Oregon vs. Arizona in NCAAF Week 13

Darin Zank

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 2:14 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 2:14 PM UTC

Can the Oregon Ducks gives us a profitable betting opportunity when they face the Arizona Wildcats. Let's see the college football betting odds and find out!

Check out SBRs NCAAF Week 13 Betting Odds Report

The general consensus is any shot of the Oregon Ducks playing for the BCS Championship went out the window in a loss to the Stanford Cardinal a couple of weeks back.  But in the words of Lee Corso, a true sage among college football prognosticators, "Not so fast, my friend."

Chips have to fall just right for the Ducks to make it to the BCS title tilt, and realistically the odds are enormous.  Still, three more wins, one coming in the Pac-12 Championship, could get Oregon to the promised land, otherwise known as the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 6.

The first of those three wins has to come in Tucson this Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats.  Boot is set for a little after 3:30 PM (ET) with the game available on either ABC or ESPN2, depending on your market.  College football odds for the contest are currently at Oregon -20.5 after the spread opened a point lower.  Most shops are sporting a 67 point total for the early afternoon tussle in the desert.

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Oregon Bounces Back From Stanford Defeat

It's going to be tough for the Ducks to climb over four teams ahead of them in the latest BCS Standings, but it's not impossible.  No. 1 Alabama is probably the only team that can afford a loss and still make it to the championship match.  But Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor, that trio sitting 2-4 ahead of Oregon, do not have the same luxury.

For the Ducks (9-1 straight up, 7-3 against the spread) to push back into the conversation, they also have to look a little tougher than what we saw last week vs. Utah.  Oregon allowed the Utes to pull within three five minutes into the third period before reeling off 27 unanswered points to pull away.  Mark Helfrich's squad failed to cover the 28.5 point spread, the third time Oregon backers missed a payday after the Ducks started the season with six straight spread-beaters.

Some of the punch missing from the offensive attack the past two games can be blamed on Marcus Mariota's balky left knee.  The sophomore quarterback was a true dual threat before injuring the hinge in the win over UCLA in late-October, and will be presumably wearing the same brace this week that he donned against the Cardinal and Utes.

Arizona Faces Tough Task To Avoid 3rd-Straight Loss

Rich Rodriguez has the Wildcats bowl eligible once again as his second season at the helm in Tucson draws to a close.  But Arizona (6-4 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) enters Saturday's clash having lost its last two games, with costly turnovers and big plays allowed by the defense key factors in the setbacks at home to UCLA and Washington State.

It has basically been a 1-man show on offense with Ka'Deem Carey the star attraction.  Carey's 1,353 yards rushing rank fifth nationally, 12 of 242 carries going for six points.

Senior QB BJ Denker is going to need his best game of the season to just keep Arizona within earshot of the Ducks.  The Wildcats also need to keep Oregon from ripping off big plays and returns, something the UA stop unit has struggled to do against lesser offenses.

Ducks Eye 6th-Straight Win Vs. 'Cats

Oregon leads the series 24-14 and has won the last five battles with the Wildcats.  The Ducks have covered the last two after Arizona backers collected the cash in five of the previous six.  Last year's 49-0 whitewashing that Oregon put on the 'Cats never got close to the 78-point total, stopping a run of four consecutive 'overs' between the schools.

Foul weather is a possibility in Tucson where wind and a 40%-50% chance of rain are part of Saturday's forecast.  The weatherman is calling for ESE winds around 20 mph, with gusts reaching the mid-20s, and that will certainly affect deep routes along with the kicking game.

I don't like the weather report at this time, but also haven't been able to convince myself of either team covering the spread in the best of weather.  With Mariota at less than 100%, my gut says go 'under' for my free college football pick.

NFL Pick: Oregon-Arizona Under 67

Season Record: 23-9 (+13.2); three picks pending

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