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Oregon

vs.

Oregon State

PAC 12 College Football Pick

11/24/12

Oh, what could have been for the Ducks. Just a week ago they had their eyes set on the BCS National Title game and now they may not even make it to the Pac 12 Championship. Even with a win here, they would still finish behind Stanford if the Cardinal can pull off a win at UCLA. The Beavers are quietly having a good season themselves with an 8-2 record and going undefeated at home. Oregon is listed as 9.5-point favorites in most places down from an opener of 10.5 (betonline, the first to post lines each week opened Oregon -13!!)

In this series, Oregon has won four straight games, but has only covered in two of them. In those four games, they are averaging 47 points per game, which has been their average over the past few years. Last season, the Ducks won at home 49-21, outgaining the Beavers by 355 total yards.

Oregon's offense scored at least 42 points or more in 13 straight games before getting only 14 last weekend against Stanford. They will hope to start a new stretch in this game. Quarterback Marcus Mariota actually had his third highest rushing total of the season, but through the air is where he struggled against the Cardinal. He had his worst completion percentage of the season (56.8%) and only had one touchdown with an interception. Mariota has 29 TDs compared to just six INTs for the season. If the Ducks would've won last week, Kenjon Barner could be the Heisman frontrunner right now. However, he only managed 66 yards in the loss and now has two straight duds after getting 65 yards the week before. He has 19 TDs for the year, but zero in his last two games. De'Anthony Thomas is another big threat coming out of the backfield with 945 total yards and 12 total TDs. He has the most receptions on the team. Five other receivers have between 20 and 24 catches and they all have at least three TDs. Oregon State has been tough defensively this season, but will have to go on a whole new level if they want to stop the Ducks.

When Oregon State's defense fails them, their offense comes through most of the time. It's been a carousel of QBs for the Beavers this year. Sean Mannion started the season, got hurt and was replaced by Cody Vaz. Vaz got hurt and now Mannion is the starter once again. Each of them have similar numbers, the main difference being Mannion's nine interceptions to Vaz's one, but in 100 more pass attempts. Mannion tossed a smooth 325 yards and four TDs last week against California and has already been named started for the Civil War. Receivers Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton continue to be problems for opposing secondaries. The two have combined for 127 receptions, 2,025 yards and 15 TDs. Storm Woods is their starting running back, but he actually has one less 100-yard game than Terron Ward who's starting to get more touches lately. Their running game will be key in keeping the Oregon offense off the field. Unfortunately, they only average 3.6 yards per carry as a team.

The Ducks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games and 4-0 ATS in their last four road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Beavers aren't slouches either going 6-1-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 5-1 ATS in their last six home games. The underdog is 4-1-1 ATS and the road team is 5-0-1 ATS in their last six meetings which each other. As expected, most trends favor the over. It has hit nine times in the last 10 meetings between these schools and is 4-1 in the last five games played at Oregon State.

Oregon can put some points on the board and they certainly carry a lot of weight with the betting public. Oregon will attract most of the betting action regardless of who they play. That's partly due to their performance this year, but also due to their performances the last few years. The media talking heads love to talk about the Ducks and the betting public eats it up. Truth is, if you took the stats of these two teams, and simply changed the names of the teams, same stats, different team names, you wouldn't be looking at a 10 point home dog with the Beavers.

Our model sees this game as a toss up, anywhere from a tie to t 2 point Oregon win depending in time frame of data used. Other numbers we like to look at favor the Ducks by 3 or 4 points on a neutral field but we also have to take into account schedule strength where the Beavers get the nod by about a field goal.

This game shapes up as a good close rivalry game between two good football teams. Also note that these two are neck and neck in the turnover margin category with Oregon State at +12 and the Ducks at +13. Take a look at a turnover margin chart with teams arranged in order of their plus or minus figure. You'd be hard pressed to find a "bad" team among the top 30 or so and these two are ranked 9th and 12th in the nation.

One last indication that Oregon State is the right side is the line movement. No, line movement alone can't tell you the right side, however, when 85% of the action at sportsbook.ag is on the Ducks, yet the line moves the other way, it's a pretty good indication that sharp money is responsible for the line move.

We'll wrap this up with REAL WORLD betting advice. The current line is mostly +9.5 across the board. Sharp bettors took the +10.5's and for those with betonline accounts, they took +13, +12.5, +12, and so on right down to +10. You can be sure that no professional bettor took +9.5 with the Beavers. A couple of weeks ago our Key Releases went 3-2-2 when they could have gone 6-1 if lines didn't move against us. Getting the best number on your wagers is serious business. You can't win long term otherwise.

With that in mind, we're going to recommend Oregon State here BUT ONLY at +10 or better. Oregon State +10 or better.

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