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Oregon Ducks 2015 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Picks

2015-2016 Football Previews (Pac-12) – Ducks

For the first time since Mark Helfrich took over the Oregon Ducks football program, the team from Eugene will be forced to usher in a new era behind center this season. Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota has taken his talents to the NFL, which means the team originally known as The Webfoots will have a brand new look to them — although don’t expect the system to change with their star quarterback no longer on the roster.

NCAA Football Gambling Lines

Pac-12 Lines

Pac-12 2015-2016 College Football Preview – Oregon Ducks

Head Coach: Mark Helfrich
2014 Record: 13-2
Odds to Win College Football Championship (from Bovada): 20/1
Odds to win Pac-12 (from GTbets): 5/2
Season Win Total (from 5Dimes): 9.5

If the Ducks have become known for anything over the past few years, it’s their blinding speed and their ‘next man up’ mentality. That means this team won’t change much about their offensive approach just because Mariota is gone, and it also means there’s a good chance we see success in the soggy Pacific Northwest regardless of who takes snaps from behind center.

The question, of course, is: How much success? If we’re being honest here, Oregon fans have been spoiled over the past six seasons. Since Chip Kelly took over in 2009, this group has become a perennial contender. Two National Championship appearances (including one last season), three Rose Bowls (including one last season) a Fiesta Bowl and an Alamo Bowl make up this team’s resume.

During that stretch, the Ducks have lost a mere 11 games. So again, we ask: How much success can the Duks find in this new era, and can they avoid coming own to earth for the first time in years?

Team Strengths

You can’t start talking about the Ducks’ strengths without diving a bit deeper into their offensive system. Call it gimmicky if you want; this group has established an identity on offense, and it’s the system that it runs that has led to so much success.

The ‘Blur’ offense is designed to tire defenses. It’s as simple as that. No other team in the country pushes the pace like the Ducks, and few other teams are able to combine the passing and running game to create the ultimate threat.

Last season, the Ducks were 10th in the nation in passing yards with 312.5 yards per contest. On the ground, the were 22nd, compiling 234.5 yards each week.

Those numbers led to the team scoring an impressive 45.4 points per contest, which was fourth in the nation.

Although we’ll stick with the notion that Oregon won’t change much about the offense with Mariota gone, there’s one player who could force this team to hit the ground harder this season: Royce Freeman. As a true freshman, the 5’11”, 230-pound back was named a Freshman All-American, led the Pac-12 in touchdowns scored and tied 12th nationally in rushing touchdowns.

The skill positions as a whole contain an embarrassment of riches, but look for Freeman to establish himself as one of the better tailbacks in the country this season.

Team Weaknesses

Fair or not, we’re putting quarterback as a weakness until proven otherwise.

Chances are, the Ducks do not have the next Mariota on their roster. Although that’s really saying more about the Heisman Trophy winner than the incumbent pieces, we simply don’t know what Jeff Lockie or transfer Vernon Adams will do when facing Pac-12 competition on a week-to-week basis.

Making matters even more complicated, Davis is still having transfer issues coming in from Eastern Washington. That’s an issue he and the Ducks need to figure out as soon as possible, otherwise the battle at QB loses its luster and Lockie walks into the spot without any semblance of competition.

Defensively, this team is young in the secondary. This is going to cause a problem not just for the corners themselves, but for the linebacking core.

The Ducks were hardly aggressive rushing the ball last season, and the team has said it will look to be more aggressive in that area this year. But the linebackers must also drop back on occasion as a crutch for the young secondary.

Oregon needs to find the perfect balance there, otherwise, the defense that gave up just 23.6 points last season could see a dip in production in that department.

Oregon Ducks 2015-2016 Prediction: 9-3

The Oregon Ducks are going to have a good season. In fact, they’re probably going to have a very good season.

It just won’t be to the standard we’ve seen them have in the recent past.

The Ducks will likely go either 8-4 or 9-3 in regular-season play. A respectable number for any program, but not quite what this program has grown accustomed to over the past six years.

Oregon Ducks 2015 Football Schedule

  • Sat, Sept 5 vs. Eastern Washington
  • Sat, Sept. 12 @ Michigan State
  • Sat, Sept. 19 vs. Georgia State
  • Sat, Sept. 26 vs. Utah
  • Sat, Oct. 3 @ Colorado
  • Sat, Oct. 10 vs. Washington State
  • Sat, Oct. 17 @ Washington
  • Thur, Oct. 29 @ Arizona State
  • Sat, Nov. 7 vs. California
  • Sat, Nov. 14 @ Stanford
  • Sat, Nov. 21 vs. USC
  • Fri, Nov. 27 vs. Oregon State

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