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Oregon Ducks Betting Predictions – Showdowns With USC Will Make Or Break Ducks In 2012

Posted by Blake Frazier on 6/22/2012 5:31:05 PM

Online betting players have watched Oregon morph into one of the most exciting teams in the country over the last few years, and they’re going to challenge in the Pac-12 once again in 2012. However, two possible meetings (one, for sure) against the top team in the other division will definite the Sucks this season.

Head Coach: Chip Kelly (4th year)
Offensive Coordinator: Mark Helfrich
Defensive Coordinator: Nick Alotti
Stadium: Autzen Stadium
Capacity: 59,000
National Championships: 0 


The Ducks were ranked third in points scored and fourth in total offense, powered by a fast-tempo rushing attack and even though quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James have left, but the duo of Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas should be able to make up for the loss of James and either Marcus Mariota or Bryan Bennett (maybe both) can hold it down under center. Thomas also led the Ducks in receiving, so he could actually end up out wide until the quarterbacks are settled, and Oregon aren’t deep at receiver, but Oregon’s offense is predicated on the run, first and foremost. The offensive line is back and intact, and as long as they’re around, Oregon should be a top-10 offense once again.

Grade: A-


Six starters return for a unit that was 67th in total defense and 88th against the pass, but only 52nd in points allowed and that’s a solid stat for a group that never got much rest as the offense usually burned up and down the field to score points. Dion Jordan had six sacks to power the Ducks to fifth in the nation in that category, and coordinator Nick Alotti has done an excellent job at improving the Ducks on this side of the ball. Everyone looks to Oregon for offense and for good reason, but Oregon’s defense, while it won’t be mistaken for an Alabama or a LSU type of group, can hold their own and they’re definitely good enough to win the Pac-12 North once again. The Ducks will have to improve against the pass if they’re going to get past USC to win the conference title for the fourth straight year. They have a nice mix of youth, experience and athleticism at the back of the unit. Oregon also has a star in the making at linebacker in Michael Clay, and Kiko Alonso is also expected to have a big year for the Ducks.

Grade: C+

Special Teams

Most NCAA football betting sharps look at special teams when they are evaluating a team’s chances and the Sucks actually have great special teams. They ranked first in the nation in net punting and Jackson Rice is back for his senior season, and he is a great weapon to have in the battle for field position, which helps out the Ducks on both sides of the ball. Thomas is also their return specialist, and the Ducks finished 11th in punt returns and 46th in kickoff returns. Rob Beard missed almost all of last year with injury, but Alejandro Maldonaldo took over the reins and hit 77 of his 78 extra-point opportunities, although he missed five of his 12 field-goal attempts. The Ducks don’t try a lot of field goals, so that is probably the main area where they have to work on before the season starts.

Grade: B


NCAA football betting odds have Oregon as a -250 favorite to take the North once again, while they’re rated at +200 to win the Pac-12, just behind USC and +1200 for the BCS title, which they played for in 2011, losing to Cam Newton’s Auburn. The Ducks have been the class of the Pac-12 since the Trojans suffered from NCAA violations, and if Oregon is going to get to the BCS title game, they’ll have to go through USC, likely twice; once on the road to kick off November, and then again in the Pac-12 title game as these two teams are, by far, the best in the conference.

Outside of the USC game, there isn’t much on the schedule that should trouble Ducks, except maybe Stanford and they visit Autzen Stadium, which may be the loudest stadium in the country. The Ducks are still incredibly fast and athletic, and that should be enough to carry them through the first half of the season, but their success depends on the success against the Trojans, who are also a high-ranked team in your sports betting book.

2012 Schedule

September 1 – vs. Arkansas State (10:30 PM ET)
September 8 – vs. Fresno State (TBD)
September 15 – vs. Tennessee Tech (TBD)
September 22 – vs. Arizona (TBD)
September 29 – at Washington State (TBD)
October 6 – vs. Washington (TBD)
October 18 – at Arizona State (9:00 PM ET)
October 27 – vs. Colorado (TBD)
November 3 – at USC (TBD)
November 10 – at California (TBD)
November 17 – vs. Stanford (TBD)
November 24 – at Oregon State (TBD)



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