Bowl Season Starts Today and I’ve Got Your Winners

Fleck
Fleck
Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck leads the Broncos against Air Force on the "Smurf Turf" in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Nevada (-1) vs Louisiana-Lafayette (O/U 61) – These are two evenly matched teams that will open the 2014 bowl season. Both average about 31 points per game and surrender about 28 per game.

Trends: ULL is 7-1 straight up in their last eight and 5-1-1 against the spread in their seven games… Nevada is 4-2 SU in their last six games and their total has been UNDER in 14 of their last 18 games.

The Pick: ULL will have a decided home-field advantage but I like the Wolfpack to cover.

Kugler
Sean Kugler has UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl against Utah State today.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl UTEP (+10.5) vs Utah State (O/U 46) – The Aggies had won five straight before being blown out by a hot Boise State team. UTEP was just 2-10 last season under Sean Kugler who has turned the program around with a 7-5 record this year.

The Miners have a solid running game but they will be facing one of the top defenses they’ve seen all season.

Trends: UTEP is 5-2 straight up in their last seven games and their total has gone UNDER in five of their last six games… USU is 5-1 SU in their last six games and their total has gone OVER in four of their last six.

The Pick: I like the Aggies to cover and I like the UNDER.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Utah (-3.5) vs Colorado State (O/U 57.5) – The Utes enter having lost three of their last five games while the Rams have won four of five. The question in this one is about level of competition.

Did Utah’s Pac-12 schedule prove a better prep than did Colorado State’s MWC schedule? What worries me is that the Rams are very explosive offensively and Utah gives up over 26 points per game.

Trends: Utah is 9-4 straight up in their last 13 games and has beaten CSU in five straight meetings… The Rams have gone 9-1 SU in their last 10 and their total has gone OVER in four of their last five.

The Pick: I like the Rams getting the points and I like the OVER.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan (+1) vs Air Force (O/U 58) – The Falcons were 2-10 last while the Broncos were 1-11. It goes without saying these two teams had the biggest turnarounds in college football in 2014. Because of Air Force’s dynamic triple option, Western Michigan has had to revamp its’ entire defense over the last 11 days which can always create some anxiety.

The Broncos score over 34 points per game though and have a great running back as well as solid receivers. Will the step up in competition hurt WMU though?

Trends: WMU is 6-1 straight up in their last seven games… Air Force is 5-1 SU in their last six games and the total has gone UNDER in six of their  last nine games.

The Pick: I want to go with Air Force badly but I think the Broncos cover in a shootout. Take the OVER as well.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl South Alabama (-3) vs Bowling Green (O/U 53.5) – The Falcons give up 34 points per game and they surrender over 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing per game as well. While that looks dire for Bowling Green they could take advantage of a Jaguars’ team that scores just 21 points per game.

I expect a lot of points in this game despite both teams hitting the UNDER a lot recently.

Trends: South Alabama is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games and is 1-4 straight up in their last five… BGSU is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games and is 2-4 SU in their last six games. Both teams have seen the total go UNDER for most of their recent games.

The Pick: Take South Alabama to cover and the OVER.

A Thursday Night Trio of Pro and College Football Action

Ryan
Ryan
I would have that look on my face too if I were Jets' Head Coach Rex Ryan.

NY Jets (+10) at New England (O/U 45) – This just looks too easy doesn’t it? The Patriots have had their way with the Bills and the Bengals in the last two weeks after struggling to beat Oakland at home. The Jets are a mess. Although I thought they played hard against Denver, too many mistakes and a horrendous secondary eventually cost them.

The reason why you can’t just lay your money on the Pats to cover is simple; we’ve seen this type of thing with these two teams before. Six weeks prior to the 2010 playoffs the Pats beat the Jets 45-3. They met in the divisional round in Foxboro where the Jets pulled the upset 28-21.

It may be one example but it proves simply that when we think the Jets are dead in the water, that isn’t always the case.

Obviously they need better play from Geno Smith or Michael Vick regardless of which one is behind center. They don’t have to be brilliant but they have to take care of the football. The Pats need to deal with season-ending injuries to Stevan Ridley and Jerod Mayo.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in eight of the Jets’ last nine trips to New England… The Pats are 5-1 straight up in their last six games at home against the Jets… The Jets are 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five games… New England is 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games at home against the NYJ.

Boyd
Pitt's Tyler Boyd has suffered from some inconsistent QB play this season.

Virginia Tech (+1) at Pittsburgh (O/U 45) – These two have split their 10 meetings dating back to 1996 with each winning five games. The Hokies looked like a surprise team when they knocked off Ohio State in Columbus but back-to-back losses against East Carolina and Georgia Tech derailed those thoughts.

The Panthers have lost three straight including one at home to Akron. Pitt has been a hard team to figure out this season and I expect them to have their hands full tonight.

The Pick: I’ll take the Hokies and the OVER tonight.

Trends: The Hokies are 1-4 straight up in their last five games at Pitt… The Panthers are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games at home… The total has gone OVER in four of Va Tech’s last six games on the road… Pitt is 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.

Utah (-3) at Oregon State (O/U 53) – The Utes are a really bad one-point loss to Washington State from being unbeaten right now and their schedule has been a little tougher than has the Beavers. OSU is also 4-1 with a blowout loss to USC and wins over pretty weak competition.

The Utes have actually played better on the road than at home and that could come in handy tonight.

Trends: The Utes have gone 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against Oregon State… The Beavers are 11-5 straight up in their last 16 games at home… The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Utah’s last 14 games… The total has gone UNDER in four of Oregon State’s last five games at home.

The Pick: I like Utah to cover and I love the UNDER.

Six Games I Like on Today’s College Football Schedule

Cato
Cato
Marshall's Rakeem Cato leads the Herd into Akron where the upset alert is flashing.

Marshall (-9) at Akron (O/U 59.5) – These two have not played since 2004 when they were both members of the Mid-American Conference. The Zips are still in the MAC but Marshall is off to C-USA. A lot of experts love the upset here but I’m not buying it. Rakeem Cato will not let that happen.

Trends: Marshall is 9-1 straight up in its’ last ten games… The total has gone UNDER in 17 of Akron’s last 21 games… The total has gone OVER in five of Marshall’s last six games on the road… In seven career games, Marshall is 5-2 SU against the Zips.

The Pick: I like the Herd to cover and the OVER.

Central Michigan (+3.5) at Kansas (O/U 45) – Central Michigan is 2-1 with a convincing win at Purdue and a 40-3 loss to Syracuse so they are hard to read at the moment. KU is 1-1 with a win over an FBS school and a 41-3 loss at Duke.

Trends: The Chippewas are 5-1 straight up in their last six games… Kansas is 5-14 SU in their 19 games at home… The total has gone OVER in 14 of CMU’s last 20 road games… The Jayhawks are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games.

The Pick: I like what’s going on in Mt. Pleasant. Take the Chips and the point. I like the OVER too.

Hoke
The natives are getting restless in Ann Arbor and Brady Hoke knows it.

Utah (+3.5) at Michigan (O/U 56) – Brady Hoke cannot handle another loss let alone one in front of the home crowds which are getting smaller in Ann Arbor. The Utes are great on both lines and that isn’t good for the Wolverines.

Trends: Michigan is 21-2 straight up in their last 23 games at home… Utah is 2-9 SU in their last 11 games on the road… Utah and Michigan are 1-1 all-time against each other. The Utes have averaged 16 points in those two games while Michigan has averaged 16.5

The Pick: Take Utah and the points and I like the UNDER.

Mississippi State (+10) at LSU (O/U 50) – Les Miles has lost just three night games in Death Valley. He’s won over 60. I like what’s going on at MSU but they won’t beat the Tigers at home.

Trends: Mississippi has gone 5-0 straight up in their last five games… LSU is 5-0 SU in their last five home games against the Bulldogs… The total has gone OVER in four of MSU’s last five games at LSU… The total has gone UNDER in four of LSU’s last five games at home.

The Pick: Take the Bulldogs and the points and give me the OVER.

Miami (+8) at Nebraska (O/U 56) – Two once amazing powerhouse programs are anything but today but they are trying. The Hurricanes have had off-field issues this week and while Nebraska barely squeaked past McNeese State, the ‘sea of red ‘ will be too much.

Trends: Miami is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games on the road… Nebraska is 15-3 straight up in their last 18 games at home… Miami is 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games… The Huskers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games at home.

The Pick: Give the points and take the Huskers. I like the OVER as well.

Oklahoma (-8) at West Virginia (O/U 56) – This is another game where analysts like the upset because of how well WVU throws the ball. Not gonna happen and the Sooners need to look no further than their rivals as to why. Last year Oklahoma State got burned in Morgantown but this year? Not going to happen to the Sooners.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in five of Oklahoma’s last seven games… West Virginia is 8-15-1 against the spread in their last 24 games at home… OU is 5-0 straight up in their last five games… The total has gone OVER in four of WVU’s last five games at home.

The Pick: I like the Mountaineers getting the points but OU wins and I love the OVER.

Odds to Win the 2014 Pac-12 South Division

Hundley
Hundley
I expect Brett Hundley and the UCLA Bruins to capture the Pac-12 South.

On Wednesday I gave you the Pac-12 North odds and who I liked to win it. Today, I’m presenting the Pac-12 South which I believe is a four-horse race.

UCLA 5/4 – Jim Mora, Jr. enters his third year in Los Angeles and brings with him high expectations coming off a very nice 10-3 record. Nine starters return on offense while the defense returns eight. Dual-threat quarterback Brett Hundley returns to lead the offense as does Freshman of the Year Myles Jack who plays on both sides of the ball. The only scary road trips are against Texas in Arlington and at Arizona State. The Bruins get USC and Stanford at home to finish the season. Another 10-win season is very possible.

USC 7/4 – It’s year of Steve Sarkisian and expectations are high. Cody Kessler is one of seven starters who return on offense and he has already been named the starter at QB. Seven starters also return on defense which bodes well for a team facing a tough start to the season. The Trojans get always tough Fresno State at home before traveling to Stanford and then across the country to Boston College. Trips to Arizona and UCLA also await. SC does get Notre Dame, Arizona State and Oregon State at home. I think eight wins is the number but some will expect higher.

Graham
Todd Graham's Sun Devils could repeat with some big road wins in 2014.

Arizona State 3 /1 – Todd Graham has a very nice 18-9 record in two years at ASU but the real test begins as the Sun Devils return just two starters on defense and only six on the offensive side of the ball. I like the job he has done since leaving Pitt in the middle of the night, but the chances of repeating as South Division champs are going to be very difficult. The schedule is brutal in my opinion with trips to USC, Washington, Oregon State and Arizona. The home schedule isn’t much better with Notre Dame, UCLA and Stanford coming to Tempe. A step back is highly possible in 2014 but there is a lot of talent on the roster too.

Arizona 10/1 – Rich Rodriguez enters year three in the desert and comes off an 8-5 record and a bowl victory. Last year’s Wildcats surprised a few teams like Oregon and USC but lost to a few schools they probably shouldn’t have. Seven starters return on offense and six on the defense which was beaten up in conference play. The schedule features only two road games of note; at Oregon and at UCLA. The other three should provide wins. At home, the Wildcats get USC, Washington and Arizona State. I expect another eight win season in Tucson.

Utah 33/1 – Kyle Whittingham has a really strong 75-39 overall record entering his tenth season in the Beehive State. Six starters return on both sides of the ball as the Utes look to make a splash in the Pac-12 South. Utah faces a tough road schedule with trips to Michigan, UCLA, Oregon State, Arizona State and Stanford. I think the goal here for Whittingham and company is to get back to .500 and a bowl game but that road schedule worries me.

Colorado 50/1 – In year one, Mike McIntyre went just 4-8 but he gets eight starters back on both sides of the ball. The Buffaloes’ defense surrendered over 40 points in seven of their eight losses and three times gave up over 50. Colorado has just four road games and the neutral site rivalry game against Colorado State in Denver. Three of those four are brutal though as they travel to Oregon, Arizona and USC. I think six wins is the goal here and I think it’s very workable as well.

The Pick: Toss out Colorado and Utah right now as they just don’t have the horses. The wild-cards are the schools in the desert and the favorites are the schools from LA. I like the Bruins to take the Pac-12 South in 2014.

Four Thursday Night Betting Opportunities From the Football World

Manuel
Manuel
E.J. Manuel will face a stern test in the Cleveland defense tonight.

Tonight the football gods offer us three good college match-ups and the NFL brings us a surprisingly good game between the Browns and Bills. Take a look and see if you find these enticing.

Buffalo (+3) at Cleveland – Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that the Cleveland Browns traded their best player in Trent Richardson? At the time, they were 0-2 and appeared to be stock-piling picks for the 2014 NFL Draft. All of the sudden, the Browns are 2-2 and went into Minnesota for a win and then beat Cincinnati in Cleveland behind third-string QB Brian Hoyer.

Buffalo is also 2-2 after knocking off Super Bowl champion Baltimore last week in Western New York. The Bills are riding the second best rushing attack in the league and an opportunistic defense that forces turnovers rather than cut down yards. The defense ranks near the bottom against the run and pass but when you’re getting turnovers it really doesn’t matter.

The Browns are completely opposite of the Bills as they are getting things done in the air and are in the top ten defensively against both the run and pass. Cleveland is 2-5 in their last seven games against the spread while the Bills are 1-4 in their last five road games ATS. Despite the Bills getting three points, I like the Browns behind their defense.

Texas (-8.5) at Iowa State – The Longhorns will once again be without quarterback David Ash who is out with an injury. At 2-2, Texas has to win games such as this one if they want to keep any BCS dreams alive tiny as they may be. The defense was a little better in last week’s win over K-State but it is going to be an issue all season.

The Cyclones surprised me last week by roughing up Tulsa by 17 points on their own field. I really expected that game to have been much closer. ISU has struggled to replace some really good talent on the offensive line and at linebacker but they seem to be making decent progress. The Horns enter at 1-4 in their last five road games against the spread while Iowa State is 1-7 in their last right games at Jack Trice Stadium. I expect this game to be played into the high twenties at minimum but I do like Texas to cover.

Petrino
Bobby Petrino already has the Hilltoppers looking like his kind of team in year one.

Western Kentucky (-7) at Louisiana Monroe – I have to admit I thought this spread would be significantly higher because ULM has been pretty bad defensively and not much better offensively. They’ve been embarrassed by Oklahoma, Baylor and Tulane with all three winning by at least 17 points or more.

WKU under Bobby Petrino is 3-2 on the year and has solid wins over Navy and in the opener against Kentucky. I wouldn’t call the offense ‘Petrino-like’ just yet but the Hilltoppers are getting there by running the ball first and foremost. The WarHawks are 1-6 in their last seven against the spread and I just see too much WKU in this one. Take them to cover.

UCLA (-6) at Utah – While their rivals across town make all sorts of news, the Bruins have quietly jumped out to a 3-0 record behind the nation’s third-best scoring offense. UCLA is averaging over 52 points per game in wins over Nevada, Nebraska and New Mexico State. They are doing it with a really nice balance of running and passing with each ranking in the top 15 in the country.

Utah enters off a huge win over rival BYU and stands just an overtime loss against Oregon State from being 4-0. Although not as potent, the Utes have also had great balance with their offense ranking in the top 30 in running and passing. If you are interested in a good number then look at the over which stands at 57.5. I would take the over and run in this game and I’m also going with the Bruins to cover.

Rivalry Week in College Football: Friday Games

LSU will look to hoist the Golden Boot for the second consecutive season Friday as it takes on Arkansas.

Welcome to Rivalry Week!

Once you’re done with the turkey, stuffing and NFL games, get ready for an absolute doozy of a week in College Football. As well National Championship implications, Week 13 is home to no fewer than 19 rivalry games, any of which could see an upset victory for an upstart team.

To get you in the mood, CasinoReview brings you an overview of those games that will take place on Friday night. Once you’re done here, be sure to come back on Friday for some College Football betting tips, before we take a closer look at those Saturday rivalry games on, well, Saturday.

 

Arizona State @ #24 Arizona (“Duel in the Desert”)

After a solid start to the season from both schools, #24 Arizona (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) and Arizona State (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) have fallen off the pace as conference play has taken a hold of the schedule. Now the only thing to separate the two will be this matchup. The Wildcats will look to lift the Territorial Cup for a second consecutive season.

Favorite: Arizona Spread: 3 Total: 68.5

 

#7 LSU @ Arkansas

Not only will #7 LSU (9-2, 5-2 SEC) look to take home the Golden Boot on Friday night, but a win will keep the school’s slim hopes of a place in the SEC Championship Game alive. The Tigers will need a win from Texas A&M and a loss for Alabama. Meanwhile, Arkansas (4-7, 2-5 SEC) will look to wind up a (very) disappointing season by playing spoiler.

Favorite: LSU Spread: 13.5 Total: 51

 

Utah @ Colorado (“Rumble in the Rockies”)

Colorado (1-10, 1-7 Pac-12) has had a season to forget (to say the least) but a win over rival Utah (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) would at least be something to smile about as the season comes to a close, particularly as the Buffaloes also lost to Colorado State to open the season. Utah haven’t fared much better this season. The Utes are 1-1 in rivalry games this season, having lost to Utah State and beaten BYU early in the season.

Favorite: Utah Spread: 23 Total: 53

 

#14 Nebraska @ Iowa

Not only is the Heroes Trophy on the line but so are Nebraska’s (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) hopes of going to the Big Ten Championship Game next weekend. A win over the Hawkeyes will book the Cornhuskers’ place. A loss, coupled with a Michigan win, will prematurely end Nebraska’s season. Meanwhile, Iowa (4-7, 2-5 Big Ten) will look to break the Cornhuskers’ four-game winning streak in the head-to-head as well as a five-game losing streak this season.

Favorite: Nebraska Spread: 14.5 Total: 53

 

#25 Washington @ Washington State

Washington State (2-9, 0-8 Pac-12) can get its first conference win of the season by knocking off #25 Washington (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) on Friday night, taking home the Apple Cup in the process. As far as solitary wins in a season go, that would be worth writing home about. The Huskies will have other ideas though, and will feel confident riding a three-game winning series winning streak – and a four-game winning streak this season – into the game. The Apple Cup for a Washington side that has impressed at times this season.

Favorite: Washington Spread: 10.5 Total: 51

 

Remember to check back on Saturday for CasinoReview’s rundown of the top rivalry games set to take place on Saturday. Expect news on the Iron Bowl and the Civil War, as well as Florida’s trip to Florida State and USC hosting  #1 Notre Dame.

Obama’s In; Let’s Get Back To Basketball

Ray Allen's 15.5 PPG average has been a big part of Miami's high-scoring offense early in the season, but the Heat concede a lot of points also, something Brooklyn will be looking to take advantage of on Wednesday night.

Last night’s NBA slate was a little on the sparse side as a large portion of the nation waited upon the Presidential Election results.

Well, it’s confirmed: Obama has been reelected. Our reward? A massive 13-game schedule from the Association. You’re going to need some help sifting through these if you want to make it out with your money intact.

 

Brooklyn Nets @ Miami Heat

Whilst early season hype is all too easy to hurl out there, it’s hard not to look at this season’s Heat team and think: ‘Wow, they’ve got something going on there.”

Save for a loss in New York, Miami (3-1, 3-0 home) has been red hot to open the season, averaging a 111.8 PPG. Take out that loss and the Heat is averaging 121 points. That’s something else.

Brooklyn (1-1, 0-0 road) will be faced with the unenviable task of trying to beat the Heat tonight. What’s more, the new-look side will need to win at AmericanAirlines Arena, where the home side remains unbeaten.

Brooklyn has more than enough to give the Heat some trouble, but few will back the NYC team tonight. While Miami doesn’t measure up in the low post, the sheer firepower on hand – not to mention the assists that are flying around in South Beach – means that the Heat will be hard to beat.

Odds: Miami (-9) enters as favorites. The over/under is 200.

Take: Miami – You won’t make a lot of money, but the Heat will get the job done. Take the Nets to cover the spread though; Miami seems as good at conceding points early as scoring. Take the over; both sides know how to put points on the board.

 

Denver Nuggets @ Houston Rockets

Hey, have you heard of that guy James Harden? He’s averaging 35.3 PPG for the Houston Rockets.

Harden has certainly raised a few eyebrows in his short tenure in Space City and it has Houston (2-1, 0-1 home) looking like a different team. The Rockets will host Denver (1-3, 0-3 road) tonight.

Whilst Harden and Houston have been making headlines, the Nuggets have gotten off to a tough start to the season, although part of that is to do with the number of road games the team is playing. The Nuggets – despite their record – have a whole heap of talent, and will more than likely be in the thick of things come playoff time.

Odds: Houston (-2½) is favored at home. The over/under is 206½.

Take: Denver – With Andre Iguodala added to the mix, Denver is a better team than last year and perhaps the best side Houston has faced yet. The Nuggets will be looking to jump on the momentum of last night’s win over Detroit. Take the under; whilst both teams can score in bunches, expect Denver to bring some defense to the table.

 

Los Angeles Lakers @ Utah Jazz

You’d have to have been living under a rock the size of Oquirrh Mountains to not know about the struggles of the Los Angeles Lakers (1-3, 0-1 road). A win over Detroit on Sunday deflected some attention, but all eyes will once again be on Kobe, Dwight, and Co. tonight.

Utah (1-3, 1-0 home) hasn’t fared any better than the Lakers this season, but of course the big difference is that much less expectation fell on the shoulders of the Salt Lake City side. Tonight offers an excellent opportunity to make a big statement, and get the season turned around. Actually, that goes for both sides.

The Lakers will still be without Steve Nash once again as he continues to rehab a (mildly) fractured leg. Steve Blake will deputize, and most likely watching what he says after the league fined him $25,000 for using profane language.

Odds: Utah (-1) is favored in this one. The over/under is 194.

Take: LA Lakers – How often are you going to get to bet on the Lakers as an underdog this season? Despite the panic that has engulfed much of Tinseltown, the Lakers have enough to win, especially against Utah. Take the total to go under.

 

Wednesday’s Full Schedule (Favorites highlighted)

Phoenix @ Charlotte (7 PM ET)

Washington @ Boston (7:30 PM ET)

Indiana @ Atlanta (7:30 PM ET)

Brooklyn @ Miami (7:30 PM ET)

Memphis @ Milwaukee (8 PM ET)

Philadelphia @ New Orleans (8 PM ET)

Denver @ Houston (8 PM ET)

Orlando @ Minnesota (8 PM ET)

Toronto @ Dallas (8:30 PM ET)

LA Lakers @ Utah (9 PM ET)

Detroit @ Sacramento (10 PM ET)

San Antonio @ LA Clippers (10:30 PM ET)

Cleveland @ Golden State (10:30 PM ET)

Pac-12 Not Doing Itself Any Favors

The Huskies' win over Stanford has cast some serious shadows over the Pac-12's National Championship hopes.

Thursday night’s 17-13 loss to Washington has cast a cloud over not only #8 Stanford and its chances of being selected to play in the BCS National Championship Game, but also the Pac-12’s chances as a conference.

For a conference that was considered the only viable competition to the dominant SEC ahead of the season, things are looking less than clear now.

Decoding the Pac-12

Just two weeks ago, the Cardinal upset USC, denting the Trojans’ own chances of going to the Championship Game. In the process, Stanford staked a claim to be the team that would head to Miami Gardens in January. Admittedly, it was a loose claim. Stanford after all struggled to beat San Jose State in Week 1.

Ahead of Week 4, UCLA looked to be putting their names forward for consideration, but a loss to Oregon State suggested that it’s a little too early to consider the Bruins as serious contenders.

Oregon State meanwhile has gone 2-0 with two wins over ranked opposition. Not a bad start. But can the Beavers keep that pace up? Probably not, although oddsmakers have slashed odds of a BCS championship from 500/1 in the preseason to 75/1 this week.

So that leaves Oregon. Having been considered second fiddle to USC during all of the preseason, the Ducks are now considered the Pac-12’s best chance for a national title. Preseason odds of 10/1 have steadily shortened to 13/2 heading into this week’s action.

The Ducks have looked solid so far this season, averaging close to 53 points per game. But critics could argue that Oregon has yet to play anybody of merit. Sure, they defeated Arizona 49-0 last week, but Arizona’s inclusion on the AP poll was less than solidified. Had the likes of Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska played better this season, it’s hard to imagine the Wildcats appearing on that list.

For Oregon, the big challenge comes on November 3, with a visit to USC. That is of course if the Ducks can get by Washington next week. A loss to the Cougars would effectively write off National Championship hopes this year.

Week 5 Pac-12 Schedule

After Washington’s upset win over Stanford, here’s what else is on tap this Saturday. Both USC and Utah are on a bye week.

Arizona State (3-1, 0-1 road, 1-0 Pac-12) @ California (1-3, 1-1 home, 0-1 Pac-12)

4:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM PT

The Sun Devils will be looking to continue their strong start to the season with a win over a struggling Golden Bears team. Arizona State currently leads the South division by way of USC’s loss to Stanford and Arizona’s loss to Oregon. Still, the team opened as underdogs in this one, before odds flipped in their favor. The Sun Devils are currently narrow favorites (-1) with the over/under set at 58. There’s certainly money to be made on this game.

UCLA (3-1, 1-0 road, 0-1 Pac-12) @ Colorado (1-3, 0-2 home, 1-0 Pac-12)

6:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM PT

A loss to Oregon State last week saw UCLA’s two week tenure in the AP Polls come to an end. A win against Colorado this week could, but probably won’t, see the Bruins return to the rankings. UCLA enters the game as favorites (-21) and are expected to make easy work of a Colorado team that has looked poor this season. Only a 35-34 win over Washington State last week prevented the Buffaloes from starting the season 0-4. The over/under is 60, with UCLA expecting to accumulate most of those points.

#18 Oregon State (2-0, 1-0 road, 1-0 Pac-12) @ Arizona (3-1, 3-0 home, 0-1 Pac-12)

10:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM PT

Arizona enjoyed two weeks in the AP Poll before losing big to Oregon last week. Oregon State may have only played two, but the Beavers have knocked off two ranked teams (Wisconsin, UCLA) and is sitting pretty heading into this game.

Oddsmakers have the Wildcats as favorites (-3) heading into this one, so they’ve yet to be bowled over by the Beavers’ performances. This games figures to be a close one. The over/under is 61. A win for Arizona will see the Wildcats flirting with the AP poll once again. A win for Oregon State will cement the team’s AP approved credentials.

#2 Oregon (4-0, 0-0 road, 1-0 Pac-12) @ Washington State (2-2, 1-1 home, 0-1 Pac-12)

10:30 PM ET / 7:30 PM PT

Whether Oregon remains the Pac-12’s last remaining hope against the dominance of the SEC remains to be seen. This week the Ducks head out on the road for the first time. Despite the travel north, Oregon are big favorites (-32) over the Cougars. The over/under is 74. Oddsmakers are expecting this to be a high-scoring one-sided affair, just like Oregon’s previous four.