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Oregon State Beavers at Minnesota Golden Gophers - 9/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Oregon State Beavers (0-0) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0)

College Football: Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm (TCF Bank Stadium)

The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers -12.5 -- Over/Under: 57 See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The Oregon State Beavers will travel to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first game of the season for both of these teams.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are coming off of a 6-7 season, but were able to sneak into a bowl game with only 5 wins. Last season, Minnesota averaged 22.5 points per game with 144.1 rushing yards and 214.8 passing yards per game. Mitch Leidner returns at quarterback for Minnesota, after passing for 2,701 yards and 14 touchdowns. Shannon Brooks (out to begin the season) and Rodney Smith return at running back, after totaling over 1,300 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2015. Drew Wolitarsky returns as the second leading receiver from 2015, with 524 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Minnesota defense allowed 25.2 points per game with 166.4 rushing yards and 179.5 passing yards per game last season. Cody Poock returns at linebacker as the second leading tackler from 2015, with 99 tackles. Jalen Myrick returns at defensive back after totaling 3 interceptions last season.

Oregon State Beavers at Minnesota Golden Gophers - 9/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State Beavers are coming off of a 2-10 season and will be looking to get out of the PAC-12 basement. Last season, Oregon State averaged 19 points per game with 177.7 rushing yards and 159.2 passing yards per game. Utah State transfer, Darell Garretson, is expected to be the starting quarterback for the opener. Seth Collins, former quarterback, will look to play multiple positions on offense, after running for 580 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 936 passing yards and 6 touchdowns. Ryan Nall returns as a running back, rushing for 455 yards and 3 touchdowns. Oregon State returns its top two receivers, Jordan Villamin and Victor Bolden, who combined for over 1100 yards and 8 touchdowns. The Oregon State defense allowed 37 points per game with 225.5 rushing yards 256 passing yards per game last season. Oregon State struggled on defense in 2015, and lost some of their better players coming into this season. Jonathan Willis returns at linebacker as the third leading tackler from 2015, with 67 tackles and 2 sacks. Oregon State needs to improve on defense if they have any hope of being competitive this season.

Oregon State 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games. Oregon State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 September games. The under is 5-2 in Oregon State’s last 7 non-conference games. Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games. Minnesota is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the PAC-12. The over is 5-1 in Minnesota’s last 6 home games.

Minnesota should be a better team than they were last season, while I don’t expect much from Oregon State this year. I like the Minnesota defense to give the slow Oregon State offense some troubles. I think Minnesota will enjoy a comfortable win in this one. 

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Minnesota Golden Gophers -12.5

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