Home » Blog » Conference Play Tips Off In Pac-12

Conference Play Tips Off In Pac-12

Nick Johnson and the No. 1 ranked Arizona Wildcats begin Pac-12 play on Thursday.

Nick Johnson and the No. 1 ranked Arizona Wildcats begin Pac-12 play on Thursday.

The preliminaries are over. The cupcake games are a thing of the past. The end-of-year festivities have been wrapped up for another year. All that’s left now is for the Pac-12 elite to take care of business in conference.

Pac-12 league plays tips off Thursday with a five-game slate which will see all three of the conference’s ranked sides in action.

Currently top of the AP rankings and College Basketball futures, No. 1 Arizona (13-0, 0-0 Pac-12) will begin its campaign hosting Washington State (7-5, 0-0 Pac-12) at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.

The Wildcats are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Pac-12 standings thanks to an undefeated start to the season. With road wins over San Diego State, Duke, and Michigan already this season, Sean Miller’s side has been worth its high billing.

The Cougars meanwhile enter the game at the bottom of the conference having compiled five out-of-conference losses. Four of those losses however came before December 2 and Ken Bone’s side has gone on to win four of its last five.

The Wildcats are a heavy favorite entering the game, with the spread opening at 20.

Historically speaking, Arizona has won 55 of the last 69 meetings between the sides, including the last six. You have to go back to February 2010 for a Cougars victory.

Washington State Cougars vs. Arizona Wildcats odds for 01/02/2014

With 12 wins, No. 10 Oregon (12-0, 0-0 Pac-12) is hot on the heels of the Wildcats, at least for now. The Ducks will begin their Pac-12 campaign with a trip to Salt Lake City to face Utah (11-1, 0-0 Pac-12), another of the conference’s early-season success stories.

After last year’s conference championship, Oregon will be looking for more success this year, but with a changing roster, and with Arizona’s talent level, this could be problematic for Dana Altman’s side. The Ducks have yet to face an AP-ranked side but have beaten some good schools over the last two months.

When the preseason College Basketball futures were released, Utah was expected to finish 10th in the conference. An 11-1 start suggests there might be more to this Utes team than was first expected, but a light schedule gives little to go on. A win over the Ducks would make a firm statement though.

Oregon is a slim road favorite with the spread opening at 4.

Oregon Ducks vs. Utah Utes odds for 01/02/2014

The conference’s third ranked side, No. 20 Colorado (11-2, 0-0 Pac-12) will begin Pac-12 play at home against Oregon State (8-4, 0-0 Pac-12).

The Buffaloes picked up a huge win over Kansas back on December 7, propelling the side into the AP Top 25. Both of the school’s losses this season have come against ranked opposition, including a December 21 loss to Oklahoma State.

The Beavers make the journey to Boulder looking to exact some revenge after being dumped out of last year’s Pac-12 tournament by the Buffaloes in the first round.

This season, Craig Robinson’s side has stumbled out of the blocks. An opening-day loss to Coppin State sits on the docket alongside defeats at the hands of DePaul, Akron, and Hawaii, the latter coming in Honolulu on Christmas Day.

Predicted to finish ninth in the conference, the Beavers will be the underdog Thursday. The spread opened at 13 in favor of Colorado.

Oregon State Beavers vs. Colorado Buffaloes odds for 01/02/2014

Ranked fifth and sixth in the conference each with 150/1 odds of winning a national title, there was little to separate Stanford (9-3, 0-0 Pac-12) and California (9-4, 0-0 Pac-12) ahead of the season. With just one loss separating the schools heading into 2014, there’s still little to separate the two.

We should get some idea of which team is better Thursday as the two meet at Maples Pavilion in Stanford.

The Cardinal was victorious in both meetings between the sides a year ago and has lost just once at home this season. The Golden Bears are 1-4 away from Berkley this season, including 0-2 in true road games. Improving that record looks like a tough task, not least because the Bears haven’t won at Maples Pavilion since March 2010.

Stanford opens as the favorite with the spread at 7.5.

California Golden Bears vs. Stanford Cardinal odds for 01/02/2014

Thursday’s remaining Pac-12 games sees Washington (8-5, 0-0 Pac-12) travel to Tempe, Ariz., to take on Arizona State (11-2, 0-0 Pac-12).

The Sun Devils have started the season the strong, with the high-point being a win over then-No. 25 Marquette back in November. Losses to Miami and Creighton suggest that Herb Sendek’s side still has some ways to go, but a mid-place finish in the conference seems more than achievable.

At 8-5, the Huskies are towards the foot of the conference standings heading into league play, but a closer inspection of those five losses suggests that this team has been better than its record suggests. Losses to Indiana and Boston College came in the pressure-cooker that is Madison Square Garden. Connecticut and San Diego State were both ranked opponents. That leaves just one ‘bad’ loss, a defeat at the hands of UC Irvine in the second game of the year. While nobody’s saying Washington is a contender, the side should expect a mid-table finish this year.

The Sun Devils are favored in Thursday’s conference-opener. The spread opened at 12.5.

Washington Huskies vs. Arizona State Sun Devils odds for 01/02/2014

UCLA (11-2, 0-0 Pac-12) and USC (9-4, 0-0 Pac-12) will start their respective Pac-12 campaigns with a showdown at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday (3:00 p.m. ET).

Thursday’s Pac-12 Schedule

All times pm E.T.

8:00 Washington at Arizona State

8:00 No. 10 Oregon at Utah

9:00 California at Stanford

10:00 Washington State at No. 1 Arizona

10:00 Oregon State at No. 20 Colorado


For a list of today’s College Basketball odds, click here.

For a current list of College Basketball futures, click here.

For the latest College Basketball team prop bets, click here.

For the latest College Basketball player prop bets, click here.

  • 100%