The Washington Huskies start their season on the road as they face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Week 1 action on Friday, Sept. 1st. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at High Point Solutions Stadium. Those wanting to catch the action can watch the game on Fox Sports 1.
Taking a look at the opening week odds, the books currently have Washington listed as a massive 30.5 point favorite. Rutgers opened at +31.5 earlier in the week, so it appears there were enough early bettors taking the Scarlet Knights and the points to slightly move the line. The total for the contest is current at 52 points.
Washington vs Rutgers Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds
The Huskies are coming off a fantastic season that included winning the Pac-12 championship and an appearance in the College Football Playoff. They went 7-7 ATS last season, so it will be interesting to see how they perform against early season lines that factor in lofty 2017 expectations.
Quarterback Jake Browning returns to lead this explosive offensive and looks to improve on his Pac-12 record tying 2016 season where he threw 43 touchdown passes. However, reports indicate that he underwent off-season shoulder surgery, so there may be some signs of rust early on. Even if that does happen, Myles Gaskin should still dominate on the ground and easily put up big numbers against the Scarlet Knight’s 126th ranked run defense.
Rutgers went an extremely underwhelming 2-10 last year, and clearly hope to stay competitive in this game at home to open their season. These two teams met in Week 1 one last year, with Washington winning handily 48-13. Their No. 127 ranked offensive will be in tough, as they head into this match-up against the 8th ranked defence in the nation that only allowed 17.71 PPG in 2016.
One small sign of hope for the White Knight’s was their slightly improved play at home – both Rutgers victories last season happened at High Point Solutions Stadium, where they also performed decently ATS (3-4).
Free College Football Betting Selection: Washington -30.5
This doesn’t figure to be a game that draws a lot of interest from the public, especially when taking the huge blowout factor into account. However, I think that laying the points and taking the Huskies is still a decent value play. Despite losing home field advantage in this years match-up, last years meeting between these two teams wasn’t even close. If Washington hadn’t put in the third defensive unit to run out the clock, it may have been an even more lopsided victory.
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I do think the Scarlet Knights will show up for this game in the first quarter, but it will be almost impossible for them to stick close to the powerhouse Huskies for long. Browning is too good of a quarterback to be bottled up for an extended period of time, even with the recent shoulder surgery.
I also don’t have any real faith in Rutger’s offense, mainly for two reasons : first, the unit simply isn’t that skilled and put up less than 19 PPG last season. Secondly, the Huskies defence is absurdly talented and easily ranks as one of the Top 10 units in the entire nation.
Even though Washington had a lacklustre record ATS last season, I really like them to open the 2017 season with a convincing win on the road. They will want to prove that they are once again the powerhouse of the PAC-12 and simply can’t afford to take this game for granted. They will show up motivated and ready to dominate. Coach Petersen knows that a prime time, nationally televised game (on opening weekend) is a perfect time for his team to make a bold statement – and I think they will.