THIS WEEK IN THE PAC 12 . . .
Oregon (4-0) continued to win but also continued to drop in our system (savvygameline.com) rankings after another poor defensive showing. The #8 Ducks are 33-24 favorites over unranked Stanford (2-2). If the projected nine-point spread holds, it will be the narrowest Oregon win over Stanford since 2015.
Oregon State (3-1) is projected by America’s gamblers to lose to Washington (2-2), but our Index sees a 28-27 win for the Beavers at home. This one will come down to the ground game where the Beavers will control things with a rushing attack that is 12th in the nation against Washington’s 93rd ranked yards-per-rush defense. The Huskies won’t counter that advantage since UW is 96th-ranked for rushing the football, and OSU is 24th for stopping it.
USC (2-2) is out of the rankings and may also be out of luck in Boulder, Colorado as the dazed Trojans try to regroup from a loss to Oregon State last week. Colorado (1-3) can’t beat anyone through the air, but that might actually be an advantage because USC is giving up nearly five yards per carry (95th) to opposing running backs. USC plays above expectations one week and under the next. This is “up” week, so we’ll call it for Troy, 31-17.
Washington State (1-3) visits California (1-3) to finally answer the question: which quarterback can throw the most interceptions. We’re rooting for Cal’s Chase Garbers because he’s been around for so long, but it’s hard not to also root for WSU’s trio of Jayden De Laura, Jarrett Guarantano, or Cammon Cooper. Regardless of which one earns the crown, this group has already thrown ten interceptions in less than one-third of a season, so we know we can count on seeing an abundance of entertaining futility!
We’ll also finally see an end to the notion that Arizona State (3-1) was ever a PAC-12 South contender as the Sun Devils take their undisciplined selves to Los Angeles for a loss to #24 UCLA (3-1). It would be nice to see the ASU coaches take some responsibility for team lapses that have the Sun Devils 2nd in the nation for the most number of penalties and 95th in the nation for turnovers, but maybe that only happens with contenders and not so much with pretenders. UCLA will have no problem winning this by a greater margin than the four-point betting lines.
Arizona and Utah are idle.
Predictions for all games involving FBS teams can be seen here.
Across the nation . . .
The last time Mississippi won the SEC title, John F. Kennedy was president. Winning won’t happen this year either as #15 Ole Miss (3-0) travels to #1 Alabama (4-0) for a matchup between two teams that average 100 combined points. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Alabama will get more of them in a 10-point win.
Second-ranked Georgia (4-0) will have no problem in showing #17 Arkansas (4-0) what it takes to be ranked with the big boys as the Bulldogs cruised to a 34-14 win. Georgia only gives up 5.8 ppg, so permitting Arkansas to have 14 is a gracious bit of southern hospitality.
Third-ranked Notre Dame (4-0) may have a problem in its battle with #7 Cincinnati (3-0). Fighting Irish quarterback Jack Coan went down with an ankle injury last Saturday and may not play this week. Notre Dame is currently a 30-27 favorite in a game that should exceed the 51.0 over/under established in betting lines.
Iowa takes its #4 ranking to #25 Maryland for a battle of 4-0 Big Ten leaders. Although Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is a fantastic passer, the Terrapin offensive line won’t be able to clear any pathways for running backs, and that will enable Iowa –- long known as Cornerback U –- to stifle Maryland receivers. Iowa is favored 28-21.
Our system’s only other game matching ranked teams shows #25 LSU (3-1) as a one-touchdown favorite over #23 Auburn (3-1).
Going against the oddsmakers, our Index predicts the following winners: Old Dominion over UTEP, Liberty over UAB, Southern Miss over Rice, Eastern Michigan over Northern Illinois, Central Michigan over Miami of Ohio, Arkansas State over Georgia Southern, and Oregon State over Washington.
Last week, the Savvy system was 78% predicting winners compared to 77% by betting lines and now stands at 81% for the season compared to 75% by the betting lines. For the second week in a row, the Savvy system was nine games better in predicting over/unders. Our system was only 3-5 in predicting upsets last week but is about even throughout the season.