The Pac-12 is filled with experienced players and rising talents that make for a promising 2021 college football season. Although the conference may not feature playoff contenders or teams that can match up with the top guns of college football, the league presents an open race in both divisions. More than that, the Pac-12 features several favorites and sleeper teams that give the conference a unique sense of excitement that brings more thrill to your betting options.
As it stands, Oregon gets the edge over Washington as top favorites to win the North Division, while California trails behind. It’s a close match between Stanford, Oregon, and Washington to finish in the North. Meanwhile, Arizona State takes point in the South as the favorite, with USC and Utah right behind, and UCLA makes its way to the contender picture, followed by Colorado and Arizona.
All in all, the Pac-12 remains a competitive conference that presents good value picks. This NitroBetting preview covers all essential information. We take a look at the favorites, sleeper, and longshot picks of the Pac-12 with detailed predictions that help you lock in on the best picks. Don’t forget to check outh the latest 2021 College Football odds at out online Bitcoin sportsbook.
2021 PAC-12 College Football Preview
- When: Saturday, August 28th, 2021
- TV: ESPN, FOX Sports, Pac-12 Network
- Radio: SiriusXM ACC Radio
- Live Stream: Pac-12 Network, ESPN+
2021 PAC-12 Football Favorites
Coach Mario Cristobal is the brains behind Oregon’s back-to-back Pac-12 titles, and now suits up to complete the trifecta. The team boasts versatility that can easily adjust according to the situation. With Joe Moorhead coordinating the offense, the Ducks get one of the best play-callers in college football, which rounds out Oregon’s quarterback situation. At running back we find the strong tandem of DJ Verdell and Travis Dye with all five starters returning upfront.
On the defensive side of things, we find another experienced play-caller, Tim DeRuyter. He was a recent hire in the offseason and proved his worth to the team right away. Despite getting crippled by opt-outs at the start of 2020, seven starters return for the 2021 season and DeRuyter’s expertise should arm the team with one of the best defensive units in the Pac-12. End Kayvon Thibodeaux is a first-team All-American, and he works alongside linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell.
The Huskies remain hopeful with new coach Jimmy Lake leading the charge this year as head coach. Following a Pac-12 North title last year, Washington records one of the league’s improved defenses. However, the offense does not hold up as well. Left tackle Jaxson Kirkland will try to lead the offensive line, with Richard Newton and Sean McGrew at running back.
Dylan Morris at quarterback looks good after the 2020 season, while tight end Cade Otton rounds out the offense. But, defense is where Washington shines. The team has not finished lower than third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense. The comeback of linebackers Edefuan Ulofoshio, Ryan Bowman, and Trent McDuffie guarantees a strong group, while new play-caller Bob Gregory provides a fresh start to the trio.
2021 PAC-12 Football Sleepers
It’s a narrow race between Utah, Arizona State, and USC. If quarterback Charlie Brewer provides more consistent numbers, Utah can end up with the conference title at the end of the season. The Baylor transfer adds stability in the quarterback position. Although the Utes may not have a solid running back, there’s a good selection of names, including several transfers. Tight end Brand Kuithe is an overlooked player, and receiver Britain Covey is an excellent all-rounder. The offensive line should bring a major threat to the conference.
On the other hand, Utah made sure that its defense works just as well despite losing several key players. The team was able to hold teams to 26 points a game and 5.5 yards per play. Now that eight starters return to the rosters, including linebacker Devin Lloyd and defensive linesmen that tops the Pac-12, Utah is anticipated to take a huge leap on the stat sheet and produce surprising results.
Coach David Shaw and company did well to get back to double-digit wins this season, and with this trend, there’s a chance that we might see Stanford put pressure on the favorites. The Cardinal needs to address their quarterback issues, but running back Austin Jones gives the team some relief following his incredible 550-yard season last year.
Furthermore, three starters give the offensive line additional muscle. For the time being, Stanford has to work with several defensive issues. But, defensive end Thomas Booker and tackle Dalyn Wade should hold up well. With Ricky Miezan back in the picture, the linebacker unit should improve this season.
2021 PAC-12 Football Longshot
New coach Jedd Fisch is up for the task of rebuilding Arizona, which has not won a game since 2019. The 45-year-old coach immediately looked at the transfer portal to get much-needed help, and his credentials on offense should help Arizona get back on its feet. After averaging 17.4 points per game in 2020, Fisch should provide improvement to the numbers once two quarterback options join in.
They have talent at the receiver and three starters upfront, which should gel well with the backfield. Meanwhile, former Michigan coordinator Don Brown gets to work his magic at the defense. The veteran assistant should introduce new elements to this group, additional talent up front, and improvements in the secondary that makes Arizona a great longshot pick.
Expert’s Prediction for 2021 PAC-12 Football
Ultimately, the 2021 Pac-12 football season bestows a plethora of options for all types of bettors. If you want safe and sound bets, favorites like Oregon, USC, and UCLA provide a clearer path to wins. However, do not underestimate the value sleepers bring in. With multiple improvements made by mid-tier teams such as Utah, Stanford, and Washington, we should be in for surprising results and upset wins. That being said, there’s no shortage of action and winning chances in the upcoming 2021 Pac-12 football season.