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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 28, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Pac-10 picks, Week Nine

Who says the Pac-10 is unpredictable?
For the second straight, your momentarily not-so-humble correspondent got every game right straight-up, and at least broke even against the spread (losing there on the Huskies and Cougars).
And suddenly, the straight-up number doesn’t look so bad, 40-10 on the season. I’m bragging because I figured I’d better get it out of the way now before everything reverts to form.
This looms as a much tougher week with all 10 teams in action (only the second Saturday all year where we’ve had five conference games). And other than the obligatory big spread against the Cougars, the other four all have a certain level of intrigue — three road teams favored by a touchdown or more (and all obviously at risk of being upset by a home underdog) and Oregon State a mere two-and-a-half point favorite at home against Cal.
As always, the UW pick will come tomorrow. For now, on to the other four:
WASHINGTON STATE AT ARIZONA STATE (Devils by 21): Cougars may be 1-7 on the field by they are 5-2 against the spread (with no official line on one game) and I thought this spread seemed a little high, though surprisingly to me, it hasn’t moved all week. No doubt if the ASU team we saw in Seattle shows up, the Devils should win easily. But that team has been rare, the Devils more often being a penalty- and turnover-commiting machine. It still seems a lot to ask to think WSU is going to win a conference game on the road. But I’m going to ride its recent success against the spread and call this one closer than the number. ARIZONA STATE 42, WSU 28.
OREGON AT USC (Ducks by seven): The game of the week in the conference, and the one that could prove definitively if the Ducks can go undefeated. This is a matchup of the top two offenses in the conference (Oregon at 569 per game, USC at 494) and a lot of points seems a given. If there’s one glaring statistical difference it may be this — Oregon is first in the Pac-10 in pass defense efficiency, USC seventh. Maybe that’s due in part to the schedule Oregon has played — this game will help determine if there is any validity to those questions. Oregon, though, has picked off 13 passes, five more than any other team in the conference. The thought here is USC keeps it close for a while, but the Trojans eventually just make a few too many mistakes. OREGON 38, USC 32.
CAL AT OREGON STATE (Beavers by 2.5): OSU hasn’t played since the double-OT loss to the Huskies, a break that should have the team healthier and better able to adjust to the loss of James Rodgers. Cal has been one of the most bizarre teams in the country, seemingly unbeatable at home and often uncompetitive on the road. OSU also hasn’t lost to the Bears since 2006. No reason to think any of those streaks end. OSU 34, CAL 27.
ARIZONA AT UCLA (Wildcats by 8.5): Arizona showed it doesn’t need Nick Foles to win a Pac-10 game, though he may be back this week. UCLA coming off a disaster of a game at Oregon and Rick Neuheisel’s abilities to rally his troops will really be put to the test here. Arizona statistically has the best defense in the conference, while UCLA has the worst offense, and a defense that hasn’t really looked all that great since the Texas win, which looks a little more inexplicable with each passing week. ARIZONA 27, UCLA 14.
LAST WEEK: Straight up, 4-0; against the spread, 2-2.
SEASON TO DATE: Straight up, 40-10, against the spread, 20-22-1.

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