The #8 overall Washington State Cougars (9-1) host the Arizona Wildcats (5-5) on Saturday in Pac-12 action. Kickoff is set for 10:30 PM EST at Martin Stadium and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 12 college football odds, Washington State opened as a 10-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has remained the same after early betting, as the Cougars are currently listed at -10. The total for the game is sitting at 60 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Washington State vs Arizona
Arizona won their second consecutive game last weekend to finally get back to .500 on the season overall. The Wildcats are now tied with Arizona State for second in the Pac-12 South heading into the final few weeks of the year. They will need a lot of help over the next two games if they hope to earn a spot in the Pac-12 Championship, as they will need to win out and hope for Colorado to upset the Utes on Saturday. It appears as if QB Khalil Tate is finally back to 100% after being plagued by an ankle injury for much of the season. Tate has racked up a career-high 1,954 passing yards and 19 touchdowns despite being limited to only 153 yards on the ground. He was electric rushing the football in the 2017-18 season, rushing for 1,411 yards. RB J.J. Taylor has definitely helped pick up the slack, averaging 5.9 yards per carry while totaling 1,221 yards and six touchdowns in ten games. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 30.8 points per game on 454.1 total yards.
The Wildcats have been below average on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of 28.1 points per game on 417.8 yards of total offense. They have looked especially bad against the pass, giving up an average of 248.7 yards through the air per game (91st overall).
Washington State is now only two wins away from clinching a spot in the Pac-12 title game after a critical 31-7 victory over Colorado in Weeek 11. The Cougars have really played well after suffering their only loss of the season against USC in late September, winning six consecutive games to improve to 9-1 overall. QB Gardner Minshew was fantastic against the Buffaloes, throwing for 335 yards and two touchdowns. Minshew has now passed for 29 touchdowns on the year and has averaged a ridiculous 385.2 yards through the air per game. He is definitely the catalyst for this #1 ranked Washington State passing attack that is currently averaging 392.3 yards per game. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 37.6 points per game on 470.0 total yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Cougars are currently giving up just 22.1 points per game on 322.6 yards of total offense. They have really looked good against the pass through ten games, holding opponents to an average of only 198.7 yards per game through the air (34th overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Washington State -10
As tempted as I am to take Arizona and the points in this spot, I’m too concerned about how the Wildcats match up with Washington State defensively. The Cougars are without a doubt the better team on both sides of the ball, but they also find themselves in a spot where their biggest strength on offense (the passing game) gets to go up against their opponents Achilles heel (the secondary). Minshew and his mustache are going to have a field day here in Week 11, as Arizona has shown they cannot defend the pass well at all.
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Washington State is a very solid 9-1 ATS over their last ten home games. They are also 6-1 ATS over their past seven games against Pac-12 opponents and 5-0 ATS after totaling 450 or more yards of offense in the previous game. Arizona is only 4-14 ATS over their last 18 road games. They are also just 1-6 ATS over their last seven road games against teams with a winning home record.
The one factor that does concern me a little bit in this matchup revolves around the resurgence of Khalil Tate, who has slowly started to look like his old self as of late. Arizona really responds well when he is able to fully utilize his dynamic play-making ability, and he should help his team stay competitive for a few quarters in this one. If this game was being played in Arizona, I’d probably take the other side of this bet. However, the Wildcats haven’t played well at all on the road so far this year and I’m fully expecting that trend to continue here in Week 12. I’ll lay the points and take Washington State to cover the number at home.