Stanford Cardinal vs. Oregon State Beavers
Date and Time: Thursday, October 26, 2017, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
Opening College Football Odds: Stanford -21.5
Stanford vs. Oregon State TV Coverage: ESPN
If Bryce Love played on a team that had happened to beat San Diego State – or better yet, USC – he could potentially be running away with the Heisman Trophy. Heck, if he was on Penn State and Saquon Barkley was on Stanford, we'd be having a different story as well with all of the East Coast bias that exists.
That said, Love has been fantastic and has really kept the Cardinal in the Pac-12 title race this year. It's easy to remember that this team started 1-2 and fell off the face of the earth, but since that point, David Shaw's team has rallied, improving to 5-2 with four straight wins. The rest of this schedule isn't easy after this one is said and done with, knowing that games against Washington State, Washington and Notre Dame are all still on the docket, but with those tough battles comes opportunity. Win out, and we could make a great case for the Cardinal being in the College Football Playoff.
Ryan Nall is quietly one of the better running backs in the Pac-12 this year. He's averaging 6.0 yards per carry and is a good bet to finish over 1,000 yards on the campaign.
However, Nall can't do this by himself. Even on a night when he had three touchdowns against Colorado, the Beavers were beaten 36-33 in their last outing. They've now lost all six of their FBS games this season, the only one decided by fewer than four touchdowns being that close loss to Colorado. Oregon State has been beaten in 23 of its last 26 games against FBS foes and 30 of its last 35.
Love has to think that this is a 200-yard game waiting to happen.
The Cardinal haven't been shy about feeding the rock to Love this year. He's not a pass-catcher out of the backfield like Christian McCaffrey was, but Love is a grinder with his 135 carries in seven games this season. He's averaging 10.3 yards per carry and already has 11 touchdowns on the campaign.
The Oregon State defense is pretty much a sieve any way you slice it. The team allows 278.1 passing yards and 200.1 rushing yards per game, both numbers of which are in the bottom 30 in America. The Beavers have allowed a minimum of two rushing touchdowns in all of their games this season, and Love is a good bet to do at least that in this game.
Stanford vs. Oregon State Free Picks
It's really hard to line this game for all of the best college football sportsbooks. The Beavers couldn't cover as 19.5-point dogs to Washington State or 27-point pups to Washington back in September, but they did stick in front of the 32.5 against USC and the 9.5 against Colorado.
This game is one of those that is sort of in the middle with Stanford -21.5.
With the extra week off, sophomore quarterback K.J Costello should improve. He's only splitting time at the moment with senior Keller Chryst, but Shaw has said that he's going to go with the quarterback with the hotter hand. Get Costello (or even Chryst) started just a bit, and Love is going to have ridiculous holes to try to run through. He'll score four times and add yet another impressive game to his Heisman Trophy resume on national television on Thursday night.
College Football ATS Pick: Stanford -21.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Stanford 42, Oregon State 17