Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Post That Takes Your Money: Week 11

This really has become a post that takes your money in recent weeks as I have gone ice cold following a nice start to the year. I apologize for once again neglecting the Pac-12 journey articles this Saturday as the Oregon-Stanford game and the return of college basketball sapped most of my emotion and work ethic. I promise I'll make up for it with full recaps and I will get back on track with the Pac-12 Journey next week. I'm off to a bad start with my picks this week after taking Oregon -10 over Stanford and even said they would cover if the lien was -17. Oops. Here's to getting back on track today.

USC (-17) over California

USC is confident, flying high, and playing its best football of the season. Marqise Lee is back healthy and making explosive plays and USC's offensive line has reached a point of actually looking competent. USC's offensive line should eat up Cal's banged up front and force a lot of mistakes from Jared Goff while Cal's depleted, paper thin secondary has no realistic way of stopping Lee and Nelson Agholor.

The Pick: USC 38, California 10

Arizona State (-7) over Utah

This could be one of those games. ASU has looked like a borderline top 10 team for the past three weeks and is beginning to build the aura of a team that could challenge for a spot in the Rose Bowl. The Sun Devils have been in this type of position before and it usually ends with a face plant on the road against a far less talented team. Well enter Utah, the dreadful road team that plays exceptionally well at home and already sprung a monumental upset over Stanford earlier this year.

I regret doing this already because I can just see ASU committing four turnovers and 100 yards in penalties today and me feeling like an idiot for not seeing this coming. That being said, Utah's patchwork secondary is a huge problem against Taylor Kelly and friends and Utah just can;t run the ball consistently well on offense so they can't exploit ASU's greatest weakness barring an out of body experience from their running backs and offensive line. I can already feel this going sideways on me, but I feel confident enough in the Sun Devils to ride them for one more week.

The Pick: Arizona State 31, Utah 21

Colorado (+28) over Washington

Washington has recovered from its three game losing streak that exposed them but this pick is more about the Buffs than the Huskies. Colorado has shown really impressive fight in recent weeks and won't let Washington have anything easy. I like the match up of Paul Richardson against the Washington secondary and young QB Sefo Liufau has gotten better with each passing week. Keith Price will play without any protection on his injured right thumb for the first time since Oct.5 but I'm still not convinced that he is 100% healthy. I also know this Washington team is not mentally strong and is prone to looking ahead. The Huskies have a huge game with Oregon State next week that will seperate the middle of the Pac-12 North and could potentially swing Washington's bowl destiny from as high as the Holiday Bowl to as low as the New Mexico Bowl. All things considered, the line is a little high so take the points.

The Pick: Washington 45, Colorado 24

UCLA (+2.5) over Arizona

Arizona State leads the Pac-12 South as the only team in the division with only two conference losses but amazingly, both of these teams control their own destiny to win the South as well. While all the attention going into the week was focused on Oregon-Stanford, this game tonight could have an equally great impact on the Pac-12 title race. UCLA hasn't looked the same on offense since Stanford beat them up and Oregon piled on a week later but the Bruins should be rested and refocused after slogging through a win over Colorado last week. Arizona has recovered nicely from an 0-2 start in conference to win three in a row but the Wildcats have hardly looked like world beaters. Arizona is probably due for a correction, especially after putting out such a mediocre performance against Cal last week.

Teams can run on UCLA effectively as we have seen in recent weeks and that is something Arizona wants to here. However, Arizona's inability to play-action off that run game and hit deep passes will hurt them in the end. UCLA is still young and banged up on the offensive line but Arizona does not have the type of physical athletes necessary to exploit that.

The Pick: UCLA 35, Arizona 31

Last Week Against the Spread:  1-3

Last Week Straight Up: 3-1

This Season Against the Spread: 38-35 (includes Thursday)

This Season Straight up: 57-16

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