NCAA Football Betting: Odds to Win 2011 Pac-12 Conference ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
By Richard Gardner, Bodog Sportsbook Manager
For the first time since 1978, the self-proclaimed “Conference of Champions” is no longer called the Pac-10. Thanks to two new additions to the family â give a big welcome to the University of Colorado and University of Utah â the Pac-10 is now the Pac-12â¦and it’s going to be really interesting to see how the two newbies adjust to their first year out west. Recently, Bdg’s online sportsbook released all NCAA football futures odds for the Pac-12; here are some of the numbers on who will win the conference in 2011.
Pac-10, Pac-12â¦it doesn’t matter what it’s called, Oregon is still the class of the conference. On offense the Ducks return the two big cogs of the point-scoring juggernaut â RB LaMichael James and QB Darron Thomas â along with wildly underrated TE David Paulson, who should emerge as a leader in the receiving game this year. The Ducks also return five starters on defence that ranked 7th nationally in turnover margin a year ago. Add it all up and it’s clear to see why the Ducks are heavy favorites in the Pac-12â¦and yes, that’s even with the inclusion of Stanford and Andrew Luck, who we’ll get to right now.
Yeah, former coach Jim Harbaugh jumped ship to the NFL and that’s a cause for concern — but really, it shouldn’t slow down the Cardinal too much. The team returns all the key parts of a dynamic offense, beginning with QB Andrew Luck, who comes into the year as the conference’s best signal-caller and the odds-on Heisman Trophy favorite. RB Stepfan Taylor and TE Coby Fleener are also back, and Taylor could be one to watch as he seems primed for a breakout campaign. He rushed for 1137 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 266 receiving yards and another TD through the air. That combined TD total of 16 was good enough for Taylor to finish tied for 18th in touchdowns nationally â he could emerge from Luck’s shadow this year as a vital contributor to the Stanford offense.
Arizona State, 11/2
The Sun Devils have been pegged as a sleeper by many preseason football pundits, and with good reason. Legendary coach Dennis Erickson leads a squad that returns 18 starters and hung tough a year ago with the likes of Wisconsin, Oregon State, USC and Stanford. Arizona State also returns junior QB Brock Osweiler, who backed up last year but will start this season and, at 6-foot-8, 250 pounds with a 4.7 40-yard dash time, has a chance to be “as good as I’ve ever had,” according to Coach Erikson.
The first of the two new schools to be listed here, the Utes enter the Pac-12 on the heels of a 10-3 campaign in 2010â¦but were just 1-2 against Top-25 opponents. There’s plenty to like about this program, though, starting at the top with coach Kyle Whittingham. His Utah teams have won 33 games over the last three years, including a perfect 13-0 record in 2008, so there’s definitely a winning pedigree throughout the club. Definitely a sneaky pick for Pac-12 supremacy this season.