A lot has taken place in Eugene over the past 24 hours, and one person’s comments have created a huge ripple effect that may cost Las Vegas oddsmakers quite a bit of money.
For four days, Oregon and Utah fans have been trying to figure out whether Ducks’ quarterback Bo Nix is healthy or not. He went down with an apparent injury in the fourth quarter against Washington and left the game. However, he came back for the team’s final drive. Naturally, the question everyone is asking is can Nix play in the big-time matchup between No. 13 Oregon and No. 10 Utah.
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning has been close to the vest with his information, and everyone in the organization is being close-lipped, for obvious reasons.
On Wednesday afternoon, though, a crack in the dam formed. The flood of shock and outrage came quickly.
During media interviews, Oregon wide receiver Kris Hutson was asked about his confidence levels in backup QB Ty Thompson, should Nix not be able to play. His answer might have revealed more than he planned.
“Obviously, Bo is down, so it’s the next man up,” Hutson said. “He’s good at decision-making. He has a great arm. He can extend plays. He’s learned a lot from Bo, so he’s kind of taken his game to the next level also. Ty is a good player, a great quarterback; very smart. I can’t wait to see him out there ready to go.”
That seems notable, at the very least.
Whether you believe the comments at face value or not is up to you. I personally am not ready to say Nix has already been ruled out, based on what I’ve heard. And Lanning came out Wednesday night and said Nix was preparing to start.
“He’s preparing himself as if he can go,” Lanning said on his weekly in-house radio hit. “But we also got some other guys ready to go if needed.”
Basically, it’s up in the air whether Nix plays on Saturday, but that uncertainty has caused numbers to move in Las Vegas. Check out the latest betting lines for Oregon-Utah:
The comments from Hutson certainly resonated in Las Vegas. Oregon opened as a 3-point favorite at home — a line that usually indicates the two teams are evenly matched, with one side getting a boost for home-field advantage. However, it has swung wildly in the opposite direction amid speculation about Bo Nix’s health. Utah is now favored by as many as 2.5 points in some places, indicating that they would be a 5.5-point favorite on a neutral field.
Here are the latest numbers, according to our betting partner BetMGM.
Total – O/U
You can access odds at BetMGM.
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QB Bo Nix — Questionable
WR Chase Cota — Doubtful
C Alex Forsyth — Questionable
RG Ryan Walk — Questionable
OL Steven Jones — Probable
QB Cameron Rising — Healthy
RB Tavion Thomas — Healthy
DL Van Fillinger — OUT
TE Brandon Kuithe — OUT
I might be less willing to make a final score prediction now than I was at the beginning of the week.
The quarterback drama in Eugene has the ability to completely change the outcome of the game, represented well by the drastic swing in numbers from sportsbooks. If Bo Nix is able to play, this will be an extremely competitive game and one I certainly could see the Ducks winning at home.
However, if Nix is out and Ty Thompson plays at QB, then I will be quick to put money on the Utes before the line adjusts accordingly. In that scenario, I think it could potentially be a comfortable Utah win, based on the very little that we’ve seen from Thompson in his Oregon career.