Huskies Insider Blog

Pac-12 picks, Week 2

Once again, every Pac-12 team is in action this week against a nonconference opponent. The opening week produced a few upsets -- WSU losing to Portland State, Stanford losing at Northwestern -- but it was a good week for yours truly to pick against the spread. Went 6-2 there. Good times.

Anyway, here we go with another week of picks, a slate highlighted by Oregon’s trip to face Michigan State in East Lansing. Aside from that, it looks like mostly clunkers.

All lines (in parentheses) are for entertainment and gamlbing purposes only, and come courtesy of VegasInsider.com. As always, our pick for the Washington game will come in a separate post on Friday.

Last week: 8-4 straight-up, 6-2 against the spread

Season: 8-4, 6-2

...

FRIDAY

Utah State at Utah, 6 p.m., ESPN2 (Utah by 13.5) -- Huskies fans should probably keep an eye on this one, considering that Utah State visits UW a week from Saturday. The Utes obviously have to be feeling a lot better about themselves than the Aggies after their respective Week 1 performances: Utah picked up an exciting win over Michigan at home, while Utah State struggled to beat Southern Utah (an FCS team) just 12-9. That said, Utah State is probably better than it showed in that game, and the rivalry factor shouldn’t be overlooked, either. But something tells me that if Utah State struggled so mightily to score against Southern Utah -- they totaled just 250 yards and quarterback Chuckie Keeton completed only 16-of-33 passes for 110 yards and an interception -- the Aggies are going to have some issues in Salt Lake City, too. The pick: Utah 28, Utah State 10.

...

SATURDAY

Oregon State at Michigan, 9 a.m., ABC (Michigan by 16.5) -- Hard to really know just yet what to make of either of these teams. Can’t imagine the Beavers winning this game in Ann Arbor, but the Wolverines showed last week that they still have some work to do in Jim Harbaugh’s first year as coach. Let’s call this a Michigan win and cover. But let’s not feel too confident about it. The pick: Michigan 31, Oregon State 14.

...

Massachusetts at Colorado, 11 a.m., Pac-12 Networks (Colorado by 12.5) -- What might be a tune-up game for most Pac-12 programs -- or a game not to be scheduled in the first place, considering it’s the return matchup of a home-and-home against UMass -- suddenly looms as really, really important for a Buffaloes squad coming off a bad loss to Hawaii in their opener. Colorado beat the Minutemen 41-38 back east last season, for what it’s worth. I expect a wider margin this time around -- but not a Colorado cover -- even if the UMass offense might make this one interesting. The pick: Colorado 35, Massachusetts 24.

...

Washington State at Rutgers, 12:30 p.m., ESPNU (Rutgers by 2) -- There probably won’t be a nonconference game this season featuring two programs in such dire straits. Just when it started to seem like WSU would have a huge advantage in this one -- given the trouble at Rutgers with the investigation surrounding coach Kyle Flood, plus a whole slew of recent arrests, dismissals and suspensions -- the Cougars went out last week and lost at home to a weak Big Sky team. Meanwhile, Rutgers took care of business against an overmatched Norfolk State team. And the Scarlet Knights did beat the Cougars in Seattle last season. Maybe Rutgers is the kind of team that rallies in the face of trouble. Maybe WSU isn’t. We’ll see. The pick: Rutgers 45, WSU 40.

...

San Diego State at California, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (Cal by 14) -- One of the more interesting games on the docket this week. San Diego State intercepted five passes last week in its 37-3 thrashing of San Diego, but I’m not sure how much stock to put in that. Still, tailback Donnel Pumphrey (1,867 yards rushing, 20 touchdowns in 2014) poses a legitimate threat against the Golden Bears’ unproven defense, and while I think Cal could win this game fairly easily, that two-score point spread gives me pause. The pick: California 38, San Diego State 28.

...

Arizona at Nevada, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network (Arizona by 11.5) -- Never an easy place to play, and Arizona obviously has some defensive issues to shore up after allowing 32 points to Texas-San Antonio (and losing star linebacker Scooby Wright III for a few weeks due to injury). I don’t think Nevada has the offensive firepower to take advantage, though -- the Wolf Pack are breaking in a new starting quarterback this year -- no matter how tricky the environment might be for Arizona. The pick: Arizona 41, Nevada 20.

...

Idaho at USC, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (USC by 43) -- The Vandals travel south for a paycheck and a beating. The pick: USC 63, Idaho 10.

...

Oregon at Michigan State, 5 p.m., ABC (Michigan State by 3.5) -- After allowing 42 points in a victory over Eastern Washington last week, the Ducks have a lot to clean up on the defensive side of the ball. And let’s not forget that MSU led Oregon 27-18 early in the third quarter of last season’s game before the Ducks scored 28 unanswered points to win going away. Such a finishing act is less likely on the road, especially against a top-10 team with a veteran quarterback like Connor Cook. But I think Vernon Adams is the kind of quarterback capable of leading Oregon to victory in hostile territory, and I still think the Ducks simply have the more athletic, talented roster. Should be a good one, though. The pick: Oregon 38, Michigan State 35.

...

UCLA at UNLV, 7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network (UCLA by 30) -- The Runnin’ Rebels put up an impressive fight in a 38-30 loss at Northern Illinois last week, so maybe first-year coach Tony Sanchez has UNLV on the right track already. But UCLA is on the right track, too, with elite Pac-12 athletes and a freshman quarterback who looked pretty darn good in his debut. This one shouldn’t be close. The pick: UCLA 49, UNLV 17.

...

UCF at Stanford, 7:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (Stanford by 19) -- Don’t think the Cardinal will lose -- UCF lost to Florida International last week -- but after watching Stanford’s offensive effort against Northwestern, a 19-point spread feels like a lot to ask. Consider this going out on a limb, then. The pick: Stanford 35, UCF 13.

...

Cal Poly at Arizona State, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (no line) -- This cupcake will be good for what ailed the Sun Devils in a tough loss to Texas A&M. The pick: ASU 52, Cal Poly 20.

...

Christian Caple can be reached at christian.caple@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

  Comments