It’ll be a matchup of top-25 teams when the Stanford Cardinal visit the Washington State Cougars. Kickoff is at 3:30 EST on Saturday, November 4 at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington. The game will be televised nationally on Fox.

Oddsmakers have the Cougars as 2.5-point home favorites. That line has moved down after Washington State opened as 3.5-point favorites. The over/under for the game is 61.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 10 betting odds and links to game previews.

Stanford vs Washington State Game Preview & Betting Odds

On the heels of a five-game winning streak, no. 21 Stanford sits atop the Pac-12 North division. Of course, the Cardinal are yet to play their top two competitors in that division, Washington and Washington State. But for the time being, Stanford controls its own destiny. 

The Cardinal has had a little extra time to prepare for this game after playing last Thursday. However, Stanford was fortunate to escape that game with a win, needing a fortuitous turnover in the 4th quarter to beat a bad Oregon State team 15-14. To be fair, they played that game without Heisman contender Bryce Love, but the Cardinal still need to play much better than that during the final month of the season.

No. 25 Washington State hasn’t been much better lately. After winning their first six games, the Cougars looked like the team to beat in the Pac-12 North. But they have stumbled recently, getting blown out by Cal and losing to Arizona 58-37 last week. 

After getting benched during the loss to Arizona, senior quarterback Luke Falk will get the start against Stanford. Falk and the Washington State offense looked unstoppable early in the year. But Falk’s confidence may have been hurt after throwing five interceptions during the loss to Cal.

College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: Stanford +2.5

This is a risky pick because Love is technically a game-time decision. However, it seems like he’ll be able to play, which is huge for Stanford. I can give the Cardinal a pass against Oregon State because they’ve played well every other game this season. Stanford also has the better defense in this game, so I’ll lean toward the Cardinals and the points on the road.

To be fair, this game will be completely different if Love doesn’t play. Backup running back Cameron Scarlett has just 58 carries this season, and 17 of them came in Love’s absence last week against Oregon State. Quarterback Keller Chryst also struggled in that game and hasn’t played all that well for most of the season. If Love can’t play, the Cardinal will be in serious trouble offensively.

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

Of course, I’m not sure what to expect from Falk and the Washington State at this point either. Falk was pulled against Arizona after going 13 for 23 for less than 100 yards. Backup Tyler Hillinski put up big numbers and also threw four interceptions. The Cougars couldn’t run the ball either, so there’s no guarantee that the high-scoring, air raid offense will be clicking on Saturday.

The Cougars are still the top passing team in the country, but they’ve also turned the ball over 15 times in their last four games since they upset USC. The Stanford defense is also one of the best in the Pac-12. The Cardinal have forced 14 turnovers during their five-game winning streak. They have the ability to both slow down Washington State’s offense and create takeaways.

I can’t stress enough that Love needs to play in this game or else this matchup looks completely different. As long as he plays, Stanford has the running game to control the clock against Washington State and the defense to slow down their turnover-prone offense. Those two factors should be enough for the Cardinal to take down a Cougars team that appears to be scuffling.