Beavers will cover NCAAF spread vs. Ducks
By: David Schwab
Friday, December 3, 2010
LaMichael James will help Oregon to the win, but the Beavers will cover the spread.
The 114th edition of the‘Civil War’ could end up being one for the ages as the longtime rivalry between the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers takes on a whole new level of importance with a trip the BCS National Championship Game on the line for the visiting team. Kickoff from Reser Stadium in Corvallis is set for 12:30 p.m. (ET) and the matchup will be broadcast nationally on ABC.
All Oregon has to do is pass one last test on the schedule to wrap up a perfect season and a trip to the BCS title game January 10 in Glendale, Arizona. The Ducks have cruised through their first 11 games with the exception of a minor hiccup in a 15-13 win over California as an 18 ½ point road favorite. They failed to cover a couple of huge spreads in four other games, leaving them 6-4-1 against the spread this season.
Oregon’s most impressive victory of the season was a 52-31 win over No.4 Stanford in early October as a 6 ½-point home favorite with the total going way ‘over’ 63 ½. Most recently, the Ducks knocked off No. 23 Arizona 48-29, but barely missed covering as a 20 ½-point home favorite. The total went ‘over’ the 64-point line in this game as well.
BetED.com has opened the Ducks as a 16 ½-point favorite for this game and the ‘over/under’ line is set at 64. This is the largest spread for either team in the last 10 years of this series.
Oregon comes into this year’s ‘Civil War” with the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation; averaging an amazing 50.5 points per game. Much of its production revolves around a rushing offense that is averaging 300 yards per game. LaMichael James is currently fourth in the country in rushing with 1,548 yards on 253 carries which equates to an average of 6.1 yards per carry. He also leads the team with 19 rushing touchdowns.
Oregon State’s 2010 season has taken a turn for the worse with losses in four of its last six games. The Beavers would need an improbable victory in this game just to become bowl eligible as they are currently 5-6 SU on the year. They have a better record ATS at 6-4-1 making them a bit more attractive in this game in light of such a high pointspread.
The Beavers' only quality win in the last six weeks was a 36-7 romp over then-No. 20 USC as a three-point home underdog. They also beat Arizona 29-27 earlier in the year as an 8 ½-point road underdog, but losses to UCLA and Washington State tarnished whatever credibility they previously earned as a legitimate threat to win this game.
Oregon State’s defense is ranked 60th in the country in points allowed; giving up an average of 25.9 points per game, and its offense is ranked 80th in scoring; averaging just 24.8 points per game. The only real bright spot for this team has been RB Jacquizz Rodgers, who has 1,097 rushing yards, 267 receiving yards and 16 TD’s.
Oregon is 5-0 SU in five road games this season, but just 2-3 ATS. The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of its last 10 games overall.
Oregon State is 4-1 SU in five games at home this season, but just 2-2-1 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in its last five games overall.
Head-to-head, Oregon has won four of the last seven games SU and is also 4-3 ATS. The total has gone ‘over’ in the last eight games in this series.
Oregon is clearly the better team and barring anything catastrophic should come away with a comfortable win, but covering 16 ½ points could be a stretch playing in a heated rivalry game on the road. Take the Beavers to come away with a shred of dignity in an otherwise dismal season by keeping this one close enough to cover.