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Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington Huskies†Odds - Prediction

Stanford Cardinal (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) vs. Washington Huskies (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Friday, September 30, 2016 at 9PM EST
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington
TV: ESPN
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: STAN +3/WASH -3
Over/Under Total: 44

In big-time Pac-12 action, the Stanford Cardinal come to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies on Friday. These teams are both ranked in the top ten and are unbeaten, making this a game that not only has massive conference implications, but perhaps on a national scale, as well. Each team prevailed on the road this past week in tough games. Washington went to 4-0 with an overtime win over the Arizona Wildcats in their conference opener. The Cardinal beat UCLA to complete the LA sweep, with a 22-13 win over the Bruins at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

The Cardinal had it tough on Saturday, as was expected at an electric Rose Bowl environment. Offensively, they labored considerably with only three field goals until very late in the 4th quarter. QB Ryan Burns, while not prolific or even particularly effective for much of the game, was able to captain a late game-winning drive to take the lead late, with a fumble recovery late and a score making it look more lopsided than what it was. With Burns and this whole offense, winning a grinding-type come-from-behind game will probably serve them better as they head into Husky Stadium for what should be a pretty difficult road spot for the defending Pac-12 champions.

Against UCLA, the Cardinal got a good performance from Christian McCaffrey, but he didnít have his normal impactful game. At the same time, he will be the most-compelling player on the field in this game and he wonít stay quiet for long. In fact, heís due to explode with some big plays on offense and special teams. Again, senior Ryan Burns hasnít been very electric, having not surpassed 156 yards in three games, but that last drive on Saturday when he completed a go-ahead TD pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside, showed that he can deliver in a pinch. They might need that this week. We are starting to see, however, that defenses that can focus on McCaffrey and keep him somewhat in-check should have some success, as the source of offensive production other than McCaffrey has been limited through three weeks.

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Still, with any good Stanford team, their calling card will usually be their defense. That side of the ball looks pretty good. Theyíve played some fairly good offenses in Kansas State, USC, and UCLA and theyíve given up only 36 combined points. And by playing those opponents, theyíve been tested to a greater extent than Washington, who has played Rutgers and two FCS opponents. That might not be the ideal preparation for a defense like the one Stanford will be showing up with at Husky Stadium on Friday.

With three games at home to open the season, Washington took to the road for the first time on Saturday, notching what was a tough win over Arizona. They were 16-point favorites and needed overtime to win. That not might look good heading into this pivotal game, but in this conference, you sometimes just have to win the game and move on to the next step, as even low-end and middling conference teams can sneak up and get you on any given week.

Washington QB Jake Browning was able to manufacture the tough road win on Saturday. Just as Stanford and Ryan Burns were perhaps able to benefit from the tough win at the Rose Bowl, so should Washington get a push from having to work for the win after being eased into the 2016 season with their first three games. On Saturday, Browning was not able to really see this offense take flight aerially, with short passes being the order of the day. Dante Pettis, Chico McClatcher, and John Ross all made contributions. Ross caught a TD and ran in another touchdown score. Pettis caught the overtime TD for the win. And on the ground, they showed they can run the ball too. While not getting the same attention as McCaffrey, the 1-2 punch of Lavon Coleman and Myles Gaskin looks to be an impactful one. Coleman was excellent with 185 yards on only 11 scampers, with Gaskin chipping in with a useful 85 yards.

The game against Arizona was a grind, with it going back-and-forth until the end. The Washington defense allowed nearly 500 yards and was run ragged at times. In the offense-heavy Pac-12, thatís a part of doing business. And itís been a long time since the Huskies were in a really big game like this. The Husky throng has been thirsting for a game like this for years. On Saturday, this defense will have that working for them. And we will all be reminded how vociferous they can be in Husky Stadium. After struggling in the Rose Bowl, the Cardinal are facing a tough patch here turning around on a short week and heading in the opposite direction up to northern Washington for a really tough road game.

Stanford is a more-visible team based on their recent success and the more-demanding and marquee games theyíve had this season. Washington is perhaps the lowest-profile top-ten team in college football. Combine that with a performance on Saturday that did not meet expectations, itís easy to defer to Stanford and assume their greater familiarity in big games and having Christian McCaffrey will be enough to win. Perhaps people have trouble identifying exactly why Washington is so highly-rated. In Chris Petersenís first game of a high magnitude with Washington since taking over after a successful Boise State tenure, I see the Huskies showing why they are ranked highly and getting out of there with the tough win and cover.

Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Iím betting on the Washington Huskies minus 3 points.

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NCAA Football Week 5 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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