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This season two of my colleagues — Steve Rivera of GOAZCATS.com and Anthony Gimino of TucsonNewsNow.com — and I will pick the outcomes of Pac-12 games involving teams other than Arizona (to avoid questions of bias) starting with today’s first game on the conference schedule. (Odds listed are of the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas). …
STANFORD (1-1) AT USC (2-0)
5 p.m., ABC
Pointspread: USC 9.5 points
— USC has not been tested this season while Stanford is still a mystery after losing 16-6 at Northwestern and rebounding strong against Central Florida with a 31-7 win.
— The Trojans have won the last two meetings, including an upset win at Stanford last year.
— Each of the last five games has been decided by eight points or less.
— In the last 10 games, the underdog has covered eight times.
— The underdog has won outright four times in the last 10 meetings, including two by the Cardinal as a 9.5-point home dog in 2012 and 10.5-point dog at the L.A. Coliseum in 2009.
— The Cardinal is also 4-1 against-the-spread in its last 5 games at USC.
— The key matchup is Stanford’s stout defense against USC’s dynamic offense. The Cardinal is allowing 3.1 yards per carry while USC is averaging 236 yards per game on the ground and 6.9 yards per carry.
My pick: Stanford will cover the 9.5 points but lose to the Trojans by a touchdown.
Steve Rivera’s pick: USC will win and cover
Anthony Gimino’s pick: USC will win and cover
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SCRIBES SPREAD SELECTION STANDINGS
SU: Straight-up pick. ATS: Against-the-spread pick.
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo: