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USC installed as an early Pac-12 betting favorite

Erik McKinney05/09/22
Article written by:Erik McKinneyErik McKinney


(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The USC Trojans have been installed as the early betting favorite in the Pac-12 title race by BetOnline.

Odds for the Conference Futures were released on Monday. USC leads the Pac-12 at 2/1.

It’s an eye-opening number considering USC is coming off a 4-8 season. The Trojans set various records for points allowed and lost their final four games of the season. It’s also important to remember that betting odds aren’t necessarily a prediction of the on-field favorite.

But new head coach Lincoln Riley and his assistant said repeatedly this spring that they don’t view this as a longterm turnaround project. They’re at USC to win now. Clearly, that belief exists somewhat outside of that USC locker room.

USC will look very different this season compared to last. There are new offensive and defensive coordinators and there will be new starters all over the depth chart.

Quarterback Caleb Williams was the biggest recruiting win out of the transfer portal across the entire college football landscape this offseason. He was joined this spring by 12 other transfers who made their way to USC from various programs.

That group has grown by two already post-spring ball, with the additions of former Ohio State safety Bryson Shaw and Arizona State linebacker Eric Gentry.

Pac-12 Betting Numbers

Here’s a look at the complete Pac-12 odds, according to BetOnline.

USC – 2/1

Oregon – 11/5

Utah – 5/1

Arizona State – 17/2

UCLA – 17/2

Washington – 11/1

Washington State – 33/1

Oregon State – 40/1

California – 66/1

Stanford – 80/1

Colorado – 200/1

Arizona – 500/1

Utah is the reigning conference champion and brings back enough firepower on both sides of the ball to believe the Utes will be a strong contender again this season. Oregon is replacing a coaching staff but has recruited well enough to contend in the first year under Dan Lanning.

Arizona State is maybe even more eyebrow-raising at the fourth-best odds than USC with the best. The Sun Devils have been hit hard by transfer portal attrition this offseason as an NCAA probe continues to look at alleged recruiting infractions.

It’s difficult to see Arizona climbing all the way to the top of the Pac-12 standings after going 1-11 last year. But having the Wildcats that far clear at the bottom of the pile seems out of line with the positive trajectory head coach Jedd Fisch has established.

The Pac-12 is the most wide-open Power 5 conference at this point according to the futures odds. Clemson (2/3 – ACC), Ohio State (1/2 – Big Ten), Oklahoma (7/4 – Big 12), Alabama (1/1 – SEC) and Georgia (5/4 – SEC) all had better odds to win their conferences.

USC’s 2022 Conference Schedule

USC has a relatively soft Pac-12 start to the Riley era. The Trojans miss Oregon and Washington this season. Both programs are among the top-6 betting favorites here. Of those top-6 programs, USC plays Arizona State at home and doesn’t travel to Utah until the seventh game of the season. UCLA is technically an away game. But if USC is playing as well as Riley and Trojan fans hope by the end of the season, that trip to Pasadena has a way of turning into a home game.