Pac-12 Week 4 Picks
Season to date (19-8) Straight Up (17-8)* Against the Spread
Friday September, 20th
6:00pm PT, FS1
Line: Utah -4.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: USC 59%
Beta_Rank Line: USC -5.47 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: I like the Utes, but I don't know that I like them at -4.5. The model so far is dinging the Utes for not dominating their FBS competition. Sure they beat Northern Illinois, but did you see what Nebraska did to the Huskies? Also the model doesn't think BYU is very good, which should lead you to say "Hey BYU just beat USC!" The transitive property is dangerous and the model is also trying to account for the Stanford game and Fresno State game for the Trojans. I think home field and Kyle Whittinham's own tendencies make this game close, but if the Utes crack it open it will likely be from pressure on Slovis leading to freshman mistakes.
Utah 27 USC 24
Saturday September, 14th
#33 Cal (1-0) at #38 Ole MIss (2-0)
9:00am PT, ESPNU
Line: Ole Miss -2.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Cal/Ole MIss 50%
Beta_Rank Line: Ole MIss -0.41 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: This game is basically a pick'em in the model and it's hard to have huge faith in any of the offensive units here. The defenses have been good up to this point and they have both been tested pretty well by Memphis and Washington. Ole Miss gets pushed ahead in the naive spread by home field advantage here. Since I have to pick I will take the Rebels at home, but it's going to be close.
Ole MIss 14 Cal 13
#21 Washington (2-1) at #89 BYU (2-1)
12:30pm PT, ABC
Line: Washington -5.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Washington 87%
Beta_Rank Line: Washington -12.59 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: So Beta_Rank remain unimpressed with BYU so far. Sure they have wins against Tennessee and USC, but the model thinks Tennessee is terrible and USC is a getting a bump from facing Stanford without Costello. Even with the home field advantage the Cougars project to be a big underdog against the Huskies in Beta_Rank. I think Washington is still figuring things out a bit defensively, but I think they handle BYU's offense more like Utah than USC and I also think the Huskies offense is a bigger challenge for BYU than anyone to this point.
Washington 31 BYU 20
4:00pm PT, ESPN
Line: Oregon -10.0
Beta_Rank Win Prob: Oregon 76%
Beta_Rank Line: Oregon -4.92 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: This is a weird one because you almost have to talk yourself into Oregon being worse than UCF, but I think Stanford isn't as bad as their last two games and I think Costello and company settle down a bit. The main thing for the Cardinal to clean up coming into this game is their pass defense where they have been absolutely putrid the last two games and nobody has been afraid to throw at Adeebo. I think the Cardinal are better in this game and home field helps, but I like the Ducks to win.
Oregon 38 Stanford 33
7:00pm PT, Pac-12 Network
Line: ASU -7.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: ASU 70%
Beta_Rank Line: ASU -8.24 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: So the Sun Devils surprised everyone by going in and beating MSU. I think the model is overfitting the Sun Devil's defense right now, but I do think they are better than last season and they finish in the 30's range. They will have their hands full with Colorado who has an offense that will be a step up talent wise from anything they have seen so far. The matchup I don't like here is the Sun Devil's WR corp against the Buffs secondary; which has been extremely bad. The Buffs are going to have to scheme to get pressure on Daniels because they can't afford to let him have time to find Darby, Aiyuk, and Williams.
ASU 34 Colorado 24
7:30pm PT, ESPN
Line: WSU -18.5
Beta_Rank Win Prob: WSU 81%
Beta_Rank Line: WSU -11.24 (DO NOT GAMBLE)
Rob: My first thought on this game is that it is a terrible matchup for UCLA because they only thing they have done well so far this year is stop the interior run, but I also think it is a lot of points; even at home. I think the UCLA offense continues to improve and that makes a big difference in this game.
WSU 41 UCLA 27