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BCS Championship

Oregon vs. Auburn

Betting Line: Auburn -2.5 o/u 74


After a few weeks of wall to wall college football Bowl Games, Oregon and Auburn will finally face off for the National Title on Monday night to decide it all. Auburn opened up as a -3 point favorite and the line held steady for several weeks before finally moving off 3 within the last week. There are now a mix of -2's and -2.5's at most sportsbooks.

It's an intriguing game on many levels. The title game can also be a very tricky game to handicap. So much can happen when teams are off for so long between games. Heck, the two week gap in the NFL between the end of the conference title games and the Super Bowl has always had an impact. This layoff is over a month! A layoff that long can have a drastic impact on a teams momentum. In some cases, it's easy to pick which team will be affected more, ie lack of experience in big games, etc. But here, these two are in the same boat.

We treat this game just like any other. For us, it's no different than a regular season game. Which is to say, if we handicap this game and find no perceived edge with our approach, we pass. It just so happens that this game qualified as a play based on our methods, so, we play. But again, it's just another game. We want to stress that point because so many novice bettors feel they have to unload on a game like this, or the Super Bowl, because of the magnitude of the game and the end of the college football season. It's just another play. They'll snap the ball again in 6 months and another season will be underway. Don't keep score based on one season. Blend seasons together and keep score based on many, many seasons.

Ok, enough of the preaching. On to the game. We can't imagine that there are many handicappers out there that when they sat down to make their own line on this game, they made Auburn a 3 point favorite. We use several methods when we handicap a game and all of them had Oregon favored by at least a field goal, in some cases more. So from the day this line was posted, this game jumped out at us as a play. Again, doesn't mean it's a lock, or any better than any of our other bowl selections. It's just a play. Albeit, an obvious one. A no brainer for us.

Of course you need to dig in further than just using your numbers. You have to make sure there are no other factors that may affect the outcome from motivational issues to injuries. We can't find any. If anything, we think the motivational, or psychological edge belongs to Oregon here, and we'll explain why.

The team getting all the attention here is Auburn as a result of Cam Newton winning the Heisman. They are without a doubt, under the spotlight. Sure, both teams are getting media attention like they have never seen before, but it's Auburn up front here. Oregon gets to fly under the radar a bit. That in itself can be huge. College teams, and college kids, generally don't handle intense pressure and national media attention well. In fact there was a system in place for several years to simply play against the Heisman winners team in Bowl games and the system was very profitable. Couldn't tell you what that systems record is lately, but it makes sense. The Heisman winner, after all, is expected to come into this game and play like a super human and often can't live up to those expectations. The Heisman factor and all the attention to Auburn is also one of the major factors in Auburn opening as a 3 point fav. The Heisman makes Auburn a "public" team.

Our numbers aside, this game for us is simply a matter of taking the better team plus the points. Oregon is ahead of Auburn in just about every statistical category, in many cases by a large margin. This is a game between two tremendous offensive teams, one of which also has a defense. That team is Oregon. Oregon is 14th overall in total defense. Not too shabby for a team that makes you think of offense. They are much better against the pass than Auburn, with both teams about even against the run. 

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Both teams get better defensively as the game goes on and it makes sense. With both offenses so explosive, opposing offenses spend quite a bit of time on the field. By the time the 4th quarter rolls around, they are drained. Oregon does a fantastic job of substituting defensive players. They are comparable to a basketball team with a deep bench. This is evident when you look at points allowed by quarter. 86, 58, 54, 24. They get better in each quarter, and in each quarter, those numbers are better than those of Auburn.

Offensively, they are both very good. Among the top in the nation. However, Oregon is THE top.

Call it lady luck, call it destiny, or call it just catching some good bounces, but Auburn has had it this year. They had 5 games that could have gone either way. They could have just as easily lost those games. Granted, they didn't, and good teams find a way to win. But that is where Oregon is different. Oregon had one close game all year, a 2 point win over Cal. The next closest margin was 11 points. No one else came within 17 points. Oregon didn't just win. They won by large margins. They dominated. Just ask another offensive powerhouse, Stanford, a 52-31 victim.

Yards per point numbers favor Oregon. They are 10.9 on offense and a very good 18 on defense for a total of  +7.1. Auburn  is an 11.7 on offense and 14.8 on defense, which is mediocre. Their total is +3.1. Yards per point edge to Oregon by 4 points.

Turnover margin: Oregon +12 and Auburn +5.

Our score prediction model has Oregon winning the game by a score of 43-30.

Lastly we think the motivational and psychological edges belong to Oregon. If either team is likely to play with a chip on their shoulder, it's the Ducks. Aside from Auburn getting all the attention because of Newton, Oregon can also consider it a lack of respect being installed an underdog in the game.

We always like to point out that when we make a play, we expect we'll win that play around 56 times out of 100. This play is no different. This play may win or it may lose. But Oregon is the "right" side. It has all the ingredients for a nice play. Everything we look for. Some games, we'll handicap, and we'll be on the fence. This game, was a no brainer. There were no question marks. We played the game at +3 right when the opening line was posted and sent it out to our readers.

Those of you who didn't play it, it's still good at +2 or +2.5. The play isn't based on Oregon hanging within 3 and covering. The play is based on Oregon winning the game straight up.

Good Luck if you play. This concludes another successful college football campaign for the Bettorsworld Key Releases. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter. This way, when next year rolls around, you'll be sure to get every single play!







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