Washington State vs. Washington Betting Odds, Pick & Predictions: Petersen Has Owned Apple Cup

Washington State vs. Washington Betting Odds, Pick & Predictions: Petersen Has Owned Apple Cup article feature image

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jacob Eason

  • Our Washington vs. Washington State pick centers around Chris Petersen's Apple Cup dominance over Mike Leach since he took over the Huskies program in 2014.
  • The latest odds list Washington as a touchdown favorite over Washington State.

Washington State vs. Washington Odds

  • Odds: Washington -8
  • Total: 63
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV: FOX
  • Location: Seattle, Wash.

There’s not much night football on Friday, so if you want to get into the action in the late afternoon, the Apple Cup might be your best bet.

Scuffling Washington, which is 6-5 but still No. 20 in our power ratings, hosts a Washington State team that its owned in recent years, even when the Cougars were ranked higher.

Can the Huskies finish 2019 on a high note, or will Washington State’s offense be too much to overcome? Let’s dive in.

Apple Cup Line Movement

The majority of bettors are actually taking the points with Washington State (57%), but most of the money has come in on Washington (75%). That’s moved the line from an opener of -6.5 to -8.

The total has also dropped a point since open, from 64 to 63, despite the bets being split.

Time to Buy Low on Washington Offense?

The last month for Washington has been…ugly.

Losses to Utah and Colorado, and a 19-7 win over Oregon State. That’s typically not how you want to finish the season.

On offense, it’s been disastrous. The Huskies have been held under 5.2 yards per play in each of those three games.

Here’s their three-game rolling average for yards per play.

I do think the Washington offense can bounce back against Washington State, which has been dreadful against the run this season and in this rivalry.

This season, the Cougars defensive line ranks 128th of 130 teams in Football Outsiders’ Line Yards, and ranks outside the top 110 in both defensive rushing success rate and rushing explosiveness.

The last two seasons in particular, Washington has gone run heavy in the Apple Cup and dominated.

Petersen vs. Leach

Chris Petersen has owned Mike Leach. It’s quite hard to believe.

Washington is 5-0 straight-up and against the spread against Washington State since Petersen arrived in 2014. The Huskies have won by an average score of 38-14.

Last year, Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake summed it up well by saying:

“They do the same thing year in and year out…so it makes it really easy to game-plan.”

Maybe Wazzu changes it up a little this year, but I’m not counting on it.

Against Washington State’s Air Raid, Washington plays with extra defensive backs, rarely blitzes and trusts its defense to tackle in the open field. And it’s worked.

This is not the Washington defense of the last few seasons that’s put almost its entire secondary in the NFL, but it’s still a top 30 unit that’s allowing just 6.7 yards per pass attempt.

Against pass-heavy teams this season, the Huskies have only had one really rough performance:

  • Hawaii: 20 points, 5.4 yards per attempt
  • BYU: 19 points, 6.6 YPA
  • USC: 14 points, 5.1 YPA
  • Stanford: 23 points, 9.5 YPA
  • Oregon State: 7 points, 3.1 YPA

Petersen’s prowess in stopping the Air Raid, plus Washington’s offensive struggles in November, have me on the under.

The Pick: Under 63 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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