No. 12 Oregon (5-1) meets No. 25 Washington (5-2) on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ABC) in a matchup that will set the course for the Pac-12 North race and determine whether the conference does have a true College Football Playoff contender.
Oregon comes into the matchup on a five-game winning streak, and the Ducks have not allowed more than seven points in a game since the season-opening loss to Auburn. Mario Cristobal has the Ducks playing at a high level on both sides of the ball.
Washington needs a win to stay in the mix in the Pac-12 North, and the Huskies won the last meeting at home 38-3. Chris Petersen should not be underestimated in this spot, knowing that the Huskies average 36.4 points per game.
MORE: Get the latest NCAA odds & betting advice at Sportsbook Review
With that in mind, here’s everything you need for Saturday’s matchup between the Ducks and Huskies:
Oregon vs. Washington odds
Spread: Oregon -3
Point total: 50.5
Moneyline: Oregon-110, Washington-110
Oregon is a three-point favorite, according to odds at Sportsbook Review, and 52 percent of the wagering has come in favor of the Ducks at this point.
Oregon vs. Washington all-time series
Washington leads the all-time series 53-42-4. The Ducks had a 12-game streak in the rivalry from 2004-15 before Petersen guided the Huskies to a 70-21 victory in 2016.
Three trends to know
— Oregon is 3-1 against the spread as a road favorite under Cristobal, but the Ducks are also 2-3 against the spread against ranked teams in that same stretch.
— Washington is 1-3 against the spread as a home underdog under Petersen, and the Huskies are 14-12 against the spread against ranked opponents under Petersen since 2014.
— Only two of the last 12 matchups between these rivals has been decided by fewer than 10 points. Oregon won both: in 2015 (26-20) and 2018 (30-27, overtime).
WEEK 8 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spread
Three things to watch
Which quarterback makes the mistake?
Oregon’s Justin Herbert (1,602 yards, 17 touchdowns, one interception) and Washington’s Jacob Eason (1,692, 13 touchdowns, three interceptions) have been efficient in the passing game, and neither quarterback had made too many mistakes. Eason will be on the spot knowing he has one touchdown pass and two interceptions in the Huskies two losses. Oregon’s Jevon Holland and Washington’s Cameron Williams have three interceptions each. Which one makes the big play on defense?
Oregon running back CJ Verdell had 29 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s game, and he leads the Ducks with 5.7 yards per carry this season. He should be able to find room against a Washington run defense that allows 146.7 rushing yards per game. Washington’s Salvon Ahmed averages 5.8 yards per carry and will try to do the same against an Oregon run defense that allows 107.5 rushing yards per game.
Middle of field
Oregon’s Jacob Breeland (26 catches, 405 yards, six touchdowns) is a SN midseason All-American who is out for the season. Can the Ducks attack the middle of the field with their receivers and other tight ends? Washington has an outstanding tight end of its own too in Hunter Bryant (27 catches, 387 yards, one touchdown) who has the similar numbers with the exception of touchdowns. Expect both tight ends to be featured prominently early.
WEEK 8 PROJECTIONS: Bowls | Playoff
Stat that matters
Neither one of these teams has been good on third down this season on offense. Oregon ranks 10th in the Pac-12, converting 40 percent of its tries. Washington is 11th, at 37.2 percent. That kind of conversion rate will not win Saturday’s game and suggests this could become a defensive struggle.
Oregon vs. Washington prediction
That’s exactly what happens. Oregon and Washington trade field goals in the first quarter, and the Huskies lead by three at halftime. The Ducks stay patient with the run, however, and Herbert finds his rhythm in the passing game. Oregon scores late on a touchdown run by Verdell and takes control of the Pac-12 North race.