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Football Pick


Oregon owns the nation’s longest road win streak at 15 Games, but they also haven’t travelled as far east as this Game since 1977. Will that play in at all for the Ducks as they take on Virginia in a day Game on the east coast? The No. 3 team in the nation is up to -22.5 point favorites in some places.

Even with Chip Kelly gone, Oregon continued its fast-paced offense without losing a step last weekend. Of course, it was Nicholls State and the Ducks were -59 point favorites to begin with, but still, that’s a good performance.

As expected, quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De’Anthony Thomas led the offense. Mariota had 234 passing yards to go with 113 rushing yards (five carries) and three total touchdowns. Thomas ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns as the Ducks compiled 500 total yards on the ground. In all, Oregon finished with 772 offensive yards, a new record for the school. And you thought they were taking a step back without Chip Kelly?

When Virginia played better offenses last season like Louisiana Tech, Miami (FL) and North Carolina, it allowed almost 40 points in every contest.

Oregon’s defense didn’t get much of a test last Saturday, so it’s hard to read where it’s at for the new season. However, Virginia doesn’t exactly boast a high-scoring attack, either. Led by first-year starter David Watford and running back Kevin Parks, the Cavaliers needed a late touchdown run to grab the win over BYU at home. Even at that, they had two short scoring drives due to a blocked punt and interception. Will Watford be able to move the ball for Virginia, or will the pressure of playing Oregon get to him? Watford isn’t that accurate of a passer as it is and he doesn’t have the greatest offensive line in front of him.

It’s hard to see how Virginia will keep this Game close, especially with the rate that Oregon scores at. Although getting within three touchdowns is a possibility as long as Watford doesn’t turn the ball over. That may be asking a lot from the sophomore.

The Ducks have been dominant against the spread in recent years, covering eight of their last nine Games and five straight road Games. The Cavaliers are another story with a rather disappointing 1-7-1 ATS mark in their last nine home Games. In the over/under, every number points to the over for Oregon, but the under for Virginia.

Hard to get a read on Virginia with last weeks Game being played in a monsoon. It’s just hard to make a case here for Virginia staying in this one. The Ducks have a huge edge at QB and the Virginia defensive front 4 is going to be huffing and puffing like never before with that up tempo Oregon attack.

This Game was at -21.5 earlier in the week but has climbed as high as -23 in spots. At -21 or less, we could become interested. But at -23, you’re laying the worst of it and we can’t advise you to do that. We think the Ducks likely blow their doors off. But can’t play it.