No one knows what to make of the Pac-12 this season, only that it has close to no chance of reaching the College Football Playoff. Both teams leading the divisions already have two losses and Washington has been far from a safe bet this season. Even then, the Huskies were large -15.5 point home favorites against Colorado as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This spread looks big on the surface, but Washington has dominated this matchup even when Colorado was a decent team. The Huskies have covered the last eight meetings and have won the last six by at least 15 points. The Buffaloes are playing solid and put up a fight in USC last weekend, but with another tough road trip, this could be where they break down. Or not.
Washington’s offense hasn’t been good enough to run away from teams this year and has only won two Games by more than 14 points, coming against North Dakota and BYU. Jake Browning, who was just 11-of-21 for 160 yards in last year’s 37-10 win, is having another disappointing season with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. Top receiver Aaron Fuller has good numbers, but he may not be the same talent as former wide outs John Ross and Dante Pettis. It also doesn’t help that Myles Gaskin is having a troubling season with only 623 yards on 4.5 yards per carry after reaching at least 5.7 ypc in his first three years. Adding to the issue, he picked up a shoulder injury against Oregon and is questionable to play along with backup Salvon Ahmed, who injured his knee.
If the top two running backs are out, it’ll be hard to back the Huskies in this spot because the only reason they dominated this Game last year was a rushing attack that went for 254 yards. Combine that with an improved Colorado run defense that held USC to 62 rushing yards last Game and that’s a recipe for trouble for Washington. Of course, the Buffs still may not cover if they can’t score, which has often been the issue in this matchup. Steven Montez threw three picks in last year’s Game and while he’s playing better this year, was brought back to earth against USC, throwing for only 170 yards on 47 pass attempts.
If Colorado couldn’t move the ball against USC, it’s a wonder what will happen on the road against Washington. Montez hasn’t been efficient passing the ball to anyone not named LAviska Shenault (60 receptions, 780 yards) and the ground Game is still averaging just 4.2 yards per carry as a team. Top running back Travon McMillian was held to 32 yards on 18 carries against the Trojans and could have similar troubles against a possibly better UW defense.
This one could be lower scoring as long as Colorado’s defense shows up. Washington has had Colorado’s number in this matchup, but its offense simply isn’t dominating as much as year’s past and that’s good news for the road team.
The Buffaloes are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road Games and 1-5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Huskies are 2-6 ATS in their last eight overall, but have covered in their last Four at home against a team with a winning road record. And once more, Washington has covered the last eight meetings between these schools.
Our Pick – Colorado +17.5