• A year after exceeding expectations, the Oregon State Beavers have a good shot of doing so once again, making the over on their 6.5-win total a good bet.
• While they will likely struggle in 2022, betting the over on the Arizona Wildcats‘ 2..5-win total is wise due to improvements at quarterback and receiver.
The 2022 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27, as Week 0 is headlined by the Northwestern Wildcats and Nebraska Cornhuskers squaring off in Dublin, Ireland. Most of the value has been lost on preseason bets in college football, but that’s not to say there aren’t some winners available on the market.
Let’s look at the best last-minute preseason bets in the Pac-12.
The Pac-12 could bring chaos to the collegiate landscape this fall, as the new-look USC Trojans and sturdy Utah Utes have their eyes set on a surprise College Football Playoff berth while Oregon with a new head coach and quarterback is still lurking behind them hoping to play spoiler.
- BetMGM Sportsbook has USC, Utah and Oregon with implied Pac-12 Championship win probabilities all between 19% and 26%.
- PFF only has one team with over a 14% chance of winning the Pac-12 title.
- The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC all have a better chance of sending a team to the College Football Playoff than the Pac-12, according to PFF’s simulation.
Here is a look at the PFF projected win total for every Pac-12 program compared to their win total posted on BetMGM Sportsbook. The further away from the black line, the more PFF disagrees with the posted win total.
All of these win totals listed on BetMGM Sportsbook are juiced in either direction. Here is where which listed win total is leaning:
|Team||PFF Win Total||BetMGM Win Total||BetMGM Juice|
|Arizona State||6.7||6||UNDER -125|
|Oregon State||7.2||6.5||UNDER -125|
|Washington State||6.5||5.5||UNDER -125|
Arizona Wildcats OVER 2.5 wins (-165)
Arizona still has a large uphill climb to get back to relevancy, but Year 2 of the Jedd Fisch era ought to be a lot better than the first go around in 2021 that ended in a 1-11 record.
- Arizona ranked 110th in passing efficiency a year ago but should greatly improve on that mark thanks to new additions on offense.
- Arizona grabbed Jayden de Laura out of the portal from Washington State to be their new quarterback. Over the last couple of years, de Laura ranks third in the Pac-12 in passing grade.
- The Wildcats also plucked wide receiver Jacob Cowing out of UTEP from the portal. Cowing posted an elite PFF grade above 90.0 for the Miners in 2021 and was the third-most valuable wide receiver in the country for the season, according to PFF WAA.
Oregon State Beavers OVER 6.5 wins (+105)
Oregon State smashed expectations last year, as the market expected the Beavers to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12 with a 4.5 win total, but they came away with seven victories and a bowl berth. This year, the market might be underrating the Beavers again.
- The offensive line was a top-five graded unit in the Power Five in 2021, and it has a shot at doing so again in 2022. The group returns four key contributors from last year that helped the Beavers to the 12th-most efficient rushing offense in the country.
- Oregon State returns the highest-graded passer in the Pac-12 from a season ago in Chance Nolan.
- Nolan and the elite offensive line played a major part in Oregon State ranking fifth among Power Five teams in success rate last year. With Nolan and most of the line returning, Oregon State should remain, at least, above average in both facets.
Washington Huskies UNDER 7.5 wins (+105)
Washington has a wide range of outcomes due to durability concerns and a gutted corner room.
- The Huskies upgraded at quarterback this offseason with Indiana transfer Michael Penix Jr. The former Hoosier impressed when starting in 2019 and 2020 despite enduring one of the worst offensive lines in the country. Among 76 Power Five quarterbacks in that span, Penix ranked fourth in big-time throw rate (8.3%), 22nd in turnover-worthy play rate (2.8%) and 15th in passing grade (85.4). At the same time, he is on a run of four straight season-ending injuries.
- Washington needs both edge defender Zion Tupuola-Fetui and off-ball linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio to remain healthy as well, as both players are top-10 at their respective positions nationally when healthy but have been plagued by injuries. Ulofoshio is already guaranteed to be out for the first half of the season due to injury.
- Washington was stout against the pass in 2021, ranking second nationally in EPA per pass allowed. The Huskies, however, lost all three starting cornerbacks that helped them become elite in the first place.