This side of the Pac-12 also will be intriguing although there doesn't figure to be a College Football Playoff representative here. USC, Utah and UCLA were the top three teams last year and should be again this season, although maybe not in the same order. The Arizona schools may be able to wedge their way in there, but we do know Colorado won't.
There are six teams in the Pac-12's South Division. This article will apply the win totals from one Vegas casino and discuss if there is any value in these numbers. A selection is made based on the team's schedule, in which the games are broken down into three categories - easy wins, toss-ups and certain losses. Most conference games are in the toss-up category unless there is a clear difference in talent.
Note: Over/under odds courtesy of South Point Casino
(Over 6 wins -125..Under 6 wins +105)
Record Last Year: 7-6, 3-6
Returning Starters: 14 (7 on offense, 7 on defense)
Offense: The Wildcats bring back a ton of pieces here including QB Anu Solomon, RB Nick Wilson and WR Samaje Grant. Solomon threw just five interceptions in 2015 and that was with 330 attempts. The offensive line is a solid group so it's not out of the question to see this offense get close to the 37.4 points per game it averaged last year.
Defense: New coordinator Marcel Yates comes over to remake a defense that allowed nearly 500 yards per game last year. Things start up front with Sani Fuimaono. It'll be hard to replace standout linebacker Scooby Wright's production, but DeAndre Miller and Paul Magloire will try.
Schedule: The Wildcats spend the first month of the season in the state of Arizona as they play BYU, Grambling State and Hawaii. USC, Stanford and Arizona State all have to come to Tucson. Arizona does play at UCLA and Utah back-to-back to start out October.
Selection: I agree with the line move to the over. This offense should be able to put up some points while the defense improves from last year's disastrous numbers.
(Over 5.5 wins -135...Under 5.5 wins +110)
Record Last Year: 6-7, 4-5
Returning Starters: 10 (4 on offense, 6 on defense)
Offense: The offense isn't a complete mess with the return of RB Demario Richard. The problem is that no one in the QB competition threw a pass last year. The offensive line returns just one starter so this unit could take a while to put together.
Defense: Salamo Fiso quarterbacks a defense that was top 20 against the run in 2015. The secondary was a different story and has two starters back. Special teams won't be an issue with Zane Gonzalez back at kicker.
Schedule: The season opens up with three of four at home. The Sun Devils get Northern Arizona, Texas Tech and UTSA (road game) outside of conference play. Yikes, they do play at Oregon, Washington and Arizona as part of a four-game stretch to close out the season.
Selection: I think the under is the play here especially at a plus price. This offense could be an absolute train wreck and the defense isn't good enough to win games by itself. The wins better come early, because they won't be there late.
(Over 4.5 wins -110...Under 4.5 wins -110)
Record Last Year: 4-9, 1-8
Returning Starters: 15 (6 on offense, 9 on defense)
Offense: Sefo Liufau is back for one more season at quarterback and he's got some weapons in Shay Fields and Phillip Lindsay. The team fell short in it's pursuit of graduate transfer QB Davis Webb and Liufau is coming back from a Lisfranc foot fracture. There are big-time question marks on this side of the ball.
Defense: Jim Leavitt's second year with this group should bring more success. Chidobe Awuzie and Tedric Thompson lead the secondary which figures to be the strength. The defensive line is going to bring the heat up front.
Schedule: The Buffaloes have to play at Michigan and Oregon in their first four contests. They also take on Colorado State and Idaho State. Colorado has three of their final four at home.
Selection: Small lean to the over, but not that confident in it. The offense could struggle, but the defense could be good enough to fix some early issues. Colorado gets plenty of chances at home, but can the Buffaloes take advantage?
(Over 8.5 wins -130...Under 8.5 wins +110)
Record Last Year: 8-5, 5-4
Returning Starters: 12 (4 on offense, 8 on defense)
Offense: Josh Rosen was awesome in his first season throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. He's back along with RB Soso Jamabo. These two are important considering the loss of leading rusher Paul Perkins. Darren Andrews leads the way out wide while the OL has some holes to fill.
Defense: The front line will get plenty of pressure on the QB especially since Eddie Vanderdoes is returning from a torn ACL. Jayon Brown leads the linebackers while the secondary returns almost intact.
Schedule: The Bruins test themselves right off the bat with a matchup at Texas A&M. Not only that, but two weeks later they play at BYU. Sandwiched in between is a layup against UNLV. USC, Utah and Stanford all come to LA.
Selection: Small lean to the under, but only because it's at a plus price. I like UCLA, but there are times when the value beats logic. This is a good team with Rosen under center. If they develop weapons around him, then my lean will be wrong.
(Over 7.5 wins EVEN...Under 7.5 wins -120)
Record Last Year: 8-6, 6-3
Returning Starters: 14 (9 on offense, 5 on defense)
Offense: The name of the game is athleticism on this side of the ball. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darreus Rogers and Adoree’ Jackson all represent speed. Max Browne or Sam Darnold is going to be blessed with a veteran offensive line and a solid RB group.
Defense: Jackson's main spot will be on defense where he'll be part of a very good secondary. Coordinator Clancy Pendergast is back where he was in 2013. He'll have to work to rework a front seven that just returns Cameron Smith. Special teams could be shaky too.
Schedule: Ho hum, USC opens up with Alabama in Arlington, Texas, on Sept 3. The Trojans follow that up with two of their next three on the road. USC then plays four of its next five at home before a rough closing stretch. The Trojans have arguably the toughest road game slate in the Pac-12.
Selection: I think the under could be the play. This is a tough schedule and USC may not win a single road contest in conference. You are giving the keys to the car on offense to a young QB, meaning the Trojans could struggle early even with all that talent.
(Over 7.5 wins -105...Under 7.5 wins -115)
Record Last Year: 10-3, 6-3
Returning Starters: 11 (5 on offense, 6 on defense)
Offense: There are a lot of question marks on this side of the ball with the departures of QB Travis Wilson and RB Devontae Booker. Troy Williams comes over from Washington after a year at junior college, while true freshman Tyler Huntley and junior Brandon Cox remain in the mix to start. The strength of this team will be up front with the offensive line featuring all juniors and seniors.
Defense: Tackle Lowell Lotulelei is back and he was first team all-conference last year. The unit was sixth in the country against the run. The secondary should be strong led by Marcus Williams.
Schedule: The Utes have three of their first four at home with Southern Utah, BYU and San Jose State representing the non-conference foes. They get USC, Arizona, Washington and Oregon at home too.
Selection: No real feel for Utah in this one. The Utes are going to struggle to score, but the defense should be able to keep them in games. The key is that their toughest games are home for the most part.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.