College Football Predictions: Oregon at Washington Odds and Picks
by Trevor Whenham - 10/10/2013
Oregon has been the winner the last nine times these two foes have met. To reach an even 10 they have to win what is by far their toughest test of the season. Washington, meanwhile, has to regroup after playing, and losing, the biggest game of the Pac-12 season last week and get ready to do the same thing all over again. The Ducks likely control their destiny in the battle for the BCS, so they need to win, and win nicely, to stay in position for glory. Washington, meanwhile, needs to pull off the win at home to salvage any hopes of winning the Pac-12. A loss wouldn’t technically eliminate them, but it would mean that both Oregon and Stanford would need three conference losses, so it would be a near-fatal blow. In short, then, the stakes will be high in Seattle on Saturday.
This game will teach us a lot more about Oregon than we know at this point. What they have done has been very impressive. They have scored at least 50 points in five straight games for the first time in program history, and their defense has been looking sharper as well. If it weren’t for what Baylor has done, they would be getting even more praise for their scoring prowess than they are. The problem is, though, that they have never been even remotely tested. Tennessee is the best opponent they have faced, and that wasn’t close. Beyond that, it has been Colorado, Cal, Virginia and poor Nicholls State — hardly a murderer’s row. That means that in this game the Ducks will perhaps be required to play four quarters — or at least three — for the first time. It also means that they will have to face a dangerous quarterback at the helm of a high-tempo, potentially-explosive offense. I’m not suggesting for a second that Oregon is not up to the challenge — they had just better be ready for it, because there is a good chance this game won’t be the glorified scrimmage that their first five were.
Oregon at Washington Betting Storylines
Football is the ultimate team game, but in this one all of the pressure for Washington rests on the shoulders of one guy — quarterback Keith Price. We know that Oregon is going to be able to score many points. In order for Washington to have any chance at all, they are going to have to take advantage of every single opportunity they are given — especially early on. That means that Price needs to be close to flawless, and he needs to keep his team calm and focused in what is sure to be a tense situation. He has competed more than 70 percent of his passes this year, and he is playing the best he ever has, so he is certainly capable. He will have to get out of his own head, though — perhaps the worst game of his career came last year against Oregon. He will have a huge asset in his corner this year, though — the crowd. The setting is different, but already on Sundays this year we have learned how much of an impact a Seattle crowd can have on the outcome of a game between high-caliber teams. His task won’t be made easier by the fact he is practicing with an injured thumb this week, though he reportedly is practicing well despite the setback.
If there is a concern about the Huskies heading into this one, it is their mindset. They lost a crushing game last week after giving Stanford all they could handle for four quarters. They didn’t handle the loss as smoothly as they could — the best example of the issues being the bizarre decision by coach Steve Sarkisian to accuse Stanford of faking injuries. The program has not been on the biggest stage for a long time. Now they have to shake off their biggest game of the decade and focus on a game that is every bit as big — and perhaps bigger to fans since it is being played at home. That’s a lot to ask of even the most seasoned, experienced team, but neither coach nor players have a surplus of experience on this level right now.
Oregon at Washington College Football Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Oregon favored by 12.5 points. Eighty percent of bets have been on the Ducks, so there is upward pressure on the line, and it has risen to 13.5. It isn’t likely to move up dramatically further unless action is really unbalanced, because 14 is an important key number. The total is set very high at 75.5 points.
The Ducks have not only won the last nine meetings between the squads, but they are a stellar 8-0-1 ATS over that time. The favorites are 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings. Oregon is 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games against teams with winning home records. Washington is 6-1 ATS in their last seven conference games and also their last seven against teams with winning records.
College Football Predictions: Oregon at Washington Picks
I have a lot of respect for Washington here, but they are facing a huge task in playing Oregon. I would have more faith in them if they hadn’t just had to play Stanford, but these two games in a row are too much for a team like this. Oregon is explosive, experienced and strong on the road. They will be ready, and they will cover this spread. I would make it a priority to lock in the bet early, though, just in case it does rise over 14 points.
Wow! Doc’s Sports college football picks are free! New clients can get $60 in expert football picks from any handicapper on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board. There is no obligation for this offer, and no salesman, ever! Click here to get your picks – it takes less than 2 minutes to sign up!
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham