Looking ahead to the 2020 PAC 12 football season - Betting odds and best bets

PAC 12 UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson drops back to pass against Colorado
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I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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The 2020 college football season has been in full swing for a while now but we’ve still been missing one key piece, the PAC 12. Not any longer, as the conference with all the best West Coast teams is set to kickoff their action this weekend.

The PAC 12 has taken a bit of a hit in recent years in terms of their national reputation, and they haven’t had too many elite teams lately. As the conference looks to prove everybody wrong, they’ll start the year off with only two ranked teams. Let’s take a look at some odds, keeping in mind that each team will only play seven games in this abbreviated schedule:

Win totals

Arizona O/U 1 win (over 1 -160)

Arizona State O/U 4.5 wins (over 4.5 -130)

California O/U 4.5 wins (over 4.5 -130)

Colorado O/U 1.5 wins (over 1.5 -155)

Oregon O/U 6 wins (under 6 -165)

Oregon State O/U 1.5 wins (over 1.5 -220)

Stanford O/U 3.5 wins (over 3.5 -140)

UCLA O/U 3.5 wins (under 3.5 -150)

USC O/U 5.5 wins (under 5.5 -125)

Utah O/U 4.5 wins (under 4.5 -130)

Washington O/U 4.5 wins (over 4.5 -115)

Washington State O/U 2 wins (over 2 -165)

The best bet

I think taking the over on Arizona makes sense. For us not to lose, all they have to do is win a single game. They got shafted with the schedule, as they don’t get to play most of the conference’s weakest teams. That being said they also don’t have to play Oregon and a couple of their games like the one at home against Colorado are highly winnable.

With this bizarre offseason we’re seeing more variance than ever, so they should be able to pull off an upset or two as well. Grant Gunnell played really well last year with nine touchdowns and only one interception as a freshman, and with Khalil Tate now out of the way I think he’ll thrive. This team isn’t going to be nearly as bad as many seem to expect.

Conference Odds

  • Oregon +180
  • USC +200
  • Washington +550
  • Utah +700
  • Arizona State +850
  • California +2500
  • Washington State +2500
  • Stanford +2800
  • UCLA +2800
  • Arizona +5000
  • Oregon State +8000
  • Colorado +10000

The best bet

I’m fading Oregon this year. They lost a lot of talent from the past couple years, including superstar quarterback Justin Herbert. With the way Herbert is lighting it up in the NFL now, I think it’s clear he was masking a lot of the Ducks’ deficiencies. I don’t have any confidence in Clay Helton to lead USC to a conference title either, so my favorite play here is Washington at +550.

The Huskies have a cakewalk of a schedule, so I don’t think it’ll be too hard for them to get into the conference championship game. Their first five games are against Cal, Oregon State, Arizona, Washington State, and Stanford, which should help them build a lot of confidence. They lost a lot of talent from last year’s offense, but I think their defense should be pretty stout and they have the recruits to still have solid skill position production.

If you’re looking for a bit of a long-shot, I’d consider taking a nibble of UCLA at +2800. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson made major progress last year, and now that he’s a junior the talented passer should be able to cut down on the turnovers. A Chip Kelly offense is exactly the type to take advantage of a limited offseason and catch other teams by surprise.

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