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Pac-12 Football Picks: Two Games, Two Difficult Betting Choices

Utah-Oregon conference title game a virtual tossup, and Cal-USC matchup hard to gauge

The final two Pac-12 games will be played this week, and both are intriguing to gamblers.

Friday’s 5 p.m. (Pacific time) Pac-12 championship game is a rematch between Oregon and Utah. The Utes won the first matchup 38-7 just two weeks ago, but that game was in Salt Lake City. This time the game is in Las Vegas, and Oregon will be primed for revenge with a berth in the Rose Bowl on the line. That’s why the game is a virtual tossup this time.

Saturday 8 p.m. USC-Cal game will be the final regular-season college football game in the country, and it offers intrigue to bettors if not to the general public. East Coast gamblers who placed wagers on this game may be the only ones east of the Mississippi River still watching when the game ends. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses and both will finish with losing records. The Golden Bears are just slight favorites over the team that can’t wait to bring Lincoln Riley on board. He won’t be the Trojans’ head coach in this game, though.

Picking winners this week will be a challenge, but we’re up to it.

All picks against the spread

Consensus betting line from vegasinsider.com

FRIDAY

Pac-12 Championship Game at Las Vegas, 5 p.m., ABC

OREGON (plus-2.5) vs. UTAH

Jake: Utah has never been to the Rose Bowl, while Oregon has been there four times since 2009. The motivation to get to Pasadena is the difference on a neutral field. Both teams have strong fan bases. Pick: Utah

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Jeff: How much could have changed in two weeks since the Utes crushed the Ducks 38-7? Well, the venue changed. It’s Vegas, not Salt Lake City. And Oregon looked more like itself last week while beating Oregon State. So . . . Pick: Oregon

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SATURDAY

USC (plus-4) at CAL, 8 p.m., FS1

Jake: The spread is increasing, which means the bettors like the Golden Bears. Lincoln Riley casts a shadow over this game, but he’s not the coach yet. Pick: Cal

Jeff: Cal was installed as a two-point favorite last weekend and the spread has grown to four points. No telling the last time this happened. But the Bears are 4-2 against the spread in their past six games and the Trojans are 1-5. Pick: Cal

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Cover photo of Oregon-Utah game is by Jeffrey Swinger, USA TODAY Sports

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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