Washington Huskies at Stanford Cardinal Expert Picks with Odds and Predictions
Washington Huskies at Stanford Cardinal, Friday Nov. 10, 10:30 p.m. ET
The stakes for this conference - and division - showdown are just plain huge. Washington currently sits at 5-1 in the conference, with Stanford tied with Washington State at 5-2. If Washington wins then they would just be one Apple Cup win away from heading to the Pac-12 Championship Game. They would totally control their own destiny. If Stanford wins, though, then things really get crazy. There would be three two-loss teams, and everything would be chaos. Washington State beat Stanford, and plays Washington, so things wouldn't be decided until the end. So, if you are a person who likes calm then cheer for the Huskies. I think chaos is the best part of college football, though, so the messier the better - especially when I have no personal ties to either team.
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Washington fans would also suggest that they have playoff aspirations on the line here. They sit ninth right now, so if they win out and get some help they could return to the postseason. It feels like a bit of an uphill battle from where I am sitting right now, though - the Pac-12 just isn't doing enough to lift their champion right now.
Washington at Stanford Betting Storylines
The Pac-12 and defense are not typically two things that we think about at the same time. But Washington is playing really excellent defense. They are tops in the country in yards allowed and top six against the pass and the run. This sets up the most interesting and important matchup of this game. The Washington front seven is huge and mean, and last year they dominated the Stanford running game, allowing just 29 net yards in 30 attempts - and that was with Christian McCaffrey playing. Bryce Love is continuing the tradition of truly outstanding Stanford running backs, and Stanford's passing game is so lame - they can't find a sound, reliable starting QB no matter what they try - that they will absolutely have to establish their running game early to have a chance here. Stanford averages 220 yards per game on the ground, with much coming from Love. Washington gives up just 92.3 yards per game. One of those things is going to have to give, and that will determine the winner. When Stanford couldn't run last year they just embarrassed themselves, losing 44-6 as just a 3.5-point underdog. Washington's defense is solidly better this year than it was last year. That could be a serious issue for the Cardinal.
Another interesting and defining showdown comes on special teams. Stanford covers punts very well, not having given up a return of even 20 yards yet this season. Washington's Dante Pettis has set the NCAA record for the most career punt returns for touchdowns, and he has added four to his total this year. Stanford can't afford to get into a shootout against the Huskies, which means that they can't be giving up prime field position. Other teams have struggled to shut down Pettis, but Stanford could be better positioned than most to do so.
Washington at Stanford Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Washington favored by the key number of seven. That has since fallen widely to six. More than 70 percent of bets have come in on Washington, so the movement suggests that sharp money has been drawn to the home underdog in this one. The total opened at 51 and has fallen sharply to 44.5 in most spots. A fall of nearly a touchdown isn't something you see too often.
The Huskies are 7-1 ATS in their last eight conference games, and they have covered their last five games against teams with winning records. They are 5-1 ATS in their last six Friday games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven in November. Stanford is 5-2 ATS in their last seven on Friday but just 2-5 ATS in their last seven at home and 1-3-1 ATS in their last five conference games. They are 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine against teams with winning records.
Washington at Stanford Predictions and Picks
I just don't see how this one is very close. Stanford feels like they just aren't that good. They have lost to the three best teams they have played - unless you like UCLA more than I do, and are coming off a loss to a Washington State game that can't figure out what they are doing right now. Washington is playing well, their defense is legit, and despite a strong secondary I just don't think that the Cardinal can cause the same issues that Arizona State did in Washington's lone loss. I think Stanford will just be overwhelmed, and Washington wins fairly handily. The Huskies are the pick.
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