College Football Pick
Stanford is coming off the beat down of a lifetime, but they’ll be fine. The Cardinal have been one of the better teams at dealing with adversity throughout recent years and they’ll be ready for a Game against Washington State. Back at home, the Cardinal are a -7.5 point home favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
But the Cougars are not a team to overlook. They lost their usual opener against an FCS school and then at Boise State, but are coming off a nice 18-point win over Oregon. To go along with that, Washington State almost won this Game a year ago, albeit at home. Stanford needed a last-minute field goal to walk away with a 30-28 win.
Wazzu moved the ball fine on the Stanford defense with 354 passing yards from LUke Falk and a running Game that wasn’t completely shut down. On the other end, the Cougars did enough holding Kevin Hogan to just 89 passing yards, but they couldn’t do anything against Christian McCaffrey and the ground Game.
It’ll likely be the same situation for this Game as nothing much has changed for these teams, outside of Stanford losing by 38 points last week.
The Cardinal will try and run the ball as much as possible again, which is about the only route to take as quarterback Ryan Burns is not at the same level as Hogan was a year ago. Burns has yet to throw for more than 156 yards and has one touchdown in each Game. But that’s where McCaffrey comes in as he already has 486 rushing yards on the season. Washington shut him down last week and that was all Stanford had.
Expecting Washington State to do the same would be a mistake, but there’s no question the Cardinal won’t be blowing many teams out this year. The Cougars again have a good enough offense led by LUke Falk to compete and could have a shot at a late win again.
Falk’s numbers have actually been this season, despite the 2-2 record. He has 12 TDs to 2 INTs, but maybe more impressive is a 74.3 completion percentage. Not many can stop this quick-pass offense at the college level. If WSU can get something out of James Williams or Jamal Morrow on the ground, they should be just fine in what may be a repeat of last year’s result.
Stanford is more than a touchdown favorite, but backing the Cardinal against a potent offense like this one may not be a good idea this season. They covered their first three Games, but those were all tight, low-scoring Games, something Washington State doesn’t usually partake in. Both teams have trends in their favor, which makes this one a little trickier.
The Cougars are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 Conference Games and 6-1 ATS in their last seven road Games. However, the Cardinal are also 9-1 ATS in their last 10 Games following a straight-up loss and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 after scoring less than 20 points in their previous Game.
Our Pick – We look for Stanford to rebound in a big way this week, in off one of their worst beatings in years. Stanford -7