Pac-12 Conference Prediction
The 2019 Pac-12 Conference race looks to be a three-team battle in the eyes of the oddsmakers. Here’s a breakdown of the odds for this year’s conference race.
According to oddsmakers, Washington and Oregon are co-favored to win, as each has +275 odds to win. Utah has the next-shortest odds at +300 while USC is listed at +800 to win and Washington State has +900 odds.
Washington is the defending conference champ and two-time winner of the Pac-12 Championship Game over the last three years. The Huskies have seven starters back on offense this year, but the offense wasn’t a big strength. They have just two starters back on a defense that was ranked fifth nationally in scoring.
Oregon is a two-time Pac-12 Championship Game winner, but the Ducks haven’t taken the title since 2014. They have 16 starters back from the 2018 squad, including Justin Hebert at QB. Hebert is one of the top QB prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Utah reached the conference title game last year but lost to Washington. The Utes have not won the conference title as of yet. Utah has 14 starters back from the 2018 squad, including seven from a defense that ranked 17th nationally in scoring.
Washington State had the nation’s top passing attack in 2018 and the Cougars have seven starters back on offense this year. They do need to replace the QB, but Mike Leach doesn’t have a problem getting production out of that position. Washington State also has six starters back from a defense that was much stronger than the usual Leach defense.
USC coach Clay Helton is feeling the pressure coming into this year. He needs to put up a contender this season after going 5-7 last year. The Trojans have just 11 starters back this year and their 208 offense ranked 90th nationally in scoring.
Oregon certainly has the top player in the conference on paper in Hebert, but he didn’t quite meet the hype last season. However, the Ducks have a veteran team returning which could help push it past the likes of Utah and Washington this year. The Huskies lose a lot on a solid defense and have an injury-prone transfer at QB. Utah could be the team to stop Oregon, but the Utes manage to slip up a few times a year due to their inconsistent offense. I will go with the Ducks to do what it takes to win the title this year.
Pac-12 Conference Championship Prediction: Oregon +275