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It's still a question of how good each of these teams are or can be. Stanford hasn't lost yet, but their defense does not look the same as it did a year ago. They dominated Arizona State early on, but slipped up and allowed 21 points in the fourth quarter. Washington State is definitely improved from last year's three-win season, but just how good are they? They started the season with back-to-back road games, losing to Auburn, but beating USC. Stanford is the better team and come into this game as -10 point road favorites at GTBets.
The late game Stanford collapse last week wasn't enough to deter bettors as 79% of the early action at sportsbook.com is on Stanford. If you aren't looking at these betting percentages each week you are doing yourself a great disservice. It's an invaluable tool and is available for anyone to look at by simply opening an account at sportsbook.com.
This game isn't as easy as it looks, especially after the Cougars put up a fight last year in Stanford, losing only 24-17 as 25-point underdogs. The fact that they were within a touchdown in that game is amazing as they didn't have one player with positive yards rushing. The Cougars passed for 401 yards even though Stanford knew it was coming. Not to mention, WSU played fantastic defense against the Cardinal.
Stanford's offense is comparable to last year's squad, just with some new faces. Kevin Hogan is the full-time quarterback and hasn't really had to do much so far. He already has seven touchdowns, but hasn't thrown for more than 207 yards in a game yet. If this is a closer contest, will he be able to get the job done? The Cardinal still love running the ball. Running back Tyler Gaffney has taken over for Stepfan Taylor and looks solid, already with 323 yards and five touchdowns. The Cougars stopped Stanford to 3.2 yards per carry last year and is a main reason the game was any close.
The big question will be Washington State's offense. They are running the ball a little more this year (although not much), which will definitely come in handy for this game. To think they can win this game on passing alone would be a mistake, much like most of last season. The Cougars' top two running backs have combined for 45 carries for 210 yards in four games. Connor Halliday has a major interception problem, which is something you can't do against Stanford. We already knew Halliday was going to attempt a ridiculous amount of passes, but when you have eight interceptions in four games, that's never good. He even threw two last week in 42-0 win. If Halliday throws more than one INT in this game, the chances of winning will be very slim.
The good news for the Cougars is that they fought in every home game last year and it shows in the numbers. They have covered in four straight home games and in seven straight games against teams with winning records. However, the Cardinal are a solid 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. In this meeting, the road team has covered four straight times and going even further, Stanford is 7-1 ATS in the last eight games between these teams in Washington State.
This game could be lower scoring than the total suggests. We'll do a slight lean to the under 47.
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