Stanford vs. Oregon State Odds & Picks: Bet Favored Cardinal to Win Saturday in Corvallis

Stanford vs. Oregon State Odds & Picks: Bet Favored Cardinal to Win Saturday in Corvallis article feature image
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Stanford vs. Washington

  • Originally a Stanford home game, the Cardinal now travel south to face Oregon State in Corvallis.
  • The Beavers get star RB Jermar Jefferson back, while Stanford hopes Davis Mills is at his best in his second game back under center.
  • Roberto Arguello explains why he’s backing Stanford to get its third win of 2020.

Stanford vs. Oregon State Odds

Stanford Odds -3 [BET NOW]
Oregon State Odds +3 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -141/+116 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 52.5 [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
Odds as of Thursday at 9:45 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

The Oregon State Beavers (2-3) host the Stanford Cardinal Road Dogs (2-2) on Saturday in a Pacific Northwest edition of #Pac12AfterDark.

This game was originally scheduled to take place in Palo Alto, California, but recent Santa Clara County COVID-19 restrictions forced the Cardinal to stay on the road, with the game moving to Corvallis.

Both teams bounced back from 0-2 starts to the season. The Cardinal won their third game against rival California and upset previously unbeaten Washington last week. On the other side, the Beavers also defeated Cal in their third game before upsetting rival Oregon. 

I can also tell you these teams have also been extremely unlucky. The Cardinal lost starting quarterback Davis Mills an hour before kickoff against Oregon due to a false-positive COVID-19 test. Not only did Mills miss the Oregon game, he missed all but one practice the following week.

Mills and the Cardinal offense looked out of sync in the first half against Colorado before mounting a comeback in the second half, but it was simply too little too late.

While Oregon State beat rival Oregon in the rivalry formerly known as the “Civil War,” the victory didn’t come without an enormous price. On a sneak attempt on second-and-goal, starting quarterback Tristan Gebbia appeared to score but was ruled down at the 1-yard line by the referees. On the following play, Gebbia attempted another sneak but came up short, injured his hamstring and will now miss the rest of the season.

Backup Chance Nolan scored on the following play to get the win, but Gebbia’s loss proved costly during last week’s 30-24 setback at Utah. 

Both fanbases can only wonder what could have been if their quarterbacks would have played in those losses, and the absence of Gebbia will loom large when the Cardinal meet the Beavers.

Stanford Cardinal

Despite practicing in a public park after being “Paul Blarted” out of a parking garage, Stanford shocked the West Coast with last week’s upset at Washington. The way Stanford won, with a power run game, should make Cardinal fans optimistic. 

Facing the top pass rush in the conference, Stanford’s offensive line brought its A-game and didn’t allow a single sack, with Washington registering just a single pressure.

The Cardinal’s offensive line is anchored by senior center Drew Dalman and classmate/right tackle Foster Sarell. Dalman is the highest-graded center in the conference, and Sarell is one of nine Pac-12 tackles since 2016 to allow pressure on fewer than 3% of their sets in pass protection, according to Pro Football Focus.

Stanford’s three sophomores on the line, along with highly touted freshman Myles Hinton (who was used often as a tight end or extra offensive lineman in 23 personnel), also impressed in moving the Huskies upfield on run plays.

With three of Stanford’s top four receivers (Connor Wedington, Michael Wilson and Osiris St. Brown) all out for the year, expect Stanford to use 23 personnel frequently against an Oregon State defense that has allowed 5.2 yards per rush (although Stanford still has plenty of talent at receiver including Simi Fehoko, Elijah Higgins and Brycen Tremayne).

If the Stanford offense that finished the Washington game with a 7 1/2-minute drive to run out the clock shows up at Reser Stadium, the Cardinal will win.


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Oregon State Beavers

After struggling in his first start at the FBS level, Nolan will look to improve when the Beavers get star running back Jermar Jefferson back in the fold after he missed the Utah game due to COVID-19 protocols. It’s a shame Jefferson has only played four games because I believe if he plays a full season, he could have been a Heisman finalist.

Nolan and Jefferson will decide whether Oregon State wins or loses this game. I expect Stanford to score on the Oregon State defense, but Nolan and Jefferson will need to make big plays against a Stanford defense that has allowed 5.2 yards per rush.

Specifically, Stanford has struggled to defend the run game against dual-threat quarterbacks. Oregon’s Tyler Shough and Colorado’s Sam Noyer exposed Stanford’s defense in its first two games, but the Cardinal improved against the run in its last two games against less dynamic quarterbacks.

Stanford will run the ball and try to limit the number of possessions in the game, which means Nolan will need to be much more effective in converting third downs after going just 2 for 13 against Utah. Nolan averaged just 5.3 yards per pass in his first start with a middling QBR of 48.0.

If the Beavers win, it will be because he takes a step forward.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Expect Stanford to stack the box defensively (like it did against Washington) and force Nolan to win the game with his arm. Nolan will need to improve his play from his first start in order to give Jefferson a chance to make big plays.

Stanford defensive coordinator Lance Anderson has the edge in that matchup. He is 14-6 against freshman quarterbacks with fewer than seven starts (including a win last week), and I expect the Beavers to struggle to find space to run the ball.

Expect the Cardinal offense, which has just started to click, to perform well against a Beavers run defense that has struggled to stop the run and allowed opposing offenses to score at least 27 points in each game. 

The Cardinal not only will have success running the ball, but they won’t give Oregon State easy opportunities to score with a great special teams unit and a quarterback in Mills, who hasn’t thrown an interception in 174 attempts. 

Mills is coming off the best game of his career (20-of-32 with a nearly perfect 98.0 QBR) against the best pass defense in the Pac-12. Mills secured his first win as a starter last year in Corvallis in an impressive 18-of-25 performance for 245 passing yards and three passing touchdowns while also catching a touchdown on “The Farm Special.”

I expect him to have another efficient performance in a Stanford win.

Pick: Stanford -3 (up to -6.5).

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