This year’s installment of the Stanford/Oregon rivalry doesn’t quite have the high stakes on the line like we’ve seen in year’s past, but it should be a very good, highly competitive game none the less. Stanford has won this game the past two years as double-digit underdogs and a third straight win would likely cripple Oregon’s hopes of representing the Pac-12 North in the conference championship game.
Any Case for the Cardinal?
Stanford might have won the last two games in this rivalry but Oregon still leads with a 7-3 SU mark (6-4 ATS) over the past 10 years. The last time they were favored by less than 10 points was back at home in 2010 when Andrew Luck was under center for the Cardinals and Oregon won that game 52-31.
It’s unlikely we see that kind of scoring this year as Stanford’s success of late has been because they’ve shutdown Oregon’s attack and that will be their game plan again this year. However, the Ducks O-line has gotten healthier the past few weeks and they are a much better team than the one that lost 31-24 to Arizona the last time they were in a prime-time game.
Oregon has covered the spread in three straight games since that lone loss of the year and thanks to their healthy O-line they’ve put up at least 42 points in all three of those wins. However, UCLA, Washington, nor Cal have the talent or play with the physicality on defense that Stanford does, so this will be a much better test for QB Marcus Mariota and the Ducks offense.
Why Mariota and Co. Take Stanford Down
Speaking of Mariota, he’s become the heavy favorite to win this year’s Heisman and an outstanding performance in a game like this (against a team he’s struggled against) could give him one hand on that trophy already. He’s a great duel-threat QB that has become a much more accurate passer during his time at Oregon and that accuracy will allow him to pick apart this Stanford secondary if that’s what they give him.
The past two years Stanford has geared up everything to stop the run because they didn’t believe Mariota could beat them with his arm. That proved to work then, but that’s not the case this season and I foresee a great day through the air for the Oregon QB.
If that happens, Oregon should be well on their way to covering (and beating) Stanford for the first time in three years. The Ducks are 17-4 ATS after rushing for 200+ yards last time out and 8-3 ATS after allowing 40+ points. Oregon is also 15-6 ATS after scoring 40+ points themselves and have a 12-4 ATS run going after covering the spread last time out.
Compare all those numbers with the fact that Stanford is 0-6 ATS after covering a spread and 0-3 ATS on the road this season. Two of those three games were tight but the Cardinal took a step back the last time on the road as they lost 26-10 as small favorites to Arizona State. The Ducks are better than any of those teams Stanford has faced away from home so far this year, and with the double revenge angle on Oregon’s side, I believe we see a double digit win for Oregon this year.
CarbonSports.ag Game Line: Stanford (+7.5) vs. Oregon (-7.5)
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