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Ducks vs. Cowboys Preview/Pick: Holiday Bowl

Holiday Bowl Oregon Ducks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State was unbeaten and a top ten team this season until the Cowboys suffered a 28-24 loss to Texas. What followed was a 36-point loss to Texas Tech and a 20-point defeat to Oklahoma, and teams like that wind up in places like San Diego for the Holiday Bowl.

BetUS NCAA Football Betting Odds: OKLAHOMA STATE -2.5, Total 76.5

Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:  

* ORE has won five of its last six games SU
* ORE has played four of its last five games OVER the total
* OSU has covered six of its last nine games
* OSU has won 10 of its last 13 games SU

Oregon flirted with the top of the polls last season. This year it was somewhat different. There were some anxious moments, a lot of injuries (especially at the quarterback position) and the clear impression that this team was vulnerable – a lot. The Ducks had to come from behind to beat a Purdue team that won only four games, and lost to Boise State and California, not to mention the USC Trojans. There was a strong finish, however, as Oregon rang up 120 points against Arizona and Oregon State to close out the regular schedule.

OSU’s Zac Robinson got lost in the wave of great passers in the Big 12 this season, but he actually led the nation with an average of 10.36 yards per passing attempt. Robinson also had 24 TD passes and a completion rate of 67%. His biggest target, Dez Bryant, caught 74 balls for 18 touchdowns and was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press. Throw in the rushing exploits of Kendall Hunter, who gained 1518 yards on 6.7 yards a carry, and you’ve got a trio that is as potent as any in the Big 12 on paper.

We say “on paper” because the Cowboys’ output was somewhat normal when they were against opponents who weren’t allowing gratuitous offensive numbers. They scored 28 points against Missouri, 24 against Texas, and 20 against Texas Tech. It also looked like Oklahoma was perfectly content to let OSU score 41 points as long as it facilitated another 60-point outburst on their part.

Oregon went through several quarterbacks this year, and scored points with all of them. They finally settled on Jeremiah Masoli, who had a rough start but finished 44th in the nation’s pass efficiency rankings, with 12 TD’s, just four interceptions and 612 rushing yards. The Ducks feature one of the true 1-2 punches in the backfield, with Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount combining for 2010 yards and 28 touchdowns.

It is important to mention that Oregon, which has covered 15 of its last 23 as an underdog, allo ws almost a full yard less per carry than OSU does. It was kind of scary how Justin Roper, who was making his first collegiate start, cut a swath through South Florida’s defense last year in the Sun Bowl, leading a 56-point onslaught, Oregon coach Mike Bellotti is one of the great offensive architects in the country, so don’t be surprised if his team is ultra-prepared for this one. Certainly the Ducks have some momentum. We’ll take the points with Oregon, the 2.5-point underdog in the BetUS Sportsbook NCAA college football betting odds.

Our PLAY: OREGON +2.5 ***

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