Oregon-Washington State Betting Guide: Will Cougars Keep Dominating This Series?
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Justin Herbert
Oregon-Washington State Betting Odds, Pick
- Odds: Washington State -2.5
- Over/Under: 68
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: FOX
>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets
College GameDay is heading to Pullman for the first time for a battle of two 5-1 teams that could both be 6-0.
This game is pivotal in the Pac-12 North race since Stanford, Washington, Oregon and Wazzu all have one conference loss.
Market Moves for Washington State-Oregon
After opening at -2, Washington State is now listed at -3, but not without some serious line movement the other way. Early betting moved the Cougars all the way to +2, before some sharp action brought them back to a field goal favorite. Wazzou has received 47% of bets and 62% of dollars.
This total features one of the more popular overs on Saturday’s slate, as 86% of bets and 81% of dollars are counting a high-scoring game, moving the over/under from 66 to 68.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
No. 25 Washington State is a 3-point favorite over No. 12 Oregon. Since 2005, when a lower ranked team is favored over a Top 25 conference opponent, the favorite has gone 64-49-5 (57%) ATS.
By Evan Abrams
Washington State is one of three unbeaten ATS teams this season (Utah State and App State are the others). Teams that are 6-0 ATS or better are 39-30-1 ATS in their next game since 2005, and oddly enough, teams going for their seventh consecutive cover to start a season are 21-8-1 ATS since 2005.
Since 2010, Washington State is 8-0 ATS vs. Oregon, covering the spread by 17.4 points per game, and will now be favored against the Ducks in consecutive years (2017-18) for the first time since 2001-02.
Since 2010, Oregon has lost bettors eight units against Washington State. The Ducks have not lost more than two units vs. any other team over that span.
Washington State Totals Flying Over
Washington State’s offense is awesome. It always is, and it’s usually the same — throw efficiently, throw quickly, then throw some more. That’s why the over is 5-1 in Wazzu’s games this season.
But it’s a common misconception that Washington State plays fast just because it throws the ball a lot. The Cougs rank 128th of 130 teams in adjusted pace and in the bottom half of the FBS in plays per minute.
The thing that makes Wazzu games feel so long and go over totals is that Mike Leach’s teams just don’t run the ball. Ever. And running keeps the clock moving. The Cougs throw the ball on 70.81% of their plays to lead the country; the next closest team is at 62%. They run on standard downs 31.4% of the time, the least frequent in FBS.
I don’t have a lean on this game total, but I may be looking to play the second half over, especially if the Cougars trail. The second-half over is 42-33-1 in Wazzu games under Leach, because if his teams need to play catch-up, they will throw it at a faster pace than they normally do.
Injury Report: Oregon Loses Key O-Lineman
Oregon starting LT Penei Sewell is out six weeks with an ankle injury. He’s only a true freshman, but it’s a significant loss for the Ducks. Pro Football Focus graded Sewell as the sixth-best tackle in the nation this season.
There had been almost no drop-off in production at left tackle to start the year with Sewell taking over for Tyrell Crosby, whom the Lions took in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft. That might change this weekend with RT Calvin Throckmorton likely shifting to left tackle and a reserve Brady Aiello filling in at right tackle.
Two players moving to new tackle spots for a huge conference road game against a formidable DL that ranks in the top 20 in Adjusted Sack rate (top 10 on passing downs) is not an ideal situation for Oregon.
Better news for the Ducks: Starting RG Dallas Warmack has been upgraded to probable (stinger).
Do Bye Weeks Hurt Mike Leach’s Offense?
For whatever reason, Leach’s Washington State squads have really struggled after the bye week. During Leach’s tenure in Pullman, the Cougars are 2-6 after a bye with an average scoring margin of -11.25 points. One of those two wins did come at home over Oregon in 2016 in a 51-33 victory. Leach’s Texas Tech teams also had struggles after bye weeks.
The explanation would be his Air Raid offenses rely on rhythm, which gets broken up during extended breaks.
Leach owns a very impressive ATS record since taking over at Wazzu in 2012: 47-35 (57.3%), including the postseason.
However, when Washington State has had an extended break (bye week, season opener, or postseason), Leach is an unimpressive 7-12 ATS, meaning his ATS record on normal weeks is a stellar 40-23 (63.5%). That supports the rhythm hypothesis.
Leach’s ATS record at Washington State…
- After a bye: 4-4
- Season openers: 2-5
- Postseason: 1-3
Bet to Watch
As Evan mentioned above, this series is dominated by Washington State, no matter who is coaching Oregon. The opening point spread certainly caught my attention and I leaned Ducks initially. My power ratings have Oregon as a 3-point favorite, not a 3-point underdog. S&P+ and ESPN FPI both project this game spot on the current number of Washington State -3.
My number favors Oregon, but there will be no play on the side pregame from me for a number of reasons. Trends are not a huge reason why I play a side, but it’s hard to ignore how great Leach has coached in this series. Also, Oregon is coming off an emotional overtime victory against Washington. , Ranking 11th against pass efficiency, seventh against explosiveness in passing downs, and 10th in sack rate on passing downs, the Wazzu defense should give Justin Herbert some issues.
My total is set at 63 for this game, and would favor the current total of 68 to go under. Oregon plays one of the quickest games in the nation, ranking ninth in the country, while Washington State is one of the slowest with an adjusted pace of 128th.
The total result will come down to the team that is more efficient and the one that can control the pace. The Cougars ranking of 11th in passing efficiency should keep Oregon from moving the chains at a pace the Ducks prefer.