Oregon State Betting Odds Preview
Oregon State ran off four straight winning seasons from 2006-09, then went 8-16 in 2010-11. But the Beavers popped back up last year, winning nine games and returning to a bowl. With a little luck they could have played a big part in deciding the Pac-12's North Division, losing two conference games by a total of seven points. The next step for OSU is to win a division title, and if they can pull off an upset or two this year they might have a chance.
The Beavers had 15 starters back last year from a team that went 3-9 in 2011, so hopes were high for a return to a bowl. Oregon State then exceeded expectations early on, starting 6-0, with wins over eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin, at UCLA, at Arizona, and at BYU, reaching No. 7 in the AP poll. The run came to an end, though, with a 20-17 loss to Washington, and they later lost a tough 27-23 game at eventual Pac-12 champion Stanford. They also lost the Civil War game to Oregon for the fifth straight year, and then fell to Texas in the Alamo Bowl. But despite the 3-4 finish, going 9-4 with a 6-3 record in Pac-12 play must be considered a success.
The Beavers also went 9-4 ATS, with help from a +8 turnover margin. This year OSU again gets 15 starters back, eight on offense, including two decent options at QB in Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion, leading rusher Storm Woods, WR Brandin Cooks (67 catches for 1,150 yards last year), and four along the offensive line; and seven starters return on what should once again be one of the better defenses in the league, including last year's top five tacklers. This year's schedule seems manageable, with winnable non-conference games against Eastern Washington, Hawaii, and San Diego State, five conference home games, and three winnable conference road games at Utah, Washington State, and Cal.
Just one of OSU's first seven opponents played in a bowl last year, and that was San Diego State. So the Beavers have a chance to start 7-0. Of their four toughest games, two of them, against Stanford and USC, are in Corvallis, and they miss UCLA and Arizona. Oregon State could be favored in as many as eight or nine games this season.
Pac-12 Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of August 11
Oregon State +1050
Arizona State +1100
Washington State +6000