College Football Picks Against the Spread: Washington State Cougars vs. Oregon Ducks

Washington State Cougars at No. 7 Oregon Ducks
Saturday, 10/29/11, 3:00 PM EST, TV:  N/A
Opening Point Spread:  Oregon -34.5
Current Betting Line:  Oregon -35
Opening Total:  69
Current Total:  69
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Oregon Ducks Running Back LaMichael James
The Oregon Ducks' offense hasn't skipped a beat without RB LaMichael James

Washington State has really fallen off since coming away with a 31-27 road win over the Colorado Buffaloes, dropping three consecutive games, including a 44-21 loss to the Oregon State Beavers last week.  The Cougars have been dealing with an injury at the quarterback position, as Jeff Tuel broke his collarbone earlier in the year, only to return in the last two games, but re-tweaked the injury last week.  “We need the kid to get healthy for him to be highly productive,” commented Cougars head coach Paul Wulff.  Washington State is 4-3 ATS on the year and the ‘under’ is 16-13 in the last two-plus seasons.

The Cougars have lost the last four meetings in this series and six of seven.  Washington State was handed a 43-23 defeat in last year’s meeting as 36.5-point home underdogs, losing the statistical battle by 206 yards.  Despite the recent losing streak, the program has been much better statistically, averaging over 100 more yards a game offensively than last year, while holding opponents to 87 yards less per game on the defensive end.

Oregon has rattled off six consecutive wins since dropping a 40-27 contest to the LSU Tigers as three-point neutral-site favorites.  The Ducks have also tallied a 4-1-1 ATS mark in those contests.  Injuries have not phased this team in the past couple weeks, as star running back LaMichael James has missed the last two weeks.  It hasn’t affected the offense much due to backup Kenjon Barner gaining a combined 286 yards in in that span.  “I’ve always said that Kenjon could start at a lot of schools in this country,” stated Ducks head coach Chip Kelly.  “We’re fortunate to have both him and LaMichael.”  Oregon is 13-8 ATS versus conference opponents and the ‘over’ is 15-7 in such contests.

The Ducks will bring in a 20-game home winning streak, which is the second-longest in college football behind the Boise State Broncos (35).  Oregon has alwo won 16 straight conference games.  Starting quarterback Darron Thomas (knee) is probable to return for this game, missing last week’s 45-2 win over Colorado.  The offense ranks sixth nationally in averaging 537.3 yards per game, while averaging 48.1 points a contest, which checks in at No. 4 in that particular category.

Bettors will likely back the Cougars due to their 9-3 ATS mark in October, while the Ducks are just 3-3 ATS as a favorite of 31 or more points.

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