Oregon is still in the hunt for the College Football Playoff and winning by a ton of points can only help its case. Arizona State has other ideas but coming in off four straight losses, that may not matter. The Ducks were -14.5 point road favorites with an over/under of 54 as of Wednesday.
Oregon had a couple tough games against the Washington schools, but looks to have found its footing and has covered four of its last five overall. The Ducks may have the best offense in the conference and their defense is among the best, allowing 306.1 yards and 14.8 points per game.
Arizona State has been competitive, but it doesn’t say as much when you’re competitive and lose to teams like UCLA and Oregon State. The Sun Devils have given up at least 31 points in each of their last three games and that’s their main problem in this matchup.
Once a reliable defense, they’re allowing 270.9 passing yards per contest on 7.5 yards per attempt. While their run defense has been decent, that won’t matter against Justin Herbert.
The senior quarterback has carved up the Pac-12, completing 69.5% of his passes on 8.4 yards per attempt for 28 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Even without injured top receiver Jacob Breeland, he’s had no issues, as Johnny Johnson, Jaylon Redd and Juwan Johnson have stepped up.
While running backs CJ Verdell and Travis Dye could find some resistance against this defensive front, Herbert shouldn’t have any trouble against the secondary.
The other problem for Arizona State is that this is the best defense its faced since scoring three points against Utah. Oregon has a dominant defensive front allowing 3.2 yards per carry and that’s going to be an issue for freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels.
Sure, he’s had a decent season numbers wise and has tossed six touchdowns in his last two starts, but a lot of his success has come against the worst defenses in the conference.
He went 4-for-18 against Utah and threw for 174 yards against Cal. Oregon is on that same level and it will be an issue for Daniels, especially if running back Eno Benjamin continues to struggle. Benjamin is averaging 4.3 yards per carry for the season because defenses have stacked the box on ASU and forced Daniels to throw.
This spread is fairly large, but if Oregon’s defense controls this game similar to how Utah did against ASU a few weeks ago, then it’s reasonable. The Sun Devils may struggle to reach 10 points if that’s the case and on the other end, the Ducks should be headed for at least 30.
The under is 7-1 in Oregon’s last eight on grass, but the over has hit in Arizona State’s last four on grass. The Ducks are 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings between these teams and they are 5-2 ATS in the last seven played in Tempe.
Our Pick – Oregon -14