Oregon Win Total Prediction
After a tough couple of years, the Oregon Ducks finally got themselves back on track in the 2018 season. Will Oregon be able to take another step forward in the 2019 season?
After a down 4-8 year with Mark Helfrich in 2016, Oregon hired Willie Taggart to be the next head coach. He led Oregon to a 7-6 mark in 2017 and then jumped ship to take over at Florida State. Oregon stayed in-house for the next hire, giving Mario Cristobal the reigns and he led the Ducks to a 9-4 record in 2018 with a 5-4 Pac-12 mark. According to oddsmakers, the Ducks are listed with an over/under of 9 wins for the 2019 regular season. The over is listed with -125 odds, while the under is set at +105.
Known for being an offensive power, Oregon hasn’t quite been that in recent seasons. Just last year, the Ducks averaged 34.8 points and 428.7 yards per game. While not bad, both failed to crack the top-20 in the nation. The good news for the Ducks is they have eight starters back on offense, led by top NFL prospect at QB, Justin Hebert. Hebert threw for 2,985 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2018 as a junior. He has his entire offensive line back to provide protection. While losing top receiver Dillon Mitchell, who had 69 catches for 1,114 yards, he does still have two starters back in the receiving corp. In the backfield, CJ Verdell and Travis Dye return. They combined for nearly 1,700 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.
Oregon gave up 25.4 points and 388.3 yards per game on defense last season, which isn’t too bad for a Pac-12 defense. The Ducks have six starters back from that unit, led by senior linebacker Troy Dye. He led the team in tackles last season with 107. The pass rush will need to improve, as no Oregon player had more than five sacks in 2018. Four starters back on the front seven could help that. In the secondary, Oregon had 16 interceptions in 2018. Jevon Holland led the team with four and is back at safety. Thomas Graham Jr. and Deommodore Lenoir are also back at CB and each had three INT’s a year ago.
Oregon has a season-opening game with Auburn at AT&T Stadium on Aug. 31. The Ducks will then host Nevada and Montana before starting conference play. Pac-12 home games will be against Cal, Colorado, Washington State, Arizona and Oregon State. Road games will be against Stanford, Washington, USC and Arizona State.
The Ducks started fast last year by winning five of their first six, but then stumbled in the meat of the Pac-12 schedule. Three of their four losses came on the road. This year, Oregon doesn’t have all cake non-conference games. The contest with Auburn is going to be a real test and oddsmakers have the Tigers as the favorite right now. While there are reasons to be optimistic, Oregon opened the door for other Pac-12 teams to catch up to them in recent years and I don’t see those teams letting the Ducks back in without a fight. Taking the over here means 10 wins in 12 games. This group hasn’t proven it can win consistently enough on the road for me to take that. The potential is there, but I feel like 8 wins is more likely than 10.
College Football Prediction: Oregon Under 9 Wins +105