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2013 Pac Twelve Conference: NCAA Football Gambling Predictions | Futures

2013 Pac 12 Season Football Preview

The Pac-12 has been a top-heavy conference during the past few seasons, and while that theme should hold true in 2013, the middle-of-the-pack squads have started to close the gap just a bit. Last year’s Pac-12 champs were the Stanford Cardinal from the North Division.

Despite finishing lower in the Top 25 than conference rival Oregon, they won the Pac-12 championship against the UCLA Bruins and defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

The following is a look at a few of the top contenders to win this season’s conference title, along with their odds.

Oregon Ducks +150

The Oregon Ducks finished the 2012 college football season as the No. 2 team in the country.

Their convincing win over No. 5 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl was enough to put them directly behind Alabama in the rankings, and now they enter 2013 with the third best odds to win a BCS National Championship.

The big question with Oregon is how it can adapt to life without Chip Kelly, who took his coaching talents to the NFL over the offseason. Luckily for new head coach Mark Helfrich, he has weapons like Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas to all but eliminate the learning curve.

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The team avoided a bowl ban during the summer, and as long as it can avoid a loss to Stanford in the fall, it’s looking at a legitimate chance of taking home a Pac-12 title or better.

USC Trojans +250

The USC Trojans entered 2012 as the No. 1 team in the country in the eyes of people all over the country—including the polls—but they ultimately flopped and went 7-6 en route to an unranked finish. The team is once again being touted as a contender entering 2013, and if the questions can be answered early, there’s no reason to believe they won’t be near the top at the season’s end.

The No. 1 question to answer is: How will the team play with Matt Barkley gone to the NFL? A trio of youngsters will compete for that job, but while Cody Kessler is in the lead, whichever one earns the nod will have the luxury of throwing to Marquis Lee. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

USC also has new coordinators on both sides of the ball. There’s no question that this group has the talent to compete for a Pac-12 title, but like last season, it all comes down to living up to the hype.

Arizona Wildcats +500

The introduction of Rich Rodriguez as head coach was successful for the Arizona Wildcats.

They went 8-5 in his debut, and for that reason, there’s plenty of reason to be hopeful for his second year running the show. The problem is that quarterback Matt Scott has left the program for the NFL, and now it’s time to move on without him. Rodriguez has traditionally been known for run-heavy offenses, but last season that wasn’t the case.

Arizona isn’t the only team in the Pac-12 with a question at quarterback, but a first-year starter could result in Rodriguez reaching back to his running roots.

The good news is that Arizona has a favorable schedule, and if the QB question is answered early, the team will gather momentum, giving them a chance to win the South Division.

Stanford +500

If it weren’t for the Ducks being in the same division as the Cardinal, Stanford would likely be the odds-on favorite to win a second-straight Pac-12 championship. Head coach David Shaw has done a marvelous job replacing Jim Harbaugh, and he’s coming off of a 12-2 season that saw him go 8-1 in conference. Quarterback Kevin Hogan will look to thrive in his first full year as a starter.

It’s true that the Cardinal don’t have any returners who caught a touchdown in 2012, but Hogan has weapons in the backfield and in his receiver spots. The offense has potential, but it’s the defense—especially defending the run—that should win games. Most of the starters will return, which is a great sign, seeing as how they collected the most sacks a season ago.

Stanford will have a strong season in 2013, but the difference between good and great could come down to one game against Oregon on Nov. 30.

Complete Pac-12 Odds

Oregon +150
Southern Cal +250
Arizona +500
Stanford +500
UCLA +800
Oregon State +1200
Washington +1200
Arizona State +1500
California +3000
Utah +3000
Washington State +5000
Colorado +5000

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Use the College football previews for the 2012 NCAA football season to help you with your college football handicapping at our top sportsbooks online this season.

Conferences Odds & Previews

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