Oregon Ducks Win Total Prediction
After winning nine games last season, will the Oregon Ducks pull off just as many victories in the 2016 college football regular season?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Oregon's over/under for wins in 2016 has been set at 8.5. The over has odds of +105 while the under carries odds of -135, thus indicating that oddsmakers believe the Ducks will likely fall short of the nine-win mark that they set in 2015.
Oregon won three straight conference titles from 2009 through 2011 and has four league crowns and two national title game appearances in the last seven seasons. But their 9-4 finish a year ago tied the program's worst record since 2007. The Ducks also ended their season on a sour note after blowing a 31-0 halftime lead to lose 47-41 in triple overtime to TCU in the Alamo Bowl.
The biggest question facing the Ducks this season is whether or not Dakota Prukop is ready to take over under center after Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams graduated. Prukop is a transfer himself out of Montana State, where he flourished under Chip Kelly disciple Tim Cramsey. At least Prukop will be running a system similar to the one that he'll operate under Mark Helfrich at Oregon.
The other questions remain on defense, where the Ducks finished No. 126 in the nation against the pass last year. Charles Nelson and Tyree Robinson return, so at least Oregon will have a veteran presence in their back four. But replacing All-American DeForest Buckner up front will be no easy task. Bucker had 17 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks last season despite facing constant double-teams from the opposition.
Win Total Prediction
Former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke was hired to replace Don Pellum, who will move to linebackers coach after coordinating the defense last season. Hoke promises to bring a more aggressive approach to the team's defense this year but it remains to be seen if the Ducks will be improved on that side of the ball without Buckner.
Oregon's season will likely come down to the play of Prukop, who will be aided by Heisman candidate Royce Freeman. The junior running back rushed for 1,836 yards on 283 carries for 17 touchdowns a year ago and if Prukop's transition from FCS to FBS is seamless, then Oregon should hold its own.
But will the Ducks win nine games? That's the question. Let's assume they beat UC Davis, Virginia, Colorado, Washington State (which will be a revenge game after the Cougars beat Oregon in Eugene last season), Cal, Arizona State and Oregon State. Can they get two more wins at Nebraska, vs. Washington, at USC, vs. Stanford or at Utah? It won't be easy, but at +105 odds they're worth the gamble, even without Buckner and the questions at quarterback.
OREGON 2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL OVER/UNDER WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: OVER 8.5 (+105)