Had to make sure to get this week’s picks posted well before California and USC square off this evening, just in case anyone is, um, taking these picks to the bank, or something.
All lines are courtesy of the AP wire, and are the same as the ones our good friend Tim Booth is using for his season pick ‘em contest. My pick for the Huskies game will come in a separate post on Friday.
Last week: 4-1 straight-up, 2-2-1 against the spread.
Season: 51-10 straight-up, 26-25-3 against the spread.
California at USC, 7:30 p.m., ESPN (USC by 16) -- This is a dangerous point spread -- and it has actually since moved to -20 -- against a Cal team that ranks ninth nationally in scoring offense. I don’t see how the Golden Bears will win this game. But I also don’t see how the Trojans will win this game by three scores. The pick: USC 42, California 35.
Arizona State at Oregon, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (Oregon by 8.5) -- The health and status of ASU starting quaurterback Manny Wilkins remains in doubt, so it’s hard to have much confidence in the Sun Devils putting up a bunch of points. Oh, wait. They’re playing Oregon. Never mind. The pick: Arizona State 38, Oregon 35.
Washington State at Oregon State, 7:45 p.m., ESPN2 (WSU by 12.5) -- The Beavers’ pass defense has shown up this season, and OSU continues to show some fight in coach Gary Andersen’s second season. But there is just no way the Beavers can score enough points to cover this spread. The pick: Washington State 42, Oregon State 14.
Stanford at Arizona, 8 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (Stanford by 5.5) -- The Cardinal switched quarterbacks this week, going now with Keller Chryst instead of Ryan Burns. Unpalatable as both of those options might be, Arizona would probably love to have either one of them. The pick: Stanford 24, Arizona 17.