Since I’ve been predicting Pac-12 games for the last two seasons — for better or worse — I figured I’d continue that weekly tradition over here.
There are five games involving conference teams this week, the first of which features UCLA and Utah in the oh-so-popular Thursday night matchup.
Without further adieu, here are our picks, both straight-up and against the spread (which, of course, is for entertainment purposes only, unless you also wish to gamble). All lines are courtesy of VegasInsider.com.
UCLA (3-0, 0-0 in Pac-12) at Utah (3-1, 0-1 in Pac-12), Thursday, 7 p.m., FOX Sports 1
The line: UCLA by 4.5
The pick: This feels like a pretty low spread considering how well the Bruins have played this season. But the Utes are a lot better than last season, and quarterback Travis Wilson has a lot to do with that. Still, I just don’t think Utah has enough to keep up with a UCLA team that looks like it could be the best team in the Pac-12 South. Bruins should prove it in this one. UCLA 38, Utah 24.
Washington State (3-2, 1-1) at California (1-3, 0-1), Saturday, 1 p.m., FOX Sports 1
The line: WSU by 1
The pick: A huge game for both teams. The difference between 4-2 and 3-3 is huge for any team, but especially for the Cougars given their remaining schedule. It sounds as if Connor Halliday should be available at quarterback, which is good news for WSU against a Cal team allowing 45.3 points per game. But the Bears’ offense has looked decent, and their overall struggles have a lot to do with the quality of their opponents so far. This seems like a coin flip. I’ll take the home team. Cal 31, WSU 28.
Oregon (4-0, 1-0) at Colorado (2-1, 0-1), Saturday, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
The line: Oregon by 38.5
The pick: Doesn’t seem to be much to analyze here, though it does sound as if the Ducks will be without De’Anthony Thomas. Can’t see that mattering, though. Oregon 56, Colorado 13.
Arizona State (3-1, 1-1) vs. Notre Dame (3-2), Saturday, 4:30 p.m., NBC (Arlington, Texas)
The line: ASU by 6
The pick: The betting line alone reflects the perception of the Irish these days, as they’ve looked pretty mediocre through their first five games. The Sun Devils still have plenty to prove, and I think they’re the better team here, especially at a neutral site (fixed). ASU 35, Notre Dame 24.
LAST WEEK: 4-1 straight up, 3-2 against the spread. SEASON RECORD: 36-5 straight up, 25-16 against the spread.
We’ll post our pick for the UW-Stanford game on Friday.
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple