Pac-12: Week 10 Preview and Point Spreads

By Lucas M.

What a glorious week of Pac-12 action this is! First, we’ve got the marquee match of the weekend between NO. 4-ranked Oregon and No. 17-ranked USC, but there are some underrated games on the slate for Saturday, too, including a defensive match between Arizona State and Oregon State. Let’s take a look at the Week 10 lines in the Pac-12 and make some predictions.

Game of the Weekend

Oregon (-7.5) at USC

In what is undoubtedly the match of the weekend, or even the season, in the Pac-12, No. 4-ranked Oregon travels to SoCal to take on No. 17-ranked USC on Saturday night in a clash of two of the conference’s best teams. USC hashad a surprisingly disappointing season, losing two games, while Oregon is still a perfect 8-0 while averaging 53 points a game and only allowing 19. The Ducks are also the proud owner of a 290-56 scoring edge before halftime this season.

USC is pretty much out of the race for the national championship, but they can still make the Rose Bowl if everything shakes out perfectly for them. However, the pressure will really be on Oregon to have a huge outing in this one. Their well-deserved hopes for a national title will largely rest on their performance in this game. Oregon’s defense is much improved this year, and if USC even remotely struggles to move the ball against Oregon, they could fall behind in the blink of an eye. I love the Ducks at -7.5 here. I think they race out to an early lead, per usual, and don’t look back. Who doesn’t want to see an Alabama-Oregon championship? It would be a beautiful contrast in styles, and every serious college football fan should hope that happens. Maybe Oregon could finally be the team to shut up SEC fans about their conference’s dominance.

Arizona (+3.5) at UCLA

Both of these teams have sensational offensive attacks on the ground, but the Wildcats struggle mightily on the road: they are 0-2 and have allowed at least 49 points in both games. However, Arizona is coming off a huge upset of USC while the Bruins barely squeaked by the Sun Devils, kicking a field goal to win 45-43 while time expired. Perhaps most disturbingly for the Bruins, their defense has been absolutely atrocious recently, allowing 40 points or more in two of their last three games and giving up 535 yards of offense to the Sun Devils last week. Against this high-powered Arizona offense, that simply isn’t going to get it done. Arizona has averaged 43.5 points per game over its last four contests since getting shut out by Oregon.

This is probably going to be a close shootout one way or the other. A good rule of thumb for games like that: when in doubt, take the dog and the points. I love Arizona at +3.5 here. If they don’t pull the upset outright, I think they lose by a narrow field goal.

Arizona State (+4) at Oregon State

Cody Vaz is back! The Oregon State junior quarterback is back in the starting lineup after starter Sean Mannion threw four interceptions in a loss to Washington last week, the Beavers’ first loss of the season. Mannion was returning from a pretty serious knee injury, and many felt he was rushed back way too soon. Vaz, however, was more than competent in his stead, so he’ll be handed the keys to the offense against this frisky Arizona State team. The Sun Devils, meanwhile, had one of the best defenses in the conference two weeks ago… until they allowed 88 points and 618 yards rushing over their past two games. Yuck. Take the Beavers at -4 here.