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This line seems a little ridiculous considering it's the No. 12 team going against No. 3 in the BCS Standings, but that's what happens nowadays. Oregon is putting up close to 60 points per game and UCLA is coming off a game where they scored just 10 points. The Ducks just had a 24-point home win over Washington State, a team arguably worse than UCLA. Oregon still gets respect after not covering in that game and opened as a --20.5 point favorite at 5 dimes sportsbook and has since been bet up to -22.5.
These teams haven't played since 2011 when the Ducks won at home by 18 points. This isn't the same Oregon team as in recent years, but you still know what they're going to do. They can run the ball on anyone with the triple option and then you have Marcus Mariota at quarterback, who has 28 total TDs and zero interceptions. Their game is based on getting out to an early lead and forcing the other team into being one dimensional. Last week's win forced an already one dimensional Washington State team to be even more one dimensional as Connor Halliday attempted a FBS record 89 passes in the loss.
Oregon doesn't have the same defense as Stanford, but QB Brett Hundley will have to be a lot better than he was against the Cardinal. He struggled to do much of anything as the Bruins only scored 10 points. The running game, which was thought to be a problem entering the year, only went for 74 yards on 27 carries. Starting running back Jordon James missed that game due to injury, and if he misses this one, they'll need someone to step up. In the receiving game Shaq Evans and Devin Fuller have to help Hundley out and that didn't happen last week.
The Ducks will give up points, so if Hundley can recover from last week, there will be opportunities for the Bruins to get points early. Although, if James misses this game, it's going to be tough without a rushing attack.
Mariota leads the Oregon offense and has done so without starting tailback De'Anthony Thomas for the past four games. When you have guys like Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner in the waiting, it doesn't really matter. Whoever is back there, the Ducks will run over you. After Stanford ran through UCLA last weekend, it doesn't look good for the Bruins. Add that with receiving targets Josh Huff and Bralon Addison, and you can see why this team is 21-point favorites.
UCLA has stopped some good offenses this year, but holding Oregon to fewer than 30 points will be the goal here and may be a little far-fetched.
The Bruins are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS loss and 5-1 in their last six overall. The Ducks are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 conference games. However, the Ducks are only 1-5 ATS in their last six home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The underdog and road team has covered in seven of the last 10 meetings between these teams.
It should come as no surprise that the betting trends at sportsbook.com favor the Ducks with 82% of the action coming in on their side. The public will continue to back Oregon as long as they continue to blow teams off the field.
Pick - UCLA -24
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