Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 11:00 AM EST and odds are subject to change.
Oregon -3½ over BYU
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
3:30 PM EST. There is much to chew on here from both sides, but we’ll start with the Cougars of BYU, who won and covered after a double overtime thriller against Baylor at home last Saturday night. It was a big game with many eyes. Those on the pregame show panel were all on top-10 Baylor. Few gave the Cougs a chance to win that game despite being the favorite. A cover was out of the question.
Considering the panel couldn’t fathom BYU’s success against Baylor a week ago, it’s pretty darn funny that Pat McAfee opened today’s College GameDay broadcast by pumping up the Cougars, "BYU is led by Kalani Sitake, Jaren Hall, with maybe the best weapon in Puka Nacua!” Lee Corso added, "BYU upsets Oregon!” To which Kirk Herbstreit quipped, "That's weird that is considered an upset. BYU has been very good.”
Do you see how these talking heads operate? It’s a classic zig-zag. They all got burned last week by BYU and now, they can't get away from them.
On the Oregon side, the Ducks have played just one game against meaningful competition. That was Week 1 at Georgia as a 16-point pooch. The Ducks would go on to get mauled by the Bulldogs 49-3. A 70-14 win over Eastern Washington was the result for Oregon from Week 2, but that FCS win does not carry much if any weight in this market. Oregon has had a ridiculous amount of success at home against non-conference opposition. The Ducks have won their last 29 straight in this situation. We do not bring this stat up to highlight Oregon, but to shine a light on the fact that Eugene is still not an easy place to play for those that are not used to it.
In addition to the GameDay crew calling their shot, we also love that this game opened at -3½. That is what we call a favorite friendly number because there is going to be a temptation by the ill-informed to take back a “hook” on a key number like three. For the Ducks to cash this ticket, they’ll need more than a field goal. Whenever we see an opening line of -3½, we take notice. More often than not, it’s an indication of a short-priced favorite. We trust that the stars are aligning here. We have an overreaction to the Cougars' win last week. We have the talking heads slobbering all over BYU, and we have a number we love to play. Count us in.
Oregon -3½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)