Washington is loaded with talent.

That’s going to be a major problem for all the teams in the Pac-12 — except for maybe one.

Oddsmakers are pegging the Huskies as the clear-cut favorite in the Pac-12, listing Washington at +140 to win the conference title. Stanford and USC own the next-best odds at +500, with Oregon attempting a return to glory at +750.

Other than that, it’s tough to find another contender in a conference that has solid middle balance, but not many threats to win a national title.

But should you get basically no value with the Huskies or back one of those other three teams in the Pac-12 conference title odds picture?

The Stanford Cardinal should get some attention in the Pac-12 college football odds picture. Flickr/http://bit.ly/1HC2s31

Fade the favorite

I hate favorites, so maybe this is a bit biased. For all the talent on Washington’s roster, there are some holes. The linebacking corps leaves a lot to be desired, and in close games, the Huskies will be at a disadvantage.

Their kicking game is non-existent.

So am I really basing this decision on a kicker? A little…because Stanford returns one of the better kickers in the nation, and if that game is close, that’s a major edge.

What the Cardinal also have is a dominating offense with a solid offensive mind at the head coaching position. Stanford and Washington own two of the better offensive lines in the country, and while the Cardinal must make some adjustments on defense, I like my chances with an established track record of formulating good defensive units.

The Cardinal have to travel to Washington, but that doesn’t scare me. Stanford can take care of business and make this a slightly more advantageous bet with better odds.

Any Sleepers?

Short answer — no.

Beyond the top-four already mentioned, Washington State (which can’t beat Washington and won’t again this year) is at +1400, while Arizona, Utah and UCLA all own odds under +2000.

I guess if you twist my arm and force me to pick a possible sleeper, I would side with Utah.

The Utes return some nice pieces on offense, especially the four returning offensive linemen. The defense should be OK, too, and I like my chances in the Pac-12 South over finding a sleeper in the North. I’m not sold on USC running through this division again, so if you’re looking for a sleeper, don’t overlook Utah.

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