NCAA College Football Betting - Oregon vs. USC

An important Pac-12 matchup goes down this weekend as Oregon (#2) heads to USC (#17) in a battle of the Pac-12 North and South leaders. Once the #2 team in the nation, USC has fallen off in the rankings after a Week 3 loss to Stanford (then #21) and then losing again last week to unranked Arizona. USC is now 6-2. Oregon has taken a different path, starting the season in the top five and remaining there. Oregon is now 8-0.

Oregon has the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 53.4 points per game. QB Marcus Mariota has generated 18 TDs, passed for 1483 yards, averages 7.74 yards a pass, he can and does run the football, and the passing game is Oregon’s weakness. It is Oregon’s running game that decimates teams. Oregon is 3rd in the country averaging 330.6 rushing yards per game. Senior RB Kenjon Barner has led the way with 974 yards on 141 attempts and 14 TDs. Oregon’s consistent ability to score many points has earned them a #2 ranking in the coaches’ poll. Most importantly, Oregon beat Arizona 49-0 this season, a far cry from USC’s 39-36 loss. Oregon has allowed an average of 19.4 points per game, good for 24th in the country.

USC, despite its struggles, still has a talented group on offense that has earned it a 23rd ranking in passing yards per game and a 75th ranking in rushing yards per game. In fact, the passing game is one area the USC Trojans outshine the Ducks. QB Matt Barkley has passed for 2266 yards this season and 25 TDs. Last game against Arizona, he threw for 493 yards and 3 TDs, but also threw 2 INT and was sacked twice. Nonetheless Barkley and his contingent of star receivers will likely come out hot at home this weekend in front of a home crowd. USC scores an average of 35 points per game.

For this game Oregon is the favorite with a 7.5 point spread and an over/under of 70 points. Oregon has been undefeated since their last meeting with the Trojans. But last year the Trojans beat the Ducks 38-35 and USC was ranked #18 at the time. Some commentators are predicting that USC will be the first real test that Oregon faces this season regardless of USC’s troubles this year. Both teams are averaging about 19.5 points allowed each game.

That defensive stat may be slightly misleading. Oregon has tended to blast out of the gate this season score the bulk of its points in the first half then coasting to the win, letting up most of their points in the 4th quarter once the game has been won. USC, on the other hand has been in competitive games all season. Also USC is the most penalized team in the league right now.

A 7.5 point spread seems too low, likely the Ducks offense is much too strong for that. However, whether you think it will be a blow out or a close game, the 70 point total seems very achievable. Probably USC can score a number of TDs in the air as last year Oregon struggled to contain the Trojan passing game. But USC is lacking a consistent and strong defensive performance this season so the Ducks should fly unabated.

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