College Football Picks Week 8: Oregon at Washington Predictions
Oregon Ducks at Washington Huskies, Saturday October 19, 3:30 p.m. ET
When Oregon plays at Washington on Saturday , it will be one of two games between ranked Pac-12 squads on the day, but the storylines aren't what you would expect given that. These are two divisional rivals, but the stakes for the game, while high, aren't as high as they feel like they should be. Maybe it's just because it has been a while since it has meant anything when these two traditional divisional powers have actually had a game worth noting.
But while an Oregon win all but locks up the division for them already, a Washington win doesn't mean much. They would still trail Oregon by a game, and they would still be a two-loss team with no real national relevance. In other words, this is a big game on the pride front for Washington, but not huge in other, more significant ways - at least not to the extent you might expect. But it should be fun. And the Pac-12 is certainly more interesting when both of these teams are decent.
Oregon at Washington Betting Storylines
Oregon right now must be haunted by thoughts of what if. For their last five games, they have been truly dominant. The offense is rolling. Their defense is stout in a way we just don't see from this team - they are giving up a puny five points per game over the stretch. They have been just plain impressive, and it is getting noticed as they are ranked 12th nationally. But things could be so much better for them if it weren't for six points - the margin of their opening loss at Auburn. Six lousy points - an unconverted touchdown - is all that stands between them and a shot at a highly-unexpected playoff berth. They could still get one, of course, but it is infinitely harder for them than it would be if they hadn't lost that opener.
The driver for the success of the Ducks is partly what would be expected. Justin Herbert, who scouts were drooling over last season, has increased his accuracy significantly, has thrown just one pick against 17 touchdowns, and is on track for his best passing year. But he isn't blowing things out of the water. It has been impressively solid more than stunningly spectacular. And he will be challenged by the loss of Jacob Breeland, his favorite target. The tight end was lost for the season last week. But while Herbert has been good, it's that defense that is so impressive. Third nationally in points allowed. Eighth in both total yards and passing yards. Those are not Pac-12 numbers. And what stands out is how evenly the load is being carried. They have 21 sacks as a team, but no single player has more than three. Linebacker Troy Dye leads the way with 33 total tackles, but 16 guys are in double digits. This is complete, team wide buy in. And it is happening under a first-year coordinator in Andy Avalos, which makes it all the more remarkable.
What has stood out both in Washington's five wins, and their two losses - a narrow one to Cal, and a far less narrow one at Stanford - is that they just aren't particularly good at anything. They aren't terrible, either. They are just ordinary. Too ordinary. Jacob Eason was supposed to be the savior at QB. He has been fine, but his offense ranks 64th nationally in passing yards and 29th in points scored. The defense is similarly ranked. And they haven't played a hugely tough schedule, either. It has all been a little underwhelming. They will be a good test for the Oregon defense just because of the caliber of player that Washington can recruit compared to teams like Nevada, Montana and Colorado that Oregon has faced. But at this point it is much easier to imagine Oregon getting the better of it than Washington.
Oregon at Washington Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened widely with Oregon favored by 2.5 points, and we are now seeing the key number of three coming into play in early betting action. The Ducks have received more than 60 percent of bets so far, so the movement isn't surprising. The total opened at 51.5 and has fallen slightly to 50.5 early on.
The Ducks are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 October games and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Huskies are 4-1 ATS in both their last five overall and their last five at home. They are, however, just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 conference games. Oregon is a dominant 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings between these teams. Favorites have gone 16-5-1 ATS in the last 22 matchups.
Oregon at Washington Predictions and Picks
I'm all about Oregon in this one. The buy in this staff has had on defense has been very impressive, and the offense is working well enough as well. Oregon is going to be able to score, and I am less certain that that is the case for Washington. It may not be decisive, but it's only three points - or less if you act quickly. Oregon is the comfortable play.
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