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College Football: Can Oregon Reverse Pac-12 Road Curse vs SEC?

Pac-12 vs SEC odds history

The biggest game on the college football slate for Week 1 is the No. 11 Oregon Ducks traveling to collide with the No. 16 Auburn Tigers at neutral-site AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

This game is garnering a lot of attention as the lone contest with two ranked teams meeting in the opening week of the season. Additionally, the quarterback battle is a very interesting one between a veteran in Justin Herbert and a true freshman in Bo Nix. The Tigers are a 3.5-point favorite and history is on their side to win and cover.

SEC’s Home Dominance OVER the Pac-12

The SEC and Pac-12 don’t cross paths all that often, but when they do, it has been a bit of a lopsided affair in favor of the SEC. Over the last three seasons, there have been six meetings between the two conferences, with an SEC team being the host in four of them and the Pac-12 squad being the home team in two.

Overall, in those six games, the SEC holds a 4-2 SU record and is 5-1 ATS. In the four games in which the SEC was the home school, those teams went 4-0 SU and ATS. The SEC went 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS in the two contests in which the Pac-12 team was the host.

Looking further back over the last 10 seasons, there have been 19 meetings between the two conferences with the SEC holding a 13-6 record (10-8-1 ATS). The SEC was the home team in 13 of those 19 contests, going 11-2 SU and 8-4-1 ATS, including the 2011 national championship game between Auburn and Oregon when the Tigers were the “home” team. The UNDER also hit in nine of those games, if you are a totals bettor.

The lone victories the Pac-12 have on the road since 2008 are UCLA’s narrow 19-15 victory over Tennessee in 2009 and Oregon’s 48-13 thrashing of Tennessee in 2010.

Should Auburn Be More Favored?

With all the history in support of the SEC at home vs the Pac-12, are the Tigers an automatic bet or are the Ducks going to repeat history from nine years ago? From an odds perspective, SEC teams at home against Pac-12 squads have been favored by an average of 7.29 points and have had an average winning margin of 16.1. Since 2008, there were only seven games in which the SEC was home and favored by less than a touchdown to the Pac-12, and the SEC went 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS, including the Auburn/Oregon national championship game in 2011.

On the field, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is eighth on the oddsboard for the 2019 Heisman Trophy and is second on the oddsboard to be selected first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Herbert tossed 29 touchdowns and had 3,151 passing yards in 2018, both stats ranking in the top 25 in the nation. Entering his senior year, a rare win over an SEC team would just build his resume as he looks ahead toward a potential Heisman Trophy and a strong NFL career.

On the other side, Bo Nix, a true freshman, will be under center for the Tigers and although that may scare people away, there’s history backing a true freshman quarterback starting for a Power Five program. Of the last six national championships, there have been two redshirt freshmen and two true freshmen to win titles.

Most recently, in 2017 and 2018, a true freshman quarterbacked his team to the national championship as Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa won in 2017, while Trevor Lawrence won last year with Clemson. Could Bo Nix make it three in a row for Auburn? Stopping a high-octane offense in Oregon should calm many nervous Auburn fans.