Oregon -3 -120 over BYU
3:30 PM EST
Betting Line Provider: BetOnline
One of my favorite betting strategies in college football is to back a team who underperformed or was humiliated early in the season in a nationally televised game. Those teams are usually undervalued by the market in the following weeks as a result. Last year in Week 3, Michigan barely beat Rutgers by 7 as a 24 point favorite during a nationally broadcasted game. The market said if Michigan can’t beat bottom feeder Rutgers by margin, they aren’t any good. That was the last game all regular season Michigan failed to cover. Similarly, in Week 2 Pitt lost outright to Western Michigan as a two touchdown home favorite. That too, was the last game they failed to cover, finishing an elite 10-1 ATS over the rest of the season.
It is easy to overreact to a misleading loss, but if you can avoid falling into that trap, betting on these underrated teams in the following weeks can be a very profitable strategy. This is the exact dynamic that Oregon falls into. Oregon was humiliated by Georgia in Week 1, losing 49-3 in a total noncompetitive beatdown where they failed to score a touchdown — even in garbage time. The betting markets crashed on the Ducks after that pathetic showing.
Yes, it was a bad loss but Oregon will definitely not be the last team that Georgia humiliates this year. Georgia had the superior athletes and punched them in the mouth early and the game got out of hand. That does not change the fact that Oregon has an excellent offensive and defensive line and more importantly for this matchup, elite team speed across every position.
Kilani Sitake has a very standard type of player he looks to recruit to come play at BYU — older Mormon players who are returning from their missions. The majority of these players are in their early to mid 20’s so they are bigger, stronger, and more physically developed compared to their counterparts, but the one thing he struggles to recruit is speed. We saw it last week where they were barely able to edge out a faster, more athletic Baylor team, and Oregon has even better, faster athletes.
This is also a really tough spot for BYU, coming off a long travel trip to Tampa in week one, followed by an emotional OT game last week. The market doesn’t really know what to make of Oregon right now after getting blown out by a powerhouse then blowing out a weakling, but I am confident that the Ducks are undervalued in this spot that they will be a positive expectation wager moving forward the next few weeks, starting with this game. BYU’s offensive line got eaten up last week by Baylor, held to only 83 yards on the ground and QB Jaren Hall was under pressure all afternoon. I look for more of the same, but worse, against an even more talented and athletic Oregon front seven.
Oregon has been an elite home team, a perfect 20-0 SU in their last 20 home games and with this point spread in essentially the “pick the winner range” that is not an insignificant trend for this bettor. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight as a home favorite of 8 or less and are on a 29 game non-conference win streak, second to only Bama’s 40. There is a reason why the Ducks are a field goal favorite despite being lower ranked in the AP polls. Oregon is primed for a nationally broadcasted redemption effort after their week 1 humiliation, and make no mistake about it — BYU is a team they can beat by margin, and this price is very, very reasonable to support the superior team in a great ‘bet-on’ spot.
@QuanNFL on Twitter