Today’s 5Dimes USA Today Final Poll College Football Odds matchup features last year’s BCS National Champion, Alabama, and 2012 Rose Bowl winner Oregon. Odds makers at the offshore book are favoring the Crimson Tide in their Oregon vs. Alabama pairing with Nick Saban’s crew listed as a 10/19 favorite to finish ahead of Chip Kelly’s Ducks in the final USA Today Coaches Poll. Oregon is drawing 3/2 odds ($100 to win $150) to finish the season with a higher ranking than Alabama.
Most are inclined to lean Alabama’s way in this particular points matchup, given the significant turnover on Oregon’s offensive roster (lose running back LaMichael James and quarterback Darron Thomas among others), but the Ducks should not be discounted.
Oregon’s schedule, while still a quality one, is much easier than Alabama’s 2012 slate. The Ducks have a monster road game at USC on November 3rd and they face Cal in Berkeley the following weekend, but both of those contests, particularly the California game, are winnable for Kelly’s troops.
Oregon’s defense, which allowed 24.6 points per game last year, should be much improved as well. If there is a drop in offensive production, a prospect which seems unlikely given Kelly’s track record, the Ducks defense should serve to make up the difference.
Alabama also loses a lot of talent from last year’s squad, including first round draft picks Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Dont’a Hightower. And, as noted above, the Crimson Tide’s schedule is an arduous one.
Alabama faces Michigan in a neutral site season opener (presently favored by 11 points) and it has road games against Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and LSU. While an undefeated run is possible, one, two or, perhaps, even three losses is not out of the question.
Going to go with the dark horse pick here and take the Ducks at 3/2 odds.
NCAA Football - USA Today Final Poll Odds: Points Matchup
Oregon Ducks 3/2 odds or $100 to win $150
Alabama Crimson Tide 10/19 odds or $190 to win $100
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