October 26, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take Oregon State +21 spread against Stanford for 3% of the bankroll.
This is a matchup that, on paper, has all the making of a mismatch. The Oregon State Beavers are just 1-6 and have yet to win a conference game this season. They have been a doormat for opposing teams this year and their defense has been one of the worst in the country. Against opposing aerial attacks, they’ve been about as bad as they can get. They are almost as equally-bad against the run and the number of big plays they have provided so far; this year has been minimal. That doesn’t bode well as they prepare to face a Stanford team that can really do damage, especially on the ground. Meanwhile, the Stanford Cardinal comes into this contest having won 4 straight and are off an extremely impressive 49-7 blowout victory over one of their Pac-12 rivals, the Oregon Ducks. On paper, there is no question that this Stanford team is head and shoulders better than their opponents in this contest. That being said, football games, especially Thursday Night football games aren't played on paper.
Stanford is the better team, and everyone knows it; and that is the reason that we believe they won't cover the spread in this contest. The Stanford players are still riding high after their impressive performance against the Oregon Ducks and will likely come into this contest brimming with confidence. Their confidence should be extremely high, especially considering how unassuming this Oregon State team is. They are 1-6 and winless in conference play and can be easily looked over. On the road, during the week, in a look ahead spot, that is certainly not the ideal situation to lay 3 touchdowns in hostile territory. We all saw what happened two weeks ago when both Clemson and Washington State took to the road during the week against unassuming opponents. While we don't necessarily believe Oregon State wins this game, we do believe it will be closer than the oddsmakers expect.
It's important to note that Stanford is dealing with a lot of injuries at the moment, most notably to their star RB, Bryce Love. Love is nursing an ankle injury and while it is likely he will play (and rack up big yards), the question must be asked exactly how much David Shaw will work him, especially if Stanford gathers a lead? We expect that Stanford will likely get a lead in this contest and that Shaw will eventually call off the dogs, which will leave an opening for the Beavers to grab some easy scores. Let's not forget, that Oregon State looked like a much different team in their last contest, nearly upsetting Colorado before ultimately falling 36-33. That was their best game of the season and it came on the heels of Oregon State parting ways with Gary Andersen’s whose leadership didn’t mesh well with the team. Interim coach Cory Hall looks to have brought a different energy to the team and that was shown in their last contest. The Beavers were off last week and that should have given them extra time to plan and prepare for this matchup and give them an opportunity to adjust to their new offensive and defensive schemes.
The Beavers’ offense showed life in their last game, putting up 33 against Colorado. With starting quarterback, Jake Luton hurt, Darrel Garretson has stepped in and the former Utah State starter does have experience. He threw for nearly 300 against Colorado and has been decent filling in for Luton in spots. While we don't necessarily expect the Beavers to keep pace in this contest offensively, we also don't believe that Stanford is going to have their foot on the gas for the entire 4 quarters. How we see this game playing out is that the Stanford offense will gain a lead behind a great running effort by Bryce Love. David Shaw will likely pull Love in the second half, along with a bulk of his starters to help avoid further injuries. With the backups in, that is when we expect the Beavers to begin chipping away at the Cardinal's lead. 3 touchdowns is a lot for a team to win by on the road and we wouldn't be surprised if a late touchdown by the Beavers narrows the gap and allows them to sneak in the backdoor for the cover.
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