Each week, Peter Loshak from SportsBookReview breaks down the Pac-12 betting lines with us.
After 6 straight straight-up wins and ATS covers, Stanford was clearly overvalued last week, and lost ATS, in a game that a lot of sharp money cashed on by betting against them. Stanford is the real deal as far as being a National Championship contender, but they may be about to enter a stretch where they're overvalued by the betting market.
Colorado has now covered two games in a row, and last week almost beat UCLA outright, only losing in part as a result of some costly turnovers. They look dangerous as a big home dog here, although it could also be a bit of a letdown spot for them, and it's telling that this line hasn't moved yet since opening, as opposed to Stanford's game last week, where their big road favorite spread got bet down quickly by early-week sharp money.
The total, though, has seen big movement mid-week, bet down from about 60 to about 56.5, and could still have some value at the current line considering Colorado's likely run-heavy game plan combined with Stanford's tough run defense.
Arizona St at Washington St -3, 66.5
Both teams are coming off of frustrating and possibly deflating close losses. As had been the case most of the year though, Washington St outplayed expectations and easily got the ATS win, while Arizona St underperformed and lost ATS. Washington St has now covered all 5 of their Pac-12 games, and all by big margins, while Arizona St now stands at 2-6 ATS overall on the year.
Which team is more likely to shake off the effects of the previous week is the key to betting value on the spread here, and the market so far seems to be siding with Washington St, who opened as just a 1-point favorite.
The total has curiously gotten bet down a bit, but could get bet back up by kickoff, as both teams feature potent pass-happy offenses and both have trended over recently.
UCLA at Oregon St +18, 57
UCLA lost by a mile ATS last week to lower-tier Colorado, and almost lost outright, and it wasn't a fluke; UCLA has been almost comically riddled with injuries this season, especially on defense. They couldn't stop Colorado's rushing attack, and linebacker is where UCLA has gotten hit the hardest with injuries.
Oregon St has also gotten hit hard by injuries this year, particularly on the offensive line, so the matchup between their shuffled offensive line and UCLA's decimated front seven will be key.
UCLA does still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South though, so they do still have their sights set on big things this season, and possibly winning out with their remaining three regular season games after the Oregon St game, all of which will be tough matchups. So as big of an advantage as UCLA legitimately still has in the talent department over Oregon St, they have to be looking at this game as one where they just want to get the win, avoid any further significant injuries, and get out. In light of that, Oregon St might be a home underdog with betting value at this line. Last week Oregon St got beat down by tough Utah, but still got the ATS cover by double-digits, as they were just way too big of a dog, and we might have a similar situation here.
The total is low for a UCLA game, but that might be telling. The under might still be a good play since both teams will probably be looking to shorten the game and limit possessions, for different reasons. If the spread and/or total take a notable drop by kickoff, that probably indicates sharp action that could be worth following.
Utah at Washington -1.5, 44
The sharp play in this one was clearly on the under on the opening line which was around 50. A lot of sharp money has come in on the under throughout the week, including at the mid-week numbers around 47. At the current line, most of the value is probably gone.
Washington coach Chris Petersen has done an incredible job right off the bat at Washington, so the Huskies as a small home favorite is entirely justified. However, if Utah's opportunistic defense wins the turnover battle, as they were doing their first six games this year, Utah will probably win. Utah is minus-four in turnovers over their last two games, and that was a key factor in their double-digit ATS losses in those two games.
Arizona at USC -19.5, 67
Arizona is coming off an embarrassing and mostly unexpected blowout loss. They're having particular problems on defense, where they're not executing well at all, and have no depth to boot in the event of inevitable injuries.
USC's big favorite spread has gotten bet up since opening due to public action, which was expected. But it would probably be unwise to overreact to Arizona's awful performance last week, and obvious weaknesses on paper compared to USC.
Arizona players usually get "up" for USC road games, mostly due to perceived slights in recruiting, and USC/Arizona games are usually close, with each of the last 8 meetings having been decided by a touchdown or less, and the underdog having covered the spread in 7 of those 8 meetings.
Cal at Oregon -4.5, 75.5
Oregon has been better over the past month, and they have covered 3 of their last 4 games, but they're still far from the elite team they were in recent memory.
Cal has lost 3 in a row straight up, and they lost 2 of those 3 ATS, but they also outgained 2 of the 3 teams that beat them, and their turnover margin in those games was -6, which was a big factor in the final scores, and which is also something that is likely to even out going forward, particularly this week against Oregon's relatively unintimidating defense and secondary.
Cal has also been a good bet on the road and as a modest road underdog recently; they're 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a road dog between 3.5-10, and more generally, 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games. They're just 2-2 ATS on the road this year, but they have a strong enough passing game to probably be able to take this year's version of Oregon down to the wire if they don't lose the turnover battle.
The spread has already moved in Cal's favor from the opening line of +6, and will have value at the current line if the game does in fact go down to the final minutes.