For the second straight year, the Auburn Tigers will be opening up against a top Pac-12 school.
Last year it was a bitter battle against the defensive-minded Washington Huskies, where the Tigers came out victories, 21-16. This season, they’ll take on one of the best QBs in the NCAA.
The Oregon Ducks have been listed as 3-point neutral-site underdogs across the board – so it will be wise to check this BetOnline Review to compare your college football betting options.
Let’s break down the possibilities.
What the Odds Say
In college football, home-field advantage is worth roughly, 2.5 to 3 points. And here we see the Tigers favored by three at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Given the distance, we have to give admit it will more like a home game for Auburn than for Oregon, but still. Going by these numbers the Tigers would be around 5-point favorites in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
But wait … the number has moved since it first opened months ago. The Tigers were originally 6.5-point favorites, which would make them roughly 9-point favs at home. The question is how much of this movement was because of public betting action (artificial betting line movement) versus how much was organic due to what we’ve seen in the offseason?
What the Stats Say
Based on the numbers from last season, Oregon’s offense outscores the Tigers by about four points. They put up a little over 20 more rushing yards per game, 25 passing yards, and four more plays per game. With such a small amount of difference, we have to think these extra four points come from Red Zone efficiency. The Ducks are more efficient once they get into scoring position. But, that’s a vanity stat because they don’t see defenses very often of the likes which Auburn faces on a regular basis.
Speaking of which, Auburn holds teams to 19.15 points per game, while the Ducks hold teams tp 25.38. Not too bad for the Ducks considering the fast-paced west coast offenses they face. But the Tigers defense is over six points better. Again, the numbers are close. Auburn holds teams to roughly nine fewer rushing yards and 22 fewer passing yards. So, again, we can talk about the Red Zone. Auburn is much more stout defensively inside that 20-yard marker.
Neither of these teams is ranked in the AP Top-25. But I have a feeling that at some point throughout the year, we’ll see a few of these other ranked teams fall off and both of these teams breaking into the rankings.
What the Teams Say
Oregon has done some great things this offseason. They have serious talent at WR. And with a fleet-footed gunslinger like Justin Herbert, the Ducks can create some problems downfield for the Tigers. Oregon talent will show us how prepared the Tigers’ linebacker core and secondary are.
But will the Ducks offense be able to hold up against Auburn’s SEC-ready defensive front? This is where I see the shakeup happening. Early in the game, I think Oregon will make a game of it, perhaps even lead the game for a while. But the Auburn defense will wear this Ducks team down and take over in the 3rd and 4th quarter.
All in all, Auburn will take over late and win this game, covering or ‘pushing’ three-point spread.