Oregon State Betting Odds Preview
Playing in the big green shadow of the Nike Ducks is probably tough, but the Beavers do what they can, make a little noise once in a while, keep going to bowls. But they just haven't been able to break through and make a run to the Pac-12 title.
Two years ago Oregon State started 6-0, then went 3-4 from there; last year OSU started 6-1, then went 1-5. And last season the Beavers got out-rushed by 100 yards per game. Oregon State will have to turn those two trends around if it wants to compete for a berth in the Pac-12 championship game.
Oregon State Odds to Win Pac-12: 33/1 at Bovada
Oregon State Odds to Win College Football Championship: 500/1 at Bovada
Oregon State Regular Season Win Total: 7 at Bovada
Oregon State Betting Props: Sean Mannion to Win Heisman 50/1 at Bovada
Oregon State opened last year by getting upset at home by FCS Eastern Washington. The Beavers then won their next six games in a row, putting up some impressive numbers on offense, albeit against a light slate. But the schedule, as it does, got a little tougher, and OSU lost its next five in a row, including a tough loss to eventual conference champion Stanford, an embarrassing blowout at home against Washington and a heart-breaking one-point defeat at Oregon. The Beavers then knocked off Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl to finish at 7-6 both SU and ATS.
Oregon State is now 10-8 SU and 12-6 ATS in Pac-12 play the last two seasons.
This year the Beavers return 14 starters, one less than last season. Seven starters are back on offense, including senior QB Sean Mannion (37/15 TD/INT ratio last year), last year's top two rushers and four of their top five receivers. But they'll have to replace WR Brandin Cooks, who only caught 128 balls last year, and three along the offensive line. Seven starters also return on defense, including six on what should be a very good back seven. But that means there are three holes to fill up front.
OSU begins this season with three very winnable games, then plays at USC. The Beavers also later play at Stanford and at Washington, but get five Pac-12 home games, the toughest coming against Arizona State and Oregon. They also miss UCLA.
To seriously contend in the North Division this year Oregon State at the very least will have to split those games with the Trojans, Cardinal, Sun Devils and Ducks, and win all the rest. And that might be asking just a bit too much.
Pac-12 Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5
Arizona State 12/1
Oregon State 33/1
Washington State 50/1
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