Pac-12 Week 3 Picks
We are invincible.
Season to date (13-5) Straight Up (11-5)* Against the Spread
Friday September, 13th
#27 Washington State (2-0) vs #69 Houston (1-1)
6:15pm PT, ESPN
Line: WSU -8.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: WSU 79%
Beta_Rank Line: WSU -7.78 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: The early game against Oklahoma finished better than it started for Houston, but it doesn't bode well for the Houston defense in this game. I would not say for sure that the WSU offense is going to reach last year's high, but the early returns are very good and Gordon has filled in rather well for Minshew with a very talented cast of WR's to help. I am far less sure about the Wazzu defense in this game, but if the offense keeps humming and the special teams play as well as they have to this point then the defense should have long fields to work with and that helped them last season.
WSU 44 Houston 38
Saturday September, 14th
#82 Air Force (1-0) at #63 Colorado (2-0)
10:00am PT, Pac-12 Network
Line: Colorado -3.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Colorado 60%
Beta_Rank Line: Colorado -3.11 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: The model is not wildly in love with how Colorado has played up to this point. It hurts that the in-season model is dropping their two opponents week to week. The Buffs should have a huge talent advantage in this game and their defensive weakness up to this point, the secondary, should be less of a liability in coverage. The question in this game is can the secondary and the Buffs edge players contain Air Force's ground game with assignment football. I think the Buffs are too talented on offense to lose, but it's going to be close.
Colorado 30 Air Force 27
#55 Stanford (1-0) at #21 UCF (0-1)
12:30pm PT, ESPN
Line: UCF -8.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: UCF 74%
Beta_Rank Line: UCF -7 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: The in-season model loves UCF so far and really does not like Stanford. This seems like the perfect game for that to fall on it's face. Costello will be back and that should help the Stanford offense be more competitive, but I really worry about this Stanford defense on the road. UCF's offense is humming along and they'll be able to put up points in the game. Can Stanford keep up? It's hard to get a good read on them with one game coming against a very good Northwestern defense and the second game without the QB. I am going to go with the model here and say it's a tough outing for the Cardinal on the road.
UCF 34 Stanford 28
#61 USC (2-0) at #66 BYU (1-1)
12:30pm PT, ABC
Line: USC -4.0
Beta_Rank Win Prob: USC 74%
Beta_Rank Line: USC -7 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: I am going to go out on a limb and say that I think BYU has a better defense than Stanford, but the Cougars had some pretty impressive third down defense for a team that was absolutely mauled on the ground in the game. USC certainly has the backs and the offensive line talent to rough up the Cougars. I think the Cougars will struggle with USC's defensive line and pressure that Pendergast brings.
USC 31 BYU 17
#50 Arizona State (2-0) at #22 Michigan State (2-0)
1:00pm PT, Fox
Line: Michigan State -15
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Michigan State 68%
Beta_Rank Line: Michigan State -4.94 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: I hate this game for the Sun Devils offense which might be in for a very long night with the offensive line matchup against the Spartans. Daniels could be under consistent pressure all night and that might lead to some poor throws and turnovers against Michigan State's complex coverage scheme. The Sun Devils should fair well on defense, especially aided by Turk the super punter. MSU should pull it out, but it will be closer than the spread.
Michigan State 17 ASU 13
#74 North Texas (1-1) at #37 Cal (2-0)
1:15pm PT, Pac-12 Network
Line: Cal -14
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Cal 74%
Beta_Rank Line: Cal -7 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: I think this will be a bit of a tuneup matchup for the Bears on offense, but for the Bears offense that doesn't mean a cornucopia of points. I don't think North Texas scores a ton, but they'll get enough first downs to make the game hard on Cal's offense.
Cal 27 North Texas 16
#118 Hawai'i (2-0) at #23 Washington (1-1)
430pm PT, Pac-12 Network
Line: Washington -21
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Washington 93%
Beta_Rank Line: Washington -19.39 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: Washington should be out for blood in this game on both sides of the ball and I expect the Rainbow Warriors to finally lose to a Pac-12 team. Washington is too athletic and too motivated on defense to get easily burned by the routes that Arizona did. They are also more talented that ether Arizona and Oregon State on offense anf they should benefit from good field position; something the Beavers and Wildcats did not.
Washington 44 Hawai'i 17
#7 Oklahoma (2-0) at #75 UCLA (0-2)
5:00pm PT, Fox
Line: Oklahoma -23.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Oklahoma 95%
Beta_Rank Line: Oklahoma -19.78 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: Normally I would buy Beta_Rank, but there is still too much preseason model recruiting projection in for UCLA for me to buy that they keep this game close. The only thing the Bruins have done well so far is interior run defense, but Oklahoma isn't just going to pull a Cincinnati and allow you to hang around by running the ball right up the gut 50% of the time. The Bruins offense has been awful and they will be in a serious field position hole all game as Oklahoma is likely to score quite a bit.
Oklahoma 52 UCLA 17
#40 Texas Tech (2-0) at #66 Arizona (1-1)
7:30pm PT, ESPN
Line: Texas Tech -2.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Texas Tech 66%
Beta_Rank Line: Texas Tech -4.78 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: I just don't trust Arizona's defense in this game. I think the Red Raiders are a paper tiger with their schedule so far and that their defense gets exposed in this game, but unless the Red Raiders turn the ball over on their side of the field they should be able to stay ahead of Arizona's offense. It projects to a be a tight game though and it could turn out that we have a bad handle on where the Red Raiders are given that they and UTEP have only played FCS teams outside of their game together.
Texas Tech 41 Arizona 38