No. 16 University of Washington Huskies at No. 7 Washington State Cougars Pick
No. 16 University of Washington Huskies (8-3, 2-9 ATS) at N0. 7 Washington State Cougars (10-1 SU, 10-1 ATS)
When: Friday, November 23, 2018 8:30PM EST
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA.
Point Spread: UW +2.5/WSU -2.5
Power Ratings: WSU by 6
Takeaways from Week 12
The Washington State Cougar’s takeaway from week 12 was a statement game! This point in the season is when all the so-called experts begin making their arguments for teams who might have a shot at the final four and or significant bowl games. Washington State’s all-out assault on the Arizona Wildcats last Saturday night in Pullman grabbed everyone’s attention as they head into this week’s Apple Cup versus in-state rival University of Washington. The Cougars 69-28 beat down over the Wildcats clearly shows how far this team had come from last season when Arizona’s QB Khalil Tate ran all over the Cougs—but this year is different—the Cougs are stronger defensively and their offense is straight up deadly for defensive coordinators to stop. WSU QB Gardner Minshew is a game changer for the Cougs and has remained stoic all year in pressure situations, and his teammates have followed his lead.
University of Washington’s takeaway from week 12 was another win, and much needed momentum heading into the Apple Cup where they have won the last 5 years in a row—all in blowout fashion. The Huskies looked like the team that most fans expect from a Chris Petersen squad—efficient on both sides of the ball especially offensively. Senior QB Jake Browning played in his last home game as a Husky, and he went out in style with 3 TD passes on 17 of 23 for 242 yards. UW balanced their attack with 3 TDs in the air and 3 TDs on the ground. Although Oregon State’s defense is not comparable to Washington State’s, it will be interesting to see if the Huskies can move the ball as well against the Cougs.
How the Public is Betting the Cougars/Buffaloes Game
The public is currently betting WSU 69 percent and UW 31 percent. This line will shift throughout the week. Bettors will keep an eye on the line as well (WSU -2.5) as it may move by the end of the week.
The University of Washington has dominated this series over the last five years—winning five in a row. It doesn’t seem to matter which team is ranked higher or expected to win—these rivalry games can go in any direction, it is up to the players and coaching staffs and how well they prepare and execute their game plan. Last year the Huskies racked up 328 rushing yards. UW RB Myles Gaskin killed the Cougars with 25 carries for 192 yards and 4 TDs in last season’s Apple Cup. If the Cougs can slow down the Huskies running game they should be able to win this game. In addition, this has been really the only “big” game that UW QB Jake Browning has won consistently during his time as a Husky—this year might be the toughest challenge for him to keep that streak going.
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-11/18 DB Sean Harper Jr. is questionable for Saturday’s game vs. Washington - lower-body injury. He’s missed the last 4 games.
University of Washington:
-11/04 LB DJ Beavers has been sidelined with a lower-body injury, and it is unknown if he will play versus Washington State.
When Washington State has the Ball
Washington State has proven all year that when they have the ball, they score! The Coug’s offense is as good as it has ever been, in fact, it is arguably the best team offensively the Cougars have had in decades. Bettors who have taken the Cougs to cover all season should be in shape to buy those Christmas gifts with all their winnings. The air-raid offense ran by QB Gardner Minshew who is also mobile and supported by two solid RBs in Williams and Borghi both with the run and as receivers out of the backfield equals trouble for any team defense.
When UW has the Ball
When the Huskies have the ball, they are strongest with their running game. RBs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are both dynamic backs who could cause fits for WSU if the Cougs fail to fill the running lanes quickly. Senior QB Jake Browning can be great at times but has been inconsistent as well, often getting bailed out by his defense or RBs picking up the slack.
- WSU is 10-1 ATS overall this season!
- WSU is 10-1 ATS in their last 11 home games.
- WSU is 6-0 ATS in last 5 home games.
- UW is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
- OVER is 7-3 in Cougars last 10 conference games.
- Head to Head—favorite is 4-0 in their last 4 meetings.
Game time will be cold and wet! With a 5:30 pm start time Pullman it will be chilly and around 37 degrees with a 95 percent chance of rain that reaches 100 percent by the second half of play. As the temps drop to as low as 29 degrees, the rain may begin to freeze which could make for a challenging final 30 minutes especially handling and holding onto the football.
Dave Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Washington State remains in control of their own destiny, and they are in excellent shape heading into this year’s Apple Cup. Although the Huskies are a top 25 team, this is a disappointing year for the dogs who had much higher aspirations only to drop out of the BCS discussion early in the season after losses to the Auburn Tigers, Oregon Ducks, and California Bears—none of which are ranked teams. This is the year of the Cougars. WSU QB, Gardner Minshew’s play and leadership have revived this team and given the Palouse a reason to get excited every single week as they continue to build on an already successful season. The Cougs have the edge in four critical stats heading into this game: Points per Game, Yards Gained, Time of Possession, and the Red Zone. Washington State finishes off the regular season at home in grand style by taking care of business against in-state rival Washington. Take the Cougars to cover the points at home.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Washington State Cougars cover. Luck to ya.