College Football Odds, Picks for Oregon vs. Utah: How to Bet Friday’s Pac-12 Showdown
John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: George Moore (77) and the Oregon Ducks.
- The Oregon Ducks take on the Utah Utes in Friday night's Pac-12 Championship.
- Updated odds make the Utes -2.5 favorites in this rematch of a game that took place two weeks ago.
- Check out Collin Wilson's top two bets for the game.
Oregon vs. Utah Odds
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
The Pac-12 Championship game has revenge going in both directions for the winners of the North and South Divisions.
Oregon finishes the season beating oddsmakers with 10 wins, its latest loss coming to Utah just before Thanksgiving. The loss in Rice-Eccles Stadium not only cemented the South for Utah but also knocked the Pac-12 Conference completely out of the national title picture.
Utah also has revenge as a motivating factor when these teams kick off from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The Utes were a win away from the College Football Playoff in 2019 when facing the Ducks for the conference championship. Utah would score in just one quarter before taking a 22-point loss. It then received the same treatment against Texas in the Alamo Bowl.
Now, the two teams are set for revenge, each keeping each other out of the National Championship picture in two of the last three seasons.
When asked about defending Utah and the multiple tight end formations, head coach Mario Cristobal responded with, “We don’t talk schematics here; we have to do better.”
The use of motion and multiple formations all set up explosive plays for play-action and bootleg attempts by Utah.
The Ducks must find a way to stop Utah from getting into third-and-short, starting with the leader on the defensive line in Kayvon Thibodeaux. Whether it was misdirection or double-teams, the future NFL edge rusher posted his second-worst rush defensive grade of the season against Utah.
Oregon’s defensive struggles against the run have been present the entire season, ranking 81st in Rushing Success Rate and 72nd in Stuff Rate.
Without control of the line of scrimmage, coordinator Tim DeRuyter may elect to amp up the blitz above the season average of 28%. Although Oregon has a coverage grade outside the top 100, loading the box and containing the rush must be priority No. 1.
When pressed ahead of the Pac-12 Championship, Cristobal stated that “There’s going to be a wrinkle. There’s going to be an adjustment.”
That same feeling may come on the offensive side of the ball, where the ground attack was shut down in Rice-Eccles.
The run game returned with success in the rivalry game against Oregon State. The Ducks were stuffed on just 7-of-41 rushing attempts and averaged 5.6 yards per play. Oregon nearly doubled the number of plays in standard downs versus passing downs in a nine-point victory over the Beavers.
When pass was called on offense, the Ducks managed a 24% Success Rate higher than the national average.
This throw!😤@anthonybrown_2 🤝 @2eraa
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) November 27, 2021
Wrinkles are needed both offensively and defensively.
If the Ducks are to win against Utah, more passes in standard downs and more players in the defensive box could be the key to victory over Utah.
There may not be a team as hot as Utah heading into conference championship weekend.
Winners of eight of their last nine games, the change at quarterback from Charlie Brewer to Cam Rising has had an incremental positive effect on the Utes.
The sophomore has 15 big-time throws to just six turnover-worthy plays on the season and excels in blitz downs. Through 100 dropbacks with blitz, Rising has produced an adjusted completion percentage just 4% less than when not blitzed.
Although Rising has led an explosive passing attack, it was the running game that provided four rushing touchdowns against the Ducks. Oregon stuffed just 11-of-49 rushing attempts and allowed Utah to score a touchdown on all but one drive past the 40-yard line.
Although the Utah special teams rank is bottom-10 in FBS, that doesn’t stop dynamic returner and wide receiver Britain Covey from putting points on the board.
As called on Utah Utes radio: pic.twitter.com/ojhELuuCny
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 21, 2021
If Oregon is to win this game, there must be a better effort at getting the Utes out of standard downs. Utah ran 48-of-68 plays on schedule with an average third-down distance of 5.1 yards.
There was no room for Oregon to make a comeback in the second half. The Utah offense was the definition of methodical, spending the second half with just three offensive possessions that spanned over 17 minutes and put an additional 10 points on the board.
Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley has called a tremendous defense all season for Utah. A rank of sixth overall in Havoc highlights how often the Utes spend time playing in opponent backfields.
Oregon has been a run-heavy offense all season but was stuffed on 8-of-20 rushing attempts in the Nov. 20 loss.
Utah LB Devin Lloyd has made a ton of money this season. Has taken his coverage game to the next level this season, plus still gives you the big downhill stops like this pic.twitter.com/yLZzQZcFC9
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) November 21, 2021
The key to beating Oregon is to get the heavy run into passing downs, as Utah forced almost half of the Ducks’ offensive attempts to be behind schedule in Week 12.
Utah is 11th in Defensive Line Yards but outside the top 100 in defending the explosive run. If Oregon can find a way to get beyond the line of scrimmage in rushing attempts, the second matchup may provide a different result than the previous game.
Oregon vs. Utah Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Oregon and Utah match up statistically:
Oregon Offense vs. Utah Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Utah Offense vs. Oregon Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||22||122|
|Plays per Minute||74||79|
|Rush Rate||57.8% (42)||56.6% (53)|
Oregon vs. Utah Betting Pick
Much of the handicap from two weeks ago still exists in this matchup, which led to a no-sweat investment in taking Utah through the first half.
A line of Utah -3 at home is not -3 on a neutral site, while the total closed 58.5 on Nov. 20 and has been posted the same for the Pac-12 Championship.
Has the victory over Oregon and non-cover against Colorado been enough to increase the margin four points on the side of Utah in the span of two weeks? The Action Network projection makes this game Utah -1, giving clear value to the Ducks.
As for the total, the wrinkle Cristobal spoke of may be more passing from quarterback Anthony Brown or a DeRuyter defense that crowds the box. Utah does not plan to change things on either side of the ball, making this game all about the Ducks’ execution.
Cristobal mentioned that first and second downs are filled with a significant amount of pressure from the Utah defense. While the coach refused to talk specifics, Oregon throwing the ball in standard downs would be one of the solutions to free up the running game.
The Oregon defense is beat up, but linebacker Noah Sewell and cornerback Mykael Wright are expected to play. Linebacker Keith Brown will be a game-time decision.
The Ducks faced a run-heavy Oregon State team but gave up nine explosive passes to the Beavers, an area that Rising can expose once again. Neither of these teams play with tempo, but both rank in the top 25 in Offensive Finishing Drives.
If the wrinkle to the Joe Moorhead offense is additional passing, the over is a value play if the Ducks can hold up their end of the scoring.
Pick: Over 59 or Better · Oregon +3 -120 or Better
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