This game should feature plenty of offense, as these two teams combine for more than 84 points and 967 yards of total offense per game. The Ducks will need to be weary of a letdown game here after playing ranked teams in three consecutive weeks with two overtime games during that span.
Ducks win thriller vs. No. 7 Washington
The Ducks are fresh off of an impressive 30-27 overtime victory in a back-and-forth affair over the No. 7-ranked Washington Huskies. Head coach Mario Cristobal iced Huskies kicker Peyton Henry twice before he missed the game-winning kick at the end of regulation to force overtime, giving his team a chance to win it in the extra session. Justin Herbert completed 18 of 32 passes for 202 yards and two scores, while freshman running back CJ Verdell rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score in OT to give the Ducks their first victory over a top-10 opponent this season. Herbert has now passed for 1,613 yards, 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions so far this season and Verdell leads the team in rushing with 531 yards and four scores.
The Ducks got it done!
No. 17 Oregon outlasted No. 7 Washington in OT and may have ended the Pac-12's hopes for a spot in the CFP. pic.twitter.com/AdqE6hOTW4
— ESPN (@espn) October 13, 2018
Oregon comes into the week scoring 43 points per game through their first six games of the year, while averaging better than 482 yards of total offense. Running the ball and stopping the run are usually recipes for success and the Ducks are doing exactly that this season. They have limited opponents to just 126 rush yards per game, while running for 209.5 yards per game through the first six weeks of the season.
Minshew continues to excel in Air Raid offense
The Cougars took care of business last week with a win over upset-minded Oregon State, thanks to another strong performance by graduate transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew. Minshew completed 30 of 40 passes for 430 yards and season-high five touchdowns in a 56-37 victory over the Beavers, marking his second consecutive 400-yard game and his fourth such performance in the last five weeks. Washington State trailed after Beavers’ running back Jermar Jefferson rushed for fourth touchdown of the game early in the third quarter, but Minshew led four consecutive touchdown drives to put the game out of reach late. Freshman running back Max Borgi added two more touchdowns to his season total against the Beavers and now has five on the season, while Davontavean Martin led the team in receiving with eight catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Minshew has now tossed for 2,422 yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions, while completing 68.7 percent of his passes and taking only five sacks through six games this year. His adjusted QBR of 77.7 is by far the highest of his career, eclipsing the 54.1 mark that he posted in his last season at East Carolina.
— WSU Cougar Football (@WSUCougFB) September 16, 2018
Led by their potent passing offence, Washington State is scoring 41.8 points per game this season and allowing just 23.8 on the other side of the ball. Like most of Mike Leach’s teams, the Cougars do most of their damage through the air and average 413.7 passing yards per game.
- Cougars are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
- Cougars are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Washington State.
- Over is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings.
- Ducks are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win.
- Ducks are 3-13-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win.
- Ducks are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
- Ducks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings in Washington State.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This will be Oregon’s fourth straight game against a ranked opponent and they’ve played two overtime games in the last three weeks, so they could come into this game a little bit gassed. That should play into the hands of the Cougars and this Air Raid offense. The Ducks are more vulnerable through the air than on the ground, which they showed in the Stanford game. Minshew 11 touchdowns and just one interception through his first three PAC 12 games, which is a good sign for Washington State. Oregon is undoubtedly the better team, but I’m going to roll with the Cougars at home in this spot.
Prediction: Pick: Washington State +1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Oregon is going to have its way with the Cougars defense on the ground in this game. Washington State is allowing 148.2 rush yards per game so far this season, while the Ducks are running for almost 210 yards per contest. On the other hand, Washington State is passing for 414 yards per game. Both of these teams are routinely in the high 30’s and above, so look for this game to go over the projected total on Saturday afternoon.
Half-Time Side Pick
Washington State is now favored in this game, but the swing isn’t going to scare me here. The Cougars have quietly had a dominant season on the offensive side of the ball and Minshew has been an excellent fit in Mike Leach’s system. Oregon feels due for a letdown game in a tough environment here. Take Washington State to cover the first half spread on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Wahsington State -1.5
Half-Time Total Bet
This game should feature plenty of points. Oregon is most vulnerable through the air and they could have some trouble keeping up against this Air Raid offense following their second overtime game in three weeks.
Prediction: Over 35