Washington-Washington State Betting Guide: Huskies Still Have Advantages in Apple Cup

Washington-Washington State Betting Guide: Huskies Still Have Advantages in Apple Cup article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Gardner Minshew and Jake Browning

Washington at Washington State Betting Odds, Pick

  • Odds: Washington State -2.5
  • Over/Under: 49.5
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: FOX

>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets

Washington has absolutely dominated the Apple Cup (which date backs to 1900) in recent years.

You actually have to go all the way back to 1994 fo the last time Washington State won by more than one possession. Washington has won five straight, all by double digits, and eight of the last 10 in this rivalry. The two Washington State wins over that period both came by three points in overtime.

But will this year be different? Can Washington State keep its slim College Football Playoff hopes alive against its bitter rival? The winner advances to the Pac-12 Championship Game against Utah.

Odds Moves for Washington State-Washington

By Danny Donahue

At the start of the year, no one would’ve predicted that Washington State would be getting more than 70% of bets in this game, but the one-loss Cougars have won over the public. The Cougs’ 71% of bets, though, have accounted for only 52% of actual dollars wagered, and as a result are down to -2.5 after opening at -3. Check out live odds page for updates.

As for the total, sharps and public bettors look to be in disagreement, as the over has drawn 61% of bets, but the under has drawn 70% of dollars. That backing has brought this number down from 52.5 to 49.5.

Does Washington Hold Keys to Stop Wazzu?

By Collin Wilson

There’s not a lot to dislike about Washington State’s offense, which is ranked 14th in S&P+ offensively, but Washington may hold the keys to stop quarterback Gardner Minshew.

The Huskies have the ninth-ranked S&P+ defense, but more importantly carry the 29th ranked havoc unit in the secondary. They give up just 5.9 yards per attempt, 12th best in the country. There is also a large discrepancy in red zone defense, with Washington ranking 12th in finishing drives and Washington State ranking 117th in red zone defense.

While this is the best pass defense Washington State has faced, all but two of their opponents have ranked top 70 in yards per pass attempt allowed. It’s not the first time the Cougars will be tested, but it will be the most difficult.

Washington Still Has Advantages Despite Disappointing Season

By Ken Barkley

The ATS histories of these teams this season is one of the more compelling contrasts you will see among any two programs. Washington had all the expectations in the world, but despite frequently struggling, it continued to be favored by large margins in almost every spot. The Huskies are 2-9 ATS against the closing Pinnacle number this season, and have been favored by 14-plus six different times (and are 1-5 ATS in those games).

By contrast, Washington State is living a charmed life — after a tragic offseason and extremely low expectations, they are a perfect 11-0 ATS against the Pinnacle close. The Cougars perfect season (for bettors) is on the line, and for maybe the first time all year, I’d argue they are actually getting a good amount of respect.

As much as the magic of the Cougars season, and Gardner Minshew’s moustache, and Mike Leach’s crazy theories about … well, everything, make Washington State so appealing, it’s the Huskies who actually have all the advantages here.

The Huskies have better coaching. The Huskies have higher ranked offensive and defensive units, according to S&P+, than their opposing counter-unit. The Huskies have more overall talent.

And obviously, the Huskies have the advantage of having their lowest opinion in the market possible, since they basically have failed to cover every single week, to the point they are finally an underdog again for the first time since the Auburn game. Washington State has become the miraculous underdog in the nation that everyone’s rooting for.

All of those ingredients seem to be creating an opportunity to take Washington at a full three points when the number should really be closer to a pick-em in my opinion.

Barkley’s Pick: Washington State

Is Washington Offense Any Better?

By Steve Petrella

A lot of people have doubts that Washington’s offense can do much in this game against a Cougars defense that ranks 43rd in S&P+ on defense. And that’s fair, but Huskies quarterback Jake Browning has been a little better than he gets credit for.

Browning has topped 200 yards once in the last three games, but he hasn’t been asked to do much since the Huskies can run the ball. He’s efficient, ranking top 30 nationally in both completion percentage and yards per attempt.

In the last four games, though, Washington has only averaged more than 5.4 yards per play once — last week against Oregon State. For context, LSU averages 5.4 yards per play on the season.

Weather, Matchups a Factor

By Stuckey

Washington State throws the ball as much as any team in the country, as you’d expect in a Mike Leach Air Raid offense, ranking 130th in Run Rate on Standard Downs and 129th on Passing Downs. Well, Washington has one of the best secondaries in the nation, which is fully capable of containing Wazzu’s aerial attack.

Throw in some bad weather — temperatures will be near freezing and rain is expected throughout the game — and the fact that Washington State has also been excellent defending the pass and this should be lower scoring than most think. I think we see plenty of punts on Saturday night in Pullman.

Stuckey’s Pick: I’m personally rolling with the dog and under here.

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

Washington State is favored in the Apple Cup for the first time since 2006. In Top 25 matchups in the Pac-12, the favorite has gone 53-34-1 (61%) ATS since 2005.

By Evan Abrams

In a battle of offense vs. defense this late into the season, offense has come out on top.

When two teams, both over .500, meet in November or later, one averaging at least 40 PPG (Washington State) and their opponent allowing less than 17 PPG (Washington), the offensive team is 44-34-1 ATS (56.4%) since 2005. And since 2014, the offensive team is 23-9 ATS (71.9%), covering the spread by 6.9 PPG.

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