Click here for updates on the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation at the University of Arizona

Litwin's Locks: Pac-12 Week 3 and NFL Week 11

DSC_7824
Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat An Arizona player holds a football prior to the UA-ASU rivalry game on Nov. 25 at Sun Devil Stadium.

Welcome back to another edition of Litwin’s Locks. I make my picks on Tuesday and Wednesday; however, like everything else during the pandemic, games are in flux and change according to which players and team personnel have been exposed to COVID-19 and who is in quarantine. 

Only four of the original six planned games were played last week. There was a fifth game played between California and UCLA after their originally scheduled opponents Utah and ASU had to cancel. Of the original four games for which I made picks, I went a respectable 3-1. That puts me at an even 4-4 (Win-Lose) on the season. On the NFL side, I had the rare two-push week going 1-1-2 (Win-Lose-Push). Unfortunately, I am still slightly under .500 with a record of 13-17-3 (Win-Lose-Push). The Pac-12 has already cancelled ASU at Colorado and I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw at least one additional cancellation before Friday. Nonetheless, I predict my record can only improve.   

This week's sports betting phrase is “prop bet.” Short for “propositional bet,” a prop bet is a side bet on whether something will happen during the game that has nothing to do with the final outcome of the game. There can be hundreds of different prop bets on a single game, ranging from who will score the first touchdown to whether any particular drive will end in a punt. The most popular game for prop bets is the Super Bowl during which you can bet if the singing of the national anthem will go over or under its total and even on the color of the Gatorade shower at the end of the game. My favorite Super Bowl prop bets include whether the coin toss will land on heads or tails. Never trust a person who picks heads because “tails never fails.”    

Pac-12 (Odds according to ESPN Daily Lines on 11/19/2020)

MORE FROM THE DAILY WILDCAT

UCLA Bruins (+380) at No. 11 Oregon Ducks (-475) (Saturday)

Line: Ducks -13.5, Total: 66.5

I love the Ducks in this game since they have a legit shot to make the College Football Playoff. Oregon is 2-0 this year against the spread and I am riding the hot hand. Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is  exciting to watch and will be an early first round pick once he becomes draft eligible. On the other side of the football, Ducks’ running back CJ Verdell is explosive and can make a house call at any moment. Pick: Ducks -13.5 Quack Quack

California Golden Bears (-170) at Oregon State Beavers (+150) (Saturday)

Line: Golden Bears -3.5, Total: 49

As the total indicates, expect a low-scoring game since both these teams like to run the ball and both play good defense. I give a slight edge on the run game to Oregon State mainly because of Jermar Jefferson and the tear he has been on to start the season. California was disappointing last Sunday against the UCLA Bruins. I get that they had to change opponents mid-week, but UCLA is not that good. I like the home team with the points. Pick: Beavers +3.5

Arizona Wildcats (+360) at Washington Huskies (-440) (Saturday)

Line: Huskies -11.5, Total: 53

Surprisingly, the Wildcats played really well last Sunday against the Trojans. They even had some chances to win the game. Wildcats’ quarterback Grant Gunnell was accurate in the pocket and picked up some first downs using his feet. Washington runs the ball well and plays good team defense. While I don’t think the Cats will win, I do think it will be a close game. Pick: Arizona +11.5

No. 20 USC Trojans (-150) at Utah Utes (+130) (Saturday)

Line: Trojans -3, Total: 58

I picked the Trojans the last two weeks and they failed to cover in both of those games. In reality, were it not for two strong fourth quarters Kedon Slovis, the Trojans would be winless. Luckily, they have Slovis who plays his best ball late. I am hoping Utah will get to play a game this week. COVID-19 has ravaged the team and we still are not 100 percent sure who the signal caller will be. The Trojans have burnt me twice, but three points is not a lot, and everything about Utah football is up in the air. Pick: Trojans -3

RELATED: Across the Press Box: Previewing Arizona vs. Washington with The Daily’s Anthony Edwards

Washington State Cougars (+110) at Stanford Cardinal (-130) (Saturday)

Line: Cardinal -2, Total: 64.5

A little surprised Stanford is the favorite because they have not looked good in their first two games. The Cougars have not been spectacular either but not quite as bad. Cougars’ quarterback Jayden de Laura has played well in his first two games and I predict, as he gets more games under his belt, he will only improve. This should be a fun game to watch if you like scoring and offense. Pick: Cougars +2

NFL (Odds according to ESPN Daily Lines on 11/19/2020)

Cincinnati Bengals (+105) at Washington Football Team (-125) (Sunday)

Line: Washington -1.5, Total: 46.5

My Cincinnati Bengals were embarrassed last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The future GOAT Joe Burrow did not play a good game, which means he will play great Sunday. Washington has a formidable defensive line, but their secondary can be carved like a Thanksgiving turkey. The Bengals win this game by double digits and start a late season run. Pick: Bengals +1.5

Tennessee Titans (+210) at Baltimore Ravens (-250) (Sunday)

Line: Ravens -6.5, Total: 49.5

Both these teams are desperate for a win. Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson is not having nearly as good a season as he was a year ago. The Titans have a defense that couldn’t stop a nosebleed. I like the Ravens in this game, but I am a little hesitant about them being more than a touchdown favorite. They will come out to play after their stinker against the Patriots. This game will be played in record time since they both like to run the ball (typed hesitantly). Pick: Ravens -6.5

Lock of the Week

Green Bay Packers (+105) at Indianapolis Colts (-125) (Sunday Afternoon)

Line: Colts -2, Total: 51.5

The Packers played a horrible game last week against the Jaguars. They narrowly escaped that game with a win. They will come out sharper against a good, but not great, Colts team. I don’t have a ton of faith in Colts’ quarterback Philip Rivers having a better game than Aaron Rodgers. If I can get Rodgers and points, I will always take it. Pick: Packers +2

Kansas City Chiefs (-360) at Las Vegas Raiders (+300) (Sunday Night)

Line: Chiefs -7, Total: 57

The Chiefs have one loss on the season and it is to these very same Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have an underrated defense and their offense can score points with anyone, but the Chiefs are not just anyone. Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid almost never loses coming off a bye. The Chiefs covering seven is a bit too much to swallow since it is a divisional game and they are playing a team they already lost to. However, the Raiders are dealing with a pretty bad COVID-19 outbreak so I will trust that Patrick Mahomes can cover. Pick: Chiefs -7  


Follow Seth Litwin on Twitter



Share this article


UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (12/1)
1,367 37 %
Total (8/4)
89,364 2,800 %
Includes tests since August 4, 2020
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated December 1, 2020