Pac-12 Week 6 Overview: Unranked Utah Will Stun Stanford

Monday, October 1, 2018 9:06 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 9:06 PM UTC

No. 14 Stanford is not playing like a ranked team, and faces a tricky test against Utah. Read more here on why you should take points in this matchup, as well as what else is in store in the Pac-12 for Week 6.

Pac-12 Spotlight: Utah at No. 14 Stanford (-5)Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Free NCAAF Pick: Utah ATSBest Line Offered: Heritage

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The line was off the board when the numbers first came out, with Stanford (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) star running back Bryce Love in doubt after leaving in the fourth quarter of a crushing 38-17 defeat at Notre Dame with a left ankle injury on Saturday. When the line finally came out, Stanford was made a -5 home favorite.

The Cardinal, which relies heavily on running the ball, ranks 124th in the FBS with 94.4 rushing yards per game. A highly touted offensive line in the preseason, has produced few holes for the backfield. Nor has Stanford excelled at its other key component under head coach David Shaw: stopping the run. The Cardinal surrenders 152.8 yards per game on the ground (72nd). What’s most pressing is the fact the unit can’t slow offenses when it counts. It owns a 47.6 opponent third-down conversion rate, 115th-worst nationally.

Utah (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS), meanwhile, enters with another quietly competitive team. The offense has shown little explosiveness, averaging 22.2 points per game. It has come up short of scoring projections in each of three games against FBS opponents (Northern Illinois, Washington, Washington State) by a 9.7 average margin. Tallying 312.4 yards per game, the Utes are due some added points to their 16.0 average in this scenario.

Since 2014, Utah is 5-5 SU and 9-1 ATS as a road underdog in Pac-12 play, topping a 9.1 average line by 12.6 points per game. This includes a 20-17 win as 8.5-point pups at Stanford in 2014. Strong defensive efforts and a high takeaway rate (2.1 per tilt) is fueling the run. This defense might be the best of any in this stretch. Look for it to stuff Stanford at the line of scrimmage and threaten for a win. Take the points. Utes win 28-27 against an underachieving Cardinal unable to play to Shaw’s wishes.

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Style points ☝️@Utah_Football | #UTAHvsWSU pic.twitter.com/4PIsXAVJMY

— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) September 30, 2018
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Around The Pac-12 (All Games Saturday)

Arizona State at No. 21 Colorado (-2.5), 4 p.m. ET, on Pac-12 Network: Colorado (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) has kicked off a short-priced home favorite of less than a touchdown three times under head coach Mike MacIntyre, all against conference rivals. The Buffs have won each by double digits, covering a -3.8 average spread by 11.8 points per game. Arizona State (3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS), on the other hand, has claimed just one shock victory in its last 13 Pac-12 matchups catching points on the road (Utah 2017).

No. 10 Washington (-21) at UCLA, 7:30 p.m. ET, on FOX: One has to go back to 2008, a year in which UCLA (0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS) won four games overall, to uncover the last time the Bruins were gifted 20-plus points at the Rose Bowl. The "under," meanwhile, has cashed in six of Washington’s (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) last seven as road chalk. It’s tough to ignore leaning this bet against a UCLA offense averaging 17 points per game.

Washington State (-16) at Oregon State, 9 p.m. ET, on Pac-12 Network: The "over" has hit in each of the last five matchups between Washington State (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS) and Oregon State (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS). The combined score is 74.2 points per game. They average 950.4 total yards. The Beavers surprisingly post 33.8 per tilt in this span, going over market projections in all but one.

California at Arizona (-2.5), 10 p.m. ET, on FS1: Cal (3-1 SU, 1-2-1 ATS) is just 17-30 ATS (36.2 percent) as an underdog all-time in Pac-12 play. When the line is less than a touchdown, it owns 5-15 SU and 7-13 ATS records, the defense surrendering 36.3 points per game. Over the last 20 years, Arizona (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) covers 69 percent of its spreads when scoring more than 30 points in a contest.

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