The Arizona Wildcats (3-5) host the #19 overall Oregon Ducks (5-2) on Saturday night in Pac 12 action. Kickoff is set for 10:30 PM EST at Arizona Stadium and the game will be available on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 9 college football odds, Oregon opened as a 9.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has remained unchanged after early betting, as the Ducks are currently listed at -9.5. The total for the game is sitting at 61 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Arizona vs Oregon
Oregon moved seven spots down in the AP Top 25 poll after a very disappointing 34-20 defeat at Washington State last weekend. The Cougars were clearly the better team on both sides of the ball in Week 8 and were already up 27-0 at halftime. Things looked a little bit better in the second half for the Ducks, as they outscored Washington State 20-7 in the final two quarters but it still wasn’t nearly enough. QB Justin Hebert really looked good in the second half as he attempted to bring Oregon all the way back. Hebert went 25/44 for 270 yards a touchdown while also scoring a rushing touchdown on a key 4th and one from the ten yard line. He comes into this game against the Wildcats with an active 22-game touchdown streak, which is the longest in the country. RB CJ Verdell leads the way on the ground for the Ducks, as he has racked up 586 yards and 4 touchdowns while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. As a whole, Oregon is currently averaging 39.7 points per game on 460.7 yards of total offense per game.
The Ducks have looked just below average defensively, as they are currently giving up 26.1 points per game on 367.3 yards of total offense. They have really struggled against the pass, giving up an average of 251.0 yards per game through the air (96th overall).
Arizona lost a 31-30 heart-breaker at UCLA last weekend in spite of a valiant effort by backup QB Rhett Rodriguez. The sophomore turned in a highly respectable 231 yard, two touchdown performance to help give the Wildcats a chance at getting back to .500 overall on the season. Khalil Tate’s status is still up in the air, although it is clear that he will still be slowed by an ankle injury suffered early in the year. He has thrown for 1,415 yards and 11 touchdowns so far this season, but has only rushed for 112 after surpassing the 1,000 yard mark in 2017-18. WR Shawn Poindexter seemed to have instant chemistry with Rodriguez, as he hauled in six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns against the Bruins. Overall, Arizona is averaging 27.8 points per game on 438.8 total yards of offense.
Things haven’t looked all that great defensively for the Wildcats, as they are giving up an average of 29.0 points per game on 440.6 yards of total offense through their first eight games. They have really had a hard time against the rush, as opponents are averaging a whopping 195.9 rushing yards per game (102nd overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Oregon -9.5
Both of these teams have struggled a bit defensively so far this season, while the Ducks have been scoring almost 12 more points per game than Arizona. If you look at the combined averages on both sides of the ball, there is a 15 point differential overall per game in favor of Oregon. Throw in the fact that Arizona will likely be starting a backup quarterback again this weekend, and I think that getting the Ducks under double-digits is a fantastic value. Their offense is firing on all cylinders right now, and while not spectacular, their defense has been at least somewhat average. On the other hand, Arizona has allowed opponents to score 30+ points in two consecutive games.
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Oregon is a very solid 12-4 ATS over their last 16 games as a favorite between 3.5 and 10 points. They are also 5-0 ATS in their last five road games against teams with a losing record and 36-17-1 ATS over their last 54 games in the month of October. The Wildcats are just 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games as an underdog and 2-6 ATS over their last eight games as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points.
The Ducks are also an impressive 6-2 ATS over their last eight road games when favored by ten or less points, so I’m not sure how much home field advantage will help Arizona in this particular spot. Oregon needs to start winning games in a hurry if they want to move back up the AP Top 25 poll after tumbling seven spots after a Week 8 loss. I love the matchup against a backup quarterback and even if Tate does manage to take the field on Saturday night, he is definitely not the same player he was a season ago. I’ll happily lay the 9.5 points and roll with the road favorite – give me the Ducks.