The No. 5 Oregon Ducks host the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, November 1st in what was expected to be a game that would decide the Pac-12 North. That could still be the case, but the Cardinal haven’t held up their end of the bargain to this point with two conference losses already.
Stanford (5-3) bounced back from a loss to Arizona State with a 38-14 home win over Oregon State last weekend. Oregon (7-1) reeled off its third straight victory since losing to Arizona with a 59-41 road win at California.
Kickoff at Autzen Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 EST Saturday night with FOX providing the television coverage. If you are interested in wagering on this game, you’ll find Oregon as a 9.5-point favorite over Stanford.
My Early Lean: Stanford +9.5
The Cardinal have really played the Ducks tough over the last couple of years. They have won each of the last two meetings despite being a massive underdog in both. They went into Oregon and came away with a 17-14 road win as an 18.5-point underdog in 2012. They also delivered a 26-20 home win as a 10-point dog last year. The key has been their defense, which has given up an average of 358.5 yards per game to the Ducks the past two seasons.
Defense is the reason I am giving Stanford the edge in this 2014 meeting as well. It is only allowing 12.5 points and 250.6 yards per game to rank 2nd in the country in total defense this season. Oregon, meanwhile, is allowing 25.9 points and 462.4 yards per game to rank 108th out of 128 teams in total defense. It’s going to be very hard for the Ducks to cover when they cannot stop anyone.
Defense is the reason I am giving Stanford the edge in this 2014 meeting as well. It is only allowing 12.5 points and 250.6 yards per game to rank 2nd in the country in total defense this season. Oregon, meanwhile, is allowing 25.9 points and 462.4 yards per game to rank 108th out of 128 teams in total defense.
Oregon has given up 30 or more points in four of its last five games overall. It allowed 31 to Washington State, 31 to Arizona in a loss, 30 to UCLA and 41 to California. The only exception was the 20 points given up to Washington, which has one of the worst offenses in the Pac-12. Stanford is fully capable of moving the football and putting up a big number on this Oregon defense.
The Cardinal had been struggling a bit offensively up until last week, but I like their frame of mind on this side of the ball coming into this game. They put up 38 points in their 24-point win over Oregon State. They also racked up 438 yards of total offense in the win. Kevin Hogan threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns, while the team rushed for 151 yards. The defense held Sean Mannion to just 122 passing yards on 30 attempts. The Beavers also mustered only 12 rushing yards on 29 carries.
Stanford is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 road games versus excellent offensive teams that average 450 or more yards per game. The Cardinal are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 road games after scoring 24 points or more in the first half of their last game. The Cardinal are 26-12-1 ATS in their last 39 conference games. The Ducks are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.