Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#417 Arizona vs.
#418 Oregon
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10:00pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

A pair of Pac-12 foes off to wildly different starts to the season open up Pac-12 play against one another in the Pacific Northwest. The Arizona Wildcats are on the road as they make the trip to face the #3 Oregon Ducks Saturday night. Arizona was knocked off 21-19 at home by FCS program Northern Arizona last Saturday in their most recent contest. Oregon cruised to an easy 48-7 dismantling of FCS school Stony Brook last Saturday in their previous game. In the all-time series between the schools, the Ducks hold a 27-17 advantage, including a 34-6 romp at home in the most recent meeting on November 16, 2019.

Arizona Wildcats Look for Massive Upset for First Win of Year

Arizona came up on the short end at home against a FCS program in Northern Arizona in their most recent game. The Wildcats fell to 0-3 on the year and now have to travel to face a top-five team for their first road contest of the season. Against Northern Arizona, Arizona led 13-0 with 13:05 to play in the first half but then went cold offensively. The Wildcats failed to score for the next 40-plus minutes, giving up 21 unanswered points to trail by eight. Arizona got within two with 2:16 to play but couldn’t cash in the potential game-tying two-point conversion. The Wildcats couldn’t recover the ensuing onside kick or stop the Lumberjacks from running out the clock. Arizona held a 363-240 edge in total offense and held a 19-15 edge in first downs though they lost time of possession by a 34:41 to 25:19 margin. Each team turned the ball over three times but a pick-six for Northern Arizona in the final minute of the first half turned the tide of the game.

On the year, the Wildcats are 45th in the nation in passing offense with 260.3 yards per contest while they are 122nd in rushing offense with 79.3 yards per game this season. Arizona is a dismal 120th in the FBS in scoring offense as they muster only 16.3 points per game while they are 88th in scoring defense by allowing 27.7 points per contest. Gunner Cruz is 44 of 64 passing for 406 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Will Plummer is 29 of 54 for 309 yards with two touchdowns and two picks while Jordan McCloud is six of seven for 66 yards plus a score. Drake Anderson leads the team on the ground with 25 carries for 115 yards on the year. Michael Wiley is next in line with 23 carries for 69 yards as the less-productive back in the timeshare. Stanley Berryhill leads the team and the Pac-12 with 28 receptions for 263 yards plus a score. Tayvian Cunningham (12 receptions, 168 yards, TD) and BJ Casteel (14 catches, 128 yards, TD) are good targets as well. Lucas Havrisik hit his lone extra point attempt and four of six field goal attempts with a long of 37 this season. Tyler Loop has hit both extra point attempts while not attempting a field goal on the year.

Oregon Ducks Try to Avoid Letdown in Conference Opener

Oregon didn’t let their road win over Ohio State get the best of them as they put the boots to FCS Stony Brook last week. The Ducks are 3-0 on the year and they open up Pac-12 play here as they try to avoid a letdown here against a winless Arizona squad. Against Stony Brook, Oregon gave up a score on the final play of the first quarter to see their lead trimmed to 10-7 before taking complete control of the game. The Ducks outscored the Seawolves 38-0 the rest of the way en route to the victory. Oregon piled up a 436-271 edge in total offense, picked up 26 first downs while allowing 14 and forced four turnovers while not committing a turnover in the contest. That more than made up for a 31:01 to 28:59 disadvantage in time of possession.

For the year, the Ducks are 73rd in the nation in passing offense with 223.7 yards per contest while they are 28th in rushing offense by racking up 209.3 yards per game on the ground. Oregon stands 38th in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 38 points per game while they rank 52nd in scoring defense by allowing 19.7 points per contest. Anthony Brown is 46 of 77 passing for 567 yards with four touchdowns against no interceptions while adding 122 yards and three scores on the ground. Ty Thompson (six of nine, 82 yards, two TD) and Jay Butterfield (two of three, 22 yards) are next in line. The run game is in good hands with CJ Verdell (49 carries, 289 yards, three TD) and Travis Dye (36 carries, 194 yards, three TD) leading the way. Verdell leads the team in the passing game with eight catches for 70 yards plus two scores. Johnny Johnson III (seven receptions, 117 yards, TD), Mycah Pittman (four grabs, 70 yards), along with tight ends Spencer Webb (five catches, 39 yards) and Terrance Ferguson (six receptions, 53 yards, TD) provide solid options when Brown goes to the air. Camden Lewis has connected on all 15 extra point attempts and three of three field goal tries with a long of 40 this season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Weโ€™re looking at a pair of teams heading in opposite directions. Arizona has looked lost under first-year coach Jedd Fisch and losing at home to a FCS team that you were favored against by nearly four touchdowns doesnโ€™t instill confidence. Now the Wildcats have to go on the road and deal with an Oregon team that has plenty of offensive weaponry to work with and who already own a road win over a top-five team in Ohio State this season. While Arizona was knocked off at home by Northern Arizona, we saw Oregon dismantle Stony Brook at home last week. Thereโ€™s no reason to have faith in Arizona here. Oregon is focused and motivated as the lone team carrying the torch for the Pac-12 in regards to the College Football Playoff despite the fact that weโ€™re still in September. The Ducks roll to a one-sided victory here to remain unbeaten.

Prediction: Oregon Ducks -28.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams have seen the under go 2-1 in their first three games this season. Arizona saw 40 points combined against BYU (against a 53.5-point total) while going over against San Diego State (52 points against a 46-point total) before falling short again last week (40 points against a 52.5-point mark) against Northern Arizona. Oregon had stayed under the total in five straight games dating back to last season before going over in the win over Stony Brook, which had a combined 55 points against a 54.5-point number. Weโ€™ve seen the under hit in each of the last five meetings in Oregon and each of the last seven meetings overall. Look for this one to wind up short of the mark as the Wildcats canโ€™t get enough points on the board to help the Ducks.

Prediction: Under 59
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

Chris Kubala has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well. as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.