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Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner for Saturday, November 6: Oregon at Washington

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Oskeim Sports gives a detailed betting preview and free sports pick in Saturday’s college football game between Oregon and Washington.  Be sure to check back daily for more free pick winners from the #1 Ranked handicapping service in the nation.  Don’t forget to visit the online store to purchase one of Jeff’s award-winning subscriptions.

My math model only favors Oregon by 5.45 points in this game and the Ducks are carrying the weight of being No. 4 in the initial College Football Playoffs rankings. Oregon is just 2-6 ATS this season, underperforming relative to the betting market by an average of -2.3 points per game (86th in the FBS).  The Ducks habitually play to the level of their opponent so laying a touchdown on the road against a quality conference opponent is a dicey proposition.

The Ducks needed a score in the final three minutes to beat Fresno State, lost to Stanford in overtime, trailed California in the fourth quarter before needing a goal-line stand in the final seconds to secure a win and needed a final-minute interception to escape with a win over UCLA.  Oregon has failed to cover nine straight as a favorite (0-6 ATS this season), the longest active streak in the nation.

Let’s also note that the Ducks are a money-burning 2-8 ATS in their last ten games following a win and 6-15 ATS in their previous 21 games off a win by more than 20 points.  Washington possesses a very good defense that is ranked 25th in the nation in defensive drive efficiency and 15th in yards per play allowed.  The Huskies have a defensive grade of 87.6, per Pro Football Focus (20th-best in FBS) and own one of the best secondaries in all of football.

Indeed, Washington’s 92.4 coverage grade (per PFF) is the 3rd-best in the country, while its 9.0% Passing Downs Sack Rate is 47th in the FBS.  Cornerbacks Trent McDuffie (21st) and Kyler Gordon (27th) both rank in the top 30 nationally among qualified cornerbacks.  I also like the fact that Washingon’s stop unit owns a tackling grade of 71.5, which is ranked 45th in the league and has been excellent inside the red-zone (23rd, .759).

The difference in this game could be the team’s respective special teams units.  Washington’s special teams unit ranks 37th with a PFF grade of 80.0, whereas the Ducks own the nation’s 126th-ranked special teams unit (PFF grade of 57.2).  Washington placekicker Peyton Henry has a career-high 74.8 PFF kick grade (18-of-18 XPM, 9-of-11 FGM), while the Huskies are 58th in net punting.

The point spread reaching seven is significant in that Oregon has only defeated three teams this season by more than a touchdown:

  • Colorado
  • Arizona
  • Stony Brook

Really?  I’m not impressed with any of those wins and it’s important to reiterate the fact that the Ducks needed to come from behind in the fourth quarter at home to beat Fresno State and California.  With Oregon standing at just 1-4 ATS in its last five conference games and 1-5 ATS in its last six games overall, grab the points with the Washington Huskies as Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner for Saturday, November 6.