UC Davis vs Oregon College Football Week 1 Expert Pick
It’s ridiculous that No. 24 Oregon, a national powerhouse, is opening its 2016 season on Saturday against little UC Davis, an FCS school. But cut Oregon some slack as it faces Virginia and Nebraska in its final two non-conference games. The Ducks are the biggest NCAA Football betting favorites on the board Saturday.
How To Bet on the UC Davis vs Oregon College Football Week 1 Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Saturday, Sept. 3, 5 PM ET
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene
TV: Pac-12 Network
Stream: school websites
Radio: UC Davis / Oregon
Opening NCAAF Lines: Oregon -45.5
Why Bet on UC Davis?
UC Davis returns 48 letterwinners, including 22 starters (10 off., 8 def., 4 spec.), from last year’s team that finished 2-9 overall and 2-6 (11th) in the Big Sky. Included are three players (FB Derek Baljeu, KR Joshua Kelley, WR Chris Martin) who earned All-Big Sky honorable mention last season.
The Aggies — who were picked to finish last in the Big Sky Conference preseason coaches’ poll — will need a miracle to beat Oregon. UC Davis has struggled to sustain its winning tradition at the FCS level with a 13-32 overall record (11-18 conference) since joining the Big Sky in 2012. UC Davis has been a punching bag in recent games against Pac-12 opponents — losing 52-3 at California in 2010, 48-14 at Arizona State in 2011 and 45-0 at Stanford in 2014.
The Aggies have started each of head coach Ron Gould’s previous three seasons on the road and are looking for their first win. Saturday’s game marks a homecoming for Gould, who played defensive back for the Ducks during the 1986 and 1987 seasons. He later was a grad assistant with the Oregon program. This marks the 12th straight year that UC Davis has faced an FBS opponent. It’s 2-13 (.133) in that span with its last win coming 14-13 at San Jose State in 2010. The other victory came at Stanford (20-17) in 2005.
Why Bet on Oregon?
Uh, isn’t it obvious?
How about new Oregon QB Dakota Prukop? He’s already put up 77 points on UC Davis once before. Prukop, who was named Oregon’s starter last week, has faced the Aggies once in his career, leading Montana State to a 77-37 win over UC Davis in 2014. Prukop was stellar in that game, completing 17-of-22 passes for 361 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for 148 yards and a pair of scores. Oregon has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 81 straight games dating back to September 4, 2010, when Darron Thomas threw two TD passes in a 72-0 win over New Mexico. The streak is the longest ever.
Oregon has one of the nation’s top running backs in Royce Freeman. The 5-foot- 11, 230-pound junior with speed and power rushed for 6.7 yards per carry and scored 19 touchdowns last season and is now within striking distance of breaking LaMichael James’ UO career rushing record in just three seasons.
Freeman heads into the season 30th all-time in Pac-12 career rushing and 19th all-time on the conference career rushing touchdowns list. The Ducks running back needs 816 yards in 2016 to crack the top 10 in rushing, while needing 25 rushing TDs to become the Pac-12’s all-time leader. The Ducks have had at least one back gain 1,000 yards for nine straight seasons, with two reaching the milestone in 2008. The nine-year run is the longest current streak in the nation, besting both Auburn and Boise State by two seasons.
The Ducks are 14-0- 2 all-time against current teams from the Big Sky Conference. Oregon’s last game against a Big Sky foe was a 61-42 victory over Eastern Washington in last year’s opener. UC Davis is 2-20 all-time against Pac-12 opponents.
Five former members of Oregon’s coaching staff were also UC Davis graduates. Mike Bellotti (1989-2008), Nick Aliotti (1988-94, 1999-2013), Bob Foster (1998-99), Chris Petersen (1995-2000) and Neal Zoumboukos (1980-2006).
My Expert Pick
Oregon will have covered the spread by halftime. Give the points in NCAA Football betting.