A pair of Pac-12 teams will get their conference schedule underway this weekend as the Washington State Cougars host the Oregon State Beavers. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 EST on Saturday, September 16 at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington. Fans can watch the game on the Pac 12 Network.
Washington State is currently a 19-point favorite. The Cougars have been heavy betting favorites so far, opening as 15.5-point home favorites. The over/under for the game is set at 64 points. Click here for a full list of Week 3 betting odds and links to game previews.
Oregon State vs Washington State Game Betting Preview & Vegas Odds
The Cougars hold a top-25 ranking, but that spot in the polls was in serious jeopardy last week. Washington State trailed Boise State by 21 points with less than 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter. With help from a pick-six, the Cougars rallied for three late touchdowns to tie the game. They were then able to outlast the Broncos, ultimately winning in triple overtime.
As impressive as that comeback was, one has to worry a little about how Washington State put itself in that position. The Cougars can’t make it a habit of falling behind, especially since they have little margin for error if they want to compete for the top spot in the Pac 12 North.
Meanwhile, Oregon State has its own set of problems. The Beavers are 1-2 on the young season, with their only win being a squeaker against FCS foe Portland State. Oregon State’s other two games have been lopsided losses to Colorado State and Minnesota, two teams that aren’t exactly powerhouse programs.
This week begins a string of three straight games against ranked teams for Oregon State. If the Beavers can’t pull off the upset, it could be a while until they put one in the win column and their season could start to spiral out of control.
Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: Washington State -19
For the record, I have some concerns about Washington State. But those aren’t going to matter much this week. The Beavers have been so bad on defense this season that there’s almost no way Mike Leach’s air raid offense doesn’t have a big day and score more than enough points to cover a nearly three touchdown spread.
Backup quarterback Tyler Hilinski saved the day against Boise State by coming in and throwing three touchdown passes. But Leach is going back to senior Luke Falk this week. Falk has more than two years of starting experience under his belt, so he’s capable of bouncing back from an off week. He’ll also face a porous Oregon State defense this week, which should help him regain some confidence.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
The Oregon State defense has been picked apart this season, both through the air and on the ground. Against Colorado State, the Beavers gave up more than 300 yards passing and nearly 200 yards on the ground. It was a different story against Minnesota, who only needed to throw the ball eight times all game. The Beavers gave up 253 yards and five touchdowns rushing against the Golden Gophers.
Washington State struggled to run the ball last week, but the Cougars will certainly try to establish more of a ground attack this week. Even if that fails and Washington State has to throw the ball 50-plus times, the Oregon State defense may still struggle to contain the Cougars.
The Beavers have been decent on offense this season under quarterback Jake Luton. But considering the state of their defense, it’s not going to matter. Even with the spread growing to 19, Washington State will have no trouble scoring enough points to cover the spread.