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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Litwin’s Locks: Pac-12 Week 4 and NFL Week 12

Heather Newberry

An Arizona player holds a football prior to the UA-ASU rivalry game on Nov. 25, at Sun Devil Stadium.

I hope all of you are having a relaxing and safe Thanksgiving break. We should feel lucky that we can still watch football with all of the suffering from the pandemic. Maybe the five minutes spent reading this column will provide a short respite from the stress that is 2020. 

I believe this will be a great week after the slaughter Litwin’s Locks suffered last week. On the Pac-12 side, I kept my head above water, going 2-2 (Win-Lose) against the spread in the four games that were played. On the season, Litwin’s Locks is an even 6-6 (Win-Lose). 

The same can not be said for the NFL where I am going down with the ship. Shockingly, last week, I went 0-4 (Win-Lose) against the spread, bringing me to 13-21-3 (Win-Lose-Push) on the year. To rub salt in my wounds, my starting quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a serious knee injury. In past Litwin’s Locks, I have chosen the best NFL games of the week to lock. No more. Going forward, I will pick only games in which I feel confident. I might be a sellout but, for the sake of my pride, I need to get back to .500. 

Since it has been a while since I first went over spreads and lines, I thought this was a good time for a refresher. Remember the team with the minus symbol is the favorite and the team with the plus symbol is the underdog. To cover, the favorite has to win by more than the given number. For example if Team A is -3, (the favorite) and I pick Team A to cover, they would have to win the game by at least four for me to win my bet. If Team B is +3, (the underdog) and I pick Team B to cover, it has to win outright or lose by less than three for me to win the bet. 

This week’s sports betting phrase is “future bet,” which means betting on something to happen in the future. A common future bet is picking the winner of the Super Bowl, March Madness or the World Series at the beginning of the season, to name just a few. Future bets are fun because they give you something to root for all season. 

Pac-12 (Lines according to ESPN Daily Lines pulled on 11/26/2020 @ 10:35 a.m. EST)

Stanford Cardinal (+100) at California Golden Bears (-120) (Friday Afternoon)

Line: California -1.5, Total: 52

A matchup of winless teams always makes for a great football game because someone has to win. I thought Cal would be a physical football team but that has not yet been the case. Stanford has been weak on both sides of the ball this season and head coach David Shaw doesn’t seem to have any answers. Cal should be able to impose its will on Stanford and get its first win of the year. Pick: California -1.5

No. 15 Oregon Ducks (-500) at Oregon State Beavers (+400) (Friday Night)

Line: Ducks -13.5, Total: 64

Oregon is an electric football team but they barely beat a UCLA team playing with a backup quarterback in last week’s game. Plus, Oregon didn’t cover, which makes me a little angry. I like Oregon State because they have good defensive pieces and underrated offensive weapons. While Oregon gets all the uniform hype, I really like Oregon State’s look. Rivalry games are usually close and I like Oregon State to cover. Pick: Oregon St. +13.5

RELATED: What to watch for in Arizona’s road game against UCLA

Arizona Wildcats (+270) at UCLA Bruins (-330) (Saturday)

Line: UCLA -10, Total: 68.5

Wow, that total is high. Expect this game to have little defense. UCLA almost pulled off the upset a week ago against Oregon. They will not have quite as difficult a task against a reeling Arizona team. Arizona can score points, but their defense allows more than the offense scores. Sorry Arizona fans but don’t expect anything great Saturday. Pick: UCLA -10

Utah Utes (n/a) at Washington Huskies (n/a) (Saturday)

Line: Washington -7, Total: 49

Washington opened up a can on Arizona last week and the final score was the result of some Wildcats’ garbage-time touchdowns. If Washington wins this game decisively I could see them being a ranked team next week. Utah is still hurting from a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak and still don’t have a team identity. Pick: Washington -7

NFL (Lines according to ESPN Daily Lines pulled on 11/26/2020 @ 10:36 a.m. EST)

Arizona Cardinals (-145) at New England Patriots (+120) (Sunday)

Line: Cardinals -2.5, Total: 49.5

The Patriots just lost to a depleted Texans team and took themselves out of the AFC East division race. The Cardinals need a win to stay in the NFC West division and wildcard race. Let’s see how Kyler Murray plays in the cold. If the Cardinals are going to win any games in the postseason, their defense needs to play better and I think they do against the Patriots. Pick: Cardinals -2.5 

Kansas City Chiefs (-190) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+170) (Sunday)

Line: Chiefs -3.5, Total: 55.5

The Bucs are a fraudulent football team and should not be taken seriously. They can’t beat the good NFL teams and Tom Brady looks out of sync. The Chiefs will go into Tampa and impose their will on an overrated Bucs team. Pick: Chiefs -3.5

Lock of The Week

Las Vegas Raiders (-160) at Atlanta Falcons (+140) (Sunday)

Line: Raiders -3.5, Total: 55

I love watching the Raiders. They are an old school, run the ball down your throat team. The Falcons have played better as of late but are far from the team experts predicted they would be. The Raiders desperately need a win to stay in the AFC wildcard race. Raiders’ quarterback Derrick Carr has had a quietly strong season. This Raiders team can beat anyone. Pick: Raiders -3.5 

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