Oregon takes on Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl in one of the first bowl games of the postseason. According to OddsShark, Oregon is favored by seven points, and the over-under is set at 62 points.
It has been an eventful few weeks leading up to the bowl game for the Ducks. Willie Taggart left Oregon for Florida State with less than two weeks remaining before the bowl game. Oregon players were successful in their attempt to get assistant Mario Cristobal named as the new head coach as player Shane Lemieux explained to The Oregonian.
The last couple days we’ve all been kind of car salesman like, ‘Man this guy is crazy! He’s the best guy I’ve ever met!’ Everything he does is great…I feel like this is a really big accomplishment for everyone, that’s why everyone was so excited. Whereas the last coaching hire with Taggart, it was kind of an administration decision rather than a player decision. So we had a big say in this I feel like. Even though he didn’t really say it I’m sure we had some say.
Here’s a look at how the two teams matchup along with our prediction for the Las Vegas Bowl.
Oregon vs. Boise State: How They Got Here
Boise State won eight of their last nine games to finish off the regular season 10-3. The Broncos victories include Troy, BYU, Colorado State, San Diego State and Fresno State. After suffering three straight losses, the Ducks finished by winning three of their final four games to end the season at 7-5. Oregon has wins over Nebraska, Utah and Arizona.
In SB Nation’s S&P+ rankings, Boise State sits at No. 29 while Oregon is ranked No. 40. Oregon went 6-6 against the spread, while Boise State did better in Vegas going 8-5 against the spread. Both teams tended to hit the under, with seven of Oregon’s 12 matchups hitting the under, while Boise State hit the under in eight of their 13 games.
The OddsShark computer likes Boise State’s chances of pulling off the upset. The computer projects a 32.8-29.2 victory for the Broncos. The computer is taking Boise State to cover the spread, and the over on the point total. The S&P+ projections also like Boise State as the computer projects a 29.4-27.9 victory for the Broncos.
This is unlikely to be a case of Oregon not being motivated to play, as the majority of the Ducks players seem pleased with Cristobal getting the new gig. However, with less than two weeks to make the transition, Oregon is unlikely to be at their best for this game. Future NFL running back Royce Freeman will not be playing in today’s game, making things more challenging for the Ducks.
Even with Taggart, Boise State was a more consistent team this season. History tells us Group of Five teams tend to find a little extra motivation when they are playing against a Power Five team.
Like the computer metrics, we expect Oregon to keep it close, but like Boise State to win the game outright.
Heavy’s Pick: Boise State 27 Oregon 24. Boise State Covers +7 Spread. Under on the Point Total.