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BCS Spread Line and Predictions for Betting

After a 37-day layoff, it will be interesting to see how sharp — or rusty — each team looks. Neither has been dominant in the first half this year, and both are no strangers to slow starts and falling behind early. Both are great at making halftime adjustments. And both are outstanding in the fourth quarter. Which fourth-quarter team gets a lead going into the final frame? Further, while some pundits have said Auburn’s offense also likes to play at a fast pace, it’s nothing like Oregon’s. Just about every team Oregon has faced this year has wilted in the fourth quarter because of the Ducks relentlessness. The BCS National Championship game will kickoff at 8:30 PM EST tonight in Glendale, Arizona.

Spread and Betting Line Comparison Chart:

Betting Site
Spread
Over/Under Line
Visit Site
BetED.com
Auburn -1 (-115)
72
Sportsbook.com
Auburn -1.5 (-110)
72.5
Bodog.com
Auburn -3 (+110)
72u

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For the Ducks, it’s about the team, not individuals. Coach Chip Kelly’s offense has had more than five weeks to prepare. What might his mad scientist offensive mind come up with? How fast can the Ducks play with all the commercial breaks? Will the Tigers defense wear down? And what about the Oregon defense? It’s been overlooked all year. Then, when it gets to the title game, many pundits call them small and overmatched, no matter what the statistics say. Will Casey Matthews, Spencer Paysinger and company make a national statement about Pac-10 defenses?

Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner, is the most dominant college football player in years. He accounted for 48 touchdowns. He’s 6-foot-6, 250 pounds and runs with great speed and power. Can he consistently break contain against the Ducks and sprint into the open field? If the Ducks have a great day tackling, and if the first Duck doesn’t miss Newton, then Oregon wins this game. Oregon knows what it’s like to chase a big, fast quarterback after playing Ohio State’s Terelle Pryor in last season’s Rose Bowl.

BCS Spread:

Spread:

Oregon Ducks +1.5
@ Auburn Tigers -1.5

Spread Prediction – This match-up is everything you want in a title game, especially if you like offense. You should of course expect Newton to excel, but something interesting to watch is how an idiosyncratic Auburn defense handles a super-fast Ducks attack. The opportunities will be there for the Ducks to score a bunch of points. Heisman candidate LaMichael James creates mismatches all over the field and I expect him to test a suspect Auburn run defense. The Tigers looked vulnerable at times this year to the “hurry-up” offense, which the Ducks like to use, so it will be a very interesting story line to watch how the Tigers deal with a quick-tempo on defense. For Oregon’s part, the gamebreaker is RB LaMichael James. The Heisman Trophy-contending speedster averages almost 160 rush yards per game and added a ridiculous 21 TDs on the season. James lost the Heisman race to the opposing QB in this match-up, but the sophomore has announced he will return for his junior season – fans will doubtlessly be hearing more from him. The Ducks clear-cut through a Pac-10 schedule while scoring the most points for in the nation (just shy of 50 per game!) and finishing 4th in the FBS in rush offense. It wasn’t all scoring, either – the “D” finished 12th in the nation in points allowed (18.4 per game) and handled some tough teams like Stanford, Southern Cal and Arizona. It is interesting to note that OREGON is 37-16 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 since 1992, whereas Auburn is 22-31 in the same span. Watch for OLB Boseko Lokombo to shadow Tigers QB Cam Newton for the entire game and not allow the speedy pivot to create plays on the run. Oregon ranks 12th in the nation in scoring defense at 18.4 points per game and allows only 3.5 yards per rush and 6.1 yards per pass attempt. Comparatively, Auburn is allowing 24.5 points per contest, and while it’s allowing an identical 3.5 yards per rush, the secondary has been exposed several times, surrendering 7.6 yards per pass. There are no head-to-head stats I can give for reference since these teams will be meeting for the first time on Monday night, we can only go on situational stat and simulation. Expect the crowd to be a fairly pro-Duck as more Oregon fans will be more inclined to make the shorter trip to Glendale then Auburn supporters. I expect a very entertaining and passionate effort on the part of both squads but in the end I believe that Oregon’s high-paced, up-tempo approach will be too much for the Tigers to handle. Take a look at the Oregon Ducks becoming the 2011 National Champs in what is basically a pick’em spread. Cheers!

Geoff’s Spread Pick = Oregon +1.5

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