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Stanford Cardinal vs. Oregon State Beavers Point Spread - Pick

Stanford Cardinal (5-2 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) vs. Oregon State Beavers (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 9PM EST
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: STAN -23/ORST +23
Over/Under Total: 58.5

The Stanford Cardinal make the trip north to Corvallis to face the Oregon State Beavers in Pac-12 action on Thursday night. The Beavers are 1-6, winless in conference, with their only win a 3-point win over Portland State. Last week, with Gary Andersen leaving the school the previous week and now under interim coach Cory Hall, they lost by 3 to Colorado, 36-33, by far their closest game so far in the Pac-12. They look for some good things this week, but will need to do it against a Stanford team that has won 4 straight and appears to be in good form heading into the second half of the season. Both teams last played in week 7 and were off last week. Stanford was pretty powerful in beating an Oregon team, 49-7.

It doesn't say a lot of good things about an Oregon St. program when you have to look to a home loss against Colorado for some silver lining, but at this point, losing by just a FG was a positive development. Maybe interim head coach Cory Hall can make some good things happen to close out the season. He's an ambitious young coach who ascended to this spot in just his 4th season coaching collegiately. But before losing by three to Colorado, the closest they had gotten in-conference was a 28-point loss. They are averaging just over 21 points a game, while giving up over twice that on defense.

The Beavers' offense was a little better on Saturday. Quarterback Darrel Garretson has been a starter for the past four seasons, first with Utah State. The 289 yards he put up against Colorado was a season-high. He's been halfway decent is spots filling in for original starter Jake Luton. Their best player on offense is likely RB Ryan Nall, who has 513 yards and 7 touchdowns working behind a deficient offensive line. The aerial attack has some weapons, who are not used nearly with enough consistency. Ball-catchers Jordan Villamin, Noah Togiai, and Isaiah Hodgins are there to be used, along with Timmy Hernandez, and Nall, who is useful is spots catching balls. Seth Collins, who was supposed to be a key member of this offense, has been injured all season and is now officially out for 2017.

With the Oregon State team looking hard for a win and being up 33-29 late, the "D" just needed to keep Colorado out of the end zone and they just couldn't get it done, allowing a go-ahead TD with just over a minute left in the game. The pass-defense is atrocious and not even close to being up-to-snuff by conference standards. Unfortunately, their run-defense isn't a ton better, as they allow over 200 yards on the ground per game. They're giving up nearly 44 points a game. Against a Stanford offense that has been showing signs of hitting their high notes, that doesn't bode well for this week's matchup.

Stanford has been able to stabilize the season after a discouraging 1-2 start where losses to USC and San Diego State had them searching for answers. They have been getting good play on both sides of the ball in recent weeks, scoring consecutive wins over UCLA, Arizona State, Utah, and Oregon to get back into good standing in the Pac-12 North, where they are now atop the division. The extra week off could come in handy, with guys like star back Bryce Love needing time to nurse some injuries.

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The offense looked pretty vital for Stanford in their week seven win over Oregon. Quarterback Keller Chryst connected big-time with WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who was over 100 yards with a pair of TD grabs. Bryce Love wasted no time getting started and was over 100 yards on the ground before the end of the first quarter. He had two touchdowns on the day, as well. There was even a dash of trickery, with receiver Jay Tyler throwing a TD to backup QB Ryan Burns for a TD. Also adding production is RB Cameron Scarlett, who has six rushing touchdowns on the season. It's a side of the ball that seems to be getting better as the season moves along.

One might have noticed over the last decade that a good Stanford team is usually one that is characterized by a solid defense. This unit might not resemble the defenses we saw when Stanford was ranked very highly several seasons ago. But, it's still a pretty good one by conference standards. Holding Oregon to 7 points counts as a victory. Against the more-powerful offenses in this conference, which are also the most-powerful offenses in the entire country, they can be exploited to varying degrees. They have some difference-makers, like S Justin Reid, who has five picks. They can also rush the passer, led by Peter Kalambayi and Dylan Jackson, who have combined for a robust 16 sacks on the season. It might not be one of the stoutest Stanford defenses in recent memory, but they make a lot of plays and seem to be hitting their stride.

Even in a conference like the Pac-12 where there have already been a handful of massive upsets and games that made a mockery of the point spreads, this one looks to be a fairly routine win for Stanford. Last season, the Beavers hung in there decently at Stanford, losing by only 11 and covering the spread. With that result, them now being at home, and the fact that the coaching change seemed to resonate in the narrow loss to Colorado in their last game, the case for an Oregon State cover can be made. With Stanford maybe looking to curtail the exposure to Bryce Love in a game of this nature, maybe that's enough to get the Beavers to a cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oregon State Beavers plus 23 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Cardinal vs. Beavers game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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