to No. 8 in both national polls, Southern California is 10th in the Associated Press poll (11th in the American Football Coaches Association ranking,

while UCLA and Utah are 12th and 14th, respectively, in the AP poll. The Utes are also 14th in the coaches’ poll, UCLA dropping five spots (to No. 15) in that ranking.

Oregon (even-money) has the best odds to win the Pac-12 title, according to the sportsbook. The Ducks are followed by USC (+265), Utah and UCLA both at +425.

According to the college football playoff odds, the Ducks come in at +4000 in the odds to win the national title, USC next at +6000.

Let’s check the latest NCAAF picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAF predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAF expert picks for you to consider.

Game of the Week

Utah Utes vs Washington St. Cougars

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Oct. 27th, 10 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Line: Utah -7½

With much of the focus on Oregon and the revival of USC and UCLA, it is easy to overlook the defending Pac-12 champions.

Utah (5-2, 2-1 in Pac-12) is just a game out of first place in the standings.

The Utes are just 1-2 on the road this season, having surrendered nearly 100 more yards away from home.

Utah quarterback Cameron Rising is completing 68.8% of his passes (15 TDs, three interceptions), while Cameron Ward of Washington St. has 1,962 yards (16 touchdowns).

Utah’s Clark Phillips is tied for the national lead with five interceptions.

Utah has won the last three games against the Cougars, outscoring WSU, 107-54.

Oregon Ducks vs California Bears

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Oct. 29th, 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Line: Oregon -17½

Oregon (6-1, 4-0 in Pac-12) is sitting atop the conference standings, 517.1 yards per game of offense. California’s second in passing yards allowed in the conference this season. With the way Oregon quarterback Bo Nix is throwing the ball, that could be an issue in Berkeley.

Cal freshman Jaydn Ott is fourth in the Pac-12 in rushing. However, he has just 155 yards over the last three games.

Nix has 17 TD passes (one interception) during Oregon’s six-game winning streak. He has completed 79.2% of his passes over the last two.

Cal has allowed the second-most sacks in the conference so keep an eye on the Oregon pass rushers.

Although Cal has just two wins in the last 13 games with Oregon, the Bears have covered the college football betting lines in each of the last three (all under the total).

Southern California Trojans vs Arizona Wildcats

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Oct. 29th, 7 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
  • Line: USC -15½

This has the makings of a one-sided affair.

Arizona (3-4, 1-3) is allowing 454 yards per game this season, and that number jumps to 528.5 in conference play. USC quarterback Caleb Williams comes off a season-high 381 yards (five touchdowns, no interceptions) in last week’s one-point loss to Utah by the Trojans (6-1, 4-1).

The game features three of the top receivers in the Pac-12. Arizona’s Jacob Cowing has 53 catches (737 yards, seven TDs), while teammate Dorian Singer has 41 receptions (605 yards). USC is led by Jordan Addison’s 39 catches and 585 yards.

USC has three pick-sixes this season. Arizona will need to be careful with the ball.

USC has won nine games in a row against Arizona. However, the Wildcats have covered against the college football odds in the last two.

Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans
Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans | Chris gardner/ getty images/afp

Arizona St. Sun Devils vs Colorado Buffaloes

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Oct. 29th, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
  • Line: Arizona St -13

One will come away with a second conference win of the season.

Arizona St. is surrendering 32.3 points, Colorado 35.8 in Pac-12 play. The Sun Devils have allowed just three offensive plays of 30+ yards in four conference games.

The teams are at the bottom of the Pac-12 in passing offense. Between them, 13 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.

Three of the last four games between the Sun Devils and Buffaloes went over the total.

Stanford Cardinal vs UCLA Bruins

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Oct. 29th, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Line: UCLA -16½

UCLA (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12) suffered its first loss of the season, 45-30 at Oregon, and will look to get healthy against a Stanford team eyeing its third win in a row.

Defense has helped Stanford find its way, as Notre Dame and Arizona St. were each limited to 14 points. Stanford allowed 301 and 355 yards, respectively, in those games.

The UCLA offense is a much more dangerous unit, averaging just under 500 yards.

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads the Pac-12 (172.24 passing rating). He is completing 73.8% of his passes (1,772 yards, 17 touchdowns, three interceptions.

Stanford (3-4, 1-4) had won 11 games in a row against UCLA, but the Bruins captured two of the last three, including last season’s meeting, 35-24, (four-point road favorite)

Something to consider if you bet online is UCLA and Stanford totaled a combined 186 points in the last two games hosted by the Bruins.


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