College Basketball Predictions: Pac-12 Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/11/2013
The Pac-12 is no longer the glamour division it once was, at least in college basketball. However, UCLA, Oregon and Colorado are still expected to field competitive squads this season, each with a chance at winning the conference and making the NCAA Tournament. And the Arizona Wildcats are actually a title contender this season, according to the oddsmakers, and are receiving the eight-best championship odds in the nation at +1500, according to Sportsbook.ag.
The last time a Pac-12 member played in the NCAA title game was back in 2006 when UCLA lost to Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators, who were in the middle of winning back-to-back titles. Prior to that, the Wildcats played in the national title game in 2001 and won the whole tournament in 1997. Let’s take a closer look at the Pac-12 Conference and figure out just how good each team will be and separate the contenders from the pretenders. All odds come from Sportsbook.ag
Title odds: +1500
The Arizona Wildcats are the premier team in the Pac-12 and are expected to be one of the top squads in the nation. The school lost three of its top-four leading scorers from last season, but the Wildcats are still expected to improve on last year’s 27 wins simply because head coach Sean Miller recruits so well. Arizona was able to land the highly-touted McDonald’s All-American Aaron Gordon. The six-foot-eight forward is expected to be a sure-fire NBA prospect after his first year of college, and he will be an integral part of the Wildcat’s offense. Arizona is a legitimate Elite Eight and Final Four threat.
Title odds: +4000
The Oregon Ducks are another team that could make some noise during the postseason tournament, and it would not surprise anyone if they made a Sweet 16 or Elite Eight appearance. The Ducks will be a very good team behind the backcourt of Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis. The team could even be a solid pick to win the Pac-12 and will, at minimum, provide a solid challenge for the Wildcats to overcome. Unfortunately, there are no conference winner futures odds on the board at any sportsbook, but once they are released the Ducks might have some value.
Title odds: +7500
Colorado lost last year’s best player—Andre Roberson—to the NBA, but the Buffs are still expected to be a very good team with enough talent to make the NCAA Tournament. The Buffalos will be returning their junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who averaged 15.3 points per game last season. Colorado is not a team that will be big on the national scene this season, and they are a great dark-horse candidate to cover spreads and end up with a great ATS record.
Title odds: +10000
It’s been around five years since the Bruins were truly a contender for an NCAA title. In 2008 the team made the Final Four and was eliminated by the Memphis Tigers. The team will be returning three starters from last season’s 25-win team: Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Travis Wear. Adams averaged 15 points per game last season and will probably take on more of the scoring load this year. The Bruins are not a great team by any means, but they have enough talent to make the NCAA Tournament.
Title odds: +10000
The pressure is on in Stanford as the Cardinal’s head coach is on the hot seat and will probably be fired at the end of the season if he does not lead the team to the postseason tournament—something he has not done during his six-year tenure as head coach. Stanford will not be a Pac-12 contender, but the Cardinal has enough talent to at least make the tournament. The Cardinal will be returning its top-four scorers from last season.
California: +20000; Arizona State: +20000; USC: +30000
California, Arizona State and USC are all receiving longshot title odds of 200/1 to 300/1. All three teams will probably be playing in the NIT tournament at the end of the season. USC has potential and might be building a future contender, but as of this season neither of these teams is expected to do much, and they all might have a mediocre to very bad year.
Oregon State, Washington State, Utah
Title odds: N/A
None of these teams are even receiving championship odds from Sportsbook.ag and are simply lumped into the “field” category. Oregon State will be returning three players that averaged double figures in scoring last season, and they will have a decent core of talent. The team will probably not be good enough to contend for a Pac-12 title or even be invited to the tournament, but this group has potential to cover spreads and take advantage of being an underdog. Utah will have seven new players on its roster, and the Utes are expected to have a difficult season. Washington State won only four Pac-12 games last season, and unfortunately, things are not expected to improve this year.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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