Jennifer Buchanon-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jake Browning
Washington 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +1450
- To make Playoff: +220
- To make NY6 Bowl: -170
- To win the Pac-12: +103
- To win the Pac-12 North: -158
- Win Total: 10 (over -130, under +100)
Always shop for the best line.
Washington 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 10.1
Bet To Watch
Washington to win the Pac 12 (+103)
The Pac-12’s hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff all reside on the Washington Huskies. Their opening game against Auburn may extinguish any hopes the conference has of competing for the national title — not that there is any internal pressure on coach Chris Petersen on Sept. 1.
Even with the loss of defensive lineman Vita Vea, the Huskies rank in the top 25 in returning production. Quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin lead the offensive charge behind the Pac-12’s largest offensive line. This team should be a force in the Pac-12 regardless of the Auburn result.
The loss of Vea should not have that big of an impact, considering the talent that returns to the Huskies’ defense. The secondary powered the Huskies to the playoff in 2016, and that may be the case again in 2018. Leading tackler Tevis Bartlett is also returning at linebacker, so there isn’t really much of a weakness on this defense.
If there is a knock on Petersen, it’s that Washington hasn’t been able to beat a truly great team. It’s been 11 years since he called that Statue of Liberty play for Boise State against Oklahoma.
In the past two years, the Huskies have been handled by Penn State and Alabama in the postseason, suggesting they are not getting the competition from their conference foes that they need to compete for a national championship.
While odds have moved from 40-1 to 15-1 on the Huskies for the championship, the real value is in the Huskies to win the Pac-12 at around even money. They have a much easier schedule to navigate compared to Oregon and Stanford, although a road trip to Utah could cash Washington to not make the Playoff (-350).
What else you need to know about Washington
Looking to lay money on the opener against Auburn in Atlanta? Washington is 2-11 straight-up since 2014 as an underdog, thus fueling chatter about Petersen’s inability to win big games. While the game is properly lined at Washington +3, I will be looking for ways to back Auburn.
The Tigers field NFL talent on the defensive line, and the blitz will be called frequently. That is something Washington and Browning have struggled with in the past, specifically against Alabama in 2016 in Atlanta.