South Division winner Utah travels up the Pacific Coast Highway on Friday, Nov. 30 to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA where they’ll battle North winner Washington as favorites in 2018 Pac-12 Championship betting. Utah won the South by 2 games over Arizona State. The Utes hope to continue their conference dominance versus the preseason favorite Huskies.

Washington parlayed victories over Stanford and Washington State in two of their last three to secure the North Division. The Huskies believe that even though they have no shot at making the College Football Playoff, they can secure a Rose Bowl bid. That would make Washington’s season a success.

Will the Huskies march to the Rose Bowl again, or will Utah grab the bid to The Granddaddy of Them All?

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING
#17 Utah Utes vs. #11 Washington Huskies
Friday, November 30th – Levi’s Stadium – 8:00pm ET
Odds: Washington -5.0 (44.5)

Utes Must Come Up with a New Strategy

The Utes and the Huskies battled each other way back in Week 3 with Utah losing by 14. Since that time, Utah’s turned into the best team in the Pac-12 South, beating Arizona, USC, UCLA, and Colorado.

The lone loss the Utes suffered was to Arizona State. ASU employs an odd defensive formation, a 3-3-5. The formation’s success relies on a specific safety position whose decisions rely on reading the quarterback. Washington doesn’t employ a 3-3-5 with a safety that reads the quarterback, but Huskies coach Chris Petersen will look to copy some of the things ASU did to disrupt Utah’s flow.

Anticipating this, Utah has to come up with a different strategy. They can’t expect to play harder than they did with the same strategy from the first game and hope for a different outcome. They must force a different outcome by planning for Petersen’s ability to install things he sees from other coaches that work.

If Utah’s flexible and adaptable, they can counter. That will give the Utes the best chance of beating Washington as a Pac-12 Championship betting underdog.

Washington Back on Top

Not only will Petersen copy some of ASU’s strategy, he’s also likely to remind his players that the Huskies are finally back on top. When it comes to football teams like Washington, mental preparedness is almost as important as getting physically ready to play.

Washington started the season as one of the best teams in the nation. Sounds crazy, but I’m not sure the coaching staff, the players, or even the fans felt Washington reached its potential until the win over rival Washington State in Week 13.

Up until then, the Huskies had been skating by. Just look at their 3-9 ATS record from this season, which included a brutal and 1-5 ATS outcome in home games. The Huskies might have turned the corner after holding the Cougars to 15 points.

Petersen will motivate his players by reminding Washington that they’ve finally become one of the top teams in the nation.

Pac-12 Championship Betting Analysis

Most wagers are going towards the Huskies. By a close to 7-to-1 margin, bettors favor Washington at -5 even though the spread opened at Huskies -4.5.

Utah’s a good football team, but not only has Washington already beaten Utah, the Huskies head to Santa Clara off their best performance of the season. The trends give Utah a chance, though: the Utes are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games on grass, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 in the conference, and 10-3-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record.

Although Petersen will try and copy what ASU did to confuse Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley, Utah’s coaches will be ready with a counterpunch. They’ll have an answer for Petersen’s strategy. Washington looked great in the Week 13 win, but I like the Utes. They’re the play.

Pac 12 Championship Betting Free Pick: Utah +5.0