College Football Pick
The bar for the Pac-12 North was set last Friday in Washington’s demolition of Stanford, 44-6. The Huskies came out with fire and never stopped. That same fire has not come from Oregon at all this season, already with three losses and more on the horizon. The Huskies are -8.5 point favorites on the road as seen at betonline Sportsbook.
Washington’s win over Stanford may have been one of the more impressive ones of the season in all of college football. They didn’t do anything wrong, which is something never said of an opponent against Stanford. Christian McCaffrey was bottled up for 79 total yards and the Huskies had a great run-pass attack going offensively.
This week’s Game at Oregon will be played much differently with the Ducks having one of the worst defenses in the conference. Sure, they can score, but what does that matter when they’ve allowed 40-plus to both Pac-12 opponents (Colorado, Washington State) thus far? Maybe their special jerseys that say ‘Webfoots’ will help this week. But… maybe not.
However, it’s a bit surprising Oregon won this Game on the road last year 26-20, making it the 12th-straight victory in the series. But UW head coach Chris Petersen knows that and knows a let down is possible here, that’s why he’s cutting off interviews for everyone on the team this week.
The Huskies have the same players offensively as a year ago, but with more experience, that will be the difference here. Quarterback Jake Browning has been great this season already with more touchdowns (17) than all of last season. He completed 15-of-21 passes for three TDs against Stanford. In addition to that, Myles Gaskin has been just as good at running back, although his 100-yard, two-TD performance against Stanford was the most impressive. If the Huskies can have that kind of success against Stanford, one has to think 40-50 points will be a possibility for them again against Oregon.
But this is a rivalry and the Ducks are struggling, so their backs are against the wall. Will that matter without much talent defensively? And while the offense has been good for the Ducks, they haven’t seen a defense this good yet.
Freshman quarterback Dakota Prukop has been fine, but hasn’t been good enough. Not throwing for a touchdown against both Nebraska and Washington State wasn’t going to get the job done. Yes, Royce Freeman is still there and will be asked to do a lot after last year’s 138 yards, but as seen so far, he can’t do everything. Even if Freeman runs for 150 yards, the Ducks may not be able to Scoreenough to cover.
However, the Ducks are basically in a must-win situation if they don’t want their season to slip away. A win here would give them confidence going into the second half of the season and maybe turn the season around.
That’s still a stretch. The Huskies know they haven’t won this matchup in a long time and won’t be taking this Game lightly.
The Huskies are 6-2 ATS in their last eight overall and 4-0 ATS in their last Four against a team with a losing home record. The Ducks are still 14-5 ATS in their last 19 Pac-12 Games, but just 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven overall and they haven’t covered in Four straight at home.
Our Pick – Washington has lost 12 straight in this series. Certainly they would love to end that streak and would love to do so in blow out fashion. Our model says that’s the way it will go and when you look at the numbers, the Huskies are on fire on both sides of the ball while the Ducks can’t stop anyone.
But it’s hard for us to accept that the talent has swung that dramatically in one year. Teams like Oregon don’t fall of the map that easily. Not to a division rival and not at home. We’re going to go against Our own numbers and side with the Ducks to put up a fight this week. Oregon +9