You won’t find a bigger game than the one between the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks this week. That’s part of college football betting parlay for Saturday along with two other major contests between Kansas State-Baylor and Ole Miss-LSU.
Stanford Cardinal @ Oregon Ducks
Odds: Oregon -20.5
Oregon has simply been able to elevate its level of productivity this season. The Ducks are a better version of what they were over the past two years with Darron Thomas at quarterback. Mariota is a more precise passer than Thomas was. He offers more touch to go along with above-average zip. He’s young, but he has already proven to be a wise and poised leader in the huddle. Teammates completely trust him, and in this home game, Mariota should be very comfortable against a slow Stanford offense that isn’t built to stop the Ducks’ attack. Mariota in the air and teammate Kenjon Barner on the ground should prove to be an unstoppable combination for Oregon in this game.
The Ducks will win, but since they’re playing freshmen backups on defense after being gutted by a rash of injuries last weekend against California, they’re not going to be able to register a blowout. Stanford should be able to score at least 35 points and keep this game under the number. Take the Cardinal against the NCAA football betting spread.
Pick: Stanford +20.5
Kansas State Wildcats @ Baylor Bears
Odds: Kansas State -12.5
This is a situation in which Kansas State needs to be on its guard – Baylor won last November against Oklahoma, springing an upset in a game that became the Bears’ Super Bowl. This contest will be little different for BU, but the big difference is that last year, Baylor could get an occasional defensive stop. This season, the Bears have become completely toothless on defense, as shown in their collapse, a 70-point disaster against West Virginia followed by a 56-point opening of the floodgates in a narrow loss to Texas (yes, narrow – Baylor scored 50 against the Longhorns and lost by six).
Baylor wants to be able to ruin Kansas State’s season, but the Bears just don’t have the chops on defense. Kansas State’s Heisman Trophy candidate, Collin Klein, has been a cut above everyone else this season, and after a weekend (against TCU) when he was not fully healthy, Klein should be able to gain his bearings and perform at his customarily high level against Baylor. Take Kansas State against the spread.
Pick: Kansas State -12.5
Ole Miss Rebels @ LSU Tigers
Odds: LSU -18
The Tigers are flourishing at the moment, having whacked Mississippi State by 20 points. However, it’s worth noting that LSU tacked on a late touchdown to win that game by 20. One could reasonably say that the Tigers earned a 13-point win but were gifted with a 20-point decision. Keep that in mind this week. Ole Miss has enough weapons on offense, combined with the coaching acumen of first-year boss Hugh Freeze, to score something in the area of at least 20 points against LSU. If the Rebels can indeed score in the 20s, LSU would have to score in the mid-40s or higher to cover the spread. That’s not something this LSU offense has been able to achieve in 2012, at least with any appreciable degree of consistency. LSU’s offense has gotten better over the past month, but the Tigers are still not an elite offensive team by any stretch of the imagination. Picking Ole Miss here certainly represents a solid play that is worthy of consideration.
Pick: Ole Miss +18