2023 Pac-12 Football Best Bets, Over/Under Predictions and Preview
This is the final season for Pac-12 Football as eight teams have announced that they are officially leaving in the future. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t expecting an INCREDIBLE battle this season. Last year, Utah came out on top, but it will be interesting to see if they can go back-to-back! Come check out our 2023 Pac-12 Guide to find out!
Odds Courtesy of DraftKings
USC Trojans Prediction: Over 10 Wins +100
I see the Trojans going undefeated or only losing one game this season. Their toughest matchups are against Oregon, Notre Dame, and Utah but if they can survive two of those games. They can easily finish 11-1. Their offense is high-flying and they will be returning Caleb Williams. He is arguably the best quarterback in the country and he’s only going to get better after the transfers that they have brought in. He now has more weapons and the ability to put up points quickly.
Obviously, the biggest concern comes on defense. Will they be able to slow down their conference opponents? I believe they will be able to do that this season. Last year, the Utes had their number, but now they get them at home. USC will be HIGHLY motivated in that game, as I see them staying perfect at home this season. In my eyes, they have the most talent, and the best quarterback, which gives them a shot every single week. As long as they can stay healthy, I see USC recording MORE than 10 wins.
You can also grab USC at Over 9.5 wins on FanDuel (-170).
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Arizona State Sun Devils Prediction: Under 5 Wins (-160)
Arizona State had a rough season last year and I don’t see it getting any easier. They’re still undecided on a starting quarterback and their schedule is extremely difficult. First of all, I could see ASU starting the season very slowly. They play Oklahoma State and USC in the first four weeks and their road schedule near the end of the season is going to be very difficult. They will play Washington, Utah, and UCLA on the road, as I see them dropping all three of those games. So, after looking at those tough 5 games, they would have to go almost perfect throughout the rest of the regular season. That just isn’t going to happen, as ASU is still trying to establish what they are doing.
Jaden Rashada is the biggest unknown for the Sun Devils. He is a highly ranked Freshman QB, but he doesn’t have any experience. It will be interesting to see if ASU starts him, or transfer Drew Pyne from Notre Dame. If either of these quarterbacks can grab the reins and take control of this team, they might have a chance to get close to 5 wins. But, I just don’t see that happening. They aren’t ready yet and their schedule is too hard. Take the Sun Devils to record LESS than 5 wins.
Utah Utes Prediction: Over 8.5 Wins
The Utah Utes will be starting this season with the same matchup as last year. This time, they’re just hoping they can defeat the Gators. Utah might not go back-to-back Pac-12 Champs, but I believe they are good enough to record more than 8.5 wins. They will be returning their starting quarterback, Cam Rising, which is a HUGE advantage. He is the heart and soul of that team in my eyes and I believe he will carry his team to 9 or 10 wins. The only three games that worry me on the Utah schedule are USC, Oregon, and Washington. But, they play Oregon at home, which is a massive advantage. So, if they can show up on the road and take down USC or Washington, they’ve got a SERIOUS chance to easily beat this number. The rest of their schedule looks doable, as they will just have to take down Baylor and Florida early in the year. I know that sounds crazy, but these are the reigning Pac-12 Champions we are talking about and they are returning their STUD starting QB.
Utah also showed last season that they have the ability to bounce back. Yes they fell to Florida in week 1, but then they went on a remarkable run. This team is always slept on and I believe it is extremely tough to beat them when they are at home. They will take care of business when they have to and I expect them to pull off at least one BIG upset against Washington or USC. Take the Utah Utes to record more than 8.5 wins.
Pac-12 Champion Prediction: USC +190
The USC Trojans simply have too much talent on their roster this season and I believe they will be good enough defensively to consistently shut down their opponents. I also believe that Lincoln Riley is one of the best head coaches in the country. He consistently brought Oklahoma to Big-12 Championship games and I don’t expect any less now that he is in the Pac-12. I also see the Trojans being highly motivated to DOMINATE the Pac-12 after getting stomped by the Utes in the Conference Championship. That left a bad taste in all of their mouths, as they will be looking to reach their goal this year.
USC also has the top quarterback in the nation, in my opinion. Caleb Williams is an absolute freak and I wouldn’t be surprised if he single handedly carried his team to a Pac-12 Championship this season. He has the ability to make every play and USC also brought in multiple STUD weapons for him on the outside. Dorian Singer is the wideout that I’m keeping an eye on, as the Arizona transfer could end up being one of William’s favorite targets. This team has plenty of talent and people forget that they were one game away from making the CFB Playoff last season. This team has only gotten stronger in my opinion and now they have motivation. They’re going to run through the Pac-12 this season.
The only two games that worry me on the Trojan’s schedule are Notre Dame and Oregon. But, that's only because they are on the road. If they can survive one or both of those games, I see them walking into the Pac-12 Championship. Oregon is going to be their toughest competition, but I still see USC being the better overall team. Pick the Trojans to win the Pac-12 this season.
Pac-12 Sleeper: Washington +320
I love this Washington Huskies team. They have one of the highest flying offenses in the country and people forget that they won 11 games last season. Now, they are bringing back Michael Penix Jr., as he really impressed me with his arm and legs last season. He is an elite QB and has the ability to change the game for his team. Washington also has a deep wide receiver room, as this offense has the chance to be even better this year. But, it’s all going to come down to the arm of Penix. If he is as good as everyone is saying (and what we saw last year), then the Huskies have a serious shot at making a run. I don’t think their schedule is crazy difficult and they showed last year that they could win big games.
The Washington Huskies also showed glimpses of greatness on the defensive side of the ball last season, as well. They held their opponents to the third least amount of yards per game in the Pac-12 and they didn’t lose a ton of guys to the NFL or Portal. I see them making just enough stops to allow their offense to control the majority of these games, which will allow them to stay hot. This is a deep team and I don’t think they should be slept on.
Finally, I only see two games that could really screw up the Huskies season. They play USC and Michigan State on the road, as I believe they have to win at least one of them in order to have a chance. The rest of their schedule is feasible, as I believe they have enough talent to hang with anyone in the Pac-12. Take the Washington Huskies to win the Pac-12 at (+320) with this sleeper.
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