College Football Week Four Betting Preview: #18 Utah Utes at #13 Oregon Ducks

#18 Utah Utes at #13 Oregon Ducks
Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Oregon
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Opening Line: Oregon -14
Current Line: Oregon -10 1/2
Opening Total: 68 1/2
Current Total: 64
Opening Money Line: Oregon -440 / Utah +355
Current Money Line: Oregon -410 / Utah +330

Oregon takes on Utah in the Pac 12 opener for both schools.
Oregon takes on Utah in the Pac 12 opener for both schools.

The 2-1 Oregon Ducks and 3-0 Utah Utes open Pac 12 play Saturday night in Eugene. Oregon is #13 and Utah is #18.

Oregon leads the series 20-8 against Utah, including 12-3 in Eugene. The Ducks have won three straight games in the series and six of the last seven. Oregon w0n 51-27 last year in Salt Lake City.

Utah is coached by Kyle Whittingham. The Utes have home wins over Michigan 24-17 and Utah State 24-14, along with a road win at Fresno State 45-24 last week. Utah was an 11.5 point favorite at Fresno State and the total was 53. The under looked good when Utah took a 24-3 lead into the fourth quarter. However, the two teams combined for 42 points in a wild fourth quarter. Utah had a fumble return, a  kickoff return and a punt return all for touchdowns. Utah is 2-1 ATS and the total is 1-2 this season.

Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have home wins over Eastern Washington 61-42 and Georgia State 61-28 last week. Oregon lost at Michigan State 31-28. Oregon was a 42.5 point favorite against Georgia State and the total was 71.5. The Ducks racked up 539 total yards but gave up 431 yards to the Panthers. Oregon is 1-2 ATS and the total is 2-1 this season.

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Utah is outscoring teams 31-18 this season. The Utes are #35 nationally in points allowed this season. Utah averages 348 yards per game on offense, including 166 passing and 182 rushing. The Utesa re #108 ot of 128 teams in total and passing offense. On defense, Utah is allowing total yards including 259 passing and 106 rushing yards. The Utes are #98 in pass defense but #26 in rush defense. The Utes have forced 8 turnovers and have 4 of their own. Utah averages 36 penalty yards and opponents average 44. Utah is 28/53 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 23/50. The Utes have forced 3 sacks and allowed 1 this season. Utah is 10/11 scoring in the red zone with 7 touchdowns and opponents are 7/9 with 5 touchdowns. The Utes have four defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Travis Wilson had has thrown for 286 yards with an interception, and has rushed 100 yards on 17 carries for 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Kendal Thompson will take some snaps even if Wilson starts. Thompson has thrown for 215 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and had rushed for 54 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.

Running back Devontae Booker has 84 carries for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns, and has 14 catches for 126 yards. Running backs Troy McCormick and Marcel Brooks-Brown are both out for the season.  Receiver Britain Covey has 14 catches for 127 yards. Siale Fakailoatonga, Kenneth Scott and Bubba Poole will also get some targets. Harrison Handley has the only touchdown reception for the Utes.  Receiver Tim Patrick and tight end Evan Moeai are both questionable.

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Oregon is outscoring teams 50-34. The Ducks are #9 in scoring but #103 in points allowed. Oregon is averaging 567 total yards including 261 passing and 306 rushing yards. The Ducks are in the top 10 nationally in rushing and total offense. Oregon is allowing 456 yards per game on offense including 316 passing and 140 rushing yards. The Ducks are #107 or worse in total and pass defense. Oregon has forced 7 turnovers and has 4 of their own. The Ducks average 53 penalty yards per game and opponents average 39. Oregon is 21/50 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 19/46. The Ducks have forced 5 sacks and allowed 6 this season. Oregon is 15/17 scoring in the red zone with 12 touchdowns and opponents are 13/15 with 12 touchdowns. Oregon has 3 defensive and  special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Vernon Adams, Jr. missed the last game against Georgia State with a broken finger but is expected to play this week. Adams has thrown for 555 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and rushed for 100 yards on 28 carries with a touchdown. If Adams can’t go, then Jeff Lockie will start. He has thrown for 228 yards with 2 touchdowns. Quarterback Travis Jonsen is out for the season for undisclosed reasons.

Running back Royce Freeman has 55 carries  for 373 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 55 yards. Tony Brooks-James has 21 carries for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also has 5 catches for 20 yards. Taj Griffin has 17 carries for 116 yards with a touchdown. Thomas Tyner is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Receiver Bralon Addison has 13 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown. Dwayne Stanford has 6 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Charles Nelson has 9 catches for 127 yards. Byron Marshall has 8 catches for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Pharoah Brown is out indefinitely with a leg injury.

Utah is 8-0 ATS against teams with winning home records, 4-0 after scoring 40 points or more, 7-1 in road games, 6-1 after rushing for 200 yards or more and passing for less than 170 passing yards, 9-3 against teams with winning records, 5-2 after a straight up win and in September, and 11-5 overall.

Oregon is 8-0 ATS in Pac 12 games, 6-1 after a straight up win of more than 20 points, 5-1 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 10-3 overall, 22-7 after scoring more than 40 points, 23-8 after a straight up win, 21-8 against teams with winning records, 33-15-3 after rushing for more than 200 rushing yards, and 1-4 in September.

The Ducks can afford to give up over 400 yards to Eastern Washington and Georgia State, but they will get burnt if they keep playing with fire. Utah isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. I Like Oregon to win at home in a high scoring game.

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