Oregon vs. Washington College Basketball Odds & Picks: Back the Ducks as They Find Their Form
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Oregon’s Eric Williams Jr.
Oregon vs. Washington Odds
While the football game Saturday between these schools has been canceled, the Oregon Ducks will still visit the Washington Huskies in Oregon’s first conference basketball game of the season.
The Ducks opened the season with a loss to upstart Missouri before beating Seton Hall, Eastern Washington and Florida A&M. Transfer portal wizard Dana Altman has assembled another Oregon team that is deep and experienced.
Senior guard Chris Duarte, along with transfer forwards Eugene Omoruyi and Eric Williams Jr. are the bedrock of this Ducks team which, for my money, looks like the best Pac-12 team right now.
On the other hand, Washington is a train wreck. The Huskies started the season 0-3 with losses by at least 14 points to Baylor, UC Riverside and Utah before beating lowly Seattle in their home opener.
The Huskies suffered their first big loss before the season even started when their leading returning scorer, Naz Carter, left the program in October after being suspended by the university for two sexual assault allegations.
Point guard Quade Green has played well for Washington, but he hasn’t had much help and is the lone Husky averaging more than 8 points per game.
While Washington hopes to use home court to get back on track, expect a comfortable Oregon win on the road.
Altman has done it again. He has a group with veteran guards and a handful of transfers on a reloaded Oregon team.
Duarte and junior guard Will Richardson were each selected as Pac-12 preseason first team all-conference. Unfortunately, Richardson sustained a thumb injury just before the opener and will be out for at least five more weeks.
In Richardson’s absence, the Duck transfers have stepped up.
Eugene Omoruyi, a transfer who averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a junior at Rutgers two seasons ago before sitting out last year per transfer rules, burst onto the scene with 31 points against Missouri in the opener and 22 points in Oregon’s best win against Seton Hall on a neutral court. Kenpom.com has Omoruyi at ninth in its player of the year standings.
Duquesne transfer Eric Williams Jr. has impressed by also scoring in double figures in each of Oregon’s four games. St. John’s transfer guard L.J. Figueroa missed the opening loss against Missouri while waiting for his transfer waiver to be processed, but has done a nice job of contributing without taking a ton of shots. He leads the team with 7.7 rebounds per game while also adding 6.7 points, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Expect the Ducks to continue improving as these players establish more continuity, especially once Richardson returns.
Despite losing senior point guard Peyton Pritchard to the NBA, the Oregon offense has remained elite. They have dropped slightly from the sixth- to 16th-most efficient offense in college basketball. The Ducks have a chance to be better than last year because of their defense, as they have improved from 76th to 38th in defensive efficiency.
A big reason for Oregon’s improvement defensively is its length. The Ducks start four players at 6-foot-6 or taller, and all four of those players are nationally ranked on Kenpom (among the top 500 of 1,948 eligible players) in block percentage. The Ducks also rank 30th in offensive rebound rate allowed after finishing 307th in this category last season.
It’s going to be a long season for the Huskies.
Washington underachieved last season, finishing dead last in the Pac-12 despite having two first-round picks (center Isaiah Stewart and small forward Jaden McDaniels) in the 2020 NBA draft on the team.
Washington looked good in its non-conference slate (with a win over a Baylor team that was likely a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament), but once Quade Green was ruled academically ineligible, the Huskies went on a downward spiral and haven’t recovered.
The Huskies lack an identity at the moment. They are abysmal at putting the ball in the basket, ranking 275th in effective field goal percentage and 155th in adjusted offensive efficiency.
The Huskies aren’t terrible defensively, ranking 50th in adjusted defensive efficiency, but their 288th ranking in offensive rebounds allowed (opponents are getting 36.9% of their offensive rebounds) continues to hurt them. The Huskies also rank 206th in offensive rebounding, making it even harder for them to win games when they are getting beaten on the boards on each side of the court.
If the Huskies want to win against the Ducks, they will need to have an efficient night shooting 3-pointers. Without the size they had last year, Washington needs to be efficient from the perimeter, but they rank 277th thus far as they have hit just 24.7% of their threes. The Huskies need to increase that number to at least 35% and improve their rebounding in they want to have a chance against the Ducks.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Huskies are trying to find their identity while the Ducks are finding their form. Oregon has too many scoring options for this offensively challenged Washington team to hang with them for 40 minutes.
While I think the Huskies can hang around for a while if they shoot well, 7 feels like too few points for Washington to cover given the huge gap between these two teams. I like the Ducks up to -9.5.
Additionally, if Washington is competitive and gets the live number below 5, live bet the Ducks.
Pick: Oregon -7 (-110) | Play up to -9.5