This Saturday the Oregon Ducks (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) will host the Arizona Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12). Kickoff is set for 7:00 EST under the lights at Autzen Stadium and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Oddsmakers currently have this game listed as a pick’em with the total set at 74 points. Check out our Week 12 college football odds page for a full betting schedule and more links to our game previews.
Arizona vs Oregon Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Wildcats come into this one off a comfortable 49-28 win at home over Oregon State. While they covered the closing number of 20.5, they were favored by as many as 22 earlier in the week. It was a nice bounce back performance from Arizona, who lost a huge game the week before at USC.
Oregon will be returning from a much-needed bye after playing each of the first 10 weeks of the season. Last time we saw the Ducks they suffered an ugly 3-38 loss at then No. 12 Washington. Oregon’s offense managed just 278 total yards and 16 first downs in the loss, which was their 4th in their last 5 games.
Free Pick Against the Spread & NCAAF Predictions: Oregon PK
I think we are getting some decent value here with the Ducks at just a pick’em on their home field in a prime time night game on Saturday. I think a lot of people will be inclined to back Arizona here, as they have been the much better team of late. The Wildcats are 5-1 in their last 6 games with the only loss coming at USC. Oregon on the other hand is 1-4 in their last 5 with the only win coming at home against Utah.
Click here for more free NCAA football picks against the betting spread and total.
My biggest concern here with the Wildcats is a lack of motivation, as there’s really not a lot at stake for Arizona. With USC’s win over Colorado last week, Arizona no longer has a shot at the Pac-12 South title. I think they could find it difficult to get up for an Oregon team that hasn’t been playing well, especially given that they got their huge in-state rivalry game against Arizona State on deck next week.
As for Oregon, they still need 1 more win to become bowl eligible, something that’s a bigger deal than normal given they didn’t qualify last year and are in the first season of new head coach Willie Taggart. I also think we get a very motivated Ducks team off of their bye after how poorly they played in their last game against Washington.
However, the biggest reason that I like the Ducks, is I feel there’s an excellent chance we see starting quarterback Justin Herbert return from injury. Some thought he was going to return in their last game against the Huskies, but it didn’t happen. While nothing is official, he was practicing with the first team during the bye week and Taggart mentioned in his press conference on Monday that he’s really close and hopeful that he’s going to be ready to play.
My money is on him playing and with him this is a completely different Oregon offense. Herbert had completed 68.3% of his attempts for 1,264 yards and 9 touchdowns (only 2 picks) before getting hurt. Backup Braxton Burmeister in comparison has thrown for 324 yards in 5 games, 4 starts.
If by chance Herbert doesn’t play, I still like the Ducks here, as they bring a potent rushing attack to the table, which is currently ranked 11th in the country at 255.2 ypg. Arizona just allowed 151 to a horrible Oregon State ground game last week and the week prior gave up 331 rushing yards to USC.
I also think the bye week is going to pay off huge for Oregon’s defense, which will have two weeks to put together a game-plan to slow down the Wildcats Khalil Tate. Note that the Ducks strength defensively has been stopping the run, as they are 30th against the run (130.5 ypg) compared to 98th against the pass (249.2 ypg).
Oregon is also a profitable 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games off a bye, while Arizona is just 3-12 ATS under Rich Rodriguez in road games off a cover and 0-6 ATS under Rodriguez in road games after scoring 31 or more points in 3 straight games. Give me the Ducks.