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The No. 8 Oregon Ducks (6-1) are heading south for a Pac-12 showdown with the No. 13 Utah Utes (6-1) on Saturday.
The Ducks are one of the most complete teams in the nation and have only been beaten by a potential College Football Playoff, Washington. Utah would be unbeaten if it weren't for a loss to Oregon State and is fresh off a win over Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans.
Here, we will react to the betting odds and share our thoughts on one of the best matchups of the entire weekend.
|No. 8 Oregon||-6.5 (-112)||-250||Over 48 (-110)|
|No. 13 Utah||+6.5 (-108)||+205||Under 48 (-110)|
Oregon’s last time out saw them knock off Washington State 38-24. Running back Bucky Irving took 15 carries for 129 yards, while Bo Nix continued his Heisman campaign with 293 passing yards and two touchdowns.
For the year, the Ducks rank second in the country in scoring (47 points per game). They’re also sixth in rushing yards per game (225.4) on a Division-I-best 6.77 yards per carry, and they’re eighth in passing yards per game (326.1).
Nix has racked up 19 touchdowns and only one interception to go with an 83.3 QBR (ninth).
Oregon’s defense is just as elite as the offense. They’re 16th in points allowed per game (17), and would be fifth had they not given up 36 to Washington. They’re also 20th in total yards allowed and have only surrendered 14 touchdowns, 11 through the air, and three on the ground.
Utah is much more of a defensive-minded team. Their 34-32 win against USC last week tied their highest-scoring output of the season, though it was the second straight week they put 34 points on the board.
Bryson Barnes completed 14 of 23 passes for 235 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception in the win. The ground game dominated the Trojans’ defense and picked up 247 yards on 47 carries.
Utah is only 98th in total scoring and averages 23.4 points per game. They also commit a lot of penalties but have done a nice job holding onto the ball.
Looking at the defense, the Utes are 11th in points allowed per game (15). They’ve forced 11 turnovers and are tied for sacks with 3.57 per game (the same as Oregon).
Utah has shown improvement on offense recently, albeit against teams that are not known for dominant defenses. We also don’t trust their ability to hang with Oregon when it comes to scoring points.
Both defenses should have relatively strong outings, but we expect the Ducks’ running game and sharp decision-making (fifth in average third-down conversion percentage - 53.1%) to be a defining difference in the game.
Oregon still has a chance to make the College Football Playoff and can significantly improve its chances with a quality win here. We think they get the job done as Utah’s offense sputters and Nix remains the frontrunner for the Heisman.
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Again, we don’t see Utah having anywhere near the same level of success on offense that it enjoyed in its last two games.
Oregon’s defense is legit against the run and pass and will speed up Barnes’ reads because of their ability to collapse the pocket. They just need to get a lead early and then run the ball, and they should win while draining the clock (leading to the under).
Oregon’s defense needs a hot start, or else this bet could get dicey quickly. But we’ve got faith in what has been one of the country’s best units, especially given the stakes.
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Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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