Fresno State Bulldogs (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. No. 4 Oregon Ducks (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 8th, 2012/6:30 p.m. EST
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.
TV: PAC-12 Network
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Fresno St. +35/Oregon -35
Over/Under Total: 76.5
There will certainly be plenty of offense on the field Saturday in Autzen Stadium, when the 4th-ranked Oregon Ducks host the Fresno State Bulldogs in a Mountain West-PAC 12 non-conference battle in Eugene shown exclusively on the PAC-12 Network.
Oregon, of course, is coming off of one of the most prolific scoring binges in a long time in their, 57-34, victory over Arkansas State last weekend. Dont let the score fool you, the Ducks opened the Marcus Mariota era at QB right where they left off last year with Mariota (18-of-22, 200 yards, 3 TD) releasing speedsters Kenjon Barner and DeAnthoney Thomas from all angles to the tune of 605 yards and a 50-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
But Fresno State has a solid little offense of its own, led by Derek Carr, the brother of NYG backup David Carr. Now a junior, Carr was impressive in the Bulldogs, 37-10, victory over Weber State last Saturday going 20-for-25 for 298 yards and two scores. The Bulldogs are not just a one-trick pony though, as running back Robbie Rouse (123 yards, 2 TD) also had a good opener and returns along with six other starters to give Carr some help.
Oddsmakers opened this game at a ridiculous number, setting the point spread with Oregon as 35-point favorites. With nobody willing to take the five-score risk, a few offshore sportsbooks have dropped the hook to -34.5, but its still an unreal number.
The over/under total is also a big number that could cause sticker shock, with the opening total set at 76.5 at most sportsbooks with a few 77s.
The sticker shock on the total shouldnt be too surprising though, since both teams seem to ignore the defensive side of the ball most of the time. Oregon allowed 6.1 yards per rush and 6.9 per pass in the win over Arkansas State (not exactly a sin against a good Red Wolves team), which worries me a little against Fresno State. Fresno State was No. 100 in defense last year, so unless they made leaps and bounds in Spring ball I dont think Im going out on a limb to say they have little to no chance of stopping the Ducks.
These two have met six times since the 1996 season, with the last meeting in the form of a, 52-21, Oregon win in Eugene back in 2007. In fact, Oregon is a perfect 6-0 SU in the series history, but only a 3-3 ATS record. They also never had to chase five scores, with the highest point spread before this years doosy being a 16.5 in 2007.
The over also is perfect, at 4-0 in the head-to-head series, but it too has never chased a huge number in the 70s. Three of the four game closed in the 50s and the 07 game closed at 63.5.
The only betting trend that might offer guidance in this matchup is the fact that Fresno State is 0-5 ATS in their last five games versus a team from the PAC-12. Again, not sure its ever been 35 points, but 0-5 is 0-5.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Fresno State will lose this game but likely stay within the spread. Oregon already showed that they’re willing to call the dogs off when they get up big. They didn’t even try to score in the second half last week vs. Arkansas St. I’m betting Fresno St. to get the money!
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