Left Coast Hidden Gem: Unpolished Arizona, OSU Offenses Fall Short

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 12:47 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2018 12:47 PM UTC

This week we check out two teams that will struggle to reach the postseason: Arizona and Oregon State. For NCAAF handicapper Mark Lathrop, that doesn't mean we should wait to profit off of them now.

2018 NCAAF Record: 11-7, +6.92u
*Note: Record includes official Twitter selections (@mlathrop3)

Arizona (1-2 SU) at Oregon State (1-2 SU)Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)Free NCAAF Pick: Under 75.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Two 1-2 Pac-12 teams match up for their conference openers in Week 4 in a desperate attempt to get their new coaching staffs back to .500 ball. Arizona appears to be the more talented team on paper, and QB Kahlil Tate had a monster second half against Southern Utah in Week 3 with 349 passing yards and 5 touchdowns on just 13 completions. Bombs away, for real. It was the start that the Wildcats were waiting for from Tate, and apparently sportsbooks as well, as the college football odds board has Arizona as a 6.5-point road favorite in Corvallis on Saturday.

Oregon State came very close to breaking the longest road losing streak in FBS play in Week 3, as they lost to Nevada 37-35 as a 4-point underdog. The Beavers have not won on the road since 2014. They are playing two quarterbacks right now, but look for Conor Blount to take most of the snaps in this one with Jake Luton listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Blount has been efficient on the year, with a 9.3 yards per completion average and a 4/1 TD/INT ratio, good for a 160.8 QB rating.

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Wide left.

Nevada wins 37-35.

— Oregon State Football (@BeaverFootball) September 16, 2018
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The home team has won the last two matchups in this series in blowout fashion. The game in Arizona last year has one of the stranger lines in existence, with the Wildcats running for 534 yards and passing for just 68 in a 49-28 win. Even after running for that many yards Arizona still did not have the time of possession advantage, with the Beavers holding the ball for 33:49. Tate was one of the reasons for the strange line, as he ran 16 times for 206 yards with 2 TD’s and had 5-7 passing for 71.4 yards and an interception. Oregon State actually outscored Arizona in the second half of that game.

When I look at that strange box score, and the fact that Arizona struggled offensively in their first two games of this season, I’m skeptical of the high total being placed on this game. Sure, the Arizona offense is helped by the return of offensive lineman Layth Friekh, but they will be on the road this week. The Oregon State quarterback situation also gives me pause. I’m going to look for a sloppy 2 offensive quarters in this one, which will allow us to stay just "under" the massive total of 75.5 placed on this game.

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