The Oregon Ducks have opened the post-Coach Kelly era in fine fashion, racking up 125 points in winning their first two games of the season.
How much of an impediment might the Tennessee Volunteers present Saturday at Autzen Stadium?
Based on their recent history as an underdog (4-14-2 against the spread in their last 20 games), probably not very much.
In the early betting on this Pac-12/SEC matchup, Oregon—ranked No. 2 in this week's polls—was favored by 24 points, with an over/under of 70, according to OddsShark.com. But as of mid-week the Ducks had been bet up as far as -28 at some college football betting outlets.
That spread matches exactly the predicted margin of victory of the Odds Shark computer (48-20).
Oregon, to nobody's surprise, is 2-0; the Green Machine opened with a 66-3 romp over FCS Nicholls State, then last week destroyed Virginia in Charlottesville 59-10. The Ducks covered as 59-point favorites against the Colonels and as 27-point chalk over the Cavaliers.
Tennessee, meanwhile, is also 2-0 for new head coach Butch Jones. But it should be. The Vols opened with a 45-0 victory over FCS Austin Peay, then last week beat Western Kentucky 52-20. UT racked up over 800 yards of offense in its first two games, 550 of those on the ground.
Tennessee couldn't quite cover 49 points against the Governors but covered 14 points against the Hilltoppers.
Obviously, this week presents a serious upgrade in the level of competition for UT.
The Vols went 2-1 ATS last year as double-digit dogs. Oregon, on the other hand, only went 3-4 ATS at home last year because it was favored by an average of 33 points in its seven home games.
These two programs met for the first and only time back in early 2010, when the Ducks went into Knoxville and rocked Rocky Top to the tune of 49-13. The last time Tennessee ventured out to the Left Coast was back in 2008, when the Vols lost at UCLA 27-24 in overtime but covered as 7-point underdogs.
The last time Oregon played an SEC team was two years ago, when the Ducks lost to LSU 40-27 in a game played at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
ABC will televise Saturday's happenings from Eugene, starting at 3:30 pm ET.
Oregon, 48-20, courtesy of OddsShark.com's NCAA football computer picks.
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