The Oregon Ducks have won seven straight against the Arizona State Sun Devils, including four in a row in the desert. But that trend is not scaring off Sun Devil bettors ahead for their Thursday night Pac-12 battle.
The Ducks are 6-0, ranked No. 3 in the country and favored by eight points, according to almost every sportsbook on OddsShark. But the Sun Devils are 5-0-1 ATS in six games so far in 2012, and handicappers believe they can pull an upset here.
"If you like the idea of betting against the public, then this is a spot where you might look at Arizona State because almost 65 percent of the action is on the Ducks," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.
Last year, Oregon racked up 327 yards on the ground in beating the Sun Devils 41-27, pushing the spread as 14-point favorites. That game sneaked OVER its total of 66.
The Ducks are No. 3 in the BCS standings, which means they need to jump one spot to play for all the marbles at the end of the season. Victories over quality opponents are the only way to go, and the Ducks get a chance at one when they visit 5-1 Arizona State (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Can Oregon continue along the BCS path with another conference road victory? Or can ASU pull an upset that would put it back on the college football map?
Oregon began this season scoring 57 points in beating Arkansas State, put up 42 in downing Fresno State, then piled up 63 in a win over Tennessee Tech. The Ducks then opened Pac-12 play with a 49-0 whitewash of Arizona and a 51-26 victory over Washington State, then dispatched of Washington, which was ranked at the time, 52-21.
The Ducks had last week off.
Thursday's game will be Oregon's first true “road” contest of this season, considering it played Wazzu in Seattle, not in Pullman. But that shouldn't faze the Ducks, who have won 10 straight Pac-12 road games.
On the other side of this matchup, the Sun Devils began the Coach Graham era with a 63-6 win over Northern Arizona, beat Illinois 45-14 but then lost at Missouri 24-20. ASU began conference play with a 37-7 victory over Utah and a 27-17 decision over Cal.
Last Thursday, ASU won at Colorado 51-17 behind five TD passes by QB Taylor Kelly.
So the Ducks are tied atop the Pac-12's North Division with Oregon State at 3-0, while the Devils lead the South Division at 3-0.
Most Vegas and online sportsbooks opened Oregon as a 10-point road favorite for Thursday's game, with a total of 68. But the spread was bet down to (-8) and the total was climbing (69.5 as of Wednesday).
When it comes to playing against expectations this season, Oregon is just 2-4 against-the-spread, while ASU is 5-1 ATS.
Free Pick: This should be a good one, with Arizona State playing well for Coach Graham, and black-out conditions predicted for Sun Devil Stadium. But Oregon is road-tested, so we'll give the points and take the Ducks Thursday night. (courtesy of PickShark.com)
All odds, stats and trends mentioned courtesy of OddShark.com. Mike Pickett is a Contributor to Bleacher Report.
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