Pac-12 2017 College Football Betting Preview: USC Tops Conference Odds

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2017

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, file photo, Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold looks to pass during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against Penn State in Pasadena, Calif. Darnold was selected to the Associated Press 2016 All-Bowl Team, announced on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Washington Huskies snapped a 16-year drought with their Pac-12 championship a season ago, which earned them a berth in the College Football Playoff. Now the trick is to do it all again.

However, they're likely to run into some stiff competition, probably in the form of the USC Trojans, who are a strong +700 (bet $100 to win $700) on the national championship odds. So what do the oddsmakers think about who might win the Pac-12 this season?

Southern Cal didn't win a division title last year, but by the end of the season, the Trojans were probably the best team in this conference.

After switching to freshman quarterback Sam Darnold, USC finished 9-1 last year, beat Washington on its home field and won the Rose Bowl. This year the Trojans are expected to take the next step, and not just win the conference title, but also contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

With the start of the season approaching, USC is lined as a -110 favorite (bet $110 to win $100) on the 2017 Pac-12 championship betting board, while Darnold is a +275 favorite on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy.

Washington's Pac-12 championship of last year paid off at odds of +300. For this year, with 13 starters back, including Heisman candidate quarterback Jake Browning (+1800 to win the Heisman Trophy), the Huskies are posted as the second betting favorite at +180.

After those top-two teams, the lines then drop to Stanford as the third choice at +800. The Cardinal return 16 starters for this season, eight on each side of the ball, but they have to replace their biggest offensive threat and last year's top-two tacklers.

UCLA comes next at +900. The Bruins fell to 4-8 last year but this year get back 15 starters, including Josh Rosen (+2000 to win the Heisman Trophy) at quarterback. However, they will have to navigate a brutal conference road schedule that includes games at Stanford, Washington, Utah and USC.

Oregon, coming off its worst season in 25 years and now under new head coach Willie Taggart, is getting +1600, as is Washington State, which came within an Apple Cup victory of the North Division title last year.

Rounding out the rest of the board, Colorado—the surprise champion of the South Division last year—and Utah are both listed at +3300, while Arizona State is at +5000, Arizona and Oregon State are at +10000, and the California Golden Bears, for their first season under new head coach Justin Wilcox, are set at +50000.

For more on Pac-12 odds, check out OddsShark's Pac-12 2017 Season Betting Preview.