Since the Pac-12 Conference broke into divisions and instituted a conference championship game for the 2011 season, either Oregon or Stanford has represented the North Division in that game. And the Ducks and Cardinal will be the favorites on NCAA football betting lines to win that division again in 2016. The winner of their game Nov. 12 in Eugene probably does take the North.
Sneak Peek at Pac-12 College Football Odds on North Division Winner
Stanford Lines Analysis
Stanford is the defending Pac-12 North champion and beat USC 41-22 in the conference title game. Cardinal star running back Christian McCaffey ran for 207 yards and a score, threw a touchdown pass, caught another and broke Barry Sanders’ single-season NCAA all-purpose yards record. McCaffrey added 105 yards receiving and 149 return yards to give him a Stanford record 461 all-purpose yards for the game. That gave him 3,496 yards for the season.
The win earned Stanford a trip to the Rose Bowl, where it beat Big Ten runner-up Iowa easily, 45-16. McCaffrey caught a touchdown pass on the opening snap and returned a punt 66 yards for another score while racking up 368 all-purpose yards. Three-time Rose Bowl starter Kevin Hogan passed for 223 yards and three TDs in his final game for the Cardinal.
McCaffrey finished second in last season’s Heisman voting behind winner Derrick Henry of Alabama and McCaffrey is an early favorite for the 2016 award with Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. Stanford does have to replace Hogan, however. Senior Ryan Burns and junior Keller Chryst are battling for that spot and they have just 10 career passing attempts between them. At 6-foot-5 and about 230 pounds, both have nearly identical frames and similar speed. Chryst played in a pro style offense in high school, and Burns led a triple-option attack.
Oregon Odds Overview
Oregon finished last season second in the division and closed the year at a disappointing 9-4 following a stunning 47-41 triple-overtime loss to TCU in the Alamo Bowl. The Ducks blew a 31-point lead. Things went downhill when Oregon starting QB Vernon Adams was hurt in the game with a big lead and couldn’t return.
Adams is the biggest hole Oregon has to replace this season. The leader in the clubhouse is Montana State transfer Dakota Prukop — like Adams, he transferred after starring in the FCS for one final season of major college football. Prukop threw for 3,025 yards and 28 touchdowns and added 797 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns last year. Adams’ transfer timeline was vastly different, considering he didn’t fully graduate from Eastern Washington until a few days into Oregon’s fall camp. Prukop has been on campus since January.
Even though Stanford won the Pac-12 North last year, it was upset 38-36 at home by Oregon on Nov. 14, 2015, which basically killed Stanford’s chances at the College Football Playoff. Adams threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns and Oregon had a stop on a Cardinal 2-point try with 10 seconds left. Hogan tried to find tight end Austin Hooper over the middle against the blitz, but linebacker Joe Walker got a finger on the ball and the Ducks held on for the win.
Hogan threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. McCaffrey set a Stanford record with his eighth straight 100-yard rushing game, running for 147 yards and a touchdown. The Ducks’ victory was their 11th in the last 14 meetings with Stanford. UO has won five of its last seven trips to the Farm.
My Expert Betting Prediction
My early lean on NCAA football lines for this game would be Oregon simply because it’s at home. The Ducks also seem in better hands at the quarterback position.