Washington at Washington State Spread
This Friday the Washington State Cougars will host the No. 25 Washington Huskies in a huge in-state rivalry matchup. Washington has won three straight in the series, including a 38-21 victory last season. Washington State will look to reclaim the Apple Cup when the two teams face off at 3:30 EST at Martin Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on FOX. Oddsmakers have listed the Huskies as a 11.5-point road favorite with the total posted at 51 points.
Why Washington Will Cover
The Huskies have really done a fantastic job of saving their season. Washington was just 3-4 overall after an embarrassing 17-52 loss at Arizona on Oct. 20. They went out the next week and upset previously unbeaten Oregon State 20-17 at home. With last Saturday’s 38-3 win at Colorado they improved to 7-4 and are riding a four-game winning streak.
The Washington offense has really came alive over the last two weeks. After putting up 437 yards of total offense against Utah, the Huskies piled on 476 yards against the Buffaloes. It might not seem like much, but when you consider the Huskies are still only averaging 354.5 total yards/game on the season, you can see how big of an outburst that was. The inconsistency of the offense has been the one thing that has really hurt this team, as they feature a stop unit that ranks 29th in the country in total defense (351.8 ypg).
When you look at what Washington State brings to the table on both sides of the ball, you can see why the Huskies have an excellent shot at covering the number in this game. The Cougars have the 91st ranked defense in yards allowed at 439.7 ypg and their offense ranks 96th in the country at 358.7 ypg.
The big key in this game is the Washington State passing attack vs the Huskies secondary. The Cougars come in with the 10th ranked passing attack at 328.5 ypg, but will be going up against Washington’s 9th ranked pass defense (174.3 ypg).
There will be those that will fear taking the Huskies on the road, but Washington is an impressive 5-1 ATS over their last 6 visits to Pullman and are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings overall.
Why Washington State Will Cover
It’s been a very disappointing season for first year head coach Mike Leach at Washington State, but it’s going to take some time for him to get the right players for his system into the program. With an overall record of just 2-9 the Cougars season will be over on Friday. While the numbers certainly don’t look for Washington State, you can’t count ever count out a home underdog in a huge rivalry game like this. I expect the Cougars to treat this as if it was their bowl game and do whatever it takes to pull off the upset.
Washington State’s record seems to cover up the fact that this team has played a number of the top schools out of the Pac-12 extremely close. The Cougars have losses against the likes of Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA that were decided by 8-points or less. This team seems to save their best football for the best competition and playing at home will certainly help them in this spot. Washington State is 4-0 ATS over their last 4 games with a winning record and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
At the same time, Washington has not been the same team when they are on the road. That 35-point loss to Arizona says enough. The Huskies are just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games. Hard to not like your chances with the home dog in this rivalry.