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The last time Stanford was on the road, their bid for a perfect season was ruined by Utah. Now, the Cardinal are back on the road to face Oregon State, who is still undefeated in conference play. The Beavers best win of the season came in an OT game at Utah, but a home loss to FCS school Eastern Washington has them with one loss on the year. Combine Stanford’s road loss and OSU’s three straight blowouts of Pac-12 schools, and you get the Cardinal as -4 point favorites on the road at most top offshore sportsbooks.
Last year’s matchup was quite similar, except Stanford was only a 3.5-point favorite in that game, at home. The Cardinal ended up winning 27-23 behind three TDs from Kevin Hogan and 114 yards by Stepfan Taylor. It should be noted Oregon State started Cody Vaz at quarterback because Sean Mannion was hurt. Will Mannion, who leads the nation’s best passing attack, be the difference maker for the Beavers this year?
For some reason Mannion’s going under the radar, but he already has 2,992 yards, 29 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Maybe that’s due to the lesser teams he’s faced, but Mannion leads the country at QB by almost 200 passing yards. His main man Brandin Cooks also boasts that stat with already 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns. These two have been unstoppable thus far. The problem for the Beavers is that their running game has taken a step back from a year ago and it could hurt them in a game like this. They are averaging just 2.6 yards per carry as a team. Storm Woods and Terron Ward have combined for a measly 378 yards and eight TDs on 128 carries. Woods was big last year for this offense as he ran for 94 yards against the Cardinal.
There’s no doubt Stanford is going to prey on Mannion and the passing game. The last time they faced a pass-only offense on the road, they dismantled Washington State. Utah was able to beat them because of a stout rushing attack that led to 176 yards on the ground. UCLA couldn’t run on them last weekend, and to no one’s surprise Stanford won by 14 points.
On the offensive end, Stanford also has the advantage. When faced with decent offenses, things haven’t gone great for Oregon State, giving up 48 points to Utah and then of course 49 points to Eastern Washington.
The Cardinal have a pro-style offense as usual and can beat you through air or ground. Kevin Hogan doesn’t have amazing numbers, but he gets the job done. WR Ty Montgomery is a difference maker in the receiving game and on special teams. He’s definitely someone the Beavers have to keep an eye on. In the running game, Tyler Gaffney is expected to get another large load after rushing 36 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns last weekend. If Stanford can run the ball like that, it’s going to be tough for Oregon State to win.
The Cardinal are a solid 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 road games. The Beavers have covered in four straight conference games and are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these schools.
You can view the betting percentages on this game by opening an account at sportsbook.com. It's worth your time. The betting percentages are a fantastic tool.
Pick - Stanford -4.5
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