Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal (+10, 61.5)
Oregon and Stanford are ranked in the top five of the latest BCS standings and the No. 2 Ducks can move closer to a possible national championship game appearance when they visit the No. 6 Cardinal on Thursday. Oregon is third in the BCS race and waging a tight battle with Florida State for the second spot while Stanford is sitting fifth and looking to elevate its position. The Cardinal defeated Oregon in overtime last season.
The Ducks have won each of their games by at least 21 points and a 42-14 trouncing of UCLA in their last contest was their lowest-scoring output of the campaign. Stanford hasn’t topped 24 points in any of its last three games, including a 27-21 loss to Utah that makes this contest a must-win affair per its national title hopes. The winner of this contest will likely win the Pac-12 North division and play in the conference title game. The Cardinal defense will be without standout defensive end Ben Gardner, who suffered a season-ending pectoral injury against Oregon State on Oct. 26.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 50s with clear skies and winds blowing WNW at 7 mph.
LINE: Oregon opened as low as -7.5 and has been bet up to as high as -10.5. The total opened at 60 and has jumped to 61.5.
ABOUT OREGON (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12, 7-1 ATS): Quarterback Marcus Mariota hasn’t been intercepted since last season’s loss to Stanford and is one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy with 20 passing touchdowns and nine rushing scores. De’Anthony Thomas (7.1 average) is back in top form after missing three-plus games with an ankle injury and Byron Marshall (879 yards, 12 touchdowns) is having a superb season for an offense that ranks second nationally in scoring (55.6) and total offense (632.1 yards). The Ducks allow just 16.9 points per game – tied for seventh nationally – with cornerback Terrance Mitchell (four interceptions) and defensive end Tony Washington (7.5 sacks) both enjoying stellar campaigns.
ABOUT STANFORD (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12, 4-4 ATS): The Cardinal allow 19.4 points per game and will seek to keep the game relatively low scoring, similar to last season’s 17-14 victory. The loss of Gardner hurts but the defense features two others stars in outside linebacker Trent Murphy (9.5 sacks) and inside linebacker Shane Skov (seven tackles for loss) as well as ballhawking strong safety Jordan Richards (three interceptions). Quarterback Kevin Hogan has thrown 13 touchdown passes for an offense averaging 32.6 points, while running back Tyler Gaffney (886 yards, 12 touchdowns) and receiver Ty Montgomery (39 catches for 619 yards) are also having fine seasons.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Stanford.
* Over is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Ducks are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Stanford.
* Ducks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
* Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
1. Oregon has won nine of the past 11 meetings, but the teams have split the last four.
2. Stanford has won 13 consecutive home games, the nation’s third-longest active streak.
3. The Ducks have rushed for at least 325 yards in five games with a season low of 216.