College Football Pick
Washington is coming off yet another blowout last weekend, maybe to show the College Football Playoff rankers that they deserved a top spot in the initial rankings. But the road doesn’t get any easier for the Huskies as they host a USC team that has quietly won five straight Games. The Huskies are currently -9 point favorites at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
When these teams met a year ago, it was a defensive battle with Washington walking away with a 17-12 win on the road. Myles Gaskin ran for 134 yards for the Huskies and that was about all the offense they had, while the Trojans also had a decent day on the ground, churning out 190 yards. This time around, things will be a little different, at least for Washington.
The Huskies are blowing teams out and scoring 48.3 points per Game via a balanced attack. But the main reason they have taken a leap this season is because quarterback Jake Browning has been an absolute force in his second year. His numbers are outrageous, as he’s already doubled what he finished with a year ago. Browning has 34 touchdowns, only three interceptions and is coming off another six-touchdown, zero-INT performance. If he keeps this pace up, Browning could easily be one of the final choices for the Heisman.
In addition to Browning, Gaskin will probably break the 1,000-yard mark this Game as he’s averaging 6.3 yards per carry and has at least one touchdown in the last five Games. He’s complemented by LAvon Coleman, who seems to break one out every Game as he’s averaging 9.1 yards per carry.
The big question for USC will be what its defense can do against the Huskies. The Trojans have been respectable, holding Oregon to 20 points last Game and Cal to 24 before that. There was some slipups early on in the losses at Stanford and Utah and those are the main reasons for concern.
But offensively, getting past this Washington defense won’t be easy, either. Cody Kessler had trouble against them a year ago, and now it’s up to Sam Darnold to pull off the upset. Darnold has been the difference maker for the Trojans since taking over as starting quarterback in the Fourth Game of the season. He’s had a solid run himself, tossing 20 TDs to just Four picks.
That said, the best way for USC to stay in this Game is if they can move the ball on the ground. Ronald Jones II has been unstoppable the last couple Games, rushing for 394 yards and five touchdowns to go with more than 10 yards per carry. Of course, this Washington defense is a bit better than Cal or Oregon’s. Justin Davis looks set to return for this Game, which should help and Aca’Cedric Ware could be back as well.
The Trojans will need all the help they can get, but with how they’ve looked they wouldn’t be a bad team to back in this situation. Then again, Four of their past five wins have come at home and the only road win was at Arizona. The Huskies know what’s in store, so it’s doubtful they’ll take this matchup lightly.
The Trojans are 8-21 ATS in their last 29 road Games, but 4-1 ATS in their last five Games overall. The Huskies don’t have many notable trends, but are 1-4 ATS in their last five after scoring more than 40 points in the previous Game.
At +10 we start to to get interested in the Trojans. USC +10 or better