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Buckeyes, Wildcats Among Best Bets For Biggest Games Of The College Football Weekend

Posted by on 3/23/2016 5:25:25 AM

Texas Tech is 3-0, “The U” is supposedly back and the SEC is coming off another intriguing week in which Auburn and Alabama were beaten up by LSU and ole Miss respectively. Now the focus shifts to Week 4 and a handful of key matchups that will be in the spotlight for one reason or another including a handful of Pac-12 games that will be worth tuning in to see. Here is a look at the best bets for four of the most important games coming up this weekend.

Western Michigan @ #1 Ohio State Buckeyes

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

The top-ranked team in the country might be taking on another unranked opponent but they barely survived a turnover-filled 20-13 win over Northern Illinois and there will be a lot of eyes on them this weekend when they host Western Michigan as a 28.5-point favorite. Head coach Urban Meyer has the most talented roster in the country but his players haven’t exactly responded the way many thought they would early on this season including JT Barrett and Cardale Jones combining to go 15-for-28 for 133 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions against the Huskies. The Buckeyes will have to clean up their mistakes and kick things in to high gear before they enter the meat of their schedule and while they are slated to face only one team currently ranked in the AP Top-25 the rest of the way they simply can’t afford to keeping making the same mistakes especially at home against inferior opponents. This spread would be even bigger had Ohio State not looked so terrible last week but we will take them to bounce back with a much more focused effort.

Pick: Ohio State -28.5

#9 UCLA Bruins @ #16 Arizona Wildcats

Saturday, 8:00 PM ET

The Pac-12 schedule features two matchups of AP Top-25 teams including UCLA visiting Arizona where one of those teams will fall to 3-1 on the season. Nate Starks and Paul Perkins helped the Bruins rally and hand BYU its first loss of the season in their first real test of the year but things will only get tougher heading in to this marquee matchup. The Wildcats have dominated each of their three opponents and could get a boost if linebacker Scooby Wright returns so unless Josh Rosen performs better than he did last week against the Cougars Arizona should find a way to win at home.

Pick: Arizona -3

#18 Utah Utes @ #13 Oregon Ducks

Saturday, 8:30 PM ET

The Utes are coming off another big win over Fresno State and they have a massive opportunity in front of them as they get set to visit Eugene this weekend for this showdown with Oregon. Running back Devontae Booker has improved his yards per carry and rushing yards total with every passing game but in order for Utah to have a chance they will need their senior quarterback Travis Wilson on the field and playing at a high level. A Shoulder injury could complicate the situation but the Ducks have their own issues to worry about including quarterback Vernon Adams’ status as he continues to deal with a broken finger. Oregon will also need more from its defense in this game but if they can move the ball on the ground and limit what Booker does against them they should be able to find a way to pull out a win at home.

Pick: Oregon N/A

#19 USC Trojans @ Arizona State Sun Devils

Saturday, 10:30 PM ET

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian is once again feeling the heat after his defense gave up 41 points in a 10-point loss to unranked Stanford at home and the Trojans will need to have a short memory this week in order to be ready for an Arizona State team that will approach this game as if it’s the national championship. The Sun Devils have bounced back from their loss to Texas A&M with consecutive wins and while on paper they shouldn’t win this game it looks like the Trojans’ biggest enemy is themselves. USC’s depth on the defensive side of the football is very suspect and coming off that tough loss to the Cardinal they could have trouble covering on the road this weekend.

Pick: Arizona State +6


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