Washington vs Oregon Prediction: Over/Under Best Bet, Week 11

This season I’ll be breaking down a few of college football’s biggest games each week and giving out at least one bet I like from each matchup. 

Let’s dive into this primetime Pac-12 matchup between hated rivals Washington and Oregon.

Washington vs Oregon Total, current line:

Washington vs Oregon Best Bet Prediction:

Both defenses are likely to struggle getting off the field, so take the over at 72.5 points. 

» Bet it now: Over 72.5  

When Washington is on Offense

Kalen DeBoer runs an extremely pass-heavy offense, with a 59% pass rate in neutral game situations, per Campus2Canton

It’s a fairly traditional spread offense, as Michael Penix takes a dropback of three or more steps at a 58% rate, the 20th highest rate in the FBS, according to Sports Info Solutions

Oregon has a formidable pass rush, but it’s unclear who holds an edge this area, based on these numbers from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Washington ranks eighth in opponent-adjusted pressure rate allowed
  • Oregon ranks 34th in opponent-adjusted pressure rate generated
  • Oregon ranks 16th in pressure rate versus traditional dropbacks (44%)

Although Oregon could cause issues with its pass rush, when the Ducks fail to generate pressure, their secondary often fails to hold up. 

On plays without pressure, Oregon is allowing 8.1 yards per attempt, ranked 80th. 

A key factor in this game could be Penix’s ability to throw downfield. Penix throws 15 or more yards downfield on 23.5% of his attempts, the 40th highest rate in FBS, per Sports Info Solutions. 

However, Oregon’s defense commands respect from opposing quarterbacks. Ducks opponents have thrown at least 15 yards downfield at a rate 25.2% below their average, the 10th lowest rate. 

Here’s a look at some more key stats for Oregon’s defense against throws 15 or more yards downfield:

  • 39.5% completion rate allowed (ranked 43rd)
  • 32.0% completion rate allowed in Pac-12 play (ranked second)
  • 28.9% ball-hawk rate (ranked 16th)

In the run game, Oregon holds an obvious advantage, and it should force Washington to lean even more heavily on the passing attack. 

Take a look at these numbers from Sports Info Solutions on the run-game matchup:

  • Washington ranks 83rd in opponent-adjusted yards before contact
  • Oregon ranks 44th in opponent-adjusted  yards before contact allowed

Washington’s inability to generate untouched yardage severely limits their ability to get anything going on the ground. 

According to Sports Info Solutions, when contacted within two yards of the line of scrimmage, Cameron Davis averages 2.1 yards per attempt (ranked 125th), while Wayne Taulapapa averages 2.0 (138th).

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When Oregon is on Offense

It’s hard to find an area where the Oregon offense doesn’t hold a significant edge over Washington’s defense. 

In the run game, take a look at these opponent-adjusted numbers from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Oregon ranks 12th in rate of gaining 3+ yards before contact
  • Washington ranks 58th in rate of allowing 3+ yards before contact

Oregon’s ability to generate untouched yardage is what allows the rushing attack to be among the most explosive in the nation. But the Ducks are also an efficient rushing attack. 

When Mar’keise Irving fails to get three yards before contact, he still averages 3.8 yards per attempt, the 11th-best mark in the country. 

In the passing game, Bo Nix leads an offense that ranks 17th in explosive pass rate (plays of 20+ yards). 

The Ducks pass-game production mostly comes after the catch, as Nix ranks 104th in rate of throwing 15 or more yards downfield (17%), per Sports Info Solutions. 

Nix’s ability to just take what the defense gives him should work well against a Washington defense that ranks 80th in yards after the catch allowed (6.0 per reception). 

Final Thoughts on Washington vs Oregon Best Bets

The over has been a winner in six of nine games for Oregon this season. The only under winners were against Georgia, Colorado, and Arizona. 

In those three games that went under, Oregon’s defense allowed its opponents to bleed the clock with the run game. Even last week against lowly Colorado, Oregon allowed the Buffaloes two first-half drives lasting over four minutes apiece. 

Washington has not shown an ability (or desire) to control the clock with the ground game, so that’s not a concern in this matchup. 

Additionally, don’t expect many negative drive-killing plays from either quarterback. According to Sports Info Solutions, Penix and Nix rank first and second, respectively, in the lowest rate of producing plays of -1 EPA or worse. 

It’s also important to note, these defenses rank 125th (Washington) and 126th (Oregon) in third down conversion rate allowed.

Expect these two quarterbacks to trade scoring drives for much of the game, and take the over.

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