Pac-12 Conference Odds Report: Oregon Remains On Top…. For Now
By: Brent Booher
After cracking the top-5 of the AP/Coaches poll to start 2020, the Ducks have slowly begun to fall back to reality, losing three games in the conference including an ugly road loss to Washington
State in mid-January.
However, in the very muddled Pac-12, No. 14 Oregon (18-5, 7-3 Pac-12) remains the shortest favorite to win the conference (Pac-12 Odds +150) and is the highest ranked team in the conference entering this week’s play.
The Ducks are paced by a bevy of three-point shooters, most notably Payton Pritchard (19.6 ppg, 40% 3 PM) and Chris Duarte (14.3 ppg, 37.3% 3 PM), but grad-transfer Anthony Mathis (41.8% 3 PM) and Will Richardson (44.4% 3 PM) have also been a pain for teams to defend.
When the Ducks catch fire from deep, they are capable of beating any team in the country, however, when their outside shooting is off, they become a much different team. And if college basketball has taught us anything it’s that 3-point reliant teams are very risky teams to back in March.
With that said, the Ducks still look to be the class of a very hard to figure out Pac-12.
This week Puddles and the gang looks to bounce back from a disappointing 70-60 road loss at Stanford when they travel to face their bitter in-state rival Oregon State on Saturday (Feb. 8).
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Can the Buffs Stampede Towards a Pac-12 Crown?
The 24th ranked Colorado Buffaloes (17-5, 6-3 Pac-12) have quietly been one of the better teams out west this season.
Paced by their strong guard tandem of McKinley Wright IV and Tyler Bey, the Buffs have an impressive resume with wins over Dayton, Oregon and most recently a 78-57 road win over USC.
However, like the rest of the conference, they’ve been a hard nut to crack at times with a bad home loss at the hands of Oregon State and a blowout loss at the hands of Arizona.
Outside of those blemishes though, the Buffs remain a dangerous team to catch Oregon and win their first-ever Pac-12 regular-season conference championship (Pac-12 Odds +400).
The Buffs will be happy to return back to Boulder this week for some home cooking, as they host Cal (Feb. 6) and Stanford (Feb. 8).
Will Sean Miller’s Wildcats Rally to Reclaim the Pac-12 Throne?
The 2018-19 season could not have gone much worse than it did for Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats.
Thanks to an offseason mired by controversy with the infamous Adidas scandal, Arizona’s recruiting class was dealt a massive blow and as such, Arizona missed the NCAA Tournament and had a generally miserable season all in all.
That controversy has since diminished though, and No. 23 Arizona (15-6, 5-3 Pac-12) is poised to return to the tournament this season thanks to a strong start to the season – with three of their six losses coming at the hands of Baylor, Gonzaga and conference foe Oregon.
Because Arizona has a lot of talent, oddsmakers still consider them to be a very real threat to capture the Pac-12 title, listing them at +225 to do just that.
This week the Wildcats will look to move up the Pac-12 standings with a pair of home games, when they face USC (Feb. 6) and UCLA (Feb. 8).
Handicapping the Rest of the Pac-12 Odds
Beyond Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona there are only really three teams that figure to still be in the race to claim the Pac-12 championship.
USC (17-5, 6-3 Pac-12) enters this week tied with Colorado in the standings, but just received a 78-57 beat down on their home floor at the hands of that same Buffs team, and has a schedule largely devoid of any standout wins. Oddsmakers also aren’t strong believers in the men of Troy, as they are listed with Pac-12 Odds +2100 to win the conference.
Stanford (16-5, 5-3 Pac-12) has been a program that has been down for several years but have had a surprisingly solid start to their season as they enter the month of February.
Following a strong 4-0 start to their conference slate, the Cardinal suffered three straight losses – including bad losses to Cal and Oregon State.
They did bounce back this past Saturday with an impressive 70-60 win over Oregon at home, but the rest of their schedule is daunting with four games remaining against the Pac-12’s power trio left. Despite this, oddsmakers believe a little more in Stanford than they do USC, as the Cardinal are listed with Pac-12 Odds at +1300.
Outside of this, there does not appear to be any other real contender to unseat Oregon, Colorado or Arizona at the top – as the rest of the conference is paltry at best.