PAC-12 2023 Analysis & Betting Preview

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Quarterback Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes plays in their spring game at Folsom Field on April 22, 2023. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAF Pick: Colorado Under 3.5 Wins (-135) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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The Pac-12 will give fans one more season with the current universities and teams. Let’s enjoy the rivalries and traditions one last time. Here’s the Pac-12 preview with our top NCAAF pick for the teams in this conference.  

Key Facts 

  • Colorado allowed 44.5 points per game last season. 
  • Sanders addressed the offense, but the Buffaloes’ defense didn’t get the same treatment. 
  • The Buffaloes play TCU and Nebraska in the non-conference slate. They don’t have many “easy” wins in the league this year. 

You Won’t See This Alignment Ever Again!

The Pac-12 is in shambles. Only four teams are currently in the conference for next year, and those four teams are trying to find ways out of the Pac-12 too. College football, as we knew it, is gone. Tradition is ruined. Rivalries are worthless.  

But we still have one more season of the “normal” Pac-12. So let’s enjoy it!

There’s a lot of great quarterback play in the Pac-12. Caleb Williams won the Heisman last year and is returning for another year with the Trojans. Meanwhile, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. will return along with Oregon’s Bo Nix.  

The Pac-12 is stacked with offense.  

Which team will win the league?


Most football fans are excited to watch Caleb Williams at USC for another season. Under Lincoln Riley, the Trojans are a college football contender this season.  

The offense won’t be a problem under Williams. But the defense had some abysmal moments. Alex Grinch’s defense did poorly, but Riley elected to keep Grinch around after last year’s season. 

USC went after the transfer portal hard, adding Bear Alexander from Georgia, Anthony Lucas from Texas A&M, Mason Cobb from Oklahoma State, and Christian Roland-Walace from Arizona.  

The talent on the defensive end is much better this year. The defense should improve, and the offense should be extraordinary with Williams at quarterback.


Michael Penix left Indina for Washington. Some critics didn’t understand the move. But after last season, it all made sense.  

The Huskies averaged nearly 40 points per game and will have Penix return, along with his receivers, Rome Odunze, and Jalen McMillian.  

The offensive line has three new starters, so that’s an area of concern. But Penix is a dual-threat quarterback that can escape pressure if needed.  

Meanwhile, Washington wasn’t great against the pass defensively. They’ve added transfers to help that, including Jabbar Muhammed from Oklahoma State.   


The Utah Utes usually need to be more appreciated. They’ve won the Pac-12 for two straight years and will get Cameron Rising back at quarterback after he tore his ACL in the Rose Bowl.  

Utah will also return Ja’Quinden Jackson, who added over 500 rushing yards last year.  

Meanwhile, the defense should be one of the best in the Pac-12, as they’ve been in other previous seasons. The non-conference slate against Florida and Baylor should also help them prepare for the Pac-12 conference play later in the season. 


The Ducks got great news when Bo Nix announced he’d return for a final year. Nix and the offense averaged nearly 39 points per game in Dan Lanning’s first year as head coach for the Ducks.  

The offensive line has a lot of new faces. That could take time to develop. But the defense will add seven starters back.

Oregon is a Pac-12 contender this year.

The Other Potential Contending Teams

Oregon State

Oregon State won ten games last year. They can’t be slept on. They’ll have D.J. Uiagalelei at quarterback, which is a bit concerning. He couldn’t figure it out in Clemson, so why would he do so at Oregon State?  

Uiagalelei has a lot of potential and was highly regarded in high school. They’ll have Damien Martinez at running back, and with Oregon State’s defense allowing just 20 points per game last season in Pac-12 play, the Beavers don’t need to light up the scoreboard. They just need to score at least three touchdowns a game.


UCLA no longer has Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback. It’s a new era for the Bruins. They’re going to rock with a true freshman in Dante Moore at quarterback. I’d be concerned there.  

Bottom Feeders

Washington State, Arizona, California, Arizona State, Colorado, and Stanford will likely be at the bottom of the Pac-12 this year.  

The Pick

Everyone will rave about a team like Colorado with Deion Sanders taking over the program. The team added a ton of talent in the transfer portal, and he even added some talent from his former team outside of the FBS level. 

But that team hasn’t played with one another and will likely take a lot of time to develop as a team.  

Let’s fade Colorado. Take the Under 3.5 Wins for Colorado. Don’t ride the hype.  

NCAAF Pick: Colorado Under 3.5 Wins (-135) at BetOnline

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Colorado Under 3.5 Wins (-135)
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