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BEHIND THE LINES

Oddsmakers hunt for Ducks

September 22, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

Undefeated Oregon (3-0) may feel a bit slighted not to be ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation, but when it comes to oddsmakers, the Ducks rule.

Starting with a 4-1 record against the spread in their last five games, the Ducks have several favorable trends that bettors like. Oregon is 4-0 against the spread in its last four September games and 5-1 against the spread in its last six games as a favorite of 10 1/2 points or more.

The most eye-opening against-the-spread trend for the Ducks? How about 29-1 in their last 30 games after they accumulated more than 200 rushing yards in their previous game. Last week, Oregon rushed for 307 yards in a 52-21 victory over Fresno State.

Throw in the Ducks' impressive underdog road win over Michigan earlier this month and it's easy to understand why they get so much love in Las Vegas.

After opening the week as a 16 1/2 favorite at Stanford, Oregon's line climbed to 17 by Friday and according to Wagerline.com, the Ducks still have attracted 1,427 bettors (78.15%) compared with 399 for Stanford (1-1) this week.

Former USC assistant athletic director Daryl Gross has to be looking for answers as Syracuse athletic director because the Orange's football program has dropped to a national low.

Syracuse, which produced legends such as Jim Brown and Ernie Davis, is a 36 1/2 -point underdog at Louisville. Considering that Louisville's defense is giving up 30.5 points and 428.7 yards a game, oddsmakers must really think poorly of Coach Greg Robinson's Syracuse team.

One last note: Syracuse is 0-6 against the spread in its last six games as an underdog.

Baseball

The New York Yankees have made things interesting in the American League East, but the Boston Red Sox have some major trends in their favor this weekend at Tampa Bay.

As one of baseball's worst teams, the Devil Rays are the perfect set-up foe for the Red Sox, who are trying to hold off the Yankees for the division title.

As long as Boston stays true to form, the Red Sox should do well.

Heading into the series, they were 20-7 in their previous 27 games as road favorite of -110 to -150, and 16-5 in their last 21 road games against a team with a losing home record.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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