CFB: Early pick to win Pac-12 Championship Game

Here is an early look at the upcoming football season for the Pac-12, with odds for each team to win the conference championship game. SportsLine analyst Josh Nagel previews the teams and gives his initial leans on value in the futures market.


Odds To Win Pac-12
championship game  
(courtesy of Golden Nugget)
 Team Odds
 USC 1/1
 Washington 3/1
 UCLA 7/1
 Stanford 10/1
 Oregon 10/1
 Washington State 14/1
 Colorado 18/1
 Utah 30/1
 Arizona State 30/1
 Oregon State 80/1
 Arizona 80/1
 California 80/1

This fall, the Pac-12 should be an entertaining conference, with at least two clubs that have potential for the four-team playoff.

Last week, we took a look at college football future odds provided by the Golden Nugget, starting with an overview of the Big 10.

Here's a look at the Pac-12 offerings, with odds and analysis for the teams:


USC (1/1): Led by Heisman candidate quarterback Sam Darnold, the Trojans are all the pre-season rage thus far on national and local levels.

But we've seen this script before, and the final scene rarely ends well for USC. Perhaps no major program has promised more and delivered less in the past decade.

Although it might be unfair to judge a program on past performance, the Trojans followed this trend last season under first-year coach Clay Helton.

While many remember the season-ending surge that resulted in a dramatic comeback win in the Rose Bowl, it was forgotten that the Trojans were gutted by Alabama, routed by a mediocre Stanford team and also lost to Utah.

Expecting the Trojans to realize their potential is never a good bet. Moreover, they lost a ton of playmakers to the NFL Draft, including explosive stars such as Adoree? Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster.


Washington (3/1): Last year, the youth-laden Huskies met with a level of success that I believed was a year ahead of schedule under coach Chris Petersen. They won the Pac-12 title and reached the four-team playoff before losing to Alabama.

Now, expectations will be higher, but the Huskies will return a core of players who have a high level of experience.

Quarterback Jake Browning will likely be a Heisman candidate alongside USC's Darnold. He will be surrounded by plenty of weapons, including explosive back Myles Gaskin.



Stanford (10/1): The Cardinal struggled to find consistent production at quarterback last year, and its usually stout defense was carved up for more often than we?re used to seeing under coach David Shaw.

Even so, Stanford managed another 10-win season that ended with a bowl victory. Its quarterback situation improved under Keller Chryst, who will return, and the defense held up down the stretch.

This program has three Pac-12 titles this decade, so it can never be taken for granted, and the Cardinal are worth a look at this price.


Utah (30/1): In what was widely expected to be a rebuilding season for the Utes, they managed nine wins last season and remained a major thorn for Pac-12 opponents as they near upset both title game participants, Colorado and Washington.

Utah's physical defense remained a staple, and Troy Williams emerged as a competent dual-threat quarterback despite a low completion percentage (53.1) and some turnover issues (10 INTs).

The Utes should be improved this year, and they are the most viable long shot on the wagering menu considering their price.



Washington (3/1): This is the club with a more proven track record, and a coach in Petersen whose teams are noted for performing beyond expectations. This stands in contrast to the Trojans, whose results rarely match their roster talent.

Moreover, the Huskies aren?t far behind USC personnel-wise. This is a solid value behind the program I like to repeat as conference champion.