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The Washington Huskies host the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday night and find themselves as +7 point underdogs at 5 Dimes and SBG Global. The betting public is betting on Stanford as if Andrew Luck never left as 94% of the early action at the world largest sportsbook, sportsbook.ag, is on Stanford.
Thursday night's game features two teams coming off big wins back on Sept. 15. As you've probably heard, Stanford beat USC, 21-14, stifling Matt Barkley for much of the contest. As for Washington, their win wasn't quite as big, but any time a team that has struggled like them scores 52 points and wins by close to 40, it has to be a good sign. The only problem is that Stanford is not Portland State. Looking ahead for Washington, their next three games are against Stanford, Oregon and USC. Talk about trouble. They'll need to get this stretch started off the right way in Seattle.
The Huskies are led by Keith Price, who has looked slightly improved this season (excluding the loss at LSU). He has 560 yards and four TDs so far after throwing 33 TDs all of last season. Bishop Sankey leads the ground game with 185 yards and three TDs on the season. Stanford held Silas Redd (USC) to just 1.7 yards per carry and from there controlled Barkley and the USC offense. If Sankey and the Washington ground game can't get going, Price might be in for some trouble. The main targets in the receiving game are TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and WR Kasen Williams. The two have combined for 35 receptions, 374 yards and three TDs. That's more than half of the Husky passing game.
Washington's toughest task of the season was a blowout loss at LSU. They rushed for just 26 yards and Price threw for 157 and an interception. Defensively, the Tigers killed them on the ground going for 242 yards.
That leads to Stanford's running back Stepfan Taylor who has 338 yards and three TDs on the year. Most impressively, he ran for 153 yards against USC which keyed their victory. If he can find holes against Washington, it will be tough for the Huskies to win this one. Stanford QB Josh Nunes has done a solid job replacing Andrew Luck. While he's only completing 53.4 percent of his passes, he still has 615 yards and six touchdowns. He spreads the ball evenly to five different receivers. Each of them has between seven and 10 catches and 85 and 146 yards. That's tough to defend. No matter, if the ground game doesn't get going, Nunes may have a tough day on his hands.
In the last few meetings between these teams, Stanford has dominated, but a large part of that was due to Luck. Still, the Cardinal has covered the spread in four straight games and the last time Washington covered was in 2007, which was also the last time they beat Stanford.
Most recently, Stanford cruised to a 65-21 win last year at Stanford. It wasn't really Luck and the passing game that led Cardinal though. Taylor rushed for 138 yards and Stanford rushed for 446 as a team. That cannot happen again if Washington wants to stand a chance. Price was a modest 23-of-36 for 247 yards with a TD and pick in the losing effort.
The Huskies are 5-0 ATS in their last five following a bye week which says a lot about their preparation. In addition to that, they are 6-2 in their last eight home games. Still, Cardinal is a ridiculous 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games. As for the total, the under has hit six times in the last eight meetings.
This is being written early Monday. As of this writing, there is no total posted here. Check back later in the week as we are leaning towards a low scoring game in this one and may recommend the under, depending on the total posted. Stanford scored 50 on Duke but just 20 and 21 their other two times out and one of those was San Jose. Washington scored 52 against Portland State, but just 3 and 21 their other two. It's a little too early rely on our score prediction model, but worth noting, it shows a 24-14 Stanford win. Check back.
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