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Oregon Looking to Play Spoiler Against Utah in Pac-12 Championship Game

The Utah Utes believe they’re good enough to deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff, and they’ll have a chance to prove it to the selection committee by beating the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 championship game.

Utah Utes vs Oregon Ducks

Opening Odds Analysis

After opening as 2.5-point favorites, betting action on the Utes has moved Utah’s line to -6.5 as of Wednesday morning. The total was initially set at 50.5 points but had shifted down to 46.5 as of this writing.

Utah News & Notes

Since losing to USC on September 20, Utah has been one of the hottest teams in the country and is riding an eight-game winning streak ahead of the title game. In that span, the Utes have outscored opponents 308-76 and held five foes to single digits. Utah’s No. 5 spot in the latest rankings is the highest placement the school has ever had, so it goes without saying this matchup is one of the biggest in program history.

Utah’s stellar defense is healthy and ready to roll against Justin Herbert and the Ducks. The Utes have two shutouts in 2019 and haven’t allowed a point in 10 halves this season. On six occasions, the unit has limited opposing teams to seven points or less. Utah leads the nation in rush defense (56.3 yards per game allowed) and ranks in the top four in points allowed, total yards surrendered and red-zone defense.

Oregon News & Notes

Oregon was recently believed to be a contender for the final College Football Playoff spot, but the Ducks’ loss to Arizona State two weeks ago has relegated them to spoiler in the Pac-12 championship game. The Ducks still have plenty to play for, however, as a victory over Utah in this contest will all but guarantee them a spot in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

The Ducks defense has sprung a leak of late, giving up 41 points combined over the past two weeks against the Sun Devils and Oregon State. Herbert is still believed to be a solid future NFL quarterback, but the 21-year-old has thrown four of his five interceptions and suffered nine of his 21 sacks in the last month. Simply put, the Ducks aren’t peaking at the right time right now.

Betting Pick: Utes -6.5

Even with a win, Utah is going to need some help to make the College Football Playoff, but I think the Utes are playing like a team that’s deserving of the opportunity right now after covering in each of their last eight games. Oregon’s best football is in the rear-view mirror and Utah’s smothering defense could be too much for the Ducks to handle in Santa Clara.

Shark Bites
  • Utah is 8-0 ATS in its last 8 games.
  • The UNDER is 12-4 in Oregon’s last 16 road games.
  • Oregon is 10-1 SU in its last 11 vs the Pac-12.