Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:45 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Washington @ Washington St +100
Martin Stadium – Pullman, WA
10:30 PM EST. Last week, we faded Washington when we believed they were subjected to an overreaction from their stock being catapulted when they defeated #6 Oregon in Eugene, two weeks ago. Much to our chagrin, the Huskies would demolish Colorado by a score of 52-7, despite granting the Buffs 30½ points at kickoff. It is easy to jettison any notion of coming back against UW in their follow-up but we will “stick with it here” as we are certain that if Washington’s stock was accentuated last week, it is even higher this week in their follow-up. In spite of this, the #13 Huskies are laying a porkchop to the unranked Cougars in Pullman. Hmmm.
Our goal as handicappers is to make a case for the team we are backing as we mine for value. In the case of Washington State, it is indiscernible as to the asking price here considering that the Cougars’ best win this year on paper is when it upset Wisconsin in September as a 17-point pup. However, the result would not age well, as the Badgers will finish the season with five losses at minimum. Rounding off Wazzu’s collection of victories, includes Stanford (a team you could puke blood watching) Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado State, and Idaho. In other words, a bunch of dregs and cupcakes, none of whom are going to a bowl game and one of which isn’t even in the FBS. Yet this same Washington State team is priced like it has a chance against Washington who defeated a then #6-ranked Oregon, a then #11-ranked Michigan State handily, and the present #23 Oregon State. Once again we are scratching our heads with this one. When we consider the fact that Washington’s stock is high, we really are poised to take a closer look at the Cougars.
A 10-win season is on the line for the Huskies in this game, but it’s worth noting they’ve played just the 56th toughest schedule in the nation. It’s also worth noting that one of their two losses came as a 13-point favorite at Arizona State. The other was a 3-point favorite at UCLA. Recent results are what matters most, so it’s that win over Oregon and the 50-burger the Huskies put up last week that are going to resonate most.
We’ve spent little time on the Cougars, but that is kind of the point. They are under the radar despite playing well. The Cougs knocked off Arizona on the road last week in what could have been a lookahead spot, and they beat the same ASU team that knocked off Washington by double digits (28-18). WSU is 7-4, but it was a run of three losses in the middle of the season that ruined a hot start. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the Cougars were a pooch in those defeats to USC (+11½), Oregon State (+3) and Utah (+7). The Cougs lost to Oregon and Utah by a combined seven points.
In this Apple Cup, the role of spoiler is one to be relished. Not only can Wazzu keep the Huskies from having any chance to play for a Pac-12 title, but the Cougs can also deny their biggest rivals of that coveted 10-win season. That the Huskies have shot up the rankings and are now the 13th ranked team in the nation only adds more fuel, as the Cougars can add a signature win to their résumé. That is just one of many boxes this game checks. Wazzu for the win.
Washington St +105 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.10)