Washington State vs Arizona Odds & Picks: Value on Visitor?
Via John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Nakia Watson #25 of the Washington State Cougars rushes the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin.
- The Washington State Cougars head to Tucson to face the Arizona Wildcats in Saturday afternoon Pac-12 action.
- Odds have been on the move for this game, as Washington now sits at -3.5 with an over/under of 62.5.
- Check out Roberto Arguello's full betting preview for Washington State vs Arizona below.
Washington State vs Arizona Odds
|Washington State Odds|
-114o / -106u
-114o / -106u
The Cougars managed to cover last week as 9.5-point home favorites in their 28-18 win over Arizona State after leading 28-0 at halftime. This was their second consecutive win after dominating Stanford on The Farm two weeks ago, and they are now bowl eligible at 6-4 on the season.
The Wildcats kept their bowl hopes alive at the Rose Bowl last week with a 34-28 win over UCLA after entering as 20-point underdogs. Arizona now sits at 4-6 on the season and needs consecutive home wins against Wazzu and rival Arizona State to reach bowl eligibility.
After pulling one of the biggest upsets of the college football season, will Arizona avoid a letdown spot against Washington State as a four-point home underdog, or will they get their second straight upset win?
If the Cougars win and cover, it will be because their defense continues to rise to the occasion and holds the Wildcats offense in check.
The Cougars defense is rated 13th by SP+, as it has allowed more than 25 points just twice this season (against Oregon and USC), while the offense is rated 87th.
Brennan Jackson leads the unit with 28 total pressures and six sacks on the season. The Cougars have been successful against opponents on early downs, as they rank 24th in Standard Down EPA/Play Allowed and 26th in Standard Down Explosiveness Allowed.
They have also gotten off the field consistently when forcing long third downs, as they are 24th in Pass Down Success Rate Allowed.
The unit is 14th in Rush Play Explosiveness Allowed and 23rd in Rush Play EPA/Play Allowed. However, they have allowed teams to gain consistent yardage even if opponents aren't getting chunk yardage as the Cougars rank 90th in Rush Play Success Rate Allowed.
It will be important for the Cougars to step up against the Wildcats here, as Arizona is seventh nationally in Rush Play Success Rate.
The Cougars are 32nd in Pass Success Rate Allowed, as they are 24th in PFF Coverage Grade and eighth in PFF Tackling. The Pass Rush is poor at 95th in PFF Grade, but Wazzu gets a favorable matchup against an Arizona offensive line that ranks 82nd in PFF Pass Blocking Grade.
Even if the Cougars don't get home to Jayden de Laura often, it will be key to keep him from extending plays with his legs and making improvised explosive plays.
The Cougars offense thrives with Nakia Watson on the ground, although they don't rush the ball as often as many would like them to (127th nationally with a 41.2% Rush Rate). The Cougars are 42nd in Rush Success Rate and second in Rush Play Explosiveness.
Incarnate Word transfer quarterback Cameron Ward leads the passing game, along with receiver Renard Bell. Bell missed the last four games with an injury but will return this week in "a little bit lesser role," per head coach Jake Dickert.
His addition adds explosiveness to the offense, and the Cougars should consistently move the ball against a Wildcats defense that ranks well below average in just about every statistic.
If the Wildcats pull the upset, it will be because de Laura and star receiver Jacob Cowing combine for another huge performance.Cowing, a UTEP transfer, had nine huge receptions for 118 yards in Arizona's upset after dark at the Rose Bowl and continues to be nearly uncoverable.
Other Arizona receivers might struggle to get separation against the strong Washington State secondary, so Cowing will need to have another big night.
The Arizona offense has been consistent (17th in Pass Success Rate), efficient (19th in Passing Down EPA/Play) and explosive (26th in Pass Explosiveness) through the air.
On the ground, the Wildcats have been consistent (seventh in Rush Succes Rate), but they lack explosiveness (114th in Rush Play Explosiveness).
When the offensive line isn't getting pushed around, the Arizona offense has been electric, but the big boys will need to perform in this matchup against a quick Wazzu defense, as the Arizona defense won't get many stops, being poor against the rush and pass.
The Wildcats offense is rated 27th by SP+ while the defense is rated 123rd.
They rank 102nd in PFF Tackling and 97th in PFF Coverage Grade as they have struggled throughout the season. They also rank 129th in both Finishing Drives and Havoc Created.
Washington State vs Arizona Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Washington State and Arizona match up statistically:
Washington State Offense vs. Arizona Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Arizona Offense vs. Washington State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||46||69|
|Seconds per Play||24.8 (34)||24.9 (36)|
|Rush Rate||41.2% (127)||43.6% (117)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Washington State vs Arizona Betting Pick
The Wildcats picked up a huge win against the Bruins last week, but this is a tough spot for them after the big win last week and a rivalry matchup looming next week with Sparky and the Sun Devils.
The Arizona offense has looked impressive for most of the season, but the unit has only played two defenses that rank among SP+'s top 45 defenses: Utah (25th) and Mississippi State (41st). In those two games, the Wildcats offense struggled mightily as they scored just 20 and 17 points.
This Washington State defense (13th) ranks even better, and the Cougars should get enough stops to cover the four points as their Air Raid offense should slice through the Wildcats defense that can't stop a nosebleed.
If you want to get aggressive and parlay the Cougars at -4 along with a correlated under play at the key number of 63.5 at BetMGM, I think it's worth a sprinkle as well.