The Oregon Ducks (8-1) and Stanford Cardinal (9-0) will face off in a Saturday primetime event in the Pac-12 Conference inside Stanford Stadium.
Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal
Oregon will attempt to end Stanford’s dreams of possibly playing in the BCS Championship Game and will also be looking to win for the ninth time in the last 10 meetings. The Ducks came away with a 52-31 victory in last year’s meeting as 6.5-point home favorites.
Third-year head coach Chip Kelly will be looking to lead the program to its first ever win over a top five team on the road. Under his direction, the team has rattled off 18 consecutive conference wins, which is the longest streak in the Pac-12.
Junior running back LaMichael James seems to be close to 100 percent health, as he suffered an elbow injury and missed two games. He comes in leading the nation in averaging 151.6 rushing yards per game, while looking to add on to his 382 rushing yards and four touchdowns in two career games against Stanford.
Offensively, Oregon is likely to put up points in this matchup, averaging 46.0 points in the last six meetings. The Ducks will be underdogs in this series for the first time since capturing a 16-13 win on Oct. 23, 2004.
Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Ducks are 14-9 ATS versus conference opponents the last two-plus seasons, while the ‘over’ is 22-12 in the same span.
Stanford enters with the longest winning streak in the nation and is the only team to cover every game its played during the 2011 campaign. The Cardinal have scored 159 points in their last three games, including 38 in a win over Oregon State last week as 20.5-point road favorites.
Junior quarterback Andrew Luck is the favorite to come away with the Heisman Trophy in December, throwing for 2,424 yards and 26 touchdowns with five interceptions. He has directed the offense to scores in all 52 trips inside the red zone.
The Cardinal are a run-first attack, averaging 224.7 rushing yards per game, which sits just behind Saturday’s opponent in the category. Stanford rushed for a school-record 446 yards versus the Washington Huskies earlier this year.
Jumping out to a lead has been a major part of this program’s success since Luck arrived on campus, especially in the last 22 games, outscoring opponents by an incredible 480-158 margin in the first half.
Stanford has won 11 straight home games since suffering its last home defeat to California and will be welcoming ESPN’s College GameDay for the first time in Palo Alto.
Bettors should know that the Cardinal are just 8-8 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points, while the ‘over’ is 12-5 in that situation.
Recommendation: Oregon Ducks +3.5
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