Washington State vs Stanford Odds, Picks: Target the Total in This Way

Washington State vs Stanford Odds, Picks: Target the Total in This Way article feature image

Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Stanford receiver Elijah Higgins.

Washington State vs Stanford Odds

Saturday, Nov. 5
3:30 p.m. ET
Pac-12 Network
Washington State Odds
-110o / -110u
Stanford Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Neither one of these teams still has hope to make the Pac-12 Championship, but there are still meaningful games to be played as a win this week could go a long way towards determining if either one of these teams can sneak into a bowl game.

Washington State started the year hot, winning its first three games, including an upset over Wisconsin.

The Cougars then almost upset Oregon before beating Cal to get back on track at 4-1. The rest of the month of October was not kind to the Cougars as they have dropped their last three games to USC, Oregon State and Utah

In order for the Cougars to make a bowl game, they will need to win two of their last four games. This is within the realm of possibility, but they will need their offense to start showing up as the defense has been holding up its end of the bargain.

Stanford has had quite the roller coaster of a season. After handily defeating an FCS opponent to start the year, the Cardinal then dropped four games in a row, continuing their futility from 2021.

Things started to then look up as they came out victorious in two close games against Notre Dame and Arizona State. Last week they came back to Earth, falling to UCLA by 25 points.

So what is this Stanford Cardinal team? It’s hard to tell, but it seems like they succeed best in low-scoring games where they control the other offense and win close. There is reason to believe that this weekend’s game will look relatively similar to the two wins Stanford has had this month.

After winning eight matchups in a row against Washington State between 2008 and 2015, the Cardinal have now lost the last five games they have played against the Cougars.

Will Wazzu continue its recent dominance over Stanford, or will the Cardinal end this streak?

Washington State Cougars

Cougars Offense

As has been tradition in Pullman, Wazzu is heavily reliant on the passing game. The Washington State Cougars pass at the second-highest rate in the country, throwing on 68% of their plays.

The downside this season is that they haven’t been overly effective at this. Washington State ranks 70th in Passing Success Rate, 100th in Passing PPA and 98th in Passing Explosiveness. 

Despite only running the ball 31% of the time, the rushing attack has been more effective for the Cougars. They rank 49th in Success Rate on the ground, 55th in PPA, and seventh in Explosiveness.

Against a run defense like Stanford’s, Washington State may want to consider leaning into the run game more this weekend.

Cougars Defense

Without a doubt, this is going to be the best unit on the field this weekend. After years of not having any semblance of a defense at Washington State, this unit is now ranked as the 23rd-best defense in the country by SP+.

While fairly well-rounded, Wazzu has been best at defending the pass, where they rank 38th in Success Rate compared to 67th against the run. While their overall success numbers against the run haven’t been ideal, they do excel at preventing big plays in the run game, ranking 32nd in PPA and 20th in Explosiveness.

The pass defense has been the antithesis of this. The Washington State defense has been successful against the pass overall but has allowed some big plays as they are 98th in Explosiveness. This may concern me more against an offense that is able to generate explosive plays, but this will likely not come into play against Stanford’s offense.

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Stanford Cardinal

Cardinal Offense

The Stanford Cardinal offense can be described as average at best. They pass at a high rate as they are typically playing from behind and are down their top two running backs for the rest of the season, but they aren’t good in any one particular category.

The Cardinal offense ranks 71st in SP+ and 81st in Offensive Success Rate. They have been relatively similar both passing and rushing, ranking 82nd and 75th in Success Rate in those two categories respectively. 

Against a defense as strong as Washington State’s, I wouldn’t expect Stanford to do too much offensively.

Cardinal Defense

Stanford’s defense has been fairly mediocre this season. They are ranked 84th by SP+ and 96th in Success Rate. On the surface this is pretty bad, but when you dig into the numbers more, there is some hope for them this weekend.

The main issue with this Stanford defense has been its complete ineptitude in the run game. The Cardinal rank 122nd in Success Rate against the run and 129th in PPA. 

However, Stanford has actually been strong at defending the pass. The Cardinal rank 46th in Passing Success Rate Against and 56th in PPA. With the volume of the Washington State passing attack, it’s likely that we will see this version of the Stanford defense show up more often on Saturday. 

Washington State vs Stanford Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Washington State and Stanford match up statistically:

Washington State Offense vs. Stanford Defense
Rush Success49122
Line Yards51129
Pass Success7046
Pass Blocking**8774
Finishing Drives5781
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Stanford Offense vs. Washington State Defense
Rush Success7567
Line Yards11457
Pass Success8238
Pass Blocking**10894
Finishing Drives5818
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling1485
PFF Coverage37100
SP+ Special Teams388
Seconds per Play25.1 (37)25.8 (53)
Rush Rate38.5% (128)48.2% (99)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Washington State vs Stanford Betting Pick

The Cougars have a strong defense and a struggling offense, which has led to them having a lot of low-scoring games this season. Cougars games have gone 7-1 to the under this year, including the last four games in a row. Stanford’s last three contests have also gone under the point total.

Part of the reason for this is Washington State’s ability to keep opponents from Finishing Drives as the Cougars rank 18th in points per opportunity on defense. 

I think that Stanford’s offense will have a tough day against this Washington State defense. The Cougars may be okay if they get in a positive game script and run on this Cardinal defense, but if they rely on their passing game too much, then they may also struggle, leading to this game hitting the under.

Pick: Under 50.5 ⋅ Play to 49.5

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