This article is part of our College Football Fantasy Five series.
Summer is here and it's a perfect time to take a look at some college football futures and identify some early value plays before people buy their college football magazines and place their wagers. Last week I examined the Big Ten over/unders (linked below) and now I'll take a look at the PAC-12.
College Football Fantasy Five: Big Ten Over/Under Win Totals Check-In (7/15)
*BEST BET - Wisconsin Over 9.5 Wins
College Football Fantasy Five: Big 12 Over/Under Win Totals Check-In (7/6)
*BEST BET - Iowa State Over 9.5 Wins & Oklahoma Over 11.0 Wins
College Football Fantasy Five: ACC Over/Under Win Totals Check-In (6/28)
*BEST BET - Georgia Tech Under 5.0 Wins
College Football Fantasy Five: Conference Champion Odds Check-In (6/21)
*BEST BET - Arizona State (+450 to win Pac-12)
College Football Fantasy Five: Heisman Odds Check-In (6/14)
*BEST BET - Iowa State's RB Breece Hall (+4000 or 40/1 to win Heisman)
College Football Fantasy Five: Championship Futures Check-In (6/7)
*BEST BET - Georgia (+800 or 8/1 to Win 2022 Championship)
For these win total articles, I'm going to utilize a similar format where I mention my fade (a team too tough to call), my two best under plays and my two favorite over plays. Odds are subject to change over time.
Let's get into the Pac-12 that breaks down as follows with a 12-game schedule:
9.0 - Arizona State
9.0 - Oregon
8.5 - USC
8.5 - Utah
8.5 - Washington
7.0 - UCLA
6.0 - California
6.0 - Washington State
4.5 - Colorado
4.5 - Oregon State
4.0 - Stanford
2.5 - Arizona
FADE ALERT (TOO TOUGH TO CALL)
5.) Oregon State (4.5 Wins)
The Beavers conference schedule is brutal as three of their four home games are against Washington, Utah and Arizona State. That means they need to win multiple road games to hit their over and that's a hard task with full stadiums in 2021. It's also hard to bank the under for this team because Oregon State returns 19 starters and it could be one of their more talented teams, although they did say goodbye to their best player in running back Jermar Jefferson. For me, this is too tough to call and not worth wagering on.
BEST UNDER PLAYS
4.) Colorado (4.5 Wins)
The PAC-12 is fairly balanced in 2021 and that's why I think it will be a down year for Colorado as Karl Dorrell continues to make adjustments in only his second year as coach. The Buffaloes have a couple of competitive non-conference games against Texas A&M and Minnesota that they likely won't win. When projecting their 12-game schedule, the only wins I feel good about are Northern Colorado, Arizona and maybe Oregon State. They would need some surprising upsets of other Pac-12 contenders to get to their over and if that does happen, Dorrell was the right man for the job. RB Jarek Broussard should be one of the most productive backs in the country though!
3.) Oregon (9.0 Wins)
For the Ducks to hit this over, they're going to have to earn it with road games at Ohio State, at Stanford, at UCLA, at Washington and at Utah. Those will all be tough games for the Ducks and they would need to win at least three of them assuming they go 7-0 at home. That just seems like a daunting task for any college football team, regardless of their talent level. Don't get me wrong, Oregon has one of the best rosters in the conference and RB CJ Verdell is one of my favorite sleeper fantasy plays, but this an easy under play for me.
BEST OVER PLAYS
2.) USC (8.5 Wins)
Would have really liked to see Arizona State get to 8.5 wins on the over/under line as I really like the Sun Devils this year, but this article is about value. Moreover, Vegas knows what they are talking about, so I would rather pick ASU to win the division. The Trojans should be Arizona State's top competition in the South with QB Kedon Slovis, who could be one of the best in the country with all the offensive talent around him. WR Drake London is the real deal and RB Keaontay Ingram should have an immediate impact as a transfer out of Texas. Moreover, USC doesn't have to play Oregon or Washington out of the North which helps the probability of this over.
1.) Washington (8.5 Wins) *Best Bet
With only four games played in 2020 (3-1 record), some may have forgotten about how good Washington is at Husky Stadium where they get to play their toughest opponents in Oregon and Arizona State in early November. With a full crowd of just over 70,000 extremely loud fans, they could win both of those games which means that this over will be in good shape as they don't even have to play Utah or USC out of the South Division. They should clean up against the rest of the division and have Montana/Arkansas State at home in non-division. It's also possible they win at Michigan on Sept. 11. The Huskies are an underrated Power Five team with 18 returning starters and an identity of hard-nosed football led by their strong defense. All signs point to a dependable over for this team in the North Division.