Pac-12 Championship Odds & Pick: How to Bet Oregon vs. USC (Friday, Dec. 18)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images. Pictured: CJ Verdell (7) and Oregon Ducks teammates.
- The first Power Five conference championship kicks off on Friday night when USC hosts Oregon in Los Angeles.
- The Ducks enter the game as a replacement opponent for Washington, but they will likely make the game much more interesting.
- Collin Wilson explains why he likes the Ducks getting points in his full betting analysis for the Pac-12 Championship below.
Oregon vs. USC Odds
|Oregon Odds||+3.5 [BET NOW]|
|USC Odds||-3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+125 / -149 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||63.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Friday, 8 p.m. ET|
With a 3-2 overall record, the Oregon Ducks will attempt to become Pac-12 champions.
Washington, which finished the season 3-1, deferred its spot in the championship game due to COVID-19. Huskies head coach Jimmy Lake commented that every single offensive lineman on their roster was out due to virus protocol. Oregon will pivot from a conference game with Colorado to the championship game on USC’s home turf.
USC is undefeated and climbing in the College Football Playoff rankings. If the Trojans are successful, they will have the same record as Ohio State and avenge a beatdown from the Ducks in 2019.
Oregon started the conference slate with three straight victories over Stanford, Washington State and UCLA before back-to-back losses to Oregon State and Cal.
A cancelation of the Washington game gives Oregon 13 days of rest heading into Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. While the Ducks prepare for the Pac-12 title game, head coach Mario Cristobal is rumored to be a candidate for the newly vacant job at Auburn.
The 2020 season has turned out nothing close to expectations before the pandemic took over the world. Joe Moorhead was signed on as offensive coordinator, but a laundry list of next-level talent opted out of the season.
Moorhead has improved the offense in the wake of Justin Herbert’s move to the NFL, ranking top-20 in Success Rate and top-15 in pass explosiveness. Quarterback Tyler Shough has had flashes of greatness despite 10 drops on 105 passing attempts.
Tyler Shough letting it fly for six! 🦆 pic.twitter.com/cxvMXxOZv2
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 6, 2020
The defense has been the primary concern for Cristobal this season. Oregon is generating little-to-no pass pressure and has 49 missed tackles in 349 defensive plays. Freshman linebacker Noah Sewell leads the team in defensive stops and is the highest-graded player in pass coverage for the unit.
Sewell is just as important in pass coverage as defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is to the pass rush. Thibodeaux has 14 quarterback hurries on the season, twice as many as any other player on the defensive side of the ball.
Head coach Clay Helton has come off the hot seat with a perfect season that has been anything but smooth. USC scrambled in opening wins against Arizona State and Arizona before posting a 4% postgame win expectancy against UCLA in Week 15.
Kedon Slovis has rolled in the Trojans’ past two victories with a 10:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and over 500 passing yards.
That’s our QB! @Kedonslovis
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) December 13, 2020
USC may throw more than its 58% rate against Oregon with the injury to lead rusher Vavae Malepeai. Also on the injury report are defensive backs Briton Allen and Dorian Hewett, who missed the UCLA game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There’s reason to believe that both teams will find success on offense.
Both offenses rank top-30 in third-down conversions, while both defenses rank outside the top 50 in stopping opponents on third downs. Each offense has the statistical advantage in Finishing Drives.
Oregon vs. USC Matchup Matrix
USC will take advantage of a poor Oregon back seven that has been dominated in early downs.
The Ducks are 106th in defensive standard downs Success Rate. The Trojans will look to pass early and often with rankings outside the top 100 in Line Yards, Stuff Rate and Power Success. The lack of a running game, along with the injury to Malepeai, may assist the Ducks in getting critical stops.
When Oregon has the ball, there may be nothing the Trojans can do to stop drives. The Ducks are third in the nation in Rushing Success Rate against a Trojans defense that ranks 55th in the same category.
Shough should have plenty of success through the air if there’s a clean box score posted against a Havoc-minded Trojans defense.
With this game predicted to land as a coin flip on a neutral site, back the Ducks at any number north of a field goal.
Pick: Oregon +3.5.