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Washington State vs. Oregon State Odds & Pick: Bet On Beavers To Nip Cougars on Saturday Night

Washington State vs. Oregon State Odds & Pick: Bet On Beavers To Nip Cougars on Saturday Night article feature image

Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: Washington State running back Max Borghi.

  • The Washington State Cougars take on the Oregon State Beavers in the return of PAC-12 football.
  • The Beavers are currently two-point favorites, with the total sitting at 65 points.
  • Mike Bainbridge delivers his insights and tells us why he likes Oregon State to earn the win.

Washington State vs. Oregon State Odds

Washington State Odds +3.5 [BET NOW]
Oregon State Odds -3.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +120 / -148 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 63.5 [BET NOW]
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds updated late Saturday evening and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

Is there anything more this country needs right now than Pac-12 “After Dark” back in our lives?

Well, we get just that this weekend, with Saturday’s potentially high-scoring tilt between Washington State and Oregon State in their season openers.

The Cougars have won the last six meetings, scoring 50-plus points in four of those games. However, this will be the first game in the rivalry for new Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich.

This game will also be the second time in as many years Rolovich takes on this Oregon State team, as his Hawaii team pulled off a 31-28 upset victory in 2019.

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Washington State Cougars

The folks up in Pullman sure have a “type” with offensive-minded head coaches who have big personalities. The “Pirate” Mike Leach departed, and in came Rolovich, who is fresh of winning Mountain West Coach of the Year honors after leading Hawaii to a 10-5 record last season.

Reinstalling the run-and-shoot offense in the islands turned out to be one of the best coaching moves of Rolovich’s career to date, with the Rainbow Warriors averaging north of 30 points per game in each of the last two years. Hawaii also finished 13th in the country in yards per game (471.0) last season.

For reference, in the first game Rolovich installed this offensive system back in 2018, Hawaii put up more than 600 yards of total offense against Colorado State, so there wasn’t much of a transition period.

Washington State will be starting a true freshman quarterback in Jayden de Laura, who first committed to Rolovich back at Hawaii. This decision shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, considering de Laura has extensive experience in this offense — a system he began learning back in grade school and wound up winning two state championships with in his high school career.

We assume de Laura will sling it around — Hawaii averaged 40.6 passing attempts over last two seasons — but Rolovich also didn’t have a running back like Max Borghi during his time on the islands.

Rarely does a running back see 200-plus carries in the run-and-shoot, but with a shortened offseason and inexperienced quarterback, we may see Borghi incorporated on the ground more than he’s been used to under the previous regime. Three starters are back up front for a Wazzu unit with 77 returning starts, along with two potential all-conference tackles.

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Oregon State Beavers

It’s evident third-year head coach Jonathan Smith has the Beaver program headed in the right direction, even after a five-win season in 2019, which was actually its best since 2014. The offense ranked 48th nationally in scoring, averaging more than 31 PPG, which was its highest mark since the 2013 campaign.

Recruiting has also been steadily on the rise each year, ranking ninth in the Pac-12 this past offseason.

Former Nebraska transfer Tristan Gebbia won the starting quarterback job this offseason and has two years of experience already in this system. Similarly to de Laura, expect Gebbia to be thrown into the fire immediately. Oregon State has ranked in the top 40 nationally in passing volume in each of the last two seasons under Smith, averaging around 35 attempts per game.

Gebbia will be joined in the backfield by Jermar Jefferson, who is one of the country’s top running backs coming off a disappointing campaign marred by injury. However, Jefferson did set a school record with 1,380 yards as a freshman two seasons back.

Jefferson will be running behind a line returning just two starters. At receiver, Oregon State loses an NFL talent in Isaiah Hodgins but returns a healthy Trevon Bradford, who posted 56 receptions and 649 yards two years ago.

Defensively in 2019, the Beavers made marginal improvements from the prior year,but still finished in the bottom third of the conference in both total (445.7 YPG) and scoring defense (32.5 PPG).

For better or worse, eight starters are back under third-year coordinator Tim Tibesar on a defense that ranked 102nd in Defensive Success Rate and 88th in defensive Havoc. Linebacker Hamilcar Rashed is one of the best in the nation, picking up 14 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss a year ago.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

We mentioned de Laura knows this offense back from his high school days. Well, his teammates have only had one fall practice under their belts, as new schemes were implemented on both sides of the ball. There is also the question of how the current personnel fits Rolovich’s system with those players having been recruited by Leach.

Meanwhile, Oregon State is now in the third year under this coaching staff, featuring a roster that has 30 scholarship juniors and a quarterback with starting experience in this system.

This line started at Washington State -1 earlier in the week, but it has shifted course since then. I am all for buying stock in the Rolovich/de Laura ticket down the road, but experience wins out here with Oregon State.

Pick: Oregon State -2 (down to -1.5)

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