Every week, the Star’s Michael Lev, Justin Spears and Alec White will pick the winner of the Arizona football game and others throughout the Pac-12.
This week, the guys pick the Arizona-Colorado game and four other conference matchups. For in-depth breakdowns of each game, check out the latest episode of the Wildcast Podcast on Apple, Spotify or The Wildcaster App.
Arizona at Colorado (-6): Saturday, Oct. 16 at 12:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Arizona
Who will cover? Arizona (+6)
Despite averaging 14 points per game, the Buffaloes (1-4) are favored by six points over the winless Wildcats (0-5). The Buffs are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) this year and have failed to cover in each of their last three games. It’s also the first time they’ve been favored by six or more points since their season opener against Northern Colorado.
The Wildcats are underdogs for the fourth time this season and the Cats have covered the spread in two of the previous three instances. Arizona is 4-2 ATS in its last six matchups against Colorado and have won seven of their last nine matchups versus the Buffs.
Even with the loss of starting quarterback Jordan McCloud, Lev and Spears are picking the Wildcats to finally end their 17-game losing streak and win outright over the Buffs. White is less confident and is backing Colorado to win and cover.
Spears on why Arizona wins and covers: “At this point, Arizona you’ve got to do whatever you can. You have to throw everything at Colorado because right now you just have to get your first win… I think they will get it done. I think Arizona is going to win. I’m going to go with Arizona 20 with two touchdowns and two field goals, Colorado 14.”
Lev on why Arizona wins and covers: “I’m going to steal a page out of Justin’s book and tell you exactly how this game is going to end. It’s going to end on a Lucas Havrisik successful field goal, a record-setting 58-yard field goal. Longest in Arizona history in the Mile High air… Arizona will hit the magical 20-point plateau right on the nose and end the 17-game losing streak in dramatic fashion.”
White on why Colorado wins and covers: “I have a core value that I hold on to. It’s better to be late to the party than to be early. And I’ve been burned by picking Arizona to win before, I’ve been burned by picking Arizona to cover. I’m not doing either until they start to prove it wrong. I’m going to be late to the party because I think they can win. This is their best chance to win this season… Gunner Cruz could easily go from zero to hero if he pulls off the win. I just don’t think that’s going to happen yet.”
Lev’s pick: Arizona wins 20-19
Spears’ pick: Arizona wins 20-14
White’s pick: Colorado wins 24-17
Over/Under: 46.5 points
The pick: Under 46.5 points
Based on the score predictions, all three reporters feel confident in picking the total to go under 46.5 points. The total has gone under in nine of Arizona’s last 13 games and both teams average less than 17 points per game.
However, five of the last six Arizona-Colorado matchups have gone over the total.
Other notable Pac-12 games
Cal at No. 9 Oregon (-13.5): Friday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
Oregon is just 1-4 ATS this season, though it has won 15 consecutive games at home. The Ducks have also covered the spread in seven of their last 10 meetings with the Golden Bears.
Cal is 2-3 ATS and both times its covered has been when the team was listed as an underdog.
Lev’s pick: Oregon wins and covers
Spears’ pick: Oregon wins and covers
White’s pick: Oregon wins and covers
Stanford at Washington State (+1): Saturday, Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU
The Cardinal (3-3) are playing their fifth road game of the season and have covered the spread just once away from Palo Alto. Stanford is also 0-5 ATS against WSU in their last five meetings, losing four of those contests straight up.
Washington State (3-3) has won their last two games after starting the season 1-3. The Cougars have covered their last three games but have been listed as underdogs in each one. They’ve also failed to cover five of their last six games at home.
Lev’s pick: Stanford wins and covers
Spears’ pick: Stanford wins and covers
White’s pick: Washington State wins outright
UCLA at Washington (-1.5): Saturday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. on FOX
The Bruins (4-2) used a late field goal to cover the 16-point spread against the Wildcats last week, but are listed as road underdogs in Seattle. It’s only the second time this season UCLA hasn’t been favored — the last time came on Sept. 4. when it beat LSU (-1.5).
UCLA is 8-4 ATS in its previous 12 games dating back to 2020.
Washington (2-3) have covered the spread just once this season (Arkansas St.), but are 16-4 in their last 20 home games.
Lev’s pick: Washington wins and covers
Spears’ pick: UCLA wins outright
White’s pick: UCLA wins outright
No. 18 Arizona State at Utah (Even): Saturday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. on ESPN
The line originally opened at ASU (-1) but it has since gone to a straight pick-em.
The Sun Devils have rattled off three straight wins after their loss to BYU, while the Utes have won two straight games and have outscored their opponent 66-39 during that stretch.
ASU has won six of the last nine contests against Utah.
Lev’s pick: ASU wins
Spears’ pick: Utah wins
White’s pick: ASU wins
Lev: 11-11 straight up, 12-10 against the spread, 2-3 picking the over/under
Spears: 11-11 SU, 12-10 ATS, 3-2 O/U
White: 12-10 SU, 9-13 ATS, 3-2 O/U