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Pac-12 Conference Championship Game: Arizona vs. Oregon

This is the first time that the Pac-12 Conference Championship game is being played at a neutral site, and the Ducks have double-revenge on their minds after suffering consecutive upset losses to Arizona, including a shocking 31-24 upset in Eugene on October 2.  Since that defeat, Oregon has gone 7-0 SU and ATS, including last week’s commanding 47-19 win at Oregon State.

Oregon arrives at Levi’s Stadium with a potent offense that is averaging 45.9 points per game on 539 total yards at 7.4 yards per play and 11.7 yards per point.  The Ducks are also 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS on the road this season where they are averaging 47.4 points per game on 526 total yards at 7.4 yards per play and 11.1 yards per point.

Overall, Oregon is 1.0 yards per rush play, 2.7 yards per pass play and 1.5 yards per play better than average offensively, which gives the Ducks a significant advantage over an Arizona stop unit that is just 0.2 yards per play better than average (5.5 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play).  Based solely from the line of scrimmage, the Ducks possess a 0.7 yards per rush attempt, 2.5 yards per pass attempt and 1.3 yards per play advantage offensively over Arizona’s pedestrian defense.

As long as Oregon’s attack performs at its usual level, we don’t see a scenario under which Arizona will be able to keep the Ducks out of the end zone in this game.  In fact, our math model project a minimum of 45 points for Oregon Friday night, and we would not be surprised to see the revenge-minded Ducks put a 50-spot on the board.

While Oregon’s defense is nothing to rave about (5.5 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play), the Wildcats’ attack is even worse (5.9 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.8 yards per play).  Oregon possesses a nominal advantage defensively from the line of scrimmage, and the Ducks do not give up big plays as evidenced by the fact that their opponents are averaging 18.5 points per game this season.

From a technical standpoint, Arizona is a money-burning 6-13 ATS versus teams with a winning record and 3-9 ATS following a win, whereas the Ducks are a profitable 20-7 ATS off a win, 18-7-1 ATS after covering the point spread and 14-3 ATS in their last seventeen games on grass.  The Ducks are also 15-6 ATS versus teams with a winning record, including 11-3 ATS versus teams with a win percentage exceeding .750.

These two teams faced six common opponents this season: Oregon was 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS (+20.0 points per game; +103 yards per game), while Arizona was 5-1 SU and 3-3 ATS (+11.0 points per game; -15.0 yards per game).  Finally, the point spread tells us everything we need to know.  Despite beating Oregon twice in the last two years, the Ducks are still 14.5-point favorites against Arizona in the Pac-12 Conference Championship game.