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Oregon Ducks v. Auburn Tigers (-3.5)
Moneyline: Ducks +145, Tigers -165
Betting Total: 55.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 7:30 p.m., ABC
AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is the site for Saturday night’s showdown between the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers. Bettors should jump at the chance to grab points with the high-octane Oregon offense in this one.
Senior quarterback Justin Herbert threw for over 3,000 yards and 29 TDs a year ago. He could have gone No. 1 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he chose to stay in Eugene. Herbert is accompanied by a highly-experienced line featuring three fourth-year starters and a dynamic running back tandem in CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, who combined for over 1,700 rushing yards in 2018.
Auburn’s offense should pale in comparison. Dual-threat freshman Bo Nix will be calling signals for the first time behind an offensive line that struggled for most of last season. Per athlonsports.com, the Tigers did not have a running back record 1,000 or more yards for the first time in a decade in 2018. Auburn’s top two wide-outs, Ryan Davis and Darius Slayton, have departed. The Tigers were better than the Ducks in total defense a year ago by about 28 yards per game, but that probably won’t be enough to make up the deficit on the other side of the ball.
The play: Oregon spread
Virginia Cavaliers (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Panthers
Moneyline: Cavaliers -135, Panthers +115
Betting Total: 46.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 7:30 p.m., ACCN
The Virginia Cavaliers, who surprised many by going 8-5 last year, should start the 2019 season off on the right foot with a road victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Senior quarterback Bryce Perkins was the primary reason Virginia overachieved in the ACC last season. He threw for over 2,600 yards and rushed for another 900-plus while accounting for 34 total TDs. Perkins has an embarrassment of riches at wide-out in seniors Joe Reed and Hasise Dubois and sophomores Tavares Kelly and Billy Kemp. Junior PK Kier and sophomore Wayne Taulapapa comprise a respectable one-two punch at tailback.
Perkins’ opposite number, Pittsburgh junior Kenny Pickett, led an offense that averaged just 25.6 points per game last year, 95th in the country. The gulf between him and Perkins is sizable, as is the gulf between these two defenses. The Cavs were 24th nationally in yards allowed per game in 2018, while the Panthers were just 70th.
The play: Virginia spread