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2022 Pac-12 Title Odds, Predictions and Conference Preview – Can USC Return to Dominance?

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Football

Aug 11, 2022 · 5:27 PM PDT

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams throws the ball in spring game
Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws the ball during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • USC is a +220 favorite to win the Pac-12 this season
  • Utah claimed the title in 2021, capturing the program’s first-ever conference crown
  • Read below for complete odds, plus analysis and bets to target to win the Pac-12 in 2022

While Oregon, Stanford and Washington have all won multiple Pac-12 titles since 2009, USC has only worn the conference crown once (2017) during that timeframe. But with former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley’s move from Norman to Los Angeles — and the seismic shift his departure created in the sport — expectations are sky-high in Troy.

Of course, Utah finally broke through last season to win its first Pac-12 championship and had Ohio State on the ropes in the Rose Bowl Game, but fell just short of victory. The Utes will be hungry to prove 2021 was not a fluke. Meantime, UO also welcomes a new coach as the shadow of the LA schools’ eventual move to the Big Ten lingers. Yes, the 2022 campaign should be very interesting out west.

2022 Pac-12 Championship Odds

Team Odds
USC +220
Utah +240
Oregon +280
UCLA +900
Washington +1400
Oregon State +2500
Arizona State +2800
Washington State +4500
Cal +6000
Stanford +9000
Colorado +25000
Arizona +25000

Odds as of August 10th at DraftKings Sportsbook.

 

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USC is a slight favorite in the college football conference title odds over defending champion Utah. Meantime, the Trojans and Ducks are among the top-10 picks the National Championship odds.

Is USC Ready for a Revival?

Riley took the Sooners to three straight College Football Playoffs between 2017-19 and his arrival in Southern California stunned college football. Now, all the 38-year-old has to do is rebuild a team that went 4-8 last season. That started immediately by bringing quarterback Caleb Williams — a top contender in the Heisman Trophy odds — with him from OU.

The true sophomore signal caller earned Freshman All-America honors last season and has plenty of weapons  at his disposal. Fellow former Sooner Mario Williams was OU’s second-leading pass catcher in 2021 and has natural chemistry with the quarterback. Then, there’s Jordan Addison, who won the Biletnikoff Award last year as college football’s best wideout.

The elite transfers don’t stop there. In the backfield, there’s former Duck Travis Dye (fifth on Oregon’s career rushing list) and Stanford’s Austin Jones (4.2 yards per carry in 2021). The group is impressive — and also leaves some of the USC’s top rivals without key personnel.

Alex Grinch heads up a group that that allowed 31.8 points per game last season. Junior defensive linemanTuli Tuipulotu was first-team All-Pac-12 last year, leading the team in sacks and forced fumbles. Meantime, the secondary has a big building block in Calen Bullock, another Freshman All-American in 2021.

How all these new pieces jell in Year 1 of the Riley Era will be one of the more compelling storylines of the college football season.

Utes Have Something to Prove

While Utah may not be the sexy pick to go back-to-back, Kyle Whittingham’s program is one of only 21 in the country to return its head coach, both coordinators and starting quarterback. That continuity could prove to be huge in a conference with major changes in LA and Eugene.

Quarterback Cam Rising — who was forced to leave the epic battle between the Utes and Buckeyes in Pasadena on New Year’s Day in the fourth quarter with an injury —  is back after throwing for 2,493 yards and 20 touchdowns against just five interceptions while completing 63.8 percent of his passes last season.

Tavion Thomas — a 1,000-yard rusher in 2021 — also returns, as do four of Utah’s top five receivers. That’s not including tight end Dalton Kincaid, who snatched a team-high eight touchdowns last season.

On defense — according to veteran college football analyst Phil Steele — Utah’s weakest-rated group is its d-line, which still checks in at 17th in the country. In other words, the Utes appear to primed to prove the doubters wrong.

Contender Bruin in Westwood

Oregon could very well be in the conference title game for a fourth straight season in 2022, but it’s the program led by UO’s former coach that should have your attention. With Dorian Thompson-Robinson back for a fifth year and Zach Charbonnet coming off a season that saw him rush for 1,137 yards and 13-touchdowns, UCLA’s offense seems ready for an encore performance that saw this group become the highest-scoring unit in the league last season.

Longtime NFL assistant Bill McGovern has been tasked by Chip Kelly (who returns for Year 5 with a new contract extension) to shore up a defense that had issues in 2021. But with a front seven that features a deep list of contributors, the Bruins are primed to build on an 8-4 season in a conference in flux.

With the LA schools loaded with talent, defending champion Utah is the pick for me. If the Utes can beat Florida in the opener, look for Coach Whit’s squad to repeat.

Pick: Utah Utes (+240)

 

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