2019 Washington State Cougars College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 11-2
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 8.0
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
Mike Leach is a stone cold weirdo. That is undisputed. But the guy can coach. Leach and the Cougars have gone 37-15 over the last four seasons. And while at first glance that may not be all that impressive, it becomes eye-popping when you consider that in the prior six years the Cougars were just 19-54 and a total nonfactors in the Pac-12.
Washington State has gone 32-20 against the spread over the course of the past four years, further proof that they are one of the most underrated programs on the West Coast. Leach proved himself as one of the best underdog coaches in the country during his time at Texas Tech. And he has guided the Cougars to a 13-4 ATS mark their last 17 games as an underdog and an exceptional 16-5 ATS mark in their last 21 games as a road underdog.
The Cougars were one of the biggest surprises in college football last season, going 11-2 and finishing No. 10 in the country despite toiling with one of the most inexperienced teams in the nation. Quarterback Gardner Minshew flawlessly replaced the school's all-time leading passer, Luke Falk, and 2018-19 marked the first time in 15 years that Wazzou finished the season in the Top 25.
Washington State was outstanding in close games last year, going 4-1 in games decided by six points or less. They beat three ranked opponents by an average of less than a touchdown per game.
Leach and Co. won't sneak up on anyone this year. And they face a more difficult schedule. Last season they played only one road game against a team that made a bowl game. This year they have six road games, and five of them come from 2018 bowl teams.
Once again Leach needs to replace his quarterback. But his Air Raid offense is plug-and-play. And he never seems to have an issue finding a guy to come in and throw for 35 touchdowns.
I feel like expecting the nine wins that it would take to beat this season win total is overly optimistic. Washington State could take five losses on the road this season. And home games against UCLA and Stanford won't be easy wins.
Washington State played over its head last season. I don't see any way that they can be as good this time around. The schedule is much more difficult, and Wazzou will have a target on its back. They will be the hunted rather than Leach's preferred role of the hunter. And it is only a matter of time before the ATS pendulum swings back the other way on this program.
This is one of my favorite plays in the Pac-12. Take the 'under'.
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