Look at this -- no week-night games, six Saturday games, and three games that kick off at 1:30 p.m. or earlier (way earlier, in the case of Stanford at Colorado). If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was 1995. But you know better.
Let’s just get to the picks.
As always, all lines are courtesy of VegasInsider.com, and are for the purpose of entertaining gamblers only. And as always, our pick for the Washington game will come in a separate post on Friday.
Last week: 6-0 straight-up, 3-2-1 against the spread
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Season: 49-18 straight-up, 35-22-2 against the spread
Stanford at Colorado, 10 a.m., Pac-12 Networks (Stanford by 16) -- Beware the mighty Buffaloes, who probably feel they should have beaten UCLA last week at the Rose Bowl and seem to be making progress, even if it’s incremental. Sefo Liufau might be able to spark some offense against a Cardinal defense that allowed 442 yards against Washington State last week. But Stanford is still so much better than Colorado that I don’t see this one being particularly close. The pick: Stanford 38, Colorado 20.
Arizona State at Washington State, 12:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (WSU by 2.5) -- Both teams are coming off close, heartbreaking losses at home, though WSU’s probably meant a little more, what with first place in the Pac-12 North on the line and all. So it will be interesting to see how each team responds. ASU blitzes pretty frequently, so it will be imperative for WSU quarterback Luke Falk to get rid of the ball quickly and keep the Cougars’ offense moving. Here’s a guess he will. The pick: WSU 41, ASU 35.
UCLA at Oregon State, 1:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (UCLA by 17.5) -- It’s hard to count on the Bruins to cover a three-score spread at the moment, especially as injuries continue to pile up for their defense. The Beavers, meanwhile, showed some surprising chops in Salt Lake City last week. This won’t be a cakewalk for UCLA, but then again, I’ve never seen a cakewalk, anywhere, so I don’t actually know what that entails. Is it simply a walk with cake provided at the end? Do you eat cake during the walk? Is there any cake at all? The pick: UCLA 28, OSU 14.
California at Oregon, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2 (Oregon by 4.5) -- It looks like the Golden Bears are not who we thought they were two months ago. Neither are the Ducks, but I think they’re better than Cal, especially with Vernon Adams back at quarterback and making plays again. The pick: Oregon 42, California 31.
Arizona at USC, 7:30 p.m., ESPN (USC by 20) -- There was a time when I would have believed both these teams would be fighting for the Pac-12 South title. The Trojans still are, but Arizona’s season has gone into a very large toilet. The flush continues in SoCal. The pick: USC 45, Arizona 24.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple