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Inside Week 1 college football power rankings
2:22 | College Football
Inside Week 1 college football power rankings
Wednesday September 9th, 2015

The Oregon Ducks are 7-3 straight up and against the spread in their last 10 games as a betting underdog, including three straight outright upsets. The Ducks will try to earn another upset when they visit the Michigan State Spartans this Saturday night.

Since opening as a pick’em, the Ducks are all the way up to a four-point underdog according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. This is the first time that the Ducks have been an underdog since 2011.

Oregon’s offense looked every bit as effective as normal in the first game of the post-Marcus Mariota era, as the Ducks collected a 61–42 win over Eastern Washington last week. Vernon Adams seemed to have a strong grasp on the offense, with 246 passing yards and two touchdown passes to go along with 14 carries for 94 yards.

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Royce Freeman was electric at running back as well, with 180 rushing yards and three scores.

Of course, all of this came at home against Eastern Washington. Saturday’s game on the road against Michigan State will provide a much tougher challenge. Oregon is 12-1 SU in its last 13 September road games according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

Michigan State looked sharp early on against Western Michigan last week, jumping out to a 27–7 lead in the second quarter and holding a 34–10 lead in the second half. But the Spartans failed to put the game away late, falling to 0-1 ATS on the season as the Broncos scored a backdoor cover in Michigan State’s 37–24 win.

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The Spartans will need to be sharper down the stretch against a team that can score in bunches like Oregon. Michigan State is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games at home.

Saturday’s total is set at 67 points for the Ducks vs. Spartans betting matchup. The OVER is 3-0 in Michigan State’s last three games overall and 4-0 in the team’s last four games against opponents from the Pac-12.

This is an excellent litmus-test game for two teams currently ranked in the top 10. The winner of this game will emerge as a potentially elite playoff contender, while the loser will lose its margin of error for the rest of the season.

The team that is able to step up with some big defensive plays will likely come away as the winner in this matchup.

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