2013-14 Oregon State Beavers Predictions and College Football Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 7/16/2013
Oregon State’s 2012 season was proof that though Mike Riley has been around forever, he still hasn’t lost his touch. In 2010 and 2011 the Beavers were just not a good team. They were defensively porous and offensively incompetent. Last year the smart bet seemed to be that we would see more of the same. Instead, the team moved significantly on both sides of the ball, won nine games, and was a real contender in the Pac-12. Now the question we have to ponder is whether last year was just a blip for a normally lousy team or if the progress can continue and this team can be a strong contender.
What stands out from last year beyond the wins is that they did what they needed to do. Their losses were at Washington, at Stanford, at home against Oregon, and to Texas in the bowl game. Meanwhile, they beat Wisconsin and Arizona State at home, and won at UCLA, Arizona and BYU. They took care of teams they matched up well with and gave a fair fight to better teams before losing to them. That’s a clear sign that the team was well-prepared and that their record wasn’t a particular fluke. If they had been blown out in losses or lost games they should have won then it would be far less sustainable in the long run.
What will be key to this team is the emergence of a QB threat. Two guys saw the field significantly last year — junior Sean Mannion and senior Cody Vaz. Mannion has a higher upside, but he throws too many picks. Vaz protects the ball better but certainly can’t be described as explosive. It’s a reasonably open race at this point, though Mannion probably has a slight edge. To complicate things, Mannion is coming off a knee injury, and Vaz is healing from a bum ankle. I don’t have a particular preference over which guy gets the nod for the sake of the team. What is crucial, though, is that whichever guy it is can stay healthy and keep performing at a high enough level to help the team. There is plenty of talent around the victorious starter to do some offensive damage. With quarterback consistency, this can again be a Top-25 offense.
The defensive line is going to be an interesting experiment to observe. They return their two best lineman, but the next four best are all gone. Riley didn’t have the depth to be patient, so he went out and signed five players out of junior college. If those guys can step up — and in at least a couple of cases the early indications have been very positive -- then this team should again be very tough to run against and will hopefully be more effective at rushing the passer. It’s a risk, though, and will be very important to monitor.
Oregon State Schedule Analysis
Oregon State opens with home games against Eastern Washington and Hawaii followed by a conference opener at Utah. In other words, they ease into the season with three games that won’t be as tough as many of their practices will be. A trip to San Diego State in Week 4 promises to be just a little tougher, and a home game against Colorado is easy. It would be a major disappointment if this team isn’t 5-0 out of the gate given that they are all but certain to start the season ranked. A record of 7-0 is even reasonable, since road trips to Washington State and Cal can both be managed — the teams are both moving in good directions, but it’s going to be a long road in both cases.
After that things get much tougher. In fact, there really isn’t much room for error down the stretch. At home for games against Stanford and USC, Then a week off before a trip to Arizona State. Then at home against Washington before heading to their hated rivals at Oregon for the Civil War to close out the season. A lot of people like this Oregon State team right now. If they are worthy of that support, they will sure have to show it through that rough five-game stretch.
2013-14 Oregon State Betting Odds and Trends
Oregon State is not seen as a serious National Championship contender by oddsmakers — they sit at +12500. They are the third choice at +425 to win the Pac-12 North, though they are far behind Oregon in that chase. They are the seventh choice at +900 to win the Pac-12. (All odds are from BetOnline) Oregon State was a solid 8-4 ATS, which was nicely profitable for loyal bettors. They went “over” the total in six of 11 chances.
2013-14 Oregon State Beavers Predictions and College Football Picks
Last year the team started out 6-0 against a reasonably solid schedule. This year they are blessed with a very weak early schedule. It would be very disappointing if they are not 7-0 by the evening of Oct. 19. Really disappointing. Then things get interesting because those last five games are brutal. Matching last year’s nine win total would be a fine result. Eclipsing it would be remarkable, but not incomprehensible. Eight wins would be a hit to the program, but I don’t see that happening.
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