Oregon and WSU lead an entertaining slate of games this weekend in the Pac-12 and Mountain West.
Photo: NBC Sports Northwest
Article by Kyle Kollman
The Pac-12 and Mountain West conference races look to become clearer this weekend with competitive matches and potential upsets. Who has the edge? We take a look.
USC at Arizona (+14):
USC has won 7 straight and 16 of the last 18 games against Arizona.
The Trojans are 10-18-1 against the spread as a favorite since 2017.
USC is 13-3 straight up as a road favorite since 2015.
Arizona is just 8-30 straight up as an underdog since 2015.
Prediction: USC should be able to exploit a depleted Wildcat’s defense who lost their top two leading tacklers from 2019 to transfer. Grant Gunnel and Gary Brightwell will be able to put up some points but not enough as the Trojans light up the scoreboard and win 41-24.
Colorado at Stanford (-7):
Colorado has lost 10 of their last 12 games on the road since 2017
The Buffs are also 4-11 against the spread on the road since 2017.
Stanford is 20-6 straight up as a home favorite since 2016.
Prediction: Colorado was able to capitalize on 4 UCLA turnovers last week. I don’t see that happening against a much more disciplined David Shaw team. Assuming Davis Mills and Connor Wedington are cleared to play, the Cardinal hold on to win 31-23.
Oregon at Washington State (+10):
WSU has covered the spread the last 10 matchups against Oregon. They have won 4 of the last 5 games against the Ducks.
The Cougars are 4-2 straight up as a home underdog since 2016.
The Ducks are 6-3 as a favorite on the road since 2017.
Oregon is 18-2 straight up as a favorite the last two seasons.
Prediction: Upset alert of the week. WSU has had Oregon’s number of late and Jayden De Laura was impressive in his first career game. There may be some snow in Pullman and I expect this to be a wild back and forth contest with multiple lead changes. If Max Borghi is available to play, the Cougars will be frisky enough to cover and pull off the upset 31-30.
Cal at Arizona State (-4):
Cal is 9-2 against the spread on the road since 2018.
The Golden Bears are 15-7 ATS as underdogs since 2017.
ASU has covered the spread the last 4 games against Cal.
The Sun Devils are 3-9 ATS as favorites since 2018.
Prediction: Expect this game to come down to the wire like last year’s matchup did. The Bears will try to pound the rock and play great defense like they have under Justin Wilcox. Jayden Daniels will make some clutch plays down the stretch. The Sun Devils bounce back and hold on 24-21.
Utah at UCLA (+3.5):
Utah has won and covered the last 4 games against UCLA.
The Utes are 23-10 against the spread on the road since 2014.
The Bruins are just 13-23-1 ATS at home since 2014.
Prediction: Depending on who is available for Utah, they should be able to move the ball all night on UCLA who surrendered 525 yards last week. Dorian Thompson Robinson has turned the ball over 27 times in 21 career games! Utah’s stingy front 7 forces multiples turnovers and the Utes take care of business to win 31-21.
Oregon State at Washington (-13):
The road team has covered the spread in the last 5 games in this series.
The Huskies have won the last 8 matchups with Oregon State.
The Beavers were 6-0 ATS as a road underdog last season. Oregon State won 3 of those games outright.
Washington has won 23 of their last 25 games outright as a home favorite since 2016.
Prediction: The Huskies held the Beavers to just 7 points in last year’s matchup. Washington has a young but very talented defense. UW will be breaking in a new quarterback and will heavily rely on running the ball. If Oregon State can force third and longs, Hamilcar Rashed could have a big night. Should be a rainy night on Montlake and the weather may impact the game. The Huskies do enough on offense to win 27-17.
Colorado State at Boise State (-14):
Dating back to 2003, Boise State is an absurd 96-8 straight up as a home favorite.
The Broncos have won all 9 games against Colorado State.
Boise State has won their last 6 games off of a loss since 2017.
Prediction: Broncos play extremely motivated after being embarrassed on the blue turf last week. Boise State wins 41-20.
Fresno State at Utah State (+10):
Utah State is just 2-10 against the spread as a home underdog since 2013.
Fresno State is 7-2-1 ATS as a favorite on the road since 2016.
The Bulldogs won 9 of those games outright.
The Aggies have won the last 3 games in this series.
Prediction: Utah State may play inspired for interim head coach Frank Maile, but Fresno State pulls away in the 2nd half to win 31-20.
Hawaii at San Diego State (-11):
The Aztecs are just 5-13 against the spread as home favorites since 2016.
Hawaii is 5-9-1 ATS as a road underdog since 2017.
Prediction: Greg Bell should have a big day running the ball on a defense that has given up over 225 rushing yards per game. San Diego State wins 28-24.
Nevada at New Mexico (+17.5):
Nevada is 60-17 straight up as a favorite since 2009.
The Lobos are 1-19 straight up as an underdog since 2018.
Prediction: New Mexico is in a tough spot as they have decided to move their home games to Las Vegas due to a Covid-19 outbreak in Bernalillo County. Nevada’s Carson Strong has had a strong start to the season. Nevada outplays New Mexico 38-20.
UNLV at San Jose State (-15.5):
The Spartans are 10-6 against the spread as a home favorite since 2014.
The Rebels are 12-43 straight up as an underdog since 2014.
Prediction: Texas A&M transfer Nick Starkel has been tremendous for San Jose State and shines again as San Jose State beats UNLV 37-21.