Picking the Pac-12

Click on a team for their full betting preview and suggested picks

North
1. Washington (55% Div WP, 37% Conf WP)
Win Division (-158), Win Conference (+103)
Petersen has done it again. He transformed Boise State into a perennial winner and now has Washington as one of the top teams in the country. But Peterson has only made one Pac-12 title game appearance in his four years at Washington and the futures market is giving you an unfavorable number on the Huskies.

2. Stanford (24% Div WP, 14% Conf WP)
Win Division (+375), Win Conference (+550)
The Cardinal have been in the Pac-12 title game 4 of the previous 6 seasons and have won the title game 3 times. While Washington is the favorite in the North, Washington was the favorite last year, yet Stanford won it. There is value in taking the Cardinal to claim the North again this year.

3. Oregon (13% Div WP, 6% Conf WP)
Win Division (+515), Win Conference (+800)
Meet the trendy pick in the Pac-12 North. Oregon QB Justin Herbert has gotten a lot of love this off-season so expectations are set high for first year head coach Mario Cristobal. While Cristobal has brought in a solid recruiting class, this roster still isn’t where it needs to be and Oregon is outclassed by Washington and Stanford.

4. California (4% Div WP, 2% Conf WP)
Win Division (+2850), Win Conference (+6250)
Wilcox impressed in his first season as he had a young Bears team playing competitively. This year they return 18 starters and should be improved, but not improved enough to contend with Washington and Stanford in the North.

5. Washington State (4% Div WP, 2% Conf WP)
Win Division (+3750), Win Conference (+10000)
With only 10 starers back everyone is forecasting a down year for Leach and the Cougars. This team was close to making the Pac-12 title game in 2016, but should finish in the bottom half of the North this season.

6. Oregon State (<1% Div WP, <1% Conf WP)
Win Division (+16000), Win Conference (+100000)
Oregon State had to be one of the worst Pac-12 teams of all time last year. Their lone win came against FCS Portland State. This year the Beavers will attempt to climb out of the basement in the Pac-12 North.

South
1. USC (47% Div WP, 21% Conf WP)
Win Division (+153), Win Conference (+485)
Darnold has departed, but that’s not a good reason to think this team will regress. USC recruits near the top of the nation and talent is something they don’t lack. Coming off of a Pac-12 title last season, the Trojans should contend for the title once again this year.

2. Arizona (17% Div WP, 5% Conf WP)
Win Division (+450), Win Conference (+1950)
Kevin Sumlin inherits a good situation at Arizona as Rich Rod was let go because of off the field issues. With 16 starers back and Khalil Tate at QB the Wildcats could make some noise in the Pac-12 South.

3. Utah (21% Div WP, 9% Conf WP)
Win Division (+440), Win Conference (+2000)
Utah has always played well for Kyle Whittingham, who enters his 14th season as the head coach for the Utes. Huntley should be improved at quarterback and the Utes will be solid on defense. While they don’t have the most talented roster, this team will compete for the South this year and could take the conference title.

4. Colorado (4% Div WP, 1% Conf WP)
Win Division (+1000), Win Conference (+8000)
The Buffaloes made it to the Pac-12 title game in ’16 and are looking to get there again this season. However, Colorado doesn’t have the players that other schools have and will have to manufacture wins in the Pac-12. They are inexperienced and making it to the Pac-12 title game this season will be difficult.

5. Arizona State (4% Div WP, 1% Conf WP)
Win Division (+1100), Win Conference (+10000)
Arizona State generated a lot of media attention when it announced Herm Edwards as their head coach. The Sundevils return 12 starers from a team that went 7-5 in Todd Graham’s farewell campaign. There are signs pointing down and the Sun Devils will likely finish near the bottom in the South.

6. UCLA (6% Div WP, 2% Conf WP)
Win Division (+610), Win Conference (+3250)
Chip Kelly returns to a conference where he has a 34-3 career record. But this is a transition year as the Bruins aren’t built for Kelly’s uptempo style and there will be some bumps and bruises along the way. The Bruins aren’t considered serious contenders but don’t be surprised if Kelly works some of his magic.

 

About Jordan Sundheim 154 Articles
Jordan Sundheim is a veteran of the sports analytics field with a background in both athletics and statistics. He earned his master's at Duke, coached football at Stanford, and is currently a sports analytics consultant.