The PAC 12 North might be the second-best division in the country. Every team but Oregon State looks very competitive, and the only team of the other five with a loss is Washington. That should create a thrilling race for the division title, and the College Gameday crew will be at the first big intra-divisional clash this Saturday. That’s when the Stanford Cardinal head north to take on the Oregon Ducks in Week 4 of the season. The winner will take an early lead in the race for the PAC 12 North title, while the loser will have a lot of work to do.
This contest in Week 4 will go down Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Originally, Stanford was the favorite per the NCAAF betting odds in this game. Oddsmakers opened the Cardinal as a two-point favorite, but sharps quickly pounced on Oregon. It doesn’t take a lot of money to move numbers less than three, and that turned the Ducks into a two-point favorite on the CFB betting line.
The total in this game has remained static. It opened at 56 on Monday and remains there as of Tuesday morning.
Player to Watch
Cardinal fans will be monitoring the status of sensational running back Bryce Love all the way until kickoff. Love entered the year as the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after an incredible 2017 campaign, but he sat out of last week’s game against UC Davis due to an undisclosed injury. He is expected to play in this one per multiple reports, yet you have to wonder how healthy he will be.
Love hasn’t put up the numbers you might expect for a Heisman Trophy favorite. He only carried the ball 18 times for 29 yards against San Diego State in Stanford’s opener, but to be fair the Aztecs were completely selling out to stop the run. Love looked more like himself against USC, picking up 136 yards on 22 carries and notching a touchdown too.
Oregon’s run defense has not been tested yet this year. The Ducks have played three teams that really can’t run the ball in Bowling Green, Portland State, and San Jose State, so this will be a big step up in competition.
Matchup to Watch
The Ducks offense hasn’t seen a defense quite like Stanford’s yet either. None of the defenses Oregon has faced so far are ranked in the top 100 in the FBS, so we don’t know how good Oregon’s offense really is.
Stanford has shut down all three of its opponents thus far. The Cardinal have allowed a total of 23 points through three games, and none of the three teams they have faced are to be taken lightly.
Oregon will aim to move the ball through the air with Justin Herbert leading the way. Herbert has looked good so far this season, but he has struggled a bit with his accuracy. He has completed just 56.8 percent of his passes despite playing subpar opponents, however he is averaging over 10 yards a throw so some of that might just be Oregon taking more shots downfield. Herbert will be the focal point of Oregon’s offense against a stingy Stanford run defense.
Free ATS Pick
Autzen is low key one of the toughest places to play in college football. The stadium is designed to funnel noise towards the field, and Ducks fans provide plenty of it. However, it’s hard to put much faith in Oregon given the quality of its wins. Stanford has proved itself against much tougher competition, and KJ Costello has played very well. I’ll be on Stanford moneyline in this one thanks to the line movement.
College Football Odds: Stanford 27, Oregon 23
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