This Friday the No. 20 Washington State Cougars (2-0) will travel down south to take on the Houston Cougars (1-1). The game will in Houston, but not at the Cougars home stadium. Instead it will be played at NRG Stadium (just 5 miles from Houston’s campus). Kickoff is set for 9:15 EST and will be televised on ESPN.

Oddsmakers opened up this game with the Cougars as a 6.5-point road favorite. Early money has pushed the line past the key number of 7, as Washington State is currently at -8 or -8.5 depending on where you shop. The total just came out and it’s at 74.5.

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Betting Preview & Vegas Game Odds: Washington State vs Houston

Washington State Cougars

Washington State comes into this one off a 59-17 blowout win at home over FCS foe Northern Colorado, but did fail to cover as a massive 43-point favorite. This comes after the Cougars won and covered as 33.5-point favorites in a 58-7 win over New Mexico State in Week 1.

Any concern of how Mike Leach and his staff would replace the production of quarterback Gardner Minshew have to be put aside for now. Senior Anthony Gordon threw for 464 yards and 4 scores in Week 1 and another 420 yards and 5 scores in Week 2.

No question the 2-0 start has come against weak competition, but there’s definitely a lot to like with the results.

Houston Cougars

Houston comes in off a 37-17 win at home over Prairie View. The first under new head coach Dana Holgorsen. It wasn’t as big a blowout as some were expecting. The Cougars were a massive 36-point favorite.

Big thing to note with that final is Houston was up 34-3 midway thru the 2nd quarter and scored just 3 points the rest of the way. Clearly they could have won by a lot more had they not called off the dogs.

It was a nice bounce back performance for the Cougars, as they were outclassed in their Week 1 showdown with No. 4 Oklahoma.

Free College Football Pick & Predictions: OVER 74.5

My early lean here would be take the OVER 74.5, as I just feel like both teams are built around their offenses. We already saw Houston’s defense get exposed by Oklahoma, as the Sooners had 686 total yards, averaging 13.8 yards per pass and 9.6 yards/run.

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The big thing to note is that Houston’s defense was expected to struggle in 2019. Not only did they have to learn a new system with a coaching change, but they only brought back 4 starters from a unit that allowed 37.2 ppg and 496 ypg.

I’m sure there will be some that aren’t quite buying the hype of Washington State quarterback Gordon. I just think after what we saw last year with Minshew and what he did replacing Luke Faulk, there’s every reason to expect a big year from Gordon. Keep in mind he almost won the job over Minshew last year and beat out highly touted transfer Gage Gubrud.

I think Gordon and that Washington State offense will have no problem racking up yards in the air. I would be shocked if they did put up 40 points in this one.

Houston has the fire-power offensively to go score-for-score with Washington State. They got a pretty special QB of their own in D’Eriq King. Last year King accounted for 50 touchdowns (36 passing, 14 rushing) in his first full season as the starter.

King had a big game on the road against Oklahoma and should play even better on his home field. Last year the Cougars scored at least 41 points in each of their 6 home games. Give me the OVER 74.5!