1. #1
    Hman
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    Best Pac-12 College Football Bets 🏈

    Best Pac-12 college football bets: The numbers our experts like

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    Although the sports world is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn't mean we can't look ahead to a time when there is college football again.


    Caesars Sportsbook just released season win totals and conference title odds for every FBS team, and our experts -- Bill Connelly, David Hale, Doug Kezirian and Phil Steele -- are here to give their best bets for teams from the Pac-12 Conference.


    Pac-12 championship best bets


    USC Trojans (+250)

    Steele: The odds are not great at just +250, but my power ratings have USC as the best team in the Pac-12 this season, so it's worth a look. The Trojans have two QBs who are capable of being the best in the Pac-12 in Kedon Slovis and JT Daniels and return a big chunk of last year's team, including 17 starters. USC faces Notre Dame and Alabama in its nonconference schedule, but that has no impact on winning the Pac-12. The Trojans are the league's most complete team.




    Arizona State Sun Devils (12-1)

    Hale: Oregon seems like the safe play here, but at 2-1, there's not a lot of return on the investment. Still, among the other top contenders -- USC (+250), Utah (5-1) and Washington (4-1) -- there are not significant payouts there either. The team that offers the most intriguing potential is probably Arizona State (12-1), which returns an emerging star in QB Jayden Daniels (only two INTs on 338 attempts last year) and had four of its five losses come by 10 points or less.



    Washington State Cougars (30-1)

    Steele: Nick Rolovich did a great job getting a depleted Hawai'i team to a bowl in 2018 and a mediocre team to the Mountain West title game last year. He inherits a group of players recruited for his pass-happy run-and-shoot offense.


    Two years ago, Washington State had only four Pac-12 road games (three were against teams with a losing record), and they parlayed that schedule into an 11-2 season. This year the Cougars again have just four conference road games, and all four are against teams that had a losing season last year. While Mike Leach could never beat Chris Petersen in the Apple Cup, that matchup now favors Rolovich versus a first-time head coach in Jimmy Lake.



    Stanford Cardinal (40-1)

    Connelly: Unlikely long shot? Absolutely. But Stanford was crazy-young during last year's collapse and returns a lot of former blue-chippers who could figure things out and overachieve. But even at 48th in the preseason SP+, the Cardinal are given an average of 6.1 projected total wins and 4.4 conference wins. They've got a 65% chance of hitting 6-plus wins, and they would only need a couple of surprise results to contend. The 40-1 conference title odds are the equivalent of a 2.4% chance; I'd put it a bit higher than that (but not too much higher). I do like Stanford over 5.5 wins.

    Season win totals


    Oregon State Beavers under 5.5 wins (-135)

    Hale: The Beavers were vastly improved last season, to be sure, but they also got really lucky. No team in the country capitalized on opportunities quite like Oregon State, which ranked first in the country in red-zone TD rate (88.2% -- 10 percentage points higher than the next best team) and scored a TD on every goal-to-go drive. The Beavers also went from minus-9 to plus-9 in turnover margin and added 100 points in points-off-turnover differential from 2018. And all of that still only added up to five wins, so topping that number with even a little less luck in 2020 is going to be tough.


    Two years ago, Washington State had only four Pac-12 road games (three were against teams with a losing record), and they parlayed that schedule into an 11-2 season. This year the Cougars again have just four conference road games, and all four are against teams that had a losing season last year. While Mike Leach could never beat Chris Petersen in the Apple Cup, that matchup now favors Rolovich versus a first-time head coach in Jimmy Lake.



    Stanford Cardinal (40-1)

    Connelly: Unlikely long shot? Absolutely. But Stanford was crazy-young during last year's collapse and returns a lot of former blue-chippers who could figure things out and overachieve. But even at 48th in the preseason SP+, the Cardinal are given an average of 6.1 projected total wins and 4.4 conference wins. They've got a 65% chance of hitting 6-plus wins, and they would only need a couple of surprise results to contend. The 40-1 conference title odds are the equivalent of a 2.4% chance; I'd put it a bit higher than that (but not too much higher). I do like Stanford over 5.5 wins.

    Season win totals


    Oregon State Beavers under 5.5 wins (-135)

    Hale: The Beavers were vastly improved last season, to be sure, but they also got really lucky. No team in the country capitalized on opportunities quite like Oregon State, which ranked first in the country in red-zone TD rate (88.2% -- 10 percentage points higher than the next best team) and scored a TD on every goal-to-go drive. The Beavers also went from minus-9 to plus-9 in turnover margin and added 100 points in points-off-turnover differential from 2018. And all of that still only added up to five wins, so topping that number with even a little less luck in 2020 is going to be tough.


    Steele: I feel like Lake is a good hire for the Huskies, and he will have one of the top defenses in the league with eight starters back after having only two return last year. The offense is a question mark, however. The Huskies lost three solid offensive linemen, their NFL-caliber QB, a 1,000-yard RB, their top WR and TE, not to mention head coach Chris Peterson. Washington draws Michigan in the nonconference slate and has five Pac-12 road games versus bowl teams from last year.



    Stanford over 5.5 (-110)

    Steele: Stanford had a fantastic streak of 20 straight bowl games snapped last year. The Cardinal went through myriad injuries and ended up starting three true freshmen on the offensive line for most of the year and three different QBs with the starter rarely at full health. While a bunch of players hit the portal at the end of the year, Stanford still has a veteran unit with 17 returning starters. David Shaw has an 86-34 record in his nine years at Stanford with five double-digit-win seasons and just one losing year. I have a good feeling the Cardinal are back in a bowl in 2020.

  2. #2
    gojetsgomoxies
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    stanford 40-1 for pac12..... is that correct? seems like a really good price. tough division i suppose though

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