Utah Utes at Washington Huskies Pick 11/2/19
Utah Utes (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) at Washington Huskies (5-3, 5-3 ATS)
When: Saturday, November 2, 4 p.m EDT
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle
Point Spread: UTAH -3.5/WASH +3.5 (Bovada)
Total: O/U 47.5
Outlook For Week 10
Two teams are heading in different directions as they meet in Seattle, with Utah riding a four-game winning streak and sitting in great shape in the Pac-12 South and Washington having lost two of three and virtually out of the running in the North. The Utes haven’t exactly played a murderer’s row of Pac-12 opponents as of late, but they’ve still got to shut those opponents down, and they’ve done precisely that, giving up a mere 23 points in its past four games. That includes a 35-0 home shutout of Cal and giving up just 13 points to Mike Leach’s video-game offense in a win over Washington State.
Washington, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to do enough on defense in its most recent games. The Huskies put up a solid 31 against Oregon, but the defense couldn’t slow down the Ducks enough, and Washington took a back-breaking loss at home that essentially wrapped up the North for their rivals from down Interstate 5. But Chris Petersen’s crew is still a talented squad that has easily beaten USC and BYU, making this a dangerous trap game for Utah.
How the Public is Betting the West Virginia/Baylor Game
The public has completely fallen out of love with Washington after the Huskies lost to Oregon. This game started with Washington favored by 4.5, but the Huskies are now a 3.5-point underdog. Interestingly, the total has not moved, sticking at 47.5.
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Wide receiver Britain Covey remains out indefinitely while recovering from a previously torn ACL.
Wide receiver Aaron Fuller is out indefinitely with an ankle injury, while wide receiver Chico McClatcher and running back Sean McGrew are questionable with a leg injury and an unspecified issue, respectively.
When Utah Has the Ball
Tyler Huntley can make plays with both his arm and his legs, and his decision-making has made him one of the top offensive threats in the Pac-12. His only interception came against Arizona State, and he’s shown a willingness to spread the football around to multiple targets. Bryan Thompson is the only Utes receiver with more than 300 receiving yards this season, and no Utah player has caught more than 18 passes this season. However, eight different Utah players have at least 100 receiving yards, and seven have caught at least ten passes this year.
That’s prevented opposing defenses from focusing on any one member of the Utah offense, and it’s allowed Zack Moss plenty of room to run. Moss has been the bell cow back for the Utes, and at 6.6 yards per carry and ten touchdowns, it’s easy to see why. Utah is a difficult offense to stop, and Washington’s defense is only fair, making this a difficult challenge for the Huskies.
When Washington Has the Ball
Jacob Eason has shown why he was so highly recruited coming out of high school this season, as he’s stepped up nicely for the Huskies and made himself one of the top signal-callers in the Pac-12. Eason wasn’t able to get the job done against Stanford at the start of the month, as he went a mere 16-for-36, and the Washington offense found itself stuck in neutral in a 23-13 loss to the Cardinal, but he’s looked very good in his past two games. In those contests, he threw for five touchdowns while tossing a mere seven incompletions per game against Arizona and Oregon. If that game is behind him, Washington will be in much better shape.
Eason will need to be at his best because he’s not likely to get much help from his ground game in this one. Utah gives up a mere 56 yards per game on the ground, good for No. 1 in the nation. Washington has been more willing to run than some teams, but look for the Huskies to trust the arm of Eason more than the legs of Salvon Ahmed as they instead try to attack the Utah secondary. Odds are, that won’t be much more productive, as the Utes rank 11th in pass defense, but they’ve got a much better chance against the Utah pass defense than they do against the run.
Utah was lousy against the spread during the non-conference, but the Utes have really stepped it up since the calendar turned to October. After failing to cover in three straight weeks, Utah is on a four-game win streak ATS and has been a pretty solid bet on the road in recent years, covering in 13 of its last 19 road games. Washington, on the other hand, hasn’t really been all that reliable against Pac-12 opposition. The Huskies are a mere 4-10 in their past 14 conference games, including three straight-up losses to Oregon, Stanford, and California this season. Interestingly, the Huskies have matched their SU result ATS in all five league games this season, and even more interestingly, Washington is 0-3 against the North this season but 2-0 against the South. Also favoring the Huskies: the fact that the underdog has covered in five of the past seven meetings.
As for the points, the bookies can’t set the total low enough for this Utah defense. The under has hit in Utah’s past seven games this season as the defense has established itself. The Huskies don’t mind defensive battles themselves; the under has hit in five of their previous seven games.
The forecast calls for a rather pleasant day for football in the Pacific Northwest, with sunshine ruling the sky and the temperature at 55 degrees.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
This game is definitely the toughest one left on Utah’s schedule. Win here, and the Utes should run the table, which would get them into the Pac-12 title game if Oregon can take down USC. But before Utah gets a chance to bite the hand that might feed it, it’s got to avoid this pitfall. What makes that more likely for the Utes is the fact that they’ve got the ability to make their opponents one-dimensional. Washington has a solid passing attack when the Huskies get the ground game going, but they’re likely not going to be able to do that in this game. As long as Utah controls the line of scrimmage, there’s little reason to think that Washington is going to be able to get up off the mat and take control of this contest.
This year started so promising for Washington, but it’s Utah who has fulfilled its promise and looks like the real deal as we hit November. Give me the Utes.
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