Oregon State Beavers vs. Oregon Ducks Preview and Pick

Oregon State Beavers (7-4) pick, 43.5 O/U at No. 17 Oregon Ducks (8-3)
pick, 43.5 O/U, Autzen Stadium, 4:30 PM Eastern, Saturday

by Badger of Predictem.com

The 111th installment of the football game they call the Civil War
will take place Saturday in Autzen Stadium, when Oregon State travels
to take on in-state rival Oregon.

It would be hard to find a team that has fallen as hard as fast as
the Oregon Ducks have in the past two weeks. Back-to-back losses
(34-24 to Arizona; 16-0 to UCLA) have eliminated the Ducks national
title hopes, and the season has taken a huge turn for the worse since
the season-ending knee injury to its leader and best player,
quarterback Dennis Dixon.

The Ducks wont get any sympathy from Oregon State. The Beavers will
be looking to put an exclamation point on their 2007 season with a
win versus their heated rival. Oregon State has won two games in a
row, including a lopsided 52-17 victory over Washington State two
weeks ago, and will also be trying to beat the Ducks for a second
straight year, as they beat the Ducks 30-28 last season.

Online bookies opened the game as a pick-em, with a 44.5 over/under total.

As mentioned above, the Ducks have been a completely different team
since the loss of Dixon. With Dixon at the helm Oregon was an
offensive juggernaut, averaging 37.2 points per game (9th) with over
488 yards of total offense (9th). Since the loss of the Heisman
hopeful, the Ducks have scored just 13 points total in two games and
barely 200 yards of total offense. Last week versus UCLA everyone and
their brother got a shot at playing quarterback, as Brady Leaf, Cody
Kempt and Justin Roper all took snaps as the Ducks were searching for
someone to provide a spark. Kempt has been named the starter this
week, but for how long is anyones guess.

Oregon State struggled out of the gate this season, losing three out
of their first five games. The Beavers have their own quarterback
issues, with Lyle Moevao making just his third start of the season
since replacing the injured Sean Canfield. Running back Yvenson
Bernard is also questionable for the game too, so dont expect the
Beavers to put up offensive numbers close to their season averages
(381.9 ypg 81st; 27.5 ppg 66th) with a rag-tag lineup of backups.

Without a high-scoring offense to rely on the Oregon defense has been
exposed, not that they were great to begin with. For the season the
Ducks are 60th overall at 379.9 yards per game, but they have managed
to keep teams out of the end zone with just a 22.5 points per game
average (33rd).

The Oregon State defense is coming off of one of their best
performances of the season. The Beavers forced eight turnovers (7
interceptions) in their victory over Washington State, and are
probably drooling at the thought of playing against Kempt and the
struggling Ducks. For the year the Beavers have been strong, ranking
11th overall (311 ypg) and allowing just 22.6 points per contest (35th).

Oregon was a sports bettors dream prior to the Dixon injury, going
8-1 ATS. But the Ducks have failed to cover the spread the past two
weeks without him, and also failed to cover the number versus the
Beavers last season. However, betting the under has been lucrative
for bettors lately, as the Ducks have gone under the total in four
straight games and six of their last seven overall.

Oregon State is a slightly better than average 6-4 ATS this season,
including a 2-3 mark on the road. They are also very average versus
the total, as they are 5-5 on the year, although they have gone over
the total in both of their previous two games.

Other interesting betting trends to note, the home team is 8-2 ATS in
the last 10 games in the series. And the over has cashed in on the
last five games in the series too.

The game opened as a pick, and it has continued to remain a pick game
as neither team is giving bettors a whole lot of confidence these
days. All of the uncertainty at quarterback for both teams has caused
the total to drop from 44.5 to 43.5 during the week too.

Badgers Pick: If I was a betting man, and I am, Id stay away from
this game altogether. But if you live in Oregon and have to bet on
this one, go with the visiting Beavers. They are simply the healthier
team right now and playing better football. Plus, its just cool to
be able to say I got the BEAVERS in this one.