It’s a PAC-12 Saturday showdown as the 3-1 Washington Huskies visit Eugene for a date with the 3-2 Oregon Ducks inside Autzen Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:00 P.M. Eastern.
As if a rivalry game to close out the regular season weren’t enough, these two foes face off with the PAC-12 North division crown on the line and a spot in the conference title game. The Ducks have won the two most recent meetings and 14 out of the last 16, with the Huskies’ most recent victories coming in 2016 and ‘17.
Because their scheduled season-opener against Cal was canceled, Saturday's game is the Huskies’ fifth and final game of the campaign. Once they got underway, three consecutive wins put them on the fast track to the conference championship, but a slip-up last week against Stanford turns this week’s meeting into a virtual play-in game.
Perhaps the look-ahead factor played a part in Washington’s setback to the Cardinal, a game they trailed in, 24-3 and 31-10, as the stage was set for a championship qualifier no matter what the Huskies did against Stanford. But Oregon also losing last week meant that if Washington had beaten the Cardinal, they would have locked up the PAC-12 North.
Now it becomes simpler (for Washington anyway, as you’ll read in a minute). If the Huskies win this Saturday, they are in the conference title game, winning the PAC-12 North.
It’s a little muddier for the Ducks, who have now lost two in a row to Oregon State and Cal after three straight wins to start their abbreviated season. Oregon can capture the North with a win on Saturday, but they’ll also need help.
The third contender sneaking up the ledger is Washington State. The Cougars have two games remaining, though, so Oregon could potentially be forced to wait a week for their fate to be determined. If the Ducks win on Saturday, they can advance to the PAC-12 Championship if Washington State loses one of their remaining two games. WSU faces USC and Cal to close out their regular-season slate, and Oregon would own the head-to-head tiebreaker if the Cougars were to go 1-1 in these last two weeks.
Betting Line and Pick
In the most important game of the PAC-12 season, Oregon is a six-point favorite, with an over/under of 55. This will be Washington’s first road game of the season, with that opener against Cal originally scheduled to be played in Berkeley.
The two teams are a combined 2-6 ATS this season, with the Ducks covering one of their two home games in Eugene.
This game will feature two of the top quarterbacks in the conference, with Dylan Morris of Washington and Tyler Shough of Oregon. Morris has thrown for four TD’s and rushed for another four, while Shough leads the PAC-12 in both passing yards and TD passes. Shough has struggled, however, in his last two games, sparking speculation of a change at the position. Head coach Mario Cristobal squashed that early this week, though, as the team will stick with Shough.
Betting Pick: Washington Huskies (+6)