Huskies Insider Blog

Pac-12 picks, Week 9: USC, Utah battle for positioning in crowded South

New rule: Don't pick Washington to cover the spread against Oregon until it actually happens. Five games on tap this week. Let's get to it.

Last week: 4-1 straight-up, 3-2 against the spread

Season: 43-14 straight-up, 24-26-1 against the spread

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

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FRIDAY

Oregon at California, 7 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (Oregon by 18) -- The Golden Bears are hanging in there, taking UCLA down to the wire last week after a rough outing against UW. And given the success Washington State had throwing the ball against the Ducks earlier this season, maybe Cal can rack up a few passing yards, too. But the Ducks' offense is rolling right now, and Cal still isn't nearly talented defensively to keep up. The pick: Oregon 48, California 27.

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SATURDAY

UCLA at Colorado, 11 a.m., Pac-12 Networks (UCLA by 14) -- Even if the Bruins aren't what we thought they were, they should still be above losing to the Buffaloes. That spread is tricky, though. The pick: UCLA 38, Colorado 28.

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Oregon State at Stanford, 12:30 p.m., ESPN2 (Stanford by 13.5) -- This, too, feels like a pretty healthy point spread for a Stanford team that scored 10 points last week. But the Beavers have done little to inspire confidence they can win on the road, even against a Stanford offense that is mediocre on a good day. The pick: Stanford 27, Oregon State 14.

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Arizona at Washington State, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (Arizona by 2.5) -- A tough stretch of ranked foes continues for the Cougars, who probably don't have quite enough to contain Anu Solomon and the Wildcats offense. Here's a guess WSU goes down swinging, but still takes the penultimate step toward being ineligible for a bowl game. The pick: Arizona 41, WSU 35.

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USC at Utah, 7 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (pick 'em) -- Huge game with huge Pac-12 South title implications. Travis Wilson returns to the starting quarterback role for the Utes, but they'll obviously rely a lot on standout tailback Devontae Booker. This will be a big test for Utah's defense, particularly its pass rush, against USC quarterback Cody Kessler. He threw seven touchdown passes against Colorado last week. He won't throw that many this week. Here's a guess Utes win in a grinder. The pick: Utah 24, USC 21.

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

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