Pac-12 Betting Tips and Picks: Top Games to Consider Week 9

Pac-12 Betting Tips and Picks: Top Games to Consider Week 9

Quick Tips:

  • Bet Washington State over Stanford at +123 with 888Sport.
  • Bet Utah -10 over UCLA with SugarHouse.
  • Bet UCLA +9.5 over Oregon with 888Sport.

The Pac-12 may no longer have a team that can realistically qualify for the College Football Playoff, but it does feature two wide-open division races that have the potential to become even more topsy-turvy based on this weekend’s slate of games.

Here’s what college football betting fans need to know this week:

No. 14 Washington State at No. 24 Stanford

Not many (or anyone) expected Washington State to be tied for lead in the Pac-12 North at this juncture in the season, yet here the Cougars are well-positioned to win its first division crown since the conference instituted divisions prior to the 2011 season.

Stanford was expected to be a North contender, but the Cardinal have had an uneven season where a loss Saturday night will effectively eliminate them from contention.

WSU is coming off its best win of the season, a two-touchdown victory over then-No. 12 Oregon. The Cougars defense impressed against the Ducks, never allowing heralded Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert to get comfortable and find his rhythm. Herbert was sacked three times and Oregon scored a season-low 20 points.

Stanford has struggled on offense, not able to run with its customary consistency, grinding opposing teams down before attacking with play-action passes. The Cardinal are ranked 11th in total offense in the Pac-12 and average the second-fewest points per game.

Conversely, WSU is has the No. 1 offense in the conference and is scoring the most points per game.

Further exemplifying that WSU is a bad matchup for Stanford -- despite the Cardinal being the favorite at -3 with 888Sport -- is that the Cardinal have a defense allowing the second-most passing yards per game in the conference. If you’re having difficulty stopping the passing game WSU is not team you want to face.

Facing little resistance when then they have the ball, the Cougars win. Take them outright at +123 with 888Sport.

No. 23 Utah at UCLA

Fueled by an offense showing signs of life for the first time this season, rebuilding UCLA is on a two-game winning streak after wins over California and Arizona. That streak will be tested against Utah and its defense ranked seventh nationally in total defense and allowing just 17.7 points per game.

UCLA has ridden running back Joshua Kelley in recent weeks, with the junior rushing for 100-plus yards in four straight games. The Bruins will need to rely on Kelley again, especially with the uncertain status of starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who’s dealing with an apparent shoulder injury.

The Utes pose a bad matchup for UCLA, as Utah’s defense is superb against the run. The Utah rush defense concedes just 74.6 yards per game, best in the country, and has shutdown USC, Arizona and Stanford in successive weeks.

If the Bruins do not have success running the ball this game will get out of hand, with UCLA not capable of keeping up with a balanced Utah offense that has scored 40 or more points in three straight games.

UCLA may keep it close, but expect Utah to wear the Bruins down and pull away in the second half. Bet the Utes win and cover the -10.with SugarHouse.

No. 19 Oregon at Arizona

Oregon needs to demonstrate it can go on the road and win, while Arizona just seeks a victory after consecutive losses knocked all but eliminated the Wildcats from Pac-12 South contention.

The Ducks struggled in the first half against Washington State last week, failing to generate any kind of sustainable offense and did not score a point. Oregon got going in the second half but by then the Cougars had already built up a comfortable advantage that the Ducks couldn’t overcome.

The Ducks won’t encounter the same kind of raucous environment at Arizona as they dealt with in Pullman, Wash. This should help them get in sync early and establish the tempo, as opposed to letting the Wildcats dictate the action.

Also helping Oregon’s cause is Arizona’s inability to stop the run, with the Wildcats allowing opponents to rush for nearly 196 yards per game. Arizona may again be without Khalil Tate, who didn’t play versus UCLA last week and has been slowed by a sprained left ankle most of the season.

If Tate is sidelined Rhett Rodriguez will get the nod. The sophomore struggled early against the Bruins before settling in; throwing for 231 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

In a closer than expected game, Oregon wins but doesn’t cover the -9.5 spread. Take UCLA and the points with 888Sport.

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