- Sportsbooks list the Oregon Ducks as the +275 favorites to win the 2020 Pac-12 men’s basketball title
- The Arizona Wildcats (+350) have the second-best odds
- Defending champion Washington (+400) is third in sportsbooks’ Pac-12 futures
It’s never a wise idea to count out the Oregon Ducks. That may explain why sportsbooks are counting them in.
The sportsbook has established the Ducks, who went 25-13 and reached the Sweet 16 of March Madness a year ago, as the +275 chalk to win the 2020 regular-season Pac-12 basketball title.
Pac-12 Regular-Season Basketball Odds
*Odds taken on 09/11/19.
The Arizona Wildcats are the second choice in the Pac-12 futures at +350. They’re followed by the defending champion Washington Huskies (+400).
Oregon Just Ducky
The Ducks have won at least 21 games in each of the nine seasons that Dana Altman has been head coach.
Last season, they advanced through two rounds at the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual champion Virginia.
In 2017, the Ducks reached the Final Four, where they were ousted by the eventual champs from North Carolina. They lost to Oklahoma in the 2016 Elite Eight. They’ve both reached and won at least one game at March Madness in six of the past seven seasons.
What we’re saying is that, generally, it takes a great team to put an end to Oregon’s season.
But Oregon lost three key pieces in Louis King, Kenny Wooten, and Bol Bol this offseason.
Oregon had just 3 scholarship returners after the NBA draft and transfer departures. The Ducks will now be a favorite to win the Pac-12 Conference title and a darkhorse Final Four pick. pic.twitter.com/THB7Jo19QL
— Andrew Nemec (@AndrewNemec) August 18, 2019
Guard Payton Pritchard is back for his senior season after enjoying a sensational NCAA Tournament. Five-star freshman small forward C.J. Walker and UNLV grad-transfer forward Shakur Juiston, who averaged 10.8 points per game, and 8.8 rebounds per game for the Runnin’ Rebels last season, figure to help fill the void.
It might take Altman some time to piece it all together, but count on Oregon being right there when it counts the most. The Ducks are given the best chance (+2500) of any Pac-12 team in the 2020 NCAA Championship odds.
Will Arizona Wildcats Strike?
The Wildcats aren’t used to what happened to them during the 2018-19 NCAA basketball season. After gaining at minimum a share of the Pac-12 title in four of the previous five campaigns, Arizona went 17-15 as scandal and controversy continued to swirl around head coach Sean Miller.
That was the worst record posted by the Wildcats since a 16-15 season in 2009-10, Miller’s first as coach.
Arizona commit Nico Mannion with the HUGE throwdown ? pic.twitter.com/ARlcj6zfO6
— ESPN (@espn) December 9, 2018
To rectify the problem, Miller went out and brought in the best recruiting class of any Pac-12 school. Nick Mannion and 6-foot-6 Australian shooting guard Josh Green were both considered top-10 recruits. Mannion, a dynamic point guard, is already being touted as a high pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
As well, the Wildcats also added guard Max Hazzard from UC Irvine as a grad transfer. Hazzard led the Anteaters to last season’s NCAA Tournament upset of Kansas State.
The only drawback for Arizona is the loss of sophomore guard Brandon Williams for the season to a knee injury. He averaged 11.4 points and 3.4 assists per game during his freshman year.
Don’t Get Buffaloed
No Pac-12 team played better in the second half of the 2018-19 season than the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs went 12-4 over their final 16 games, reaching the semi-finals of the Pac-12 Tournament and the quarterfinals of the NIT, falling to the ultimate champions from Texas.
Colorado hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 1955. That could change this season. The Buffaloes return seven of last season’s top eight scorers, including guard Tyler Bey, who led the team in scoring (13.6 ppg) and rebounds (9.9. rpg).
If Oregon and Arizona are slow to find cohesion, the Pac-12 is Colorado’s to win.
Pick: Colorado Buffaloes (+1200)
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