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College Football Pick


There was a day when these two teams fought annually for the Pac-12 North title, but those days are long gone. Stanford comes in already with three losses, while Oregon has lost six of its last seven and is just fighting to reach a bowl game at this point. The Cardinal still opened as just -3 point road favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

It was only a year ago that these teams faced off in a shootout, with both at the top of the conference standings. The Ducks surprisingly came out on front in a 38-36 win aided by a balanced attack and a defense that kept Christian McCaffrey mostly in check.

This time around, things may look a bit different. For starters, the Cardinal are averaging less than 20 points per game. While they have won their last two, that's not saying much against Arizona and Oregon State at this point. They couldn't surpass five points against Colorado and totaled just 22 points against the state of Washington in two games.

Oregon's issue is a little different. The Ducks can score just fine, but their defense is one of the worst in the country, giving up 42.6 points per game. Even in their lone Pac-12 win, they gave up 35 points to Arizona State. This game will be the ultimate test of two opposite teams, offense against defense.

Stanford has scored enough the last couple games with Keller Chryst at quarterback. While they have 60 points in those games, Chryst hasn't been asked to do much, throwing for just 164 yards total in the two games and he's completing less than 50% of his passes on the season. He hasn't looked much better than Ryan Burns, if at all. The wins have just been a result of going against weaker teams.

The only way the Cardinal can win this game is through McCaffrey and that's probably all they need in this game. He ran for 199 yards against Oregon State and 169 at Arizona before that so expect another similar outing for him. If McCaffrey is stopped for below five yards per carry, Stanford will have trouble finding the end zone. But there's no reason to believe the Ducks can stop him.

To win this game, Oregon has to consistently move the ball against a good defense. So far, they've been blown out against anyone that has a half decent defense, USC and Washington included.

Quarterback Justin Herbert went off against weaker defenses, but at USC last game, he threw for 162 yards and only one touchdown. For the Ducks to have a shot, everything will fall to the running game.

Royce Freeman hasn't really gotten much going, which is a problem, as he hasn't topped 50 yards in the last four games. If he or Tony Brooks-James can't find room, there will be problems scoring again.

And while the Cardinal aren't as good this year, their defense is still up there with the best of them in the Pac-12.

The Cardinal are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games, but 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games. The Ducks are 1-4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.

Our Pick - Stanford -3

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