Oregon's national playoff chances dealt a serious blow

October 07, 2014 3:00 AM
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The Ducks’ national playoff chances were dealt a serious blow with last Thursday’s stunning 31-24 loss to Arizona as 21.5-point home favorites. Heading into last week’s games, Doc’s Sports had an even record of 7-7-1 with our top three selections for GamingToday, but we are happy to be back in the black this past Saturday with a 2-1 record in our three picks for Week 5.

We went with Rice over Hawaii as a 6-point home favorite in last week’s first pick and the Owls came through with a 28-14 win. We also had Notre Dame as a 1.5-point home underdog in its impressive 17-14 victory over Stanford. Our lone setback was TCU’s stunning 37-33 upset of Oklahoma with the Sooners favored by 4.5 points on the road.

Here are this week’s selections:

GA TECH (-4.5) over Duke: The Yellow Jackets come into this ACC clash a perfect 5-0 straight-up and ranked No. 22 in the latest AP Top 25. They have already knocked-off Virginia Tech and Miami (Fla.) in conference play while covering as 7.5-point road underdogs against the Hokies and as 2.5-point home favorites against the Hurricanes. Georgia Tech has been getting it done on the ground with an average of 297.2 rushing yards a game.

Duke is also off to a solid 4-1 SU start, but that lone loss was a 22-10 setback to Miami as a 3.5-point road underdog on Sept. 27 in its conference opener. The Blue Devils head back on the road for this game with a 0-3 record against the spread in their last three road games. While their defense has been rock-solid so far with a points-allowed average of just 13.6 points, the Blue Devils will have their hands full in this matchup.

FLORIDA (+1.5) over LSU: Florida has gone 2-1 SU in the SEC so far with victories over Kentucky and Tennessee sandwiched around a 42-21 loss to Alabama as a 14-point road underdog. This past Saturday, the Gators ground out a 10-9 victory over the Volunteers as 1-point underdogs on the road. While their offense continues to struggle with consistency, their defense continues to get better and better each and every week.

LSU is licking its wounds after getting mauled by the Auburn Tigers 41-7 this past Saturday as a 7-point road underdog. This was its second loss in the last three games after falling to Mississippi State 34-29 as a 7-point home favorite on Sept. 20. LSU will have to quickly regroup this week against Florida on the road in a very tough place to win a game. Bottom line here is Florida is better than advertised and LSU is a bit overrated.

OREGON (-3) over UCLA: The Ducks’ national playoff chances were dealt a serious blow with last Thursday’s stunning 31-24 loss to Arizona as 21.5-point home favorites. Given the circumstances, Oregon is now well aware of the fact it will probably have to win-out in an impressive fashion to move back into the top four. All the tools remain in place with an offense that is still ranked ninth in the nation in scoring (43.6 points per game).

UCLA has its own issues to deal with coming off a 30-28 loss to Utah this past Saturday as a 13-point home favorite. The team is now 4-1 on the year SU, but it has failed to cover in four of the five games. The Bruins have had just too many close calls against teams they should have blown away and they will find themselves in way over their heads in this contest.

Last week: 2-1

Season: 9-8-1

Doc’s Sports is celebrating their 42nd year in the sports handicapping industry and giving GamingToday readers $60 worth member picks free with no obligation. Visit www.GTfree60.comContact them at docssports@gamingtoday.com.

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