Portland State vs Oregon Odds, Prediction, Picks | College Football Betting Preview (Saturday, Sept. 2)
Pictured: Bo Nix. (Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images)
Portland State vs Oregon Odds
A year removed from getting its doors blown off to open the season, Oregon has leveled down in competition and hosts Portland State.
Bo Nix, meanwhile, embarks on his final collegiate season, one he hopes ends with a trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. This is also the Ducks final year as a member of the Pac-12, and they'll be looking to make the College Football Playoff for the first time since its inaugural season.
Will the Ducks deliver as expected against an FCS foe, or will they be slow out of the gates again?
Portland State had a less-than-spectacular season in 2022, finishing the year 4-7, including an 0-2 mark against FBS opponents (San Jose State and Washington). Bruce Barnum’s Vikings haven’t had a winning season since 2015.
The Vikings return 11 starters on both sides of the ball, including dual-threat quarterback Dante Chachere. Chachere completed under 60% of his passes last year but did lead the team in rushing with 609 yards and seven touchdowns on 110 carries.
Thanks to a rash of injuries to running backs last year, the Vikings return a lot of experience at the position and will use a committee approach.
The lone big playmaker returning is leading receiver Nate Barrett, who had five catches for 76 yards against San Jose State in 2022.
The biggest mismatch will be on the defensive line, where the Vikings lost all four of their starters. The two most experienced replacements have a combined 20 tackles, and the rest of the line will be filled by newcomers.
All aboard the Bo Nix hype train.
A change of scenery allowed Nix to become one of the most efficient passers in the nation last season. This season should be more of the same as his favorite target, Troy Franklin, is back, along with running back Bucky Irving. The Ducks also added former USC receiver Gary Bryant Jr. via the transfer portal.
There are, however, two notable offensive changes for Oregon.
The biggest is the arrival of new offensive coordinator Will Stein, who came over from UTSA to replace the departed Kenny Dillingham. Stein has talked about using less tempo, a change from Dillingham’s offense, which ranked second in the nation in first downs per game. That will likely have an impact on Oregon’s offensive output.
The second big change occurs on the offensive line. Last year, no team allowed fewer sacks than the Ducks, which was a big reason why Nix, for the first time in his career, looked so comfortable in the pocket. Well, Oregon lost four starters from that line. It will be a work in progress to rebuild something comparable, but it shouldn’t be an issue against a largely anonymous Portland State defensive line.
Oregon’s secondary was its Achilles’ heel last season. It lost its best cornerback, Christian Gonzalez, to the NFL, but there’s reason to believe it should be improved this season, thanks to several additions from the transfer portal.
On the line, the arrival of former five-star recruit Jordan Burch should reduce the amount of time the secondary has to cover. He should also help improve a defensive line that ranked 115th in sacks last year with 18.
Portland State vs Oregon
Betting Pick & Prediction
For the Ducks, this is quite the change of pace from last year’s season opener, and it’s one they should handle with ease. Oregon’s biggest defensive liability — its secondary — won’t be tested against a run-first quarterback, and its new offensive line should make light work of a completely inexperienced front four.
Oregon has a sneaky-good matchup next week with Texas Tech, so the Ducks might be looking ahead, but this is a similar situation to last season. Oregon played Eastern Washington with a game against BYU on deck, and the Ducks only went on to beat the Eagles by 56 points.
The Ducks scored 40 points in eight consecutive games last season, while Portland State allowed 45 in three of its last five. Seven touchdowns is a lot to lay, but Portland State will be lucky to score more than a touchdown while Oregon is somewhere in the 50s. Lay 'em.