The Pac-12 Championship will be played Friday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. It will be the No. 6 Utah Utes facing off against the No. 14 Oregon Ducks. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST and will be televised nationally on ABC.
Oddsmakers opened up this game at Utah -3, but early money has been coming in heavy on the Utes and this line is now Utah -6.5 at all books. The total opened at 51 and has been bet down slightly to 49.5.
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Utah vs Oregon Game Preview & Betting Odds
Oregon Ducks (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Oregon comes into this one off a 24-10 win at home over in-state rival Oregon State. The Ducks failed to cover as a 21-point favorite and were outgained by the Beavers 380 to 365.
It was an uninspiring effort by Oregon, but you can’t really blame them. The previous week the Ducks had their hopes of making the 4-team playoff come to a crashing end in a 28-31 upset los at Arizona State.
It will be interesting to see if that was just a one week hangover or if Oregon will still be feeling down from that loss to the Sun Devils.
Utah Utes (11-1 SU, 9-3 ATS)
The Utes have not let the pressure of needing to win out slow them down. Utah ended the regular-season in fashion with a 45-15 blowout win at home over Colorado. The Utes covered that one as a 27.5-point favorite and have now covered the number in 8 straight games.
Unfortunately for Utah their fate is not entirely in their hands. First things first, the Utes will need to win this game. They then will need some help. It’s unlikely that Clemson loses to Virginia or Ohio State falls to Wisconsin. For Utah it really comes down to the SEC title game and they desperately need LSU to win that game. That’s because if LSU loses, they are almost surely to still make it.
These two didn’t face each other in conference play this year. The most recent meeting was last November, which Utah won 32-25 as a 5.5-point home favorite. It was the Utes first win at home over the Ducks since 2003.
College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: Oregon +6.5
My early lean here would be to take the points with Oregon in the Pac-12 title game. I just think we are getting too much value here with the Ducks getting almost a touchdown and I would maybe hold off to see if this thing doesn’t climb up to 7. Utah is simply overvalued because they have not only covered 8 straight games, but dominated in the process.
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I also feel like Oregon’s lackluster performance against Oregon State has people hesitant to take them. That was 100% to be expected. In fact, the Beavers were my favorite play during Thanksgiving Week, simply because I knew the Ducks would struggle to play well off that loss to Arizona State.
I think the biggest thing here to Oregon putting that loss to the Sun Devils behind them is what’s at stake for Utah in this game. I think the Ducks can find all the motivation they need here playing spoiler and ruining the Utes hopes of making the playoffs. It’s also not the worst consolation winning here and getting to play in the Rose Bowl.
I think a lot of people look at Utah as being the far superior team, but I just don’t buy it. These two both went 7-1 against their 8 common opponents and the offensive numbers were almost identical in these games. Oregon averaged 34.5 ppg and 449 ypg, while Utah averaged 35.3 ppg and 448.6 ypg.
While the Utes did post slightly better defensive numbers in those games, I like how the Ducks matchup with the Utes offense. Utah has a pretty balanced offense, but the running game is what makes it all click. Oregon has a top tier run defense, as they are only giving up 106 ypg and 3.2 yards/carry against the run. Utah is also great at stopping the run, but the Ducks have an elite QB in Justin Herbert who can keep them on track. Give me Oregon +6.5!