Washington-Oregon Betting Guide: Recency Bias Skewing These Odds
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oregon Ducks’ Justin Herbert and Washington Huskies’ Myles Bryant
Washington-Oregon Betting Pick, Odds
- Line: Washington -3.5
- Over/Under: 57.5
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ABC or ESPN2
>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
÷≥No. 17 Oregon has a second shot at making a statement on the national stage when it hosts No. 7 Washington. This game will go a long way toward determining the Pac-12 North race, and the College Football Playoff landscape out West.
Washington has played excellent defense all season but hasn’t faced a quarterback such as Oregon’s Justin Herbert. Will the Huskies hold up in a hostile environment, or can the Ducks pull off a small upset?
Market Moves for Washington-Oregon
Two-thirds of the bets being placed on this game are on landing on Oregon, but the money has actually been split down the middle. The line has been going back and forth between 3 and 3.5 all week, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue fluctuating up to Saturday.
The total has bettors split down the middle, but 84% of dollars wagered have coming on the under, and the number has fallen a point to 57.5 as a result.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
Oregon is coming off a bye in Week 6. A bye week allows players to recover from injuries and gives coaches extra time to prepare.
Ranked teams playing at home after a bye have been undervalued by the betting market. Wagers on these teams have gone 103-72-6 (59%) since 2005.
By Evan Abrams
As John noted, the Ducks are coming off a bye in Week 6, while Washington is on normal rest (seven days). Ranked home teams coming off a bye week that are facing an opponent that is on normal rest are 75-51-6 ATS (+20.4 units) since 2005.
Oregon is 3-2 to the over so far this season, while Washington, one of the best defensive teams in the country, is 5-1 to the under in 2018. Since 2005, when the Oregon Ducks play at home in-conference, the over is 39-22 (+15.2 units), making Eugene the second-most profitable location for the over for conference games behind just Oklahoma State in Stillwater (40-17-1 to the over).
This will be the second consecutive home game in which the total is listed below 60 for Oregon at home — the first time that has occurred since Nov. 14, 2009.
When the total is set below 60 in Eugene for a Pac-12 game, the over is 13-5, going over the total by more than a touchdown per game.
How Good Is Washington’s Defense?
OK, it’s very, very good. But it has some flaws.
The secondary is excellent, ranking top 35 in all explosiveness and efficiency metrics. But, it ranks:
- 116th in adjusted sack rate
- 111th in opponent completion percentage
- 124th in average third-down distance (6.1 yards)
Basically, no one has tested the Huskies downfield and is instead content with moving the ball in chunks to set up favorable third-down situations. That’s why Washington ranks tied for 99th in third-down conversions on defense.
I’m really interested to see how Herbert, the best quarterback Washington has faced by a wide margin, can test the Huskies downfield while still being efficient. It’s nearly impossible to do, but if anyone can, it’s Herbert.
The key to beating Washington is finishing drives, which no one has done. The Huskies rank 10th — and have been top 15 in each of the last three seasons — in points allowed per trip inside the 40-yard line.
Recency Bias Playing Role in Line Move
By Ken Barkley
If there’s a team I can safely say I’ve written too much about this year, it’s Oregon. The Ducks stood out before the season as a team with just enough talent to have a special season — and a schedule that was impeccably assembled for them to dodge any real trouble spots. The game against Stanford in Week 4 was their fourth straight home game; it was all set up for the taking. And then…the last two minutes happened.
Now comes Oregon’s second great scheduling spot, with Washington on back-to-back travel and Oregon having a week off to prepare. It should be a great spot for Oregon, and before the year I would have expected to have a Ducks ticket here … except that I think there’s already been a big-time adjustment.
The “Game of the Year” preseason line was Washington -10. In September, the lookahead was down to Washington -6.5. Now it’s the Huskies -3.
Has Washington under-performed that much compared to expectations? It lost a sloppy game to Auburn and beat everyone else, albeit not always convincingly. Oregon has performed almost exactly as expected. There are no significant injury concerns on either side (Huskies running back Myles Gaskin is a little banged up, but by all indications should play).
It’s possible there is some recency bias with Oregon, as people remember it both dominating Stanford, and winning big against Cal. The Cal game is a misleading score, however, as the Bears had five turnovers — two returned for touchdowns — and when they weren’t losing the ball, they were really effective against Oregon’s defense.
Despite coming into the year with some hype under DC Jim Leavitt, Oregon’s defense ranks just 80th in S&P+ heading into the game. My numbers have this as Washington by about a touchdown, and I will be playing the Huskies at -3.
How Does Washington Stop Herbert?
I haven’t looked to back Washington too many times in 2018 — until now. This game opened at 5.5 on BetOnline with a steady intake of Oregon money to push it down to 3.5. Some other offshore books flashed a -3, which is where I looked to dive in on the Huskies. Although the Ducks looked like world beaters for most of the game against Stanford a few weeks back, some of the box scores have shown this team is tough to trust.
Oregon’s strength of schedule is 111th, which surprised me, until you realize Bowling Green and San Jose State are in the bottom 10 rankings of S&P+. A victory at Cal was clouded with plenty of turnovers and failed fourth-down attempts by the Bears. Washington has a strength of schedule of 64th, including a close loss to Auburn, and wins over Utah and Arizona State.
The handicap on this game comes down to Washington defending Herbert — the best player in this game. When taking a dive into the numbers, the Huskies rank first overall in defending pass explosiveness and have a defensive ranking of 17th in passing efficiency. While Washington isn’t spectacular overall in causing disruption, the defensive back unit ranks ninth in the country in Havoc.
Based on those numbers alone, Herbert will have issues with completions — getting the ball down the field — and might get picked a few times during the game.
Washington is 29th in S&P+ offense, which is an edge over an Oregon defense that ranks 80th. Specifically, the Ducks are 106th in defending pass explosiveness.
Quarterback Jake Browning has never been known as a deep ball thrower, but there are plenty of short to mid-range crossing routes to Aaron Fuller and Ty Jones that could result in explosive plays.