Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pac-12 Football: Prediction Against the Spread ~ Week 2

Pac-12 Football conference play starts this week.  However, that match-up might not be the most interesting game on the board.

Both Arizona schools test their wherewithal this week against ranked Big 12 squads. The reality of whether these schools are pretenders or contenders will certainly sink in before the weekend even starts.

Also this week, a match-up between two Pac-12 teams that will not count in conference standings....strange to say the least.

Let's stop wasting time and make these Picks Against the Spread
(picks are in bold)

Arizona @ No. 9 Oklahoma St. (-13.5)
This a rematch of two games last year (one a bowl game) where Arizona got tattered both times.  Both teams are bringing back similar personnel, so it's probably wise to go with the team that keeps winning.  

Arizona St. (-7.5) vs. Missouri
The Sun Devils are a huge question mark entering this season and specifically this game.  No one is really sure what ASU is capable of, and this will be a rude awakening for some fans.  Although Missouri lost Blaine Gabbert, they are still dangerous enough to a) be ranked and b) cover this lofty spread.  

Oregon St. @ Wisconsin (-21)
In case you didn't see last week's game against UNLV, Russell Wilson elevates the Badgers to a completely different level.  The fact that they get to face a team that just lost to a non-FBS school makes this game smell like a rout from miles away.  

California (-5) @ Colorado
This game was on the schedule way before the Buffaloes made the leap to the Pac-12 and the directors decided to keep the game as a non-conference match-up, which doesn't make any sense to me.  Colorado will get an early taste of the Pac-12 without repercussions, but they will probably second guess their decision after losing to one of the conference mid-tier teams.     

Stanford (-21) @ Duke
The last time Andrew Luck went to the East Coast to play a game, he made swiss cheese out of the ACC's best team.  This year, he gets to face one of the ACC's bottom dwellers and it should get ugly fast. 

Washington (-6.5) vs. Hawaii
Hawaii dismantled one Pac-12 last week and they are primed to make it two in a row this week.  Although Washington comfortably won it's season opener, they gave up a bevy of yards to a low-rate offense.  This week, Bryan Moniz marches into town and he definitely knows how to find the endzone with his arm and his feet.  

Oregon (-26.5) vs. Nevada
With that epic loss still resonating in their minds,  the Ducks should be looking to unload on the meager Wolf Pack.  Oregon's offense should explode like most fans of the Pac-12 are used to seeing. Unfortunately for Nevada, they will be at the wrong end of this shellacking.  

Washington St. (-13.5) vs. UNLV
This seems like quite a large spread for the Cougars.  Probably the latest in the season that they have been favored this high in years.  There is something about Washington State that intrigues me.  Plus, after watching UNLV take one on the chin last week, the Cougars seem like the better wager in this one.  

USC (-8.5) vs. Utah
The Utes will experience their first BCS conference game this weekend and they may be in for more than they can handle.  Both Utah and USC did not look dominating in their season openers and one team will raise even more questions amongst their fan-base once this on is through.  However, this isn't USC first rodeo and they will welcome Utah the Pac-12 accordingly.  

UCLA (-21.5) vs. San Jose St.
UCLA actually looked decent last week against Houston and they will face a much weaker opponent on Saturday against San Jose State.  Three touchdowns seems like a lot for this rather inconsistent offense, but the Spartans should cough up the ball enough times to let the Bruins cover.