The #20 BYU Cougars (3-1) travel to Seattle this weekend to take on the #11 Washington Huskies (3-1) in a matchup between two teams currently ranked inside the Top 25. Kickoff is set for 8:30 PM PM EST at Husky Stadium and the game will be available on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, Washington opened as a 16.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has increased slightly after early betting, as the Huskies are currently listed at -17. The total for the game is sitting at 46 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Washington vs BYU
The Cougars improved to 3-1 on the season after a convincing 30-3 victory over McNeese State in Week 4. QB Tanner Magnum completed 60% of his passes for 118 yards and touchdown through the air. He had a lot of help from the running game against the Cowboys, as freshman RB Lopini Kaota found the end zone twice despite having just 10 carries. The other key piece for the Cougars out of the backfield is Squally Canada, who leads the team in rushing with 322 yards and five touchdowns. As a whole, BYU is currently averaging 25 points per game on offense on just 320.3 total yards per game (117th).
BYU has been dominant defensively, allowing opponents to score an average of just 17.0 points per game (23rd). They have been especially good against the pass, giving up an average of just 185.0 yards per game through the air (42nd). The Cougars defense has also forced 8 turnovers in just four games, which is tied for 21st overall.
Washington won their third consecutive game after a disappointing Week 1 loss to Auburn, beating the Arizona State Sun Devils 27-20. QB Jake Browning was fantastic, passing for 202 yards and three touchdowns while completing 68% of his throws. Browning really spread the ball around in Week 4, completing passes to eight different receivers. Aaron Fuller and Ty Jones seem to be his favorite targets, as the duo has combined for five touchdowns and 569 yards. Washington is currently scoring an average of 27.3 points on 432.5 total yards per game.
The Huskies have one of the best defenses in the entire country, especially against the pass. They limited Arizona State to just 268 yards of total offense last weekend and have yet to allow a team to score more than 21 points in a single game. Washington is allowing just 154.0 yards through the air per game, which is currently 11th overall. However, they have struggled a bit against the run, giving up an average of 148.8 yards per game on the ground (64th).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: BYU +17
While I still think Washington will win this game rather easily – especially since they are playing at home – I’m concerned about how large the spread is. BYU has looked really good defensively this year and is more than capable of keeping within striking distance of the Huskies all game long. It should also help that the Cougars have been exceptional on the ground, while Washington has been below average against the run. BYU will know that the best way to attack the Huskies is by rushing the ball, which should eat up a ton of the clock and keep Browning and Co. from posting a big number on the scoreboard.
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BYU is an impressive 5-0 ATS over their past five road games and 7-1 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. They are also 4-1 ATS over their past five games overall. Washington is just 2-5 ATS over their past seven games against Independent Schools and 1-4 ATS in their past five games overall.
I think the best value in this particular spot is with the Cougars, as they have really been on a roll to start the season and have shown a lot of defensive prowess. Washington will likely still win this game, but the 2+ touchdown spread is a little high for my liking. The Huskies haven’t exactly been blowing teams out either, with the exception of a Week 2 beat down of North Dakota. Against Arizona State, Auburn, and Utah, Washington didn’t score more than 27 points and averaged just 23.0 points per game. BYU has shown they can move the ball on the ground and has a quality defense – there is a reason they are currently ranked #20 overall. The Huskies beat Utah by 14 points and the Sun Devils by just a touchdown, and neither of those teams are currently listed in the AP Top 25. I’ll take my chances with the Cougars in this one, as I expect them to stay within 10-14 points of Washington.