Washington State vs. Washington Odds & Picks: How to Bet Battle for the Apple Cup (November 26)

Washington State vs. Washington Odds & Picks: How to Bet Battle for the Apple Cup (November 26) article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: The Washington Huskies football team.

  • Updated odds have Washington State as -1 favorites over Washington in Friday's game for the Apple Cup.
  • The Huskies have struggled compared to expectations this season, and Roberto Arguello doesn't expect things to get easier here.
  • Read on for Arguello's best bet for Friday's Pac-12 rivalry game.

Washington State vs. Washington Odds

Friday, Nov. 26
8 p.m. ET
Washington State Odds
-110o / -110u
Washington Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Washington State Cougars (6-5, 5-3 Pac-12) travel to Seattle to face the rival Washington Huskies (4-7, 3-5) on Friday in the 113th edition of the Apple Cup.

These teams meet in a rare rivalry game with two interim coaches leading them after both head coaches were fired within the last month. Oddly, neither Washington’s Jimmy Lake nor Washington State’s Nick Rolovich coached in an Apple Cup because the Huskies had a COVID-19 outbreak last year and the game was canceled.

Since firing Rolovich, the Cougars are undefeated against the spread in four games, and they still have a chance to reach the Pac-12 title game. If the Cougars win the Apple Cup and Oregon State beats Oregon in the Civil War, then the Cougars, Beavers, and Ducks would be in a three-way tie in the Pac-12 North with Washington State advancing to the conference championship.

The Huskies have long been eliminated from conference championship contention and had their bowl hopes go up in smoke after last week’s 20-17 loss at Colorado. They outgained the Buffs, 426-183, in total yards, but four turnovers cost them the game and guaranteed their first losing season since 2009.

Washington should still be motivated in their rivalry game this week as they look to tie an Apple Cup record with an eighth consecutive win over Washington State on Friday.

Washington State Cougars

When the Cougars Have the Ball

Washington State will need quarterback Jayden de Laura to take care of the football if it's going to win.

On the ground, the Huskies defense ranks 114th in Rush Success Rate allowed and 115th in Line Yards, while the Cougars offense ranks 71st in Rush Success Rate and 76th in Line Yards.

The Cougars need to find success on the ground because the Washington defense remains elite at defending the pass. The Huskies rank fifth in Pass Success Rate Allowed, third in PFF coverage grade, and 13th in preventing bigpPlays.

The forecast predicts a 50% chance of rain with a high of 52 degrees, so passing could be an even bigger challenge in the rain.

The Cougars offense, which ranks 23rd in Passing Down EPA per play and 29th in Passing Down Success Rate, will have a strength-on-strength matchup against the Huskies’ pass defense.

I expect the Huskies to have the upper hand, but if the Cougars can break a few big plays (they rank 14th in big plays created), the Huskies might not have the juice offensively to keep up.

It will be imperative that the Cougars limit turnovers and don’t give the sputtering Huskies offense short fields to work with.

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Washington Huskies

When the Huskies Have the Ball

If Washington holds on to the Apple Cup, it will be because of its running game. The Washington State defense has been horrible against the run, as it sits 124th in Rushing Play Success Rate Allowed and 114th in Line Yards.

The Huskies are just below average in just about every offensive advanced metric (except pass blocking, where they rank eighth), so attacking the Cougars’ biggest weakness in defending the ground game is their only path to victory.

The Huskies will need to sustain long drives with their running game as they rank outside the top 115 nationally in standard down explosiveness, passing play explosiveness, and eushing play explosiveness.

While quarterback Dylan Morris is coming off of a career-high 387 passing yards, the Washington offense still put up only 17 points, as turnovers killed it in Boulder.

Morris has struggled this season overall, and this was just his second game with more than 220 passing yards in Pac-12 play this season. Morris also snapped a streak of three straight games with a below-average QBR last week.

Washington State vs. Washington Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Washington State and Washington match up statistically:

Washington State Offense vs. Washington Defense
Rush Success71114
Line Yards76115
Pass Success625
Pass Blocking**3856
Big Play1413
Finishing Drives4055
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Washington Offense vs. Washington State Defense
Rush Success88124
Line Yards72114
Pass Success8482
Pass Blocking**8107
Big Play9880
Finishing Drives8179
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling9764
Middle 86655
SP+ Special Teams4765
Plays per Minute9673
Rush Rate47.1% (116)48.5% (106)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Washington State vs. Washington Betting Pick

Every now and then, a worm turns.

The Huskies have dominated their in-state little brothers in this matchup over the last decade, but the Cougars are road favorites in Seattle this week — something no one would have predicted coming into the season when the Huskies were ranked 20th.

Last week, the Pac-12 saw several “little brothers” of the last decade, like UCLA and Cal, demolish their rivals USC and Stanford. While I don’t expect this game to be a blowout, I think Wazzu finally stops its Apple Cup skid.

The Huskies and their consistently elite pass defense were a matchup nightmare for the Washington State Air Raid attack, but this is the first matchup between these teams with the Cougars using the Run ‘n Shoot offense.

The Huskies need to run the ball to have success this week, but I just don’t trust their offense to put up points, especially after they rushed for just 1.4 yards per carry last week. The Cougars should stack the box and take their chances with the Huskies creating explosive plays through the air.

Expect de Laura, Max Borghi, and Deon McIntosh to have more success on the ground than their Washington counterparts, as they make enough plays to beat the Huskies on a rainy night in Seattle.

Bet the Cougars at -1 for half-unit with value down to -2.

Pick: Washington State -1 (Play to -2)

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