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Pac-12 picks: Oregon will win in Palo Alto

OK, not our best week against the spread. But really, who knew that USC was already so much further along than the Beavers. There are a few tight contests this week so the faint of heart may want to give their bookies a bye week. That is, if these picks were for anything other than academic purposes, which they are not.

Oregon at Stanford, Oregon by 10 1/2: This will be the first major test for Mark Helfrich as the Ducks finally take on a team with similar talent. Stanford will be playing for a possible Rose Bowl berth but Oregon has a championship on the line. The Ducks will get their shot and leave Palo Alto with a win. Oregon 56-45

USC at California, USC by 16: The Trojans are obviously responding to coach Ed Orgeron (or at least to not having Lane Kiffin around). Cal played tough against Arizona last weekend, but doesn’t have the talent or depth to beat a USC team on the upswing. USC 31-14

Arizona State at Utah, Arizona State by 7: Utah has proven to be tough at home and this has been a week full of distraction for the Sun Devils with the departure of athletic director Steve Patterson. My gut says Utah is in it to the end, but ASU pulls it out late. Arizona State 35-31

Colorado at Washington, Washington by 28: The Huskies have had an extra week to prepare for the Buffaloes, but the UW is also adjusting to the loss of receiver Kasen Williams. Expect the Huskies to tinker around a bit on offense, possibly keeping the game relatively close. Washington 31-14

UCLA at Arizona, UCLA by 1: Suddenly this game has big implications in the Pac-12 South, as both teams are 3-2 in conference play. The Wildcats have been playing better of late and people will start to notice if they knock off the Bruins. Arizona 32-30

Last week: 2-2 straight up, 0-3 against the spread. Overall: 19-7, 12-13


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