The Pac-12 will feature the Oregon Ducks against the Utah Utes in an exciting matchup on Saturday afternoon.
The Ducks are currently 6-1 to begin the year after a 38-24 victory over the Washington State Cougars. On the other hand, the Utes earned a road win against the USC Trojans, 34-32.
The win came after Utah announced that the former starting quarterback would sit out the entire season with an ACL injury. Bryson Barnes has stepped in and has played well for the Utes. He was a former Lowe’s employee who had just earned a win against the projected No. 1 overall pick, Caleb Williams.
Can Barnes and the Utes earn another win against top quarterback Bo Nix and Oregon?
Check out the Oregon vs Utah odds for this AP Top-25 NCAAF matchup between two of the top Pac-12 teams in the nation.
Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium
Oregon vs Utah Odds
Although Utah is the home team, Oregon is the favorite by seven points. Meanwhile, the total is currently set at 49.
The Ducks earned a win last weekend against Washington State. However, Oregon failed to cover the 19.5-point spread. That pushed Oregon to 6-1 against the spread this season, giving the Ducks their first against-the-spread loss. The total for Oregon has hit the Under in four of seven games.
On the other hand, the Utes are 4-2-1 against the spread. Utah earned a straight-up win against USC last time out despite being 7.5-point underdogs. But like Oregon, the Under has hit more times than not this season. Utah has seen the Under hit in five of seven games this year.
The last time these two teams played, Oregon earned a 20-17 win over Utah as one-point favorites. However, Utah won the previous two games against Oregon in 2021.
Can Oregon Still Make The College Football Playoff?
The Oregon Ducks lost to the Washington Huskies on the road two weeks ago. The Ducks fell 36-33 in a nail-biter, but Washington survived.
To make the College Football Playoff, Oregon must first win the Pac-12. The Ducks also can’t afford another loss.
The Ducks would need to win out and hope Washington loses a game. The Ducks could potentially face Washington again in the Pac-12 Championship. A win over Washington in the conference championship would be superior to Washington’s home win in the regular season.
The Ducks would also need other top teams to lose in the regular season. We know Ohio State or Michigan will eventually lose when those two teams play together. But Oregon would also want Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama to lose games in the regular season.
The Ducks need some things to work out in their favor. But the probability of making the top four in college football still has legs.
Utah’s Quarterback Dilemma
At the start of the season, there was hope that Cam Rising would start for the Utah Utes at quarterback this year. Rising threw for over 3,000 yards with 26 touchdowns and a QBR of 83.1 last season. But he was injured late in the Rose Bowl with a bad ACL injury. He tried to recover and get onto the field to start the regular season.
However, it just never worked out.
Therefore, Utah tried a couple of other quarterbacks this season. They gave freshman Nate Johnson a chance, but despite his three touchdowns and no interceptions, his QBR of 46.3 wasn’t impressive.
They also gave Bryson Barnes an opportunity at quarterback. Barnes hasn’t been anything close to elite. But he’s thrown for 633 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions this season. Most importantly, he threw for a season-high 235 yards against USC, with three passing touchdowns and just one interception.
He had his best game as a Utah Utes quarterback against USC’s Caleb Williams.
The offense still won’t “wow” you without Rising under center. But Barnes has done enough thus far.
Oregon’s Explosive Offense
The Oregon Ducks have one of the most explosive offenses in college football. The Ducks have earned 553 yards per game through the first seven games.
Oregon’s earning 326.1 yards in the air, with the other 226.9 yards coming on the ground.
It starts with Bo Nix. The sixth-year senior has thrown for 19 touchdowns and one interception and hasn’t rushed the ball nearly as often as other seasons. That’s allowed him to settle in with the pocket that his offensive line has provided and throw darts.
Bucky Irving has rushed for 649 yards on 87 carries. The star running back has seven more touchdowns for Oregon this year.
They’ll face a tough Utah defense that has given up only 295.4 yards per game. However, despite the run game only allowing 78 yards per game, Oregon’s run game should still succeed against Utah. Most college football teams are down against Utah and, therefore, have to throw the ball when trailing. Oregon is projected to win. The Ducks will run the ball way more effectively, like they have all season long.
Meanwhile, Utah’s offense has earned 345 yards per game, with only 161.7 yards coming in the air. Again, Barnes won’t dominate as a quarterback. He’s just doing enough to get by. The run game for the Utes has earned 183.3 yards per game. However, Oregon’s run defense is better than Utah’s despite allowing 95.1 yards per game on the ground.
Oregon vs Utah Odds Analysis & Pick
The Oregon Ducks have scored at least 33 points in their last five games. No defense has been able to stop Oregon’s offense.
While Utah’s defense gets a lot of hype and appreciation, the Ducks have only allowed 14 more points this season through seven games. The NCAAF scores and odds have proven that Oregon is the better football team, especially with Oregon as a solid favorite on the road.
The Utes haven’t had an easy college football schedule in the Pac-12. However, this will be their first real test against their first well-balanced team. USC has only been elite on offense. It’ll be hard to stick around against Oregon, even on the road.
Therefore, we’ll take the Ducks at -6.5.