Stanford at Washington
As expected, the loser of this Game will be out of the race for the Pac-12 North. The unexpected part is that neither is in first place and both already have two Conference losses. Washington has lost two of its last three and Stanford three of its last Four. The Huskies opened as -9.5 point home favorites with an over/under of 47 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Considering Washington replaced its starting quarterback in the third quarter of its 12-10 loss to Cal, it’s surprising that they are more than a touchdown favorite against a team like Stanford. Sure, the Huskies still haven’t lost at home, but they also aren’t destroying teams, taking down Arizona State 27-20 earlier in the year and Colorado 27-13 a couple weeks ago. Stanford already has three losses, but all of those were to quality teams. The Cardinal still have talent and with their season in the balance, will put up a fight no matter the situation.
Stanford won this Game 30-22 last year, but that was because of Bryce Love and a dominant ground Game that went for 195 yards. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, that’s not something they’ve done this season with Love continually hurt and the team averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Love has battled injury all year and left in the Fourth quarter of last weekend’s loss to Wazzu. To win this Game, quarterback K.J. Costello will need to repeat his performance he had last Game, throwing for 323 yards and Four touchdowns. The problem is that Washington’s defense is still elite and only allowing 301 total yards and 15.2 points per Game. Either way, Costello has put up decent numbers against every defense this season and with a receiver like JJ Arcega-Whiteside (11 TDs) he should still move the ball enough to keep the Game competitive.
The other reason to back the Cardinal is that there aren’t many situations in which you want to bet on Washington to win by double digits. Their offense simply isn’t working this year and it doesn’t help that top running back Myles Gaskin has missed the last two Games with a shoulder injury. Even if he returns, he’s still only averaging 4.5 yards per carry and isn’t breaking Games open like he has in the past. Then you throw in the inconsistent play of quarterback Jake Browning, who was benched last Game, and it’s hard to take Washington by 10 points. Browning has an interception in each of his last Four Games and just one touchdown in each of his last five. He’s lacked potency with top wide out Aaron Fuller and even though Stanford’s defense is struggling, that shouldn’t change how Browning plays. Both teams are struggling and in need of a win and that usually leads to a competitive Game.
The Cardinal are 4-1 ATS in their last five road Games and 4-1 ATS in their last five following a straight-up loss. The Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last five following a straight-up loss and haven’t covered in their last five Conference Games. The home team has covered in the last Four meetings between these schools and the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings played at Husky Stadium.
Our Pick – Stanford +10.5