Washington Huskies vs. Auburn Tigers Total Plus Point Spread Pick
No. 6 Washington Huskies (2017 10-3 SU, 9-5 ATS) vs. No. 9 Auburn Tigers (2017 10-4 SU, 6-7-1 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday September 1st, 2018. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, G.A.
Point Spread: WASH +2.5/AUB -2.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
In probably the biggest game of the opening week of college football, the no. 6 Washington Huskies will meet the no. 9 Auburn Tigers inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Not only do we have an intriguing match-up featuring top 10 opponents but we have two teams that have high expectations for 2018. The Huskies are the clear favorites to conquer the Pac-12 title and possibly a playoff berth given the schedule. Meanwhile, Auburn has been putting the pieces together to make another run at dethroning Alabama, who is expected to see 12 wins, for supremacy in the SEC. The question is who will keep the preseason hype alive by delivering results in week 1?
In many ways this is the opportunity at redemption for both Washington and Auburn as they look to start the season with statement victories. The Huskies let a couple of close games get by them during the 2nd half of the season last year which kept them out of the playoffs. Later, the entire Pac-12 was embarrassed in the postseason with a 1-8 bowl record. The Huskies did not help that record with a 35-28 loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. So in many ways, this is a redemption game for the entire Pac-12 especially considering the Huskies are the top-ranked team in the conference. For Auburn, they are also looking for a little redemption. After taking down Alabama (gets Louisville Sat) in the Iron Bowl, it appeared the Tigers may have shifted the tides in the SEC. A blowout loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game and another loss to UCF in the Peach Bowl silenced those assumptions. An early season win over Washington with a tough schedule ahead would help keep hope alive on the Plains.
The case for Washington
The offense is still loaded with talent. Quarterback Jake Browning returns for his senior campaign and is among the best passers in the Pac-12. Browning has thrown 78 touchdowns with just 24 interceptions throughout his career and gives the Huskies the skill set needed at the most important position on the field. Along with Browning, running back Myles Gaskin returns after an enormous 2017 campaign that featured 1,380 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. Gaskin has eclipsed 1,300 yards in each of his first 3 seasons, and there is no reason to expect anything less from the Huskies star tailback. With these weapons in place, Washington poses as a scoring threat with each touch of the football.
The case for Auburn
The majority of people may point to quarterback Jarrett Stidham as the Tigers biggest benefactor. However, the Tigers are still mainly a rushing offense under Head Coach Gus Malzahn and will continue to stretch the field with RPO schemes. The biggest case for Auburn still lies within the defensive line and possibly the entire defense. The Tigers schedule is absolutely brutal this year. In order to survive, they will have to be disruptive defensively. Veterans Dontavius Russell and Derrick Brown will help cement a talented defensive line that should be stout against the run. If the Tigers can get some help from their pass rushers, they will present some major challenges for opposing offenses just as they did a year ago.
I actually expect this game to be controlled mostly by the defenses. Barring any big plays, I do not see Auburn posting a big number in this game, and I do not see the Tigers defense making things easy either. The difference in this game and any game this early in the season between evenly matched teams will be the making the critical plays. I think Washington’s weapons and experience will be the difference here. Browning can make the critical throws, and I fully expect Gaskin to have an impact as well. The Huskies simply have too many weapons, and if they get creative with the play calling, they can take advantage of an over-aggressive Auburn defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really like the under 48.5 as the best play in this game because I think the defensive play will be the consistent premium. I also firmly believe the Huskies will pull out the victory with their balance on offense and impact players. Take the under 48.5 and Washington +2.5! Guys, get the best possible value on this game by signing up at a sportsbook that offers better odds.
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