Oregon vs. Arizona Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Edge on Total in Lopsided Pac-12 Matchup (Saturday, Sept. 25)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Brown.
Oregon vs. Arizona Odds
|Moneyline||-10000 / +2500|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Heavy is the head that wears the crown — a burden Oregon now assumes as the Pac-12’s last shot to make the College Football Playoff.
Being included in college football’s final four teams is a feat the conference has accomplished just once over the seven-year history of the playoff.
And while Oregon enters this showdown undefeated and a popular dark horse to crash the national championship party, Arizona makes the trip to Autzen Stadium as the owner of college football’s longest losing streak (15).
The Wildcats are also fresh off an embarrassing loss at home to Northern Arizona as a 26.5-point favorite.
The tables are flipped now as the Wildcats are getting 28.5 points, but is even that enough to cover the spread against the Pac-12’s preeminent power?
Oregon vs. Arizona Betting Preview
The fervent Anthony Brown supporters were few and far between to start the year, but the Boston College transfer has done more than an adequate job leading the offense to 38 points per game.
Oregon has done most of its damage with the two-headed running back attack of CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, both of whom average north of five yards a carry and have combined for eight touchdowns.
Joe Moorhead’s offense leans on an up-tempo, no-huddle approach to keep defenses off-balance, and the veteran Brown has proven a very capable manager of the system.
Brown has completed just shy of 60 percent of his passes for 567 yards and four touchdowns to no interceptions, while also adding 122 yards and two scores on the ground
Oregon will likely get out to an early lead and pull its starters in the fourth quarter, but there won’t be much, if any, dropoff at the QB position when heralded five-star prospect Ty Thompson comes in for Brown.
Thompson debuted last week against Stony Brook, going 6-for-9 for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Tim DeRuyter’s defense won’t have the easiest time preparing for three different quarterbacks that all have a fairly different style.
However, there shouldn’t be too much worry for an Oregon defense that actually has some pretty bad numbers after playing two high-flying offenses in Fresno State and Ohio State.
The Ducks allow 419 yards per game, the 100th worst number in college football.
That happened against passing attacks that rank fourth and 15th in the country, though. None of Arizona quarterbacks are Jake Haener or C.J. Stroud, and the QBs aren’t surrounded by a litany of five-star talents.
Oregon’s front seven has struggled to stay healthy. Kayvon Thibodeaux hasn’t played since injuring his ankle against Fresno State.
His replacement and team leader in sacks, Bradyn Swinson, also missed last week, as did three other linebackers. Swinson remains doubtful to play against Arizona.
Oregon has made a living forcing turnovers, ranking fourth nationally in turnover margin at +2.33 per game. Safety Verone McKinley III intercepted two passes last week.
The game of musical chairs at quarterback continues, as Arizona may be on its third different starter in four games.
After starting Washington State transfer Gunner Cruz to begin the season and Will Plummer in the second half of Week 2, Jordan McCloud took over in the fourth quarter last week.
The South Florida transfer stepped in nicely, completing six of seven passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. He also presents a running threat, as two years ago, he rushed for 283 yards as the starter for the Bulls.
While there’s a huge uncertainty at the quarterback position, there’s no question who Arizona’s go-to guy is in Stanley Berryhill III. Berryhill is a threat in both the run and pass game, accounting for 103 yards from scrimmage per game, the fourth-highest mark in the Pac-12.
Among numerous other areas, Arizona has also struggled on the offensive line. The Wildcats have an Offensive Havoc ranking of 121 and are allowing 3.3 sacks per game.
For as much as Arizona has struggled, its defense is actually pretty average.
The unit allows 342.7 yards per game — which is right in the middle of the FBS — and the Wildcats’ Rush and Pass Success rank 55th and 35th, respectively. The biggest weakness for the unit is stopping the run, as the Wildcats allow 182 yards per game, the 102nd worst number in the country.
Arizona only recorded two sacks last season, a number that’s already doubled through three games this year. The team has jumped from 127th to 64th in Sack Rate.
While the Wildcats’ defensive numbers aren’t horrible, they’ve yet to play an offense anywhere near as explosive and talented as Oregon.
This is almost a guarantee to be the most points they allow this year to date. Their only saving grace may be when Oregon decides to ease up on the gas.
Oregon vs. Arizona Matchup Analysis
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Arizona Offense vs. Oregon Defense
Oregon Offense vs. Arizona Defense
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Oregon vs. Arizona Betting Pick
I was originally inclined to take Oregon -27.5 when this line opened, but now that the spread sits at more than four touchdowns, that’s asking a lot, even for a team as talented as the Ducks at home.
Oregon defeated Stony Brook, 48-7, last week after pulling Brown at the half. Arizona is at the very least better than the Seawolves, but I don’t see it scoring more than two touchdowns with its current quarterback situation.
With the Ducks averaging 38 points a game and likely to score in the low 40’s this week, there’s still some value on the total of 59.
I like the under in this one and I will bet it down to 58.