Huskies Insider Blog

Pac-12 picks, Week 6: Stanford favored at Notre Dame? Hmmm ...

After a relatively weak week of picks, we're back at it with a nearly-full Pac-12 slate. All lines (in parentheses) are for gambling and entertainment purposes only. All games Saturday, except for the one that's on Thursday. And as always, the pick for the Washington game will come in a separate blog post ... a week from tomorrow. The Huskies are off this weekend.

Last week: 3-2 straight-up, 2-3 against the spread.

Season: 34-8 straight-up, 15-21 against the spread.

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THURSDAY

Arizona at Oregon, 7:30 p.m., ESPN (Oregon by 23.5) -- Arizona's offense is going to pose a lot of problems for a lot of teams this season, and the Ducks certainly aren't immune to that. But with an extra week to heal up, figure some things out on the offensive line and prepare for a team that knocked the crud out of them last season, I don't expect the Ducks to have a letdown against the Wildcats this time around. The pick: Oregon 56, Arizona 28.

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SATURDAY

Stanford at Notre Dame, 12:30 p.m., NBC (Stanford by 3) -- A few others have pointed out how strange it is that Notre Dame, the No. 9-ranked team in the country, is a 3-point underdog at home against a team that already has one loss and has looked strikingly mortal in its first two Pac-12 games (especially when its offense reaches the red zone). Still, the Cardinal's defense has been outstanding, so that should be a great matchup against Irish quarterback Everett Golson. But here's a guess that Stanford's red-zone inefficiency, as well as a bit of questionable officiating down the stretch -- what would a Stanford-Notre Dame game in South Bend be without it? -- will eventually lead to an Irish victory. The pick: Notre Dame 21, Stanford 20.

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Oregon State at Colorado, 1 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (OSU by 7) -- The Beavers will score more than the 10 points they managed last week against USC, that's for sure. Can they stop a Buffaloes offense that all of a sudden looks lively (playing against Cal helped, but still) with quarterback Sefo Liufau at the helm? Maybe. But OSU should at least outscore them. The pick: OSU 35, Colorado 24.

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Arizona State at USC, 4:30 p.m., FOX (USC by 12) -- This certainly feels like a game the Trojans should win, but something about the way their run defense played against Boston College, combined with the explosiveness of ASU's offense, gives us pause. And who knows how the Sun Devils will respond to getting spanked by UCLA. A tough call, but we'll take the home team. The pick: USC 34, ASU 28.

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Utah at UCLA, 7:30 p.m., ESPN (UCLA by 13) -- The sky is no longer falling in Westwood after UCLA body-slammed Arizona State last week, and looked very much like a Pac-12 title contender while doing it. Combine that with a home game against Utah team coming off a disappointing loss to WSU, and this is an easy call. That spread is tricky, though. The pick: UCLA 42, Utah 31.

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California at Washington State, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (WSU by 2.5) -- For those wondering, the over/under on this game has been set at 77.5. It's possible these teams could top that by halftime. Anyway, the Cougars' season outlook appears a little brighter now after last week's come-from-behind victory over Utah, and Cal managed to right itself after that brutal loss to Arizona with a double-overtime win over Colorado. Two weeks ago, I probably would have taken Cal. But WSU's offense, playing at home against a weak defense, should be enough to get the Cougars to 3-3. The pick: WSU 52, California 49.

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

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