Pac 12 College Football Betting Preview: Utah Utes at #6 Oregon Ducks.

Utah Utes at #6 Oregon Ducks
Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Oregon

Saturday, November 16, 2013, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening Line: Oregon -25
Current Line: Oregon -28
Opening Total: 64
Current Total: 63 1/2
Opening Money Line: Oregon -4500 / Utah +1700
Current Money Line: Oregon -5500 / Utah +1800 

Oregon is a 28 point home favorite against Utah. The Ducks look to rebound from a 26-20 loss at Stanford last week.
Oregon is a 28 point home favorite against Utah. The Ducks look to rebound from a 26-20 loss at Stanford last week.

For the second straight year, Oregon had their dreams of playing in the BCS Championship game shattered in a loss to Stanford. The 8-1 Ducks were #3 in the BCS standings but were manhandled by the Cardinal 26-20 in a game that wasn’t nearly that close. Now Oregon probably won’t even win the Pac 12 Championship unless Stanford loses another game. The Ducks are 5-1 in conference and Stanford is 6-1.

Oregon looks to rebound against the team that gave Stanford their only loss of the season, as the Ducks host the 4-5 Utah Utes Saturday. The Utes are 1-5 in the Pac 12 South and need to win 2 more games to become bowl eligible. Oregon leads the series 18-8 against Utah including 10-4 in Eugene. The two schools have not played since Utah joined the Pac 12 a few seasons ago. Oregon won the last meeting in 2009 at home 31-24.

Utah is coached by Kyle Whittingham. The Utes have home wins over Utah State 30-26, Weber State 70-7, and against previously undefeated and then #5 Stanford 27-21, along with a road win at BYU 20-13. Utah has lost 3 straight games since the Stanford upset. Oregon is the 8th straight team that is already bowl eligible that Utah has played. The Utes have home losses to Oregon State 51-48 in overtime and UCLA 34-27 and last week against Arizona State 20-19, plus  road losses at Arizona 35-24 and USC 19-3. Utah is 5-4 ATS and the total is 3-6 this season. The Utes were 7 point underdogs against Arizona State and the total was 63.

Arizona State took an early 7-0 lead against Utah last week. The Utes scored 19 straight points to take a 19-7 lead into the fourth. Utah failed on a two point conversion on their first touchdown. Arizona State scored 13 fourth quarter points including the go ahead score with 2:37 left in the game to make it 20-19. The Sun Devils also missed a two point conversion. Utah would have two more possessions in the last two minutes but both ended with interceptions, and Arizona State held on for the win. Neither team did much on offense as they were both held to under 300 yards. Besides the two turnovers, Utah also had 7 penalties for 80 yards. The Sun Devils had one turnover.

Utah is outscoring teams 30-25 so far this season. Utah is averaging 399.9 yards per game including 230.4 passing and 169.4 rushing yards. On defense, the Utes are allowing 382.2 yards per game, including 239.9 passing and 142.3 rushing yards. Utah is #35 out of 125 teams in rush defense. The Utes are -8 in turnovers with 19 giveaways. Utah is 53/150 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 64/165. The Utes have forced 33 sacks and allowed 21 this season. Utah is 25/29 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns and opponents are 30/35 with 20 touchdowns. The Utes are averaging 48 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 52. Utah has two defensive touchdowns and has allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown and 2 pick sixes.

Quarterback Travis Wilson has completed 56.1% of his passes for 1,827 yards, with 16 touchdowns and 16 picks. He also has 81 carries for 386 yards and 5 touchdowns. He injured his hand in the Arizona game and back-up Adam Schulz came in to relieve him. Schulz had thrown for 247 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception, along with 14 carries for 7 yards. Wilson has played the last two games, but Schulz could see some snaps.

Running back Bubba Poole has 123 carries, 538 yards and a touchdown , along with 28 catches for 227 yards. Kelvin York has 62 carries, 237 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lucky Radley has 37 carries, 236 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 7 catches 57 yards and a touchdown. Karl Williams and Marcus Sanders-Williams will get several carries a game as well. Each has a rushing touchdown. Williams also has 2 touchdown catches. Receiver Dres Anderson has 37 catches, 742 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus a rushing touchdown. Sean Fitzgerald has 26 catches, 397 yards and 5 touchdowns. Anthony Denham has 20 catches, 264 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Tight end Jake Murphy has 10 catches and a touchdown but is out for the season with a broken wrist. Three Ute defensive players are listed as questionable to out.

Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have home wins over Nicholls State 66-3, Tennessee 59-14, California 55-16, and Washington State 62-38 and UCLA 42-14, along with road wins at Virginia 59-10, Colorado 57-16 and at Washington 45-24. The Ducks also have the 26-20 loss at Stanford last Thursday night.  Oregon is  7-2 ATS and the total is 5-4 this season. The Ducks were 10 point favorites against Stanford and the total was 60.5.

Stanford took a 26-0 lead against Oregon early in the fourth including 4 field goals. The Ducks mounted a furious comeback and scored 3 touchdowns, including on a blocked field goal. The Ducks missed a two point conversion and were down 26-20 with 2:12 left. Stanford recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock. Oregon had been averaging over 600 yards per game and over 50 points a game. However, the Cardinal held the Ducks to 312 total yards including 250 passing and 62 rushing yards. The Ducks were averaging over 300 yards rushing. Stanford had 377 total yards including 274 rushing yards. Oregon has 2 turnovers in the game, both in the red zone. The Ducks also had 10 penalties for 81 yards. Stanford had the ball for almost 43 minutes.

Oregon is outscoring teams 52-18 this season. Oregon is #3 nationally in scoring and #10 in points allowed. The Ducks average 596.7 yards per game including 301.7 rushing and 295 passing yards. Oregon is #2 in total offense and #8 in rushing. Even the passing attack is #21 in the country. Oregon is allowing 361.2 yards per game on defense, including 214.4 passing and 146.8 rushing yards. Oregon is 38th or better in all three categories out of 125 teams. The Ducks are +11 in turnovers for the season with 23 takeaways. Oregon is 60/134 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 70/183. The Ducks have forced 23 sacks and allowed 13. Oregon is 41/54 scoring in the red zone with 37 touchdowns, and opponents are 23/30 with 13 touchdowns. The Ducks are averaging 71 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 46. Oregon has 2 punt returns for touchdowns, a fumble return for a touchdown and a pick six. The Ducks have allowed one fumble return for a touchdown.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 63.3% of his passes for 2,531 yards with 22 touchdowns, and no interceptions, along with 62 carries for 495 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was considered by many to be the Heisman front runner before the Stanford loss. Mariota admitted after the game that he was battling a gimpy knee. He is listed as probable. Running back Byron Marshall has 141 carries, 925 yards, and 12 touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 150 yards. Thomas Tyner has 69 carries for 439 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 9 catches for 105 yards. De’Anthony Thomas has 58 carries, 399 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 120 yards. He has played the last two games after he missed four games with an ankle injury.

Receiver Josh Huff has 41 catches for 745 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 27 rushing yards. He is questionable with a concussion. Bralon Addison has 43 catches for 675 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Keanon Lowe and Daryle Hawkins have 3 touchdown catches each.  John Mundt has 2 touchdown catches.

Utah is 6-2 ATS after scoring less than 20 points, 15-6 after a straight up loss, 2-5 in November, 2-7 in Pac 12 games, 1-4 against teams with winning home records, after a cover, 1-5 in road games, and 0-7 after allowing less than 170 passing yards.

Oregon is 4-0 ATS after failing to cover, 3-0-1 after a straight up loss, 6-1 on fieldturf, 14-3 overall, 4-1 at home, 10-3 in Pac 12 games, 18-7-2 against teams with losing road records, 5-2 after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 33-16-2 against teams with losing records, 1-4 after rushign for less than 100 yards, and 1-6 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more.

Oregon might come out a little flat after the disappointing loss to Stanford last week, but I think the opposite happens. I think the Ducks will be angry and come out fired up. Utah has had some close losses, against quality teams but they are much better at home than on the road. Oregon wins easily.

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