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Pac-12 battles between UCLA-Arizona, Utah-Oregon highlight Week 4's college football best bets, odds

A couple matchups between ranked Pac-12 teams highlight a national schedule this week that isn't spectacular but still has a number of solid games which could produce some upsets.

Anu Solomon hopes to lead Arizona to a win over UCLA on Saturday
Anu Solomon hopes to lead Arizona to a win over UCLA on Saturday
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Can we never speak of last week ever again? My record would've been even worse if it wasn't for a furious Nebraska comeback in the fourth quarter to force overtime and at least salvage a push. Not only was I off in a lot of the games last week, but in most cases I wasn't even close. Hopefully a strong effort this week will return the early season record to the right side of .500.

Last week ATS: 5-12-1 (1-4 National, 4-8-1 B1G)

Season ATS: 22-25-1 (8-6 National, 14-19-1 B1G)

National games:

#24 Oklahoma State (-3) v. Texas - 3:30 p.m. - ESPN

What a difference a week makes for the Longhorns. After the firing of athletic director Steve Patterson, some were wondering how low Charlie Strong was going to be at helm in Austin. Enter Jerrod Heard. The quarterback accounted for 527 yards against Cal last week, and it could've been more if it wasn't for the missed extra point late in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns might need another performance like that for Heard if their defense, which is giving up over 500 yards per game so far this season, doesn't tighten up.

While Oklahoma State didn't exactly impress in their first two games of the season against Central Michigan and Central Arkansas, they destroyed Texas-San Antonio last week 69-14. Mason Rudolph has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards in just three games, but I'm not totally sold on the Cowboys yet. I like the unranked home underdog against a ranked conference foe. Even though they lost last week, some excitement was injected into the Texas fan base. This could be a back-and-forth game like last week against Cal, but I think this time the Longhorns don't suffer such a cruel fate at the end.

Texas 35 Oklahoma State 31

#3 TCU (-7) v. Texas Tech - 4:45 p.m. - Fox

Kliff Kingsbury stole the hearts of everybody last week after Texas Tech's win over Arkansas for his takedown of BERT. Now Kingsbury will be hoping to extract some revenge on a TCU team that scored 82 points on his team last year. The Red Raiders are throwing for nearly 400 yards per game so far this year, but are also running the football at a better clip than normal. With all the injuries and suspensions the TCU defense is going through right now, Kingsbury has to be licking his chops at what his offense might be able to do on Saturday.

The good news for TCU is they still have an offense that is more than capable of picking up the slack for the defense. Trevone Boykin threw for seven touchdowns against the Red Raiders last year, and already has 10 touchdowns through the air in three games this year. After seeing the performances of both teams last week I immediately had a feeling Texas Tech was going to pull the upset here. This sorta reminds me of when West Virginia was ranked fifth in the country and came to Lubbock as a favorite and got smacked by the Red Raiders. TCU is going to show a lot more fight than West Virginia did that day, but Texas Tech still wins in the end.

Texas Tech 48 TCU 45

#14 Texas A&M (-7) v. Arkansas - 7:00 p.m - ESPN

Hey look, it's one of the 89 ranked teams that BERT was complaining about which are on Arkansas' schedule this year. It hasn't been the ranked teams that have been giving Arkansas trouble though, with Toledo and Texas Tech beating the Razorbacks in the first two weeks. Arkansas has been a little snakebitten early in the year though, losing running back Jonathan Williams to injury before the year, along with two receivers early in the season. If Arkansas can get Alex Collins and the running game going, they could actually turn things around pretty quick with how well Brandon Allen is passing the football.

Maybe the JerryDome should be renamed the AllenDome for this matchup since Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen will be squaring off with Brandon Allen. The Aggie Allen has thrown for nine touchdowns so far this year, and has a number of dangerous receiving options to work with, including explosive freshman Christian Kirk. Myles Garrett has been a monster so far this year on defense, but I'm still expecting the A&M defense of the last few years to show up a few times this year. This is one of those games. Arkansas has their backs against the wall and I see them hanging with the Aggies.

Texas A&M 30 Arkansas 24

#9 UCLA (-3) v. #16 Arizona - 8:00 p.m. - ABC

While one team in this matchup just lost their star linebacker for the year, the other might be getting theirs back. UCLA will be without Myles Jack for the rest of the year after he suffered a knee injury. Jack joins cornerback Fabian Moreau and defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes as starters on the UCLA defense who have been lost to injury. True freshman quarterback Josh Rosen will be making his first real road start (UNLV doesn't count because UNLV). After a tremendous beginning to his career, Rosen came back down to earth last week, throwing three interceptions in the narrow win over BYU.

Arizona has piled up at least 40 points in each of their first three games, but will face their first real test Saturday night. Quarterback Anu Solomon has been outstanding through the air, while running back Nick Wilson has torn it up on the ground. I'm sort of puzzled as to why UCLA is a favorite in this spot, but then again thoughts like that are probably why they were able to build all those fancy buildings out in Vegas. I'll roll with my gut on this one. Solomon outplays Rosen, who is terrorized by the returning Scooby Wright.

Arizona 33 UCLA 23

#18 Utah v. #13 Oregon (-11.5) - 8:30 p.m. - Fox

The statuses of a couple quarterbacks are still up in the air for this contest, but we'll still soldier on with a pick even with then uncertainties. Vernon Adams Jr. missed last week with a broken right index finger, but probably could have played if Oregon wasn't playing Georgia State. Travis Wilson missed last week's Utah game and it is questionable if he'll return for the trip to Eugene.

The Oregon defense has left a lot to be desired so far this year, giving up at least 28 points in all three of their game. With or without Wilson I'm not sure the Utes have enough offense to keep up with the Ducks, though. In the first two meetings between these teams since Utah joined the Pac-12, the Ducks have had their way with Utah. Even with Marcus Mariota moving on to the NFL, I don't see that really changing in this one. I'm a little worried about Utah possibly getting a late cover, but I'll take my chances with the Eastern Washington transfer starting for Oregon at quarterback and having a big game.

Oregon 47 Utah 31