Pac-12 bowl picks: UW and WSU await stiff Big Ten tests in Fiesta and Holiday Bowls

With four Big Ten and three Big 12 opponents … and with five teams as underdogs, including both of the New Year’s Six participants … the Pac-12 has a terrific opportunity over the next two weeks to alter the nightmare 2017 narrative.

The Pac-12 postseason gets underway Saturday at 12:30 … then promptly puts its head back on the pillow and conks out for 10 more days.

The Las Vegas Bowl makes loads of sense for the conference as a second-tier affiliate, because it’s a destination spot — and how many true destination spots, other than the Rose Bowl, are there in the Pac-12’s lineup for fans already living inside the conference footprint?

But the Las Vegas Bowl is too darn early, and we’ll double down on that sentiment with the introduction of the early-signing period (Dec. 20-22).

Also, the LVB date makes picking games in a one-shot format such as this a tad difficult, because of the potential for draft-bound players in the post-Christmas games to McCaffrey themselves from competition.

Alas, we’ll take our best guesses.

Generally on the conference: With four Big Ten and three Big 12 opponents … and with five teams as underdogs, including both of the New Year’s Six participants … the Pac-12 has a terrific opportunity over the next two weeks to alter the 2017 narrative — partially, if not completely — after a nightmare regular season on the PR front.

Oregon (minus-7) vs. Boise State (Las Vegas, Dec. 16)

Saw that Royce Freeman won’t play. Don’t care. This strikes me as a betting line that considers the totality of Oregon’s season when, in fact, the Ducks should be judged only by the games with Justin Herbert in the lineup, because he will be in the lineup Saturday. And the Ducks will roll.

ATS Pick: Oregon
Straight up: Oregon

Utah (minus-6.5) vs. West Virginia (Heart of Dallas, Dec. 26)

Yep, Kyle Whittingham has a killer postseason record, but the Utes have played plenty of close games in his…

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