#13 Oregon (1-0) travels to face unranked Texas Tech (0-1). These teams had polar opposite experiences in their respective season openers. Oregon thrashed Portland State 81-7, while Texas Tech blew a 17-0 lead versus Wyoming.
Can the Red Raiders get back on track with a key victory? Check out below for Oregon vs. Texas Tech odds, picks, and predictions.
Oregon vs. Texas Tech Prediction & Best Bet
Getting -6.5 is a pleasant surprise given how well-oiled the team appears to be. Quarterback Bo Nix has ascended to elite dual-threat status; he’s a menace when scrambling and boasts an accurate arm with the ability to make the deep throws. In addition, he remains a magician when defenders pester him. Of the 133 players with at least 60 dropbacks under pressure last season, Nix ranked 2nd in PFF’s overall grade, 4th in adjusted completion percentage, and 5th in lowest percentage of pressures turned into sacks.
To make matters worse for Texas Tech, Nix is surrounded by an elite offensive line and explosive weapons. The Ducks only allowed five sacks last season and didn’t surrender a single pressure against Portland State. They are the rare unit that thrives at both pass protection and run blocking.
Meanwhile, receiver Troy Franklin is NFL-bound, as he’s an excellent route runner with a knack for finding the end zone. Factor in receiver Gary Bryant Jr, and the Ducks have an impressive duo that’s capable of gashing the defense at a moment’s notice. Oregon also owns a fearsome running back room led by Bucky Irving and Jordan James. Of the 168 running backs with at least 100 carries last season, Irving was 9th in yards after contact per carry, 15th in missed tackles forced, and 5th in PFF’s Elusiveness Rating.
In summation, Oregon trots out an elite quarterback, an exceptional offensive line, and has weapons at all skill positions. The Ducks should rack up points with ease against a subpar Texas Tech defense that fields vulnerable corners and an uninspiring pass rush. The Red Raiders do have a sturdy safety duo, and EDGE Steve Linton can make plays; however, Oregon’s talent and depth allows them to spread the ball around to target weaknesses.
Look for Oregon to pile up points in this matchup. Now, the question becomes whether Oregon’s defense can somewhat slow down Texas Tech’s offense.
Quarterback Tyler Shough is lethal out of the play-action and dangerous with his legs. When given time to operate, Shough can make defenses pay through a quick dart. Texas Tech doesn’t quite possess weapons of Oregon’s caliber, but Jerand Bradley, Myles Price, and Drae McCray are versatile receivers capable of lining up all over the field. The Ducks’ secondary isn’t as stifling as last season, but they are a solid unit. The Red Raiders won’t be neutralized in the slightest, but Oregon can keep them far from their own offensive output.
Overall, the Ducks’ offense is far too overpowering for Texas Tech to the point of destruction. On the other hand, Oregon should hold Texas Tech’s offense to an efficient but reasonable game.
Best Bet: Oregon -6.5 & Oregon Moneyline
Oregon vs. Texas Tech Odds
The Ducks are favored by nearly a touchdown, and their moneyline sits at a -230 line. For Texas Tech’s +225 moneyline to have a positive expected value, they must win this contest around 31 percent of the time. The over under sits at a massive 66.5 total points, which isn’t surprising given the offensive firepower involved.
Oregon vs. Texas Tech Key Matchups
EDGE Brandon Dorlus vs. Texas Tech Offensive Line
Texas Tech fielded a shaky offensive line last season, and they still appeared unprepared against Wyoming. Brandon Dorlus is flying off the edge, so Texas Tech has to limit him and buy Shough time to throw. If Oregon’s pass rush forces Shough to abandon play-action (his biggest strength), then the passing offense will take a massive hit. That would be a death sentence considering Oregon’s own expected offensive production.
Texas Tech Run Defense vs. RB Bucky Irving
Irving’s production against Portland State perfectly displays how lethal he is with the ball. In that game, Irving notched four carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns while catching three passes for 30 yards. The word elusive doesn’t even begin to describe him. Texas Tech will already be navigating an elite Nix to Franklin connection, so it’s essential that they contain the edge and not allow the run game to thrive as well. Otherwise, the Ducks will rarely be stopped.