Oregon vs. Utah: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (12/3/21)

Oregon vs. Utah Betting Odds

Unfortunately, the Pac-12 title game will be a rematch.

Utah bludgeoned Oregon just two weeks ago, with the Utes winning 38-7. Utah overpowered Oregon in every facet of the game, and it’s hard to imagine the Ducks flipping the script so quickly.

However, the Pac-12 championship is different from a late-season regular-season game, so anything can happen this weekend in Vegas.

The Ducks are once again underdogs, opening at +3 but since being bet to +2.5.

Pac-12 Championship Video

Oregon Ducks Odds

As the world likely knows by now, the Ducks do two things well: run the ball and rush the passer.

On the ground, Oregon boasts the nation’s second-best Rush Success Rate, averaging over 200 yards per game and over five yards per carry. Travis Dye leads the way in the backfield (1036 yards, 5.8 yards per carry, 14 touchdowns), but quarterback Anthony Brown has helped considerably (642 yards, 4.9 yards per carry, nine touchdowns).

Unfortunately, Brown is abhorrent as a passer. He grades out as PFF’s 88th best quarterback, out of 147, making 17 Big Time Throws to 11 Turnover Worthy Plays in the process. He regularly misses his spots, and Oregon just isn’t that efficient through the air as a result.

On the other side of the ball, Kayvon Thibodeuax leads an Oregon defensive line that grades out in the top-20 in pressure. Thibodeaux himself is PFF’s eighth-best pass rusher, with 11 quarterback hits on a 23.9% pass rush win rate.

But outside of those two things, the Ducks don’t do anything particularly well. Their weaknesses were all-too-obvious in their loss to Utah, where the Utes overpowered Oregon in 12- and 13-personnel on offense and capitalized on the Ducks’ one-dimensionality on defense.

Utah Utes Odds 

Unlike Oregon, Utah is versatile on offense. It runs a pro-style offense that will overpower you at the point of attack and has excelled since Cam Rising took over.

Nobody uses tight ends more than the Utes, with Utah playing out of 12- and 13-personnel more than 66% of the time. As they should in Utah, the Utes play bully-ball.

But back to Rising. In Week 4, Utah was sitting at 1-2 while ranking outside the top 80 in both Rush Success rate and Pass Success Rate. Since then, the Utes have won seven of nine, with Rising having thrown 14 touchdowns to two interceptions and becoming the Pac-12’s second highest-graded quarterback, per PFF.

With the passing game opening up, the rushing game has as well. Since Rising took over, Utah is averaging close to 250 rush yards per game with almost 30 touchdowns, and lead back Tavion Thomas is now closing in on 1000 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Prediction and Pick 

My pick: Utah -2.5 (-120 at FanDuel)

I would love to bet on a Mario Cristobal revenge game, with the Ducks ground game waking up and the Dye-Thibodeaux combo overpowering the Utes for the title.

But I don’t think Oregon can overcome how one-dimensional it is. If these two end up playing bully ball, Utah wins nine out of ten times. Brown will be forced to make plays in that instance, and he isn’t a talented enough quarterback to do so.

Utah is a more complete football team, which can methodically dispose of the Oregon defense out of one offensive look. Meanwhile, the Ducks’ football team has holes and inefficiencies across the roster, something that will again come to light in the conference title game.

This is a smaller play for me, and I wouldn’t bet the Utes past a field goal, but I heavily lean Utah in the rematch.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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