This is what it comes down to for the Pac-12 North, a matchup between two Washington schools. A win for either team would mean a spot in the Conference title Game. The Apple Cup has often been dominated by Washington, but for the first time in a while, the Cougars are favored, opening at -3.5 points as seen at YOUWAGER Sportsbook.
Washington State has had some good teams in recent seasons, yet that hasn’t mattered for Washington, winning the last Four meetings by at least 18 points and scoring at least 40 in each of the last three. That could change in this year’s meeting as everything points to the home team having every advantage. If this weren’t a rivalry Game, the spread would probably be higher. The Cougars have dealt with any kind of adversity this season with their only loss coming late against USC, a Game they probably should’ve won.
It’s been a little different for Washington, who has lost its last two road Games at Oregon and Cal. The Huskies still have plenty of talent, but it just hasn’t come as easy this season. The biggest problem has been the rushing attack, which hasn’t been as efficient, averaging 4.4 yards per carry as a team. Myles Gaskin still has a decent 906 yards and seven touchdowns, but he’s 1.3 yards per carry less than a season ago. The same goes for quarterback Jake Browning, who finally threw for more than one touchdown in the win against Oregon State. He’s had another mediocre season as a Game manager for Washington with 16 touchdowns and eight picks.
The Huskies scored 41 points in last year’s meeting behind three interceptions and 328 rushing yards, but this offense hasn’t rushed like that all season. Not to mention, WSU’s defense has also been stout allowing only 22.6 points per Game.
Even better for the Cougars is that Gardner Minshew has limited his interceptions with just seven compared to 36 touchdowns. Combine that with a 70.4% completion rate and that’s how Wazzu can control this Game. They threw for 369 yards in last year’s meeting, but the three interceptions cost them. If the interceptions aren’t there and Minshew doesn’t get sacked — Minshew has been sacked nine times all year – that could be enough for the Air Raid to finally upend the Huskies.
Washington’s defense is good per usual, but it already gave up 30 points at Oregon and 23 points in each of the last two wins against Stanford and Oregon State. If the Cougars play like they have been all season, this is their Game to win. The problem with betting them is that Washington has dominated the Apple Cup, even when Washington State had good teams.
The Huskies are 1-7 ATS in their last eight road Games and haven’t covered in their last seven in Conference play. The Cougars are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 at home. Washington is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings between these schools played in Pullman.
Our Pick – As of Monday afternoon, this line sits at Washington State -3. We like Washington State in this spot and wouldn’t be surprised to see the line come down a bit more. With that in mind, we’ll put this out at -3, however, it may be in your best interest to watch the line to see if you can do better. Washington State -3