Washington State Becoming Heavier Underdogs vs. BYU After Nearly Half of Staff is Fired
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Borghi
In the last two weeks, bettors have been confronted with two not-so-common occurrences.
Early in the season, they saw a head coach of an above-.500 NFL team get dismissed and the head coach and four assistants of an above-.500 college football team get dismissed.
Jon Gruden, stepped down as Las Vegas Raiders head coach before last Sunday’s game against the Broncos after 10-year-old misogynistic and homophobic emails were published. However, the Raiders are a professional team and have a coaching staff that, besides Gruden, remained intact.
Nick Rolovich was fired this week from Washington State, along with four assistants, after refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccine. However, Washington State is a college team with a coaching staff that has to replace a head coach, an assistant head coach, a co-offensive coordinator and a defensive line coach.
Even with just Gruden departing, bettors bet against the Raiders. At PointsBet, only 41 percent of the money was on the Raiders +5. The team beat the Broncos by 10, 34-24, dismissing the narrative that Gruden being gone would create a distraction.
Now, it’s up for bettors to decide how far the Cougars should slide against the Cougars of BYU this week.
BYU opened up as 1.5-point favorites and are now up to as high as 4.5-point favorites.
“Gruden left everyone in place, and they know the gameplan,” said DraftKings head of sportsbook Johnny Avello. “It’s different at Washington State, where the kids don’t have much leadership at this point.”
Avello said he could see the line rising further in BYU’s favor as it gets closer to game time.
“Losing a coach clearly means more in college with a group of impressionable students than it would in the pros with a more mature, less emotional bunch as we saw with Raiders last weekend,” said Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM.
“Given it has happened early in the week, I can’t see how it isn’t terminal for Washington State this week. The public will land on BYU and, by game day, I suspect line will have moved by close to a touchdown.”