The BCS Championship Game on Monday, January 10th is a long anticipated matchup of unbeatens with two of the best offenses in the country, as the 13-0 Auburn Tigers from the SEC take on the 12-0 Oregon Ducks from the Pac-10.
This contest cannot be looked at like a typical SEC vs. Pac-10 game, as the SEC is clearly superior from top to bottom if that’s the case. Rather, as Stanford proved vs. Virginia Tech, the top of the Pac-10 can compete with anyone, and statistically at least, Oregon has slightly better numbers than Auburn this year; yet Auburn is the 2.5-point favorite.
Betting Key #1: Which of these defenses will make the most stops?
Oregon leads the country in both scoring offense (49.3 points per game) and in total offense (542.1 yards per contest), while Auburn is fourth in scoring (42.7) and seventh in total offense (498.8), so in a game where both teams figure to move the ball, the defense capable of making the most stops should have the advantage. Well, that also looks to be Oregon, as it actually ranked 12th in the nation in scoring defense at 18.4 points per game and allows only 3.5 yards per rush and 6.1 yards per pass attempt. Comparatively, Auburn is allowing 24.5 points per contest, and while it’s allowing an identical 3.5 yards per rush, the secondary has been exposed several times, surrendering 7.6 yards per pass.
Auburn vs. Oregon BCS Championship Game Betting:
– Auburn vs. Oregon BCS Point Spread: Auburn -1.5 points
– Auburn vs. Oregon BCS Over-Under: 72 points
– Auburn vs. Oregon BCS Expert Picks: CLICK HERE
– Auburn vs. Oregon BCS Player Prop Bets: CLICK HERE
Key #2: Can Oregon Quarterback Darron Thomas take advantage of a suspect Auburn secondary?
The Ducks have relied heavily on the running of LaMichael James and their other backs this season, and why not, as they rank second in rushing offense at 309.9 yards per game while averaging a whopping 6.4 yards per carry. The Auburn defense however is stout against the run and suspect against the pass, so Thomas will have to throw early to keep the Tigers defense honest, which should open up some running lanes later on. Thomas may not have thrown as much as some quarterbacks, but he passed for 2500 yards while averaging 7.8 yards per attempt, and he did have 28 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions.
Key #3: Can a top tier Pac-10 team beat a top tier SEC team?
Once you start talking about the top teams in each conference, the depth of the conferences as a whole basically becomes irrelevant. Remember that Oregon handed Stanford its only loss of the season by a convincing 52-31 score, and that is proof enough that the Ducks can beat any team in the country with their best effort.
While Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton is getting most of the publicity here, I am looking for Thomas to be the quarterback leading his team to victory. Newton will probably end up with better stats by game’s end, but I think Oregon has the far superior defense between these clubs. While Newton and Auburn will get its yards between the 20s, look for the Ducks to stiffen in the red zone. Meanwhile, look for the Oregon offense to put more pressure on a suspect Auburn defense than any other team has all year to ultimately prove to be the Tigers undoing.
Oregon 41 – Auburn 27