Who is Best Pac-12 Football Coach Against the Spread?

Who is Best Pac-12 Football Coach Against the Spread?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It’s been a whirlwind last few falls for California’s four Pac-12 members, with a new coach in Palo Alto and three returnees of varying levels of success in Los Angeles and Berkeley. If there were legal California sportsbooks, oddsmakers would have a tough time predicting what's happening next.

Between USC’s Lincoln Riley posting a 11-3 record during his first year with the Trojans and Chip Kelly’s renaissance 9-4 run in Westwood to get the UCLA Bruins to their highest year-end win total since 2014, there were more than a few highlights last fall.

There also were the lows, such as the end of the David Shaw era at Stanford and a 4-8 bottoming-out in Berkeley under coach Justin Wilcox that forced the veteran leader to bring in a new offensive coordinator and restack the deck in the East Bay.

All told, the state’s four Pac-12 members went 27-24 (.529) in 2022.

To get a sense of where the trio stacks up against the spread versus its Pac-12 colleagues, BetCalifornia.com utilized records from TeamRankings.com to determine which coaches have the best record ATS.

For this list, only games from the coach’s current stint were included. Games played as interim coach were not included. Teams with new coaches entering the 2023 season were not included. 

Pac 12 Coaches Against The Spread

TeamCoachATS RecordCover Percentage
WashingtonKalen DeBoer8-561.5%
Washington StateJake Dickert8-561.5%
OregonDan Lanning8-561.5%
Oregon StateJonathan Smith34-22-160.7%
USCLincoln Riley8-657.1%
CalJustin Wilcox36-28-256.3%
UtahKyle Wittingham122-9855.5%
ArizonaJedd Fisch12-1250%
UCLAChip Kelly27-27-250%

Although there are no California betting apps, national operators are relatively high on USC this season. The Trojans are +1400 to win the national championship. Georgia is the favorite at +225.

LA Duo at Opposite Ends ATS

The two longstanding L.A. rivals find their respective leaders on disparate ends of the Pac-12 ATS leaderboard.

Riley ranks fifth leaguewide among the nine returning Pac-12 head coaches in ATS record at 8-6 (or 57.1%).

Kelly, on the other end, has gone 27-27-2 ATS in Westwood, finishing tied with Arizona’s Jedd Fisch for dead last in the conference.

On the Pac-12 coach ATS board, Kalen DeBoer (Washington), Washington State’s Jake Dickert and Dan Lanning of Oregon all went 8-5 in their first seasons to share the No. 1 spot leaguewide.

Among veteran coaches, Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith has the best ATS record, at 35-22-1 (60.7%), followed by Wilcox (36-28-2, or 56.3%) and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (122-98, or 55.5%).

Looking forward, the Trojans (-165) are the leaders among preseason Pac-12 title favorites at BetMGM Sportsbook (there is no BetMGM California yet. but it could launch in the next few years), followed by Oregon (+135), Washington (+175), and UCLA, Oregon State and Utah (+350 apiece). Cal comes in at +4000 (eighth overall) and Stanford at +15000 (ranking last).



Christopher Boan
Reporter / Journalist

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetCalifornia.com, specializing in sports betting issues in the western United States. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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