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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. Odds listed are of the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas. …
WASHINGTON (2-2, 0-1) AT
NO. 17 USC (3-1, 1-1)
6 p.m., ESPN
Pointspread: USC favored by 17
Through the first couple of weeks of the Pac-12 season, the picks between myself and my colleagues Steve Rivera and Anthony Gimino remain close.
Rivera and I are tied at 6-4 with picks against the spread while Gimino is close behind at 5-5. Rivera and Gimino believe USC has what it takes tonight to beat a young Washington team by more than the 17-point spread. I believe USC’s defense is not what it once was and Washington can keep it closer than that margin.
Some data to suggest that Washington may cover:
— Washington coach Chris Petersen is 19-3 straight-up after a bye week.
— While most of that success came at Boise State, last year the Huskies’ only bye week came prior to a road game against California, which followed a tough 20-13 loss at home to Stanford. Washington came out and dominated the Golden Bears 31-7 as a 3-point underdog.
— While USC’s Steve Sarkisian also is successful coming off a bye, it’s worth noting that the Trojans were a 14-point home favorite last year against Cal in a Thursday night game after a bye and won by a final of just 38-30.
— USC is just 7-19 ATS in their last 26 off a SU win and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 off a SU win by more than 20 points.
In USC’s favor …
— Southern Cal is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games when playing at home against Washington. The Trojans are 6-1 SU in its last seven games when playing at home against Washington.
My pick: USC will win but Washington will cover
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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CHECK OUT STEVE, ANTHONY AND MATT MORENO IN THEIR WEEKLY “SPORTS GUYS” SHOW
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:
— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) October 7, 2015