Oregon State vs. Fresno State Odds & Picks: Value on the Bulldogs at Home
Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Fresno State wide receiver Jalen Moreno-Cropper.
- Oregon State hits the road and travels to Fresno after an impressive Week 1 win.
- The Bulldogs, led by quarterback Jake Haener, have plenty of experience playing Pac-12 teams and are looking to improve to 2-0.
- Dan Keegan previews the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Oregon State vs. Fresno State Odds
|Oregon State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Fresno State Odds|
-110o / -110u
This matchup is tight and hard to dissect, as both teams are very balanced, with efficient offenses, competent defenses and strong identities.
The Bulldogs rely on the playmaking of star quarterback Jake Haener to direct a strong passing attack. The Beavers want to maul opponents up front with the running game and create opportunistic shot plays for Chance Nolan.
This is a close matchup in a loaded late-night window and should be a tight game throughout.
Jonathan Smith has quietly built a quality team in Corvallis. The Beavers are physical and dedicated to a quality ground game.
They’ll have to make some strides to rebuild that rushing offense in 2022, as All-Pac-12 center Nathan Eldridge and workhorse rusher B.J. Baylor depart. The patchwork rushing attack was solid but unspectacular in Week 1 against Boise State.
The Beavs rushed for 178 yards in the game; that is a nice total, but after looking at the context of their rushing attack, it is a step back from their statistical averages last season.
Last season, they averaged 3.8 Line Yards per rush, according to CollegeFootballData. In Week 1, that figure was down to 2.9. They were third in the country with a 50.1% Success Rate on rushing plays in 2021, according to GameOnPaper. But they weren’t as consistent running the ball against the Broncos as their Success Rate dipped down to 32%.
The good news is that Nolan created some big plays for the Beavers offense by throwing for two touchdowns (although he did toss two picks as well).
Oregon State’s rushing attack was its bread-and-butter last season. If it truly takes a step back in 2022 because of the impact talent that was lost, then that means more on the shoulders of the inconsistent Nolan.
The story of the game against Boise State was a ferocious defense that put Oregon State in position to win. The Beavers created five turnovers, leading to Andy Avalos benching longtime starter Hank Bachmeier as the game was essentially put away 24-0 at halftime.
It’s an impressive box score and a huge win that the Beavers should be incredibly proud of. However, I’m not sure it’s a predictive data point heading on the road against a better quarterback.
The Bulldogs didn’t appear to miss a beat from last season’s 10-win team.
The moment won’t be too big for the Bulldogs, either, as they split their two games against Pac-12 foes last year, beating UCLA at the Rose Bowl and playing Oregon down to the wire at Autzen.
Haener is a star at quarterback for the Bulldogs as he passed for 4,096 yards and 33 scores last season. He also returns his top two receivers in Jalen Moreno-Cropper (899 yards) and Josh Kelly (778), while also adding Cal transfer Nikko Remigio to work the slot. Remigio went for a cool nine catches and 100 yards in the opener.
This is the best aerial attack in the Group of Five, and better than what most Power Five teams could threaten through the air, to be honest.
Last week’s Beaver performance was an outlier, but the Bulldogs’ performance wasn’t. Haener and his weapons ranked seventh in Success Rate on passing plays last year and will capitalize on a pass defense that ranked 68th in Success Rate defending the pass.
Oregon State vs. Fresno State Betting Pick
Oregon State fans should be thrilled with that textbook Week 1 victory. The Beavs set the tone early, took a huge lead, and held on to it. The Broncos moved the ball on them in the second half, but it was too little, too late.
There are some real concerns that the dominant Beavers rushing attack has taken a step back, and a five-turnover game should not be a weekly expectation. Can they learn to win in other ways, like coming from behind, or in a high-scoring affair opposite a gunslinger quarterback?
Fresno State will put that recipe to the test on Saturday. I believe home-field advantage and the better quarterback will win out, and the Bulldogs will control the game script in a tight one.
I’ll take the Bulldogs laying a half-point and would play it to -2.5.