The Pac-12 made big news in college football last month, when it announced a change to its format for deciding who reaches the league title game. Instead of automatically pitting its two division winners against each other, the conference will instead send the two teams with the highest league winning percentage to the Pac-12 title game.
It’s a significant move that was made quickly after a NCAA Division I Council vote to allow leagues to decide their own criteria for who plays in conference title games. If the rule had been in place last season, it would still have been Utah playing Oregon in the title game. But if it had been in place during the 2018 season, for example, Washington and Washington State would have met in the Pac-12 Championship Game just a week after the in-state rivals from the North Division met to close the regular season in the Apple Cup.
The change adds a layer of intrigue to the Pac-12 title race entering the 2022 season. The title favorites, per odds from Caesars Sportsbook, are Utah and USC, who are both from the South. Two teams with the longest odds to win the league are also from the South, which suggests it’s shaping up as a top-heavy division.
On the other hand, the Pac-12 North teams are mostly lumped together in the middle of the league’s odds sheet, which means there’s a chance the division could cannibalize itself into missing out on a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Between the new rule and the influx of new coaches at some of the league’s top programs, the Pac-12 figures to feel a little fresher in 2022.
As the season draws closer, what are the best wagers to make in the Pac-12? Here’s a look at the odds from Caesars Sportsbook along with a few recommendations to contemplate.
Best bet — UCLA…