Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:52 PM
Pac-12 Week 10 Best Bets, Odds, Predictions
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on College Football Winners from Matt Blunt on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!
The last conference to start their 2020 campaign kicks off action this week, as Pac-12 bettors and fans get a nice and early start to their season when Arizona and USC kick it off at 9:00 a.m. PTlocal time in Los Angeles.
I'm sure there will be plenty made of the early body clock start for those two teams, but at the same time you've got to remember that both programs have known they'd be starting this early for some time, and it's not like early morning football practices are foreign to college football teams in general.
Opening Pac-12 Schedule
- Arizona at Utah (**Canceled**)
- Arizona State at USC (FOX, 12:00 p.m. ET)
- Stanford at Oregon (ABC,
- UCLA at Colorado (ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET)
- Washington State at Oregon State (FS1, 10:30 p.m.)
- Washington at Cal (**Canceled**)
At the same time it's still just the first game of the season, and it's hard to really have a firm grasp on everything these programs will bring this year.
California is about as popular as it gets in the marketplace if you consume Pac-12 content elsewhere, and while their Opening Week game against Washington has gotten postponed, all that Cal love might be something to consider looking at going against down the line.
Their point spread move – from +3.5 to +1.5 - before the postponement was already entrenched in “public dog” territory, something I'm sure we may see next week in their trip to Arizona State.
Most conferences have shown this year that backing underdogs in the opening week of play can be a fruitful proposition though, and we've already seen two other Pac-12 programs garner plenty of underdog support ATS this week.
Pac-12 Odds (As of Thursday)
- Arizona State at USC (-10.5, Total 57.5)
- Arizona at Utah (-14, Total 57)
- Stanford at Oregon (-9, Total 51)
- UCLA (-6.5, Total 56.5) at Colorado
- Washington State (-1.5, Total 65.6) at Oregon State
Stanford opened catching +13 against Oregon and are now in the +8 and +9 range, as bettors see what quarterback Justin Herbert is doing in the NFL on Sundays with the L.A. Chargers. Safe to say that many believe it will be a big net negative for Oregon this week/year.
It is tough to say that will be the case given the Ducks are still the prohibitive favorite to win the Pac-12 North this year, as they've shown they've got plenty of “reload” ability as well in college football.
The other big move is actually in favor of the other school in Oregon, as the Oregon State Beavers have gone even further than the California move, opening as +3 home underdogs and flipping to a small -1.5/2 home favorite currently.
Interestingly enough, they lost their former QB Jake Luton to the NFL as well this year and it looks like Jacksonville fans will get to see first hand what he's got on Sunday in Week 9.
But the fact that one Oregon school is getting faded hard after losing a QB and the other is getting backed hard tells you all you need to know about the fickleness of the betting market at times, win or lose this Saturday.
Hopefully there are more wins than losses this week with these upcoming plays though, as it's good to have Pac-12 football back regardless.
Pac-12 Best Bets - Week 10
Washington State +2
Flipping a number all the way through zero is something to always be aware of, and generally stepping in front of a move comes with concerns. There's thoughts of “what am I missing, if the majority see it that way,” and it's a move that does tend to take a lot of support to happen.
But in the opening week of a season their success rate tends to be far lower simply because there isn't any data sets for the current year to build so much speculation off of. Yes, Washington State is entering the post-Mike Leach era with former Hawaii front man Nick Rolovich taking over, but while he's inheriting a team he might not be in love with, it's loaded for guys with skill sets to thrive in a pass-happy attack.
For a guy that spent his time during his playing career in the pass-happy Arena Football League, and his Hawaii team was 6th in the nation in passing yards per game last year (325.9 pass yards/game), stepping into what he is with the Cougars is far from horrible. At least not enough to believe a 4-5 point move on this point spread is fundamentally legit.
And then there is the whole thought process of fading the Oregon Ducks after losing their QB and backing an Oregon State Beavers team after losing there. I'm pretty confident that the former always recruits the better talent from top to bottom, meaning that no matter how good QB Justin Herbert has looked for the Chargers this year, Oregon State losing Luton might be far more important to the immediate future of those respective programs. At least for the first game of the year that's the line of thought I'd much rather subscribe to here.
So I'll gladly take the points with the initial favorite here, before I'm sure some arbitrage betting hits the market from those that grabbed the Beavers at a plus-spread are likely to do now that they could grab both sides at plus-spreads or even plus money on the ML.
Rolovich's teams were much more balanced overall than Leach's air raid attack with Hawaii averaging double the amount of rushing yards per game (144.2) than this Cougars team did a year ago (72.5 yards/game), and it will be that balanced approach that throws some Pac-12 rivals for a loop early on.
Editor's Note - The Arizona-Utah game was postponed on Friday since Utah didn't hae the minimum number of scholarship players available to play due to COVID-19 cases within the program.
It's Year Three in head coach Kevin Sumlin's tenure at Arizona, and after two losing seasons without a Bowl game, this is probably the year where positive change has got to happen for the program or it may be time for them to cut bait with Sumlin.
He's had a couple of recruiting classes to call his own now, and QB Grant Gunnell doesn't have to worry so much about sharing time with Khalil Tate and his dynamic skill set. By all accounts, Gunnell should be the man for Arizona this year, and given that he finished last year with a 9/1 TD-to-INT ratio, the turnover issues that the Wildcats have dealt with in the past may not be so prevalent this season.
But the fact that the betting percentages offered at VegasInsider.com have consistently shown a high 75%+ percentage number on the Utes and this spread has gone nowhere since opening at -14 is what really attracted me to this Wildcats side.
We've seen plenty of line movement already for the majority of these opening Pac-12 games and like with any opening week that's to be expected. Point spread numbers are nowhere near as accurate as they will be later in the year and savvy bettors aren't shy about making their early opinions known on what they believe to be bad lines.
Not sure if that's been the thought process behind some of this Utah money this week, but while other Pac-12 games have moved multiple points based on similar heavy support, the fact that this number has stood pat is all I really need to know.