who like to wager on sports are probably focusing on the start of the college
football season next month, but it is not too early to turn our attention to
the 2012/2013 basketball season as well.
is a brief look at this season’s top contenders in the Pac-12 Conference along
with their current odds to win a national championship as provided by Bovada.
UCLA Bruins 15/1
to be the cream of the crop in the Pac-12 this season and could be an easy pick after basically being a
non-factor in recent years. The primary reason for such high expectations is
that the Bruins pulled a page from Kentucky’s playbook by bringing in what many
experts believe to be the top recruiting class in the nation. It starts with 6-foot-6
forward Shabazz Muhammad, who should be one of the team’s primary scoring
threats. It also added a true playmaker in 6-foot-8 forward Kyle Anderson. Add
in another solid shooter in Jordan Adams and a big man underneath in 6-foot-9,
280 lb center Tony Parker and you clearly have the makings of a legitimate
contender to win a national title.
Arizona Wildcats 25/1
be playing for second place in the conference, but it is more than capable of
making some noise this season with a couple of top-notch recruits of its own.
The Wildcats went out and got some much needed help underneath with 7-foot-0
center Kaleb Tarczewski and 6-foot-9 forward Grant Jerrett. They also added
guard Mark Lyons, who transferred from Marquette. Solomon Hill and Angelo Chol
return in the front court and Nick Johnson and Jordin Mayes will add some
veteran experience in the back court. If everything falls in place by early
2013, this could be a team to watch come March so keep an eye on their odds.
Stanford Cardinal 40/1
failed to make the NCAA Tournament last season, but proved it probably belonged
in the 68-team field by going out and winning the NIT Championship. Looking to
build off that success, Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins is counting on a mix
of returning players along with new recruits such as 6-foot-9 forward Rosco
Allen and 6-foot-8 center Grant Verhoeven. The key to improving last year’s
10-8 record in conference play could be the continued development of guards
Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright, who are the team’s top two scorers back from
last year’s squad. When making you
picks, bear in mind Randle led the Cardinals with 13.8 points a game while
shooting 43.9 percent from the field and Bright was the second-leading scorer
with 11.7 points a game.
California Golden Bears 75/1
chances to be competitive in the Pac-12 this season will hinge on the
performance of a trio of returning players and their strength of schedule. A pair of Sophomore guards’ Allen
Crabbe and Justin Cobbs should provide the bulk of the Golden Bears’ points
this season after combining for 27.8 points a game as freshman. Also back is
6-foot-9 David Kravish, who averaged 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds a game. Cal added
another solid shooter in Tyrone Wallace and a pair of power forwards in Kaileb
Rodriguez and Kahlil Johnson.
The odds to
win a national title for a few other teams in the Pac-12 are Washington at
100/1, Arizona State at 125/1, Oregon at 150/1, and Oregon State at 200/1.