College Football Pac 12 Betting Preview: Stanford Cardinal at #5 Oregon Ducks

Stanford Cardinal at #5 Oregon Ducks
Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Oregon

Saturday, November 1, 2014, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Opening Line: Oregon -11 1/2
Current Line: Oregon -8
Opening Total: 54 1/2
Current Total: 55
Opening Money Line: Oregon -325 / Stanford +265
Current Money Line: Oregon -330 / Stanford +270

Oregon is an 8 point favorite against rival Stanford in a key Pac 12 North game Saturday.
Oregon is an 8 point favorite against rival Stanford in a key Pac 12 North game Saturday.

When the initial College Football Playoff Rankings came out this week, the 7-1 Oregon Ducks were #5. That means the Ducks would be left out of the four team playoff right now but there is still a long way to go before that happens. Oregon leads the Pac 12 North with a 4-1 record. The Ducks host the 5-3 Stanford Cardinal Saturday. Stanford is in second place in the division with a 3-2 record.

The Stanford-Oregon game has decided the Pac 12 North Division title every year since the conference expanded to 12 teams and split into divisions. That trend should continue as no other team in the division is above .500.

Stanford leads the series 46-30-1 against Oregon, including 19-16 in Eugene. Oregon has won 9 of the last 12 games against Stanford but the Cardinal have won the last two meetings including 26-20 last year in Stanford.

Stanford is coached by David Shaw. With 3 losses already it seems unlikely Stanford will go to a fifth straight BCS level Bowl Game unless they pass Oregon and play in and win the Pac 12 Championship game. Stanford has a home loss against USC 13-10, plus road losses at Notre Dame 17-14 and at Arizona State 26-10. The Cardinal have home wins over UC-Davis 45-0, Army 35-0, Washington State 34-17 and last week against Oregon State 38-14 along with a road win at Washington 20-13. Stanford is 4-4 ATS and the total is 1-6. The Cardinal were 12 point favorites against Oregon State and the total was 42.5.

Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have home wins over South Dakota 62-13, Michigan State 46-27, Wyoming 48-14 and Washington 45-20. Oregon has road wins at Washington State 38-31, at UCLA 42-30 and last week at California 59-41. The Ducks have won 3 straight games since Oregon was upset at home 31-24 by Arizona. The Ducks were 17.5 point favorites against Cal and the total was 78. Oregon is 4-4 ATS and the total is 4-3-1 this season.

Stanford is outscoring teams 26-13 this season. The Cardinal are #2 in points allowed nationally and #91 in scoring. The Cardinal are averaging 383 yards per game on offense including 242 passing and 141 rushing yards. Stanford is #85 in total offense and #92 in rushing. On defense, Stanford is allowing 251 total yards per game, including 160 passing yards and 91 rushing yards. The Cardinal are #4 in pass defense and #1 in total defense nationally. Even the rush defense is #5 nationally. Stanford is -8 in turnovers with 5 takeaways. Stanford is 40/107 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 51/151. Stanford averages 53 penalty yards per game and opponents average 49. The Cardinal have forced 27 sacks and allowed 16 this season. Stanford is 22/34 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns and opponents are 15/19 with 9 touchdowns. The Cardinal have 2 punt returns for touchdowns, and have allowed a defensive touchdown.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan has completed 62.6% of his passes for 1,814 yards with 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, plus 4 rushing touchdowns and 123 yards on 53 carries. Running back Remound Wright has 69 carries for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 4 touchdowns.  Barry Sanders, Jr. has 40 carries for 290 yards, plus 6 catches.  Kelsey Young has 38 carries for 212 yards. Receiver Ty Montgomery has 49 catches for 513 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also has a rushing touchdown and 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Austin Hooper has 22 catches for 246 yards and a touchdown. Devon Cajuste has 20 catches for 293 yards but 3 of them went for touchdowns. Four defensive players are questionable or out.

Oregon is outscoring teams 46-26 this season. Oregon is #6 nationally in scoring. The Ducks average 535 yards per game including 312 passing and 223 rushing yards. Oregon is #8 in total offense and #15 in passing. Even the rushing attack is #29 in the country. Oregon is allowing 462 yards per game on defense, including 291 passing and 172 rushing yards. Oregon is #117 in pass defense and #108 in total defense out of 128 teams. The Ducks are +11 in turnovers for the season with 16 takeaways. Oregon is 65/118 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 76/167. The Ducks have forced 23 sacks and allowed 18. Oregon is 33/39 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns, and opponents are 30/35 with 24 touchdowns. The Ducks are averaging 70 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 59. Oregon has 2 punt returns for touchdowns.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is a Heisman contender. Mariota has completed 68.8% of his passes for 2,283 yards with 24 touchdowns and 1 interception, and has rushed for 325 yards on 62 carries with 5 touchdowns. Running back Royce Freeman has 146 carries for 748 yards and 13 touchdowns, along with 6 catches. Byron Marshall has 36 carries for 307 yards and a touchdown, and 38 catches for 521 yards and 4 touchdowns. Thomas Tyner has 66 carries for 279 yards and a touchdown, along with 9 catches and a touchdown. He is questionable for undisclosed reasons after missing the Cal game. Receiver Devon Allen has 27 catches for 487 yards and 6 touchdowns. Keanon Lowe has 17 catches for 266 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hamstring injury after missing the Cal game as well. Tight end Pharaoh Brown has 20 catches for 345 yards and 5 touchdowns. Dwayne Stanford has 23 catches for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kicker Matt Wogan is out for undisclosed reasons.  Receiver Bralon Addison is out for the season with a knee injury.

Stanford is 26-10-1 ATS after passing for 280 yards or more, 7-3 in November, 26-12-1 in Pac 12 games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 2-6 after allowing 20 points or less, 1-4 against teams with winning records, 0-6 after a cover and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 0-5 after a straight up win, 0-4 in road games and after allowing 275 total yards or less. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in this series recently.

Oregon is 17-4 ATS after rushing for 200 yards or more, 12-4 after a cover, 8-3 after allowing 40 points or more, 15-6 after scoring 40 points or more, 5-2 against teams with winning records, 16-7 after a straight up win, 2-5 at home and against teams with winning road records, 2-6 after allowing 450 yards or more and on fielfturf, and 0-4 in November. The over is 7-2 in this series recently.

Oregon can basically wrap up the Pac 12 North title with a win as they would hold the equivalent of a 3 game lead with 3 games to play in the regular season. However, even though Stanford isn’t as strong as they have been in the last several seasons, the Cardinal still have the best defense in the country. Stanford has to keep the score low because they can’t get into a shootout with the high powered Ducks. Oregon’s most glaring weakness is a defense that has been awful this season. Still I think the Ducks win at home to snap a two game losing streak to their rivals.

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