Since the current formation of the Pac-12, the home team has won and covered the spread in four of five matchups between Washington State (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) and Colorado (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS), and by healthy margins, too. The winner has topped the line by an average 13.6 points.
The Cougars, the only College Football Playoff eligible team remaining in the conference, needed a fourth quarter touchdown pass by Garnder Minshew to ward off Cal 19-13 last week. The defensive battle this Saturday should be much easier.
The Buffaloes are having trouble stopping foes over the last month, allowing 35.2 points per contest in their last four efforts. Teams are passing the ball with ease, tallying 8.2 yards per attempt. Washington State’s 7.6 mark is the second most efficient attack of any in this span. Even lowly Oregon State lit up Colorado for 345 yards and 3 TDs two weeks ago. To make matters worse, starting strong safety Evan Worthington, an All-Pac-12 player, will likely sit out with a concussion.
Colorado could match the Cougars Air Raid attack yard for yard if star WR Laviska Shenault Jr. plays. The then-Pac-12 leading receiver with 780 yards on 60 catches went out with a toe injury four weeks ago, and the Buffs haven’t won a game since, going 0-3 SU in his absence. Shenault is day-to-day and aiming to suit up Saturday.
The Buffaloes have dropped four straight, are one win away from becoming bowl eligible, and have revenge on their mind. They were shutout in Pullman last year, held to just 174 offensive yards and 1-of-17 on third downs. This bunch is motivated. Colorado finds a way to keep it close. The last team to score wins. Take the Buff +5.5 as your best bet.
Around the Pac-12
UCLA at Arizona State (-12.5), 2 p.m. ET, on Pac-12 Network: Arizona State (5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS) is 38-15-3 ATS (71.7 percent) in its last 59 games when allowing more points than its opponent scores for the season, including 11 of the last 13 under these conditions. The Sun Devils yield 22.4 points per game, while UCLA (2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS) scores 21.2 per tilt.
Oregon at Utah (-3.5), 5:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network: Utah (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) has covered just four of their last 15 games as the betting favorite coming off a loss. The Utes fell 38-20 as 7-point chalk at Arizona State last Saturday. Oregon (6-3 SU, 4-4-1 ATS), on the other hand, is 2-10 SU and ATS since 2016 in conference road games, including failing to cover the spread in two of three this season. The Ducks limp to 24.3 points per game under these conditions.
Oregon State at Stanford (-22.5), 9 p.m. ET, on Pac-12 Network: Despite Oregon State (2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS) losing each of the last six matchups against Stanford (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS), only one defeat was by more than 18 points. The Cardinal’s current 55.5 percent win rate is the lowest of any in this span.
California at USC (-5.5), 10:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN: Cal (5-4 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) has reached its projected team total in just one game all season, a 49-7 blowout of lowly Oregon State. Toss that contest and a FCS matchup versus Idaho State, and the Golden Bears average 16.7 points per game. After a slow start, USC (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS) posts 32.5 points per game since Week 4.