Purdue Boilermakers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Oregon Ducks (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) 10:15 p.m. EST, September 12th, 2009, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
By Oracle of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Purdue +12/ Oregon -12
Its easy to understand why this Saturdays contest between Oregon and Purdue is intriguing. Whether they like it or not, the Ducks have been talked about everywhere in the college football world because of the individual actions of one LaGarrett Blount. The biggest question for Oregon - how are they going to handle the distraction?
Meanwhile, Purdue is looking to take advantage of the undermanned Ducks, who have officially lost their number one running back heading into this season because of the infamous sucker punch.
The Boilermakers come into the contest in Eugene, Oregon, big 52-31 winners over Toledo. They did it with a somewhat different recipe than in years past, too, scrapping the all-or-nothing spread and using a running game.
The Ducks were ranked before the 19-8 loss to Boise St. last week but have dropped out of the Top 25. That hasnt stopped online bookies from favoring the home team Ducks -12.
The over/under opened up pretty high at 60, but has dipped at some sportsbooks to 58.5.
BET ON OREGON DUCKS GAMES AT REDUCED
ODDS -105 AT BETPHOENIX
The Ducks may be without their best running back for the rest of the year, but their defense stepped up against Boise St. They forced three fumbles and gave up just 2.8 yards per carry on the Broncos 59 attempts. They also got pressure on Boise St. quarterback Kellen Moore most of the night. The defense had its hands full, too, as they were out on the field for nearly 43 of the 60 minutes.
The Ducks offense was another story on its own. They were awful, to say the least. Head coach Chip Kelly, who is known for his offensive mind, saw his team get held to 152 total yards and just six first downs.
Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Mesoli will have to take over the brunt of the work if the Ducks want to salvage their season. The junior quarterback is a two-way threat, as he threw for 1,744 yards last year and also ran for another 718 and 10 scores.
However, Purdue is looking to extend Oregons miserable start to the 2009 campaign. Running back Ralph Bolden rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns in Purdues season opening win over Toledo. Their 315 rushing yards as a team was good enough for 10th best in the nation during the first week of play.
New quarterback Joey Elliot also impressed in his debut, throwing for 220 yards and three scores, but he also threw three picks.
So the question heading into this contest is whether or not Oregon can bring the same type of defensive pressure against Purdue as they did against Boise St. The Boilermakers offense looks legit even with plenty of new faces.
Bettors have to question whether or not the absence of LeGarrett Blount and the total ineptitude of the Ducks program will harm them this weekend. If the Ducks prove their preseason No. 16 ranking, they can build upon it to catapult their year.
If last years game between these two teams was any indication of whats in store for Saturday night, then a high scoring affair would be a good bet. The Ducks won 32-26 a season ago in double overtime, but Purdue did cover the 7-point spread.
Besides, in the game, Blount was HUGE, going off for 132 yards and two scores on just 12 carries. His absence will have a big impact in Oregons home opener.
Bettors should know that the Boilermakers have loved being double digit road dogs as of late, covering the last four games when that occurs. Theyre also 4-1 ATS in their last four games.
The Ducks counter that by covering big spreads, as theyre 12-3 when 10.5 favorites or more in their past 15 contests.
The over seems like a trendy pick here as well, but its a line bettors might want to stay away from. It was hard to get a read or an indication of how good either offense really was during the first week.
The qualms bettors may have could be thrown out once they know the over has come in the last four games for Purdue when they play on turf. The over is also 4-0-1 in Oregons last five home games.
Until the Ducks move forward with their season and win some ball games a dark cloud will encapsulate their program because of what happened during the first week of the season. A good start to getting rid of that cloud is to take it out on the visiting Boilermakers.
Oracles Pick: Yes, Oregons offense played way under their potential against Boise St., but without Blount, they just arent as good. Purdues defense isnt anything to brag about, but theyll have plenty of muster to keep this game within the double digit spread. Take Purdue plus 12!
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