ASU Football: Pac-12 against the spread for Week 8

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Bryce Love #20 of the Stanford Cardinal runs with the ball against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Stanford Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Bryce Love #20 of the Stanford Cardinal runs with the ball against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Stanford Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

After only four games in Week 7, Pac-12 football returns with a full slate of games in Week 8, starting with ASU football facing Stanford.

When Oregon defeated Washington last week, the Pac-12 most likely eliminated itself from the College Football Playoff. Following the win, Oregon is now ranked No. 12 in the AP poll, the highest in the Pac-12.

Washington State, Arizona State, Stanford and Oregon State all had byes in Week 7, but all four return to action this week, as well as every other team in the Pac-12. This week’s six-game Pac-12 slate kicks off Thursday night with Arizona State vs. Stanford.

Stanford at Arizona State

Line: Stanford -2.5

Neither Stanford or Arizona State is currently playing their best football, and because of that, a bye week fell at the right time for each of them.

Stanford is riding a two-game losing streak, and star running back is still beaten up. Love is expected to play Thursday, but even so, it’s uncertain if he’ll be the same player he is when healthy. Nate Herbig, Stanford’s best offensive lineman, is also questionable for the game.

Similarly, Arizona State has several players dealing with injuries. Manny Wilkins and N’Keal Harry both left ASU’s last game against Colorado, but both of them are expected to play Thursday.

Because of injury questions, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding this game. Because of this and the fact that the Sun Devils could miss out on a bowl game if they don’t turn it around quick, ASU will upset Stanford at home.

Colorado at Washington

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Line: Washington -16.5

After a 5-0 start, Colorado was finally exposed in Week 7. The Buffaloes fell by double digits to USC on the road, likely giving up their control of the Pac-12 South.

While Colorado certainly isn’t a bad team and some of its players are among the most explosive in college football, the undefeated record proved to be the result of a soft schedule.

This week, the Buffaloes head to Seattle for a test against an angry Washington team. Washington lost its second game of the season to Oregon, eliminating the Huskies from playoff contention for all practical purposes.

Still fired up from last week, the Huskies will fire on all cylinders against Washington and cover the spread.

California at Oregon State

Line: California-7.0

California and Oregon State remain the Pac-12’s only teams winless in conference, and the two square off in Week 8. Oregon State has been Oregon State, and despite a defensive improvement, Cal’s offense has been subpar.

After a pitiful performance against UCLA, Cal will rebound this week against the conference’s worst team. The Golden Bears will win by double digits, easily covering the spread.

Oregon at Washington State

Line: Washington State -3.0

Oregon shocked the college football world in Week 7 when the Ducks upset Washington in overtime. Now, the Ducks shift their focus to Washington State, which is led by one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, Gardner Minshew.

This year, Minshew has thrown for 2,422 yards with 19 touchdowns, which are both first in the Pac-12. Most recently, Minshew torched Oregon State, throwing for 430 yards and five touchdowns.

Because WSU isn’t a powerhouse, Minshew hasn’t gained the recognition he deserves this year. That will change after this week when he has a huge game against the Ducks.

College Gameday is headed to Pullman and a lot of Pac-12 North implications are on the line, and because of that, the Cougars will stun Oregon at home and cover the spread.

USC at Utah

Line: Utah -6.5

After a 1-2 start to the season, USC looks like a whole new team, and the Trojans sit in the Pac-12 South driver’s seat. But this week won’t be easy.

Utah also played exceptionally in Week 7, crushing an Arizona team that was without Khalil Tate. The Utes currently sit one game out of the Pac-12 South lead, and a win against the Trojans could launch them to the top of the division.

That being said, USC has shown promise on both sides of the ball lately, and as a result, the Trojans will win outright in Salt Lake.

Arizona at UCLA

Line: UCLA -7.5

Last week, Arizona had maybe its worst game of the season while UCLA had its best.

The Wildcats were embarrassed on the road against Utah, and Tate left the game early with his lingering ankle injury. Tate won’t be ready to go against UCLA, so Rhett Rodriguez will start behind center for the Wildcats.

UCLA, however, has played its best football recently. After nearly upsetting Washington, the Bruins won their first game of the season Saturday, upending Cal 37-7.

Next. ASU Football: Sun Devils refocus after bye week. dark

Since the Washington game, UCLA has played exceptionally on both sides of the ball, and I don’t expect that to change against Arizona. The Bruins will win by double digits at home, covering the spread.