Oregon is a touchdown favorite on the college football betting card to win its first National Championship. How will the Ducks slow down Cardale Jones and the Ohio State offense?
|Oregon scores first -145 (best line bet365)
OhioSt scores first +145 (best line BOL)
|Team to score first wins game -180 (best line Bovada)
Team to score first loses game +160 (best line SIA)
|Longest TD scored o 62½ +105 (best line Heritage)
Longest TD scored u 62½ -115 (best line 5Dimes)
|Game total odd -125 (best line bet365)
Game total even +110 (best line 5Dimes)
Mark Helfrich and the Oregon Ducks go for the gold Monday, bettors being asked to lay 6½ points on them in search of the green. Neither color, however, will be seen on the uniforms the Ducks are breaking out for their matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
As if Oregon needs any more speed in the mix, school benefactor Nike is outfitting the Ducks in what are being called 'Mach Speed' uniforms for ESPN's 8:30 PM (ET) broadcast. Think faded Oakland Raiders leggings and jerseys, with white helmets.
Just to be fair, Nike is also supplying some pretty nifty unis to Ohio State along with freshly-designed cleats to both teams...and paying a pretty penny to do so. ESPN's Darren Rovell reported Nike will shell out nearly $7 million combined to the two schools for the privilege -- and free advertising. John Q. Public can buy a replica of either jersey for a mere $160.
What does all of this have to do with how Oregon's defense is going to stop Ohio State's offense and win the school's first NCAA Football Championship? Well for starters, John Q. is also being asked right now to shell out 6½ points for the privilege of backing the Ducks. SBR's live college football odds have been following that spread since it was released at an even touchdown.
Easy To Imagine An 'Over' With Two Offenses
I have to admit to getting a bit gaga-eyed upon first seeing the uniforms. The white and grayish-silver colors really could give the illusion that one of the fastest teams in college football might appear even faster as Oregon players swoosh by Ohio State defenders. How's that for more free advertising?
Ol' John Q. is also being asked to decide on a 75 point total that is giving all appearances of climbing before kickoff. College football odds makers first sent that out a half-point lower, and we've already seen it scoot up to 75½ at some shops six days before boot. With these two offenses -- Oregon 2nd averaging 47.2 PPG, Ohio State 5th at 45.0 -- it is very easy to get sucked into thinking about an easy 'over' which is what about 60% of bettors are doing right now.
Possibly the scariest trend of 'em all entering this game is how well both offenses have performed since their only loss. Ohio State has averaged more than 47 points a game after dropping a Week 2 game to Virginia Tech, the 12-game win streak also finding the Buckeyes running for 219+ at a 280.7 YPG clip, roughly what they put on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Oregon is scoring at an even more impressive 49.2 PPG since a Week 6 upset by Arizona, tallying 300+ yards in both rushing and passing in the Pac-12 Championship against those same Wildcats and last week's 59-20 Rose Bowl blowout of Florida State.
Pellum's Plan Near-Perfect Vs. Seminoles
Offense, as usual these days, is getting all the flash heading into the big game, but the flip sides to all that scoring by both teams are the defensive efforts from Week 13 on. Ohio State did give up 35 to Alabama, but 14 came after Cardale Jones and the offense turned it over and the defense was coming off a shutout of Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship.
Oregon surrendered but 62 points in its last four games, with Helfrich and defensive coordinator Don Pellum putting together a great scheme against and the Seminoles in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks started off dropping into short-medium-long zones vs. Florida State, then tightened up once that confused Jameis Winston and the 'Noles.
I'm expecting Pellum to disguise some of those same zones with offside blitzes and employ a spy or scout to follow Jones early in an attempt to get inside the 3rd-string, sophomore's head. I'm also expecting to see the total climb more and will wait to sell low at 77. If it does, SBR's live college football odds will follow it to the closing bell.
Season: 67-49-1 (+13.10)