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Pac-12 Week 9 Preview

Three top 10 teams from the Pac-12 look to stay in the National Championship conversation this week and although each of them are big favorites in their respective games, style points could determine what position they end up in after the weekend’s games. Here are the matchups for week nine involving the big three in the Pac-12, Oregon, Oregon State and USC and my point-spread picks.

Expect a lopsided game in favor of Oregon this week

Colorado Buffaloes (1-6) at #4 Oregon Ducks (7-0)

It’s no secret that the Buffs don’t stand much of a chance this week on the road against the number two ranked offense of the Oregon Ducks, but they can definitely cover the massive 45.5 point spread that they are an underdog on. If you’ve watched the Ducks play at all this season, then you know how good they are and you also know that they routinely jump out to huge leads on weak opponents, like Colorado, but then tend to let the foot off the gas. If this game goes like most Oregon games do, expect the Ducks to win big, but let the Buffaloes back in it a bit late, enough to cover the spread. Oregon scores 51 points per game, so as long as Colorado can get one touchdown, take the +45.5 here.

#7 Oregon State (6-0) at Washington Huskies (3-4)

The surprising Oregon State Beavers take the show on the road to Seattle this week to challenge the always unpredictable Huskies. We’ve come to expect solid defense and at times, explosive offense from Oregon State, but we never know what to expect from Washington. One week the Huskies beat a ranked Stanford squad and the next time you see them, they are getting run out of the building in a 52-17 loss to Arizona.

After missing the last two games, Beaver quarterback Sean Mannion returns to the starting lineup this week to take a Washington defense that has also been absent in recent weeks. Surprisingly enough, the Beavers are only three point favorites this week against the Huskies, who have dropped their last three games since beating Stanford. Even though Washington is at home, I like Oregon State here to win by more than three. The Beavers have been able to win everywhere and continue to exceed expectations, so I won’t start to get against them until they actually start losing.

#9 USC (6-1) at Arizona (4-3)

Matt Barkley should light up the U of A defense

The Trojans have been on quite a roll since losing to Stanford, as they have rattled off four consecutive wins and enter week nine as the ninth ranked team in the polls. The Trojans still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South, but they need to win out and that starts with their matchup against Arizona. Much like Washington, Arizona has endured a season of ups-and-downs, but the Wildcats have also enjoyed steady offensive productivity. The Cats, who are ranked fifth in total offense and fourth in scoring in the nation, may be a tougher test for USC than many might think, especially at home. But odds makers are fully aware and have SC as 6.5 point favorites this week.

Out of the three games highlighted this week, this one is the toughest call, but considering how unpredictable Arizona is, I like USC to cover -6.5. You never really know what you are going to get with the Cats and even though they have a good offense, they are bound to give up a ton of points to USC, as they allow 30.4 on average. Play it safe and go with the ninth ranked team in the land.



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