Oregon State vs. Arizona Expert Pick and Prediction – October 28, 2023
OREGON STATE VS. ARIZONA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – October 28, 2023 — While the Pac-12 drama plays out in the courtrooms and boardrooms of the West, the Beavers keep putting together an outstanding season. The Beavers enter this game 6-1, with their lone loss coming at Washington State. They trail Washington by a game in the Pac-12, but they’ll get the Huskies at home, where they almost never lose.
But before they get to November, they’ve got to survive on the road against the Pac-12’s surprise team. Essentially, Arizona under Jedd Fisch is what Oregon State was three years ago under Jonathan Smith. The Wildcats have moved up the timetable to become competitive in the nation’s deepest conference, and they’re now a tough out for anyone in this league.
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And that’s a big issue for Oregon State, because Smith still hasn’t figured out how to get his team to play on the road. The Beavers are 17-0 ATS in Corvallis since the fans came back, but just 5-8 ATS on the road.
Arizona’s long been a trap game for good Pac-12 teams in Tucson, and Wildcats have covered three straight in the league. Since September 30, they’ve nearly upset Washington, should have beaten USC and annihilated Washington State.
In short, this won’t be easy for the Beavers.
(6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
(4-3 SU, 6-1 ATS)
When: Saturday, October 28th at 10:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Public Bets: 71% on Arizona
Public Money: 87% on Arizona
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of October 25th, 2023.
Oregon State vs. Arizona In-Season Trends
Don’t bother with the backdoor cover in this game. You’re either taking the Wildcats to pull the upset, or you’re laying the points with the Beavers.
Why? Because these teams usually don’t play close games, and when they do, the underdog wins the game outright. None of the past five meetings have been decided by less than 18 points, and none of the past 11 meetings have seen the winning team fail to cover the spread.
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Here’s another play that makes a lot of sense: Oregon State to lead after a quarter. The Beavers are 10-1 SU over the first 15 minutes, with the lone exception coming in the loss to Washington State. Arizona’s used to playing low-scoring first halves; the Wildcats have only gone over in the first 30 minutes once in 12 games. Add those together, and it’s likely for the Beavers to have the edge after one.
With this game kicking off at 7:30 local time, it’s going to cool down considerably from the highs of 85 degrees during the day. By kickoff, look for temperatures in the mid 60s, making for ideal conditions.
Tetairoa McMillan has stepped up the past two weeks, catching 13 passes for 206 yards. That’s made Noah Fifita much more comfortable, as the freshman quarterback has thrown for eight touchdowns and just two interceptions since coming off the bench.
DJ Uiagalelei has done a fine job not forcing the issue this season, as the Beavers have provided him Damien Martinez’s powerful runs to mix up the offense. But Arizona’s ground defense is one of the toughest in the Pac-12, which could put more pressure on the quarterback to make a play.
When he had to do it at Clemson, he usually couldn’t, and he’s struggled against better defenses even in Corvallis. Over the past five games, he’s only completed more than 60% of his passes once, which he did against a bad California defense.
It’s hard to go against Oregon State when I’ve backed the Beavers all season. But this team still hasn’t shown it can beat a good opponent away from Corvallis, and Arizona’s improved each week.
This feels like another twist for the Pac-12 race, one that puts the Beavers behind the eight-ball in the conference championship chase. Don’t sleep on the Wildcats.
Oregon State ML 1Q