Todd Fuhrman: Bet The Board Likes Oregon State

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There were no new entrants to our Top 10 this week. Ohio State fell from No. 1 to No. 3 in the wake of their lackluster second half against Indiana (not taking anything away from IU). But the real concerns we saw pertaining to the Buckeyes were the number of big plays the defense gave up and the erratic decision-making from the normally unflappable Justin Fields. 

Oklahoma moved up to No. 6 after their dominant performance against both the professional bettors and the team that got their attention Saturday night, Oklahoma State.  The Badgers of Wisconsin turned it over one too many times (felt like 37 honestly) at Northwestern and now fall to 10th in our most recent poll. 

Once again “the Pac-12” and “overrated” remain synonymous, while ole faithful UNC makes yet another appearance in our underrated spot.  For our Best Bet, it’s time to head west for a Civil War (I think we can call it that still) between Oregon and Oregon State. Read below to find out who sits where in our Top 10 and our reasoning behind our overrated and underrated programs.

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Since they compete over everything,

Bet the Board Top 10 Week 13:

1.) Alabama

2.) Clemson

3.) Ohio State

4.) Notre Dame

5.) Florida

6.) Oklahoma

7.) Georgia

8.) Cincinnati

9.) BYU

10.) Wisconsin

Overrated:  Oregon

Currently ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll, Oregon is off to an undefeated start, which was expected with an opening slate of Stanford, Washington State, and UCLA.  The Ducks were favored by 10+ in each game, but lackluster efforts don’t give you a free pass in our rankings.  The defense, an expected strength entering the year, has been extremely suspect, surrendering 6.2 yards per play, good for 103rd in the CFB thus far.  UCLA gained 267 yards on the ground last week, and despite closing as a 18.5 point underdog, they ended up losing the game by only 3.  They outgained Oregon and outfirstdowned them 27-21 as well.  The Ducks also benefited from being +3 in the turnover margin.  The previous week, Oregon was up by 2 heading into the 4th against Washington State before eventually pulling away late.  Oregon is good….we just don’t see them as ninth in the country good at this point.

Underrated: North Carolina

We generally don’t love repeat teams in either of these sections, yet sometimes there is such a misconceived perception of a team that we have no choice.  North Carolina fits that bill perfectly.  Although they are ranked No. 25, we have them much higher — dare we say, higher than the team mentioned above.  We have the Tar Heels pegged as the 4th most efficient offense in CFB, led by star sophomore QB Sam Howell, who currently touts a 23:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio and who torments opposing secondaries on a weekly basis.  The defense has struggled to get stops throughout the season, so there is not a ton of positive there.  However, when you’re scoring at will and putting pressure on your opponents to do the same to keep up, it makes facing the Tar Heels an incredibly frustrating task.  The defense has improved slightly, allowing 5.4 yards per play and holding opponents to a 38.8% third-down conversion percentage, good for 52nd in the country.  UNC has a chance to prove they belong with the big boys this weekend on Friday afternoon, as they host Notre Dame in what should be a high scoring affair.  

Best Bet: 140 Oregon State +14 (-110)

The Beavers collected their first win of the season last week at home against California, a game in which they drew some incredibly sharp $$ in the days leading up to the game. They eventually closed as a 1-pt underdog from the opener of +3.  Early this week, we’ve seen a small move on the ‘dog once again as Oregon State has dropped to +13.5 in some far away places.  This bet is more about the reasons mentioned above about Oregon than it is positives for the Beavers.  It’s tough to lay double digits against a team that considers you their biggest rival, on the road, with a defense that is giving up north of 6.0 yards per play.  Oregon has an open competition between kickers for the game as well, with sophomores Camden Lewis and walk-on Henry Katleman battling it out, to see if they can gain some consistency in that area. If Oregon State can avoid the costly turnover and RB Jermar Jefferson continues to be explosive (7.2 yards per carry) against the Ducks, this one could come down to the last few possessions.  Close your eyes, plug your nose and take the +14 with Oregon State.

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