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College Football Lock: Oregon-Washington Pac-12 Championship Pick (Dec. 1)

Few games this weekend will have more direct consequences for the college football playoff than the Pac-12 championship game. If the No. 3 Washington Huskies win, they’ll secure a bid to the postseason. But if the No. 5 Oregon Ducks win, as they’re expected to, they’ll be playoff-bound — at least the market thinks so. I’ve got my eye on one team total for this matchup as my college football lock for conference championship week. Let’s dive into this Washington-Oregon pick and prediction for the Pac-12 championship game. If you’re looking for more college football bets, check out our college football betting tools and our guide to betting on football.

College Football Lock: Oregon-Washington Pac-12 Championship Pick

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Washington-Oregon Odds

Odds via BetMGM
Washington: +290 | Oregon: -375
Washington +9.5: -110 | Oregon -9.5: -110
Over 66.5: -110 | Under 66.5: -105
Expert: Isaiah Sirois
Friday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. ET

Washington-Oregon Pick & Prediction

The No. 3 Washington Huskies are a 9.5-point underdog to the No. 5 Oregon Ducks. These teams have trended in very different directions since they met in Seattle a few weeks ago.

Oregon has beaten each of its opponents convincingly, while Washington has played everyone close. Half of the Huskies’ wins this season have come by just one score. Oregon has failed to win by more than a score just twice all season.

The lookahead line for this game had Oregon as a 7-point favorite before last weekend’s action. Washington’s continued flirtation with disaster caused the spread to drop by another 2.5 points.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. led the Huskies to score 36 points against the Ducks at home in mid-October. Washington converted on fourth down twice and started drives at their own 35-yard line or better four times. The Huskies scored 14 of their 36 points in those short-field possessions. The Huskies lost the yardage battle, 514 to 415, and recorded fewer first downs, 31 to 24. Their running game was kept in check to the tune of 4.3 yards per carry. They won the game with explosive passing plays, as Penix averaged 8.3 yards per pass attempt.

Meanwhile, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix led the Ducks to 33 points but on more yards and with more first downs. His team’s 0-for-3 record on fourth down and a missed game-typing field goal attempt depressed Oregon’s actual point total. Further, only two of Oregon’s possessions started past their own 35-yard line, and one of those began with less than a minute left in the first half. Two of their possessions even started inside their own 10-yard line, and the Ducks generated 157 yards and seven points on those sequences alone.

Neither one of these defenses can stop explosive passing plays. USC’s Caleb Williams is a good barometer here: Washington coughed up 8.9 yards per pass attempt to him while Oregon surrendered 8.6. He went for 300-plus yards against both teams. Williams threw three 20-plus-yard touchdown passes against Washington. While he had no such scoring plays against Oregon, all four of USC’s touchdown drives featured a Williams pass for 35-plus yards, including a 59-yard bomb to set up first and goal from Oregon’s three.

The sharps who have bid Oregon up to a 9.5-to-10-point favorite are likely overestimating the ability of Dan Lanning’s defense to stop Penix’s explosiveness. Penix had two touchdown passes for 20-plus yards in their first meeting in addition to several other non-scoring explosive plays. Last year, Penix threw two 60-plus-yard passing touchdowns against Oregon. Sure, the neutral site should benefit Oregon, but we saw Penix feast against this Oregon team last year in Eugune and this year in Seattle.

Because the spread has moved so much but the total hasn’t, Washington’s team total sits at only 27.5 with the over priced at -120 on DraftKings. You’ll find the same bet priced at -125 on Pinnacle. Other books, like FanDuel, have Washington’s team total set to 28.5. The Penix-led Huskies have scored no fewer than 36 points against the Nix-led (and Lanning-coached) Ducks over a two-game sample. Washington may have some serious flaws, but the explosive passing game isn’t one of them. The Huskies should tally at least 28 points on Friday night.

Washington-Oregon Pac-12 Championship Pick & Prediction: Washington Team Total Over 27.5 -120 at DraftKings

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