No. 2 Oregon Ducks (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. No. 18 Southern California Trojans (6-2 SU, 2-6 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday, November 3rd, 2012, 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.
TV: FOX Network
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OR -7.5/USC +7.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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This Saturday’s PAC-12 Conference showdown between the 2nd-ranked Oregon Ducks and the 18th-ranked USC Trojans won’t be quite the monumental game it was originally conceived to be in the preseason, but it will still have plenty of BCS National Championship implications when these two tangle in the L.A. Coliseum on Fox.
Not only has Southern Cal not held up their end of the bargain to stay undefeated and make the Oregon-USC game a major BCS-poll highlight game, but they lost for a second time last week on the road at Arizona in the classic “look ahead” spot on the schedule, 39-36. Now with a chance at the National title all but gone, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin’s goal will be to keep all of USC’s future NFL players focused on four more weeks of college football, starting this weekend with another chance to ruin the Ducks chances at moving up from fourth in the current BCS standings.
The good news for Ducks fans is that the BCS is still providing Oregon with plenty of motivation. Since winning the Rose Bowl in January the Ducks haven’t been stopped yet, they’re scoring 53 points per game and have won every game since by an average winning margin of 34 points yet, the BCS committee currently has them ranked 4th in the BCS standings.
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Oregon rolled up 56 points on Colorado last weekend by halftime in their 70-14 win, and the Ducks destroyed the same Arizona team that just beat USC by 49 points earlier, so you can beat coach Chip Kelly will make the Ducks aware of the “disrespect” his team is getting from the BCS.
Oddsmakers set the opening point spread with Oregon as 7-point favorites on the road at the Coliseum, but after a flood of public money rained down on the Ducks (the “public” loves the chalk) most sportsbooks were forced to move the number off the crucial number of seven up the hook to minus -7.5. But they’ve only gone up the hook because the sharp money has been hitting the Trojans as plus-touchdown home dogs, so there might be some more give and take on this point spread before kickoff on Saturday night.
As of press time this game has not yet had an over/under total listed.
When they do finally release a total expect it to be a very large number, because the amount of talent on offense in Saturday’s Ducks-Trojans game could rival some of the teams in the NFL.
Oregon just keeps coming at you as fast as they can snap the ball and when the defense makes the smallest mistake, burners like Kenjon Barner (6.9 ypc, 14 TD) and De’Anthony Thomas (8.6 ypc, 10 TD) take it to the house in the blink of an eye. Marcus Mariotta has played very well in his first season at QB (69%, 1,483 yards, 18 TD), but nobody has even come close to stopping the Ducks rushing attack (331 ypg - 3rd in FBS), so Mariotta has yet to be “tested” in crunch-time of a close game.
A lot was expected from Trojans QB Matt Barkley before this season, and he’s played well overall (2,200 yards, 25 TD), but he’s also shown a few holes in his game (65%, 8 INT) in both of the Trojans losses this season. The Oregon secondary has yet to face an offense with weapons like Marquise Lee (1,129 yards, 10 TD) and Robert Woods (11.0 ypc, 9 TD) on the outside, so they’ll have to commit more energy toward limiting them that the Ducks could have trouble stopping the running game of ex-Penn State RB Silas Redd (5.5 ypc, 7 TD).
Oregon’s defense has shown an ability to create a pass rush (23 sacks) and get off the field on third downs (28.3 %), and everyone knows about the Trojans issues along the offensive line, so on paper the Ducks appear to have an advantage on defense.
Most people remember the Trojans big, 38-35, win on the road in Eugene last year (as 16.5-point underdogs), but not many remember the Ducks, 53-32, spanking in the Coliseum in 2010, or the Ducks, 47-20, win in 2009. The point is, the Ducks have shown the ability to blow everyone out even the mighty USC.
The betting trends will show that the favorite has enjoyed a 6-2 ATS mark in the last eight head-to-head meetings. The trends also show that Oregon has been a great wager (5-1 ATS in L6 road games, 7-3-1 ATS in L10 vs. team with winning record), while the Trojans have been one of the worst wagers this year (2-6 ATS).
However, the Trojans are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games following a straight up loss, and they are 4-1 ATS in the last five at the Coliseum.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: There are two teams in college football who are head and shoulders above the rest; Alabama and Oregon. Those two will also likely face each other in the BCS Title game in January. USC might keep it close for a bit, but simply doesn’t have the defense to keep up with the Quack Attack. Oregon wins by 14+ here.
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