2023 Pac-12 Championship – Oregon Ducks Vs. Washington Huskies Odds, Key Matchup, Final Prediction

Bryant Knox | Oregon Sports News

The Oregon Ducks vs. Washington Huskies 2023 Pac-12 Championship isn’t just the rematch both fanbases wanted. No, this in-season throwback is what fans across the country have been waiting for.

This is it. It’s what both teams have been playing for all year long. Without a doubt, this is the “prove yourself” matchup both Oregon and Washington have craved for six weeks since their last meeting.

With the College Football Playoffs suddenly win-and-get-in for the Pac-12, Oregon and Washington have legitimate claims to move onto the Granddaddy of Them All. And to make matters more historic, this rematch is set to be the final Pac-12 Championship we’ll ever witness.

Ahead of the Friday 5pm kickoff on ABC in Las Vegas, Oregon Sports News has you covered with everything you need to know.

*Read on and hit the OSN comments with your final prediction for the 2023 Pac-12 Championship. 

2023 Pac-12 Championship

No. 6 Oregon Ducks: 11-1, 8-1 Conference

No. 4 Washington Huskies: 12-0, 9-0 Conference

Date: Friday, Dec. 1, 2023

Time: 5:00 p.m. PT

TV Network: ABC

Odds: Oregon -9.5

Over/Under: 67.5

Venue: Allegiant Stadium — Las Vegas, Nevada

Capacity: 65,000

Gametime Weather: 57

What’s On The Line? 

For starters, a berth in the College Football Playoff is on the line. Until the format officially expands, we live in a four-team system. And there’s no doubt that the winner of this matchup—one of the most anticipated games of the entire 2023 college football season—will end up in the final four and the CFP.

There’s also a little thing known as the Heisman Trophy at stake.

At this point, Oregon’s Bo Nix is the betting favorite entering Championship Week. He and the Ducks barely fell short against the Huskies just weeks ago in a game that famously featured at least one, if not a few, questionable calls from head coach Dan Lanning. Those are calls the team has clearly learned from and will be a part of the storylines surrounding this week’s contest.

Furthermore, Nix has turned the second half of the year into his own personal video game. He’s won all six games by double digits since the loss to UW. On top of that, he’s led the Ducks to 30-plus-point wins in every game.

Just tune into any broadcast week after week, and you’ll see what records Nix is setting for this team on a game-by-game basis, as well as a franchise GOAT in his second year with the program.

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. hasn’t been able to secure as many comfortable wins since the victory over Oregon, but that spotlight win and the Huskies’ undefeated season gives him the ultimate edge should Washington take the Pac-12 Championship.

By the way…you can’t forget about LSU’s Jayden Daniels. He might even be the second in line ahead of Penix Jr. after his win over Texas A&M, in which he threw 16 of 24 for 235 yards with four touchdowns—not to mention 120 yards on 11 rushing attempts.

This race will come down to the final stretch, and it’s the definition of a sprint to the end despite Bo’s apparent lead with a game to go.

Key Matchup

Oregon’s Defense vs. Michael Penix, Jr. (and the homerun ball)

This will seem obvious, but the Ducks’ defense needs to be ready to contain Heisman hopeful Michael Penix, Jr.

The Ducks appear ready based on the past six weeks’ worth of evidence and redemption. Oregon also holds a distinct advantage over Washington in that the losing team almost always takes away the most important lesson from a pivotal loss.

In this case, the Ducks have learned not to give up the homerun play to Washington’s general, which, aside from kicking, was the deciding factor in Round 1 of this year’s rivalry.

Lanning now knows what the scheme must be to slow down the Penix Jr. attack. Getting him off the field quickly will be critical, which means pressure, pressure, pressure.

Regardless, expect a quarterback shootout in the desert.

Just expect one defense to be more ready than the other.

Final Prediction

ESPN.com’s “Matchup Predictor” has Oregon as a 75.8 percent favorite compared to Washington’s 24.2 percent. That tracks with the spread opening at -8.5 Oregon, quickly moving to -9.5 by the end of the weekend.

Today, looking ahead to the College Football Playoffs is premature. However, it’s worth noting that ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach has Oregon facing the Michigan Wolverines in the 2024 edition of the January 1 Rose Bowl.

“Oregon is my No. 3 seed after it defeated rival Oregon State 31-7 on Friday night,” Schlabach said. “The Ducks have won six games in a row since falling 36-33 at Washington on Oct. 14. Oregon will have an opportunity to avenge that loss in Friday’s Pac-12 Championship… The winner will undoubtedly be in the CFP, and I’m projecting that the Ducks will come out on top.”

(Note: ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura has Washington facing Michigan in the same paywalled article linked above.)

With Bo Nix and the Oregon offense downright en fuego entering the Pac-12 Championship, there’s no way I’m picking a Huskies team that has escaped death a couple of times down the stretch of the season.

Yes, that proves a certain mettle for Washington necessary to win it all. But it also shows a vulnerability that Bo, Dan, and the Ducks haven’t flashed over the past few weeks.

Give me Oregon on Friday over Washington, and give me the Ducks by two touchdowns.

Let’s throw in a Bo Nix Heisman while we’re at it.

Ducks prove themselves in a big way ahead of the College Football Playoffs.

Final Prediction: Oregon 41 – Washington 27