If Oregon wants to win the Pac-12, it has to win Games like this, on the road against a solid Washington State team. Expected to be an even matchup there should be plenty of money coming in on both sides. Washington State, playing at home, was a small -3 point favorite with an over/under of 66.5 as of Tuesday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This is a perfect letdown spot for Oregon coming off a huge 30-27 win against Washington and now on the road against a team also battling in the Pac-12 North. It’s a better situation for Wazzu, not only coming off a bye week, but also playing at home, which is the same situation Oregon was in against the Huskies. Either way, the Cougars can’t be overlooked as their only loss was on the road at USC by three points and they could’ve easily won. It’s hard to look too much into recent results since Oregon appears to be good again, but Wazzu has won the last two by at least 18 points.
Stopping this Washington State offense is the biggest thing for Oregon because it hasn’t done that in a while. The Cougars didn’t completely dominate last year’s meeting, yet they still won 33-10 on the back of three touchdowns from LUke Falk. This year, it’s Gardner Minshew leading the offense and the group hasn’t taken a step back as Minshew already has 19 touchdowns and only Four interceptions on 68.7% completion. The running Game is still non-existent and that’s this team’s downfall every season, but playing at home, that may not matter. And even though they won by 23 points last matchup, WSU still managed just 87 rushing yards on 25 carries.
There’s no doubt Oregon will be in this Game even if Minshew has his way on the other end. The Ducks couldn’t compete last year because of quarterback injuries, but that hasn’t been an issue yet as Justin Herbert already has 17 touchdowns on 9.60 yards per attempt. He’s changed everything for the offense and looks set to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in next year’s NFL Draft. Washington State’s defensive numbers are great, allowing 163 passing yards per Game and while a lot of that has to do with Schedule, that number can’t be overlooked. The Ducks will need to run the ball and that’s their best route to winning this Game on the road, which is what happened last weekend. CJ Verdell was huge against the Huskies, carrying the ball 29 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns and he could get similar work in this Game as long as Wazzu doesn’t get out to an early lead. If that running Game works, anything could happen and that’s why the spread is where it is. Oregon may be the better overall team, but playing on the road, coming off a huge win and against a team that’s off a bye, this is a tough spot.
The Ducks are 1-4 ATS in their last five road Games and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Games following an ATS win. The Cougars have covered in their last eight home Games and are 8-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Washington State has covered the last eight meetings between these schools and the over is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings.
Our Pick – Washington State -3