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Pac-12 picks: Plenty on the line when Huskies, Ducks meet up Saturday in Eugene

It’s still a 51-day wait until the Pac-12 Football Championship game, held this year on Nov. 30 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Fortunately, West Coast football fans don’t have to wait that long to see the top two teams from the Pac-12 square off. From what we’ve gleaned through the first six weeks of the season, No. 7 Washington and No. 17 Oregon are not only the front-runners in the North, but also the best the conference has to offer at the moment.

With much more than bragging rights at stake, the Pacific Northwest rivals meet Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Autzen Stadium. Time to pick Washington vs. Oregon and three other games taking place around the conference this weekend.

Arizona at Utah

Utah by 14: The Wildcats seemingly want Khalil Tate to become more of a thrower this year, but maybe they should return to their old tactics in this game against a Utah team that’s one of the country’s best against the pass. Utes running back Zack Moss is seeking his third consecutive 100-yard game and could get it easily. The pick: Utah 34, Arizona 21.

Washington at Oregon

UW by 3: West of Georgia vs. LSU, Washington vs. Oregon is the most appealing game on the college football slate this weekend. Since the start of the millennium, Huskies-Ducks has been decided by 20 points or more 14 times, and it’s been decided by a touchdown or less twice. Justin Herbert and the Ducks have the talent to keep UW’s interest, but the Huskies’ experience and defensive maturity will win out. The pick: UW 28, Oregon 24.

UCLA at Cal

Cal by 7: This would have been a much easier pick a few weeks ago when the Golden Bears were nationally ranked and undefeated, and the Bruins were coming off their third straight nonconference loss – a 24-point blowout against Fresno State. Now Cal is reeling, UCLA is showing some signs of life and Bruins-Bears may be worth following. The pick: Cal 28, UCLA 17.

Colorado at USC

USC by 7: An important game as far as Pac-12 South stakes are concerned. If Arizona loses at Utah and USC can’t get it done against Colorado, the Trojans and Wildcats will each have two losses, while the unbeaten Buffaloes move two games clear of everyone in the division. So it’s important for the Trojans to reel them in Saturday in L.A. The pick: USC 41, Colorado 38.

Theo Lawson’s record

Last week: 4-1 straight up, 3-2 against the spread

Overall: 39-10 straight up, 21-19 against the spread