Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
Washington at Oregon State
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Washington at Oregon State
Venue/Location: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
Time/TV: Friday, Nov. 8 (FS1, 10:30 p.m. ET)
Line: Washington -10, Total 65
As I wrote in an earlier underdog piece this season, when you back dog crap teams often, you'd better expect dog crap results at times, and across the board it was a rough week for my selections in college football. It started with last Friday's play on the Connecticut Huskies as they were blasted 56-10 by Navy in a game that got ugly from the start. Sometimes it doesn't matter how favorable a situation may appear, talent – especially in collegiate sports – tends to win out and Connecticut has a severe deficiency in talent on the football field.
This week it's back to the Pac-12 conference wanting to showcase its programs on Friday night once again, albeit not the most attractive matchup you could drub up within the conference. Yet, Oregon State has been playing better football with consecutive road wins @ California and @ Arizona the past two weeks to push their record up to 4-4 SU. In fact, the Beavers have outright wins in all three of their conference road games this year (beat UCLA too), and with a 6-1 ATS run going entering Friday, they've been great to bettors as well.
The same can't be said for this Washington team that has seen a promising season go awry with back-to-back home losses to Oregon and Utah. Those defeats have the Huskies left playing for whatever Bowl game they end up getting now, as they blew leads in both of those games which you just can't do at home when you are trying to win your conference. The Huskies have now dropped three of their last four ATS too, meaning you've got two teams on the opposite ends of the recent form spectrum and I'm sure that will be a talking point for some who break down this game.
So should we be backing the current form approach and taking the points with the Beavers, or selling high on Oregon State and buying low on Washington?
Betting Odds: Washington (-10) vs Oregon State; Total set at 65
It's hard to not like what the Beavers have done lately with those three road wins in their last four games on top of that 6-1 ATS run. Outside of the season opener vs Oklahoma State, the Beavers have two losses by just a FG and also suffered a woodshed beating from Utah (52-7) the last time they were at home. For a team that's not been to a Bowl game since 2013, and not won more then four games since 2015, sitting at 4-4 SU with four games left is quite the improvement. After all, the Beavers were a combined 3-21 SU – including 1-17 SU in Pac-12 play – the past two years, so it is nice to see this team take some strides forward. It's all about becoming Bowl eligible for them now, and to get to that magic number of six wins, they will need to continue to play solid football.
Getting to those six wins is not going to be easy though given that the rest of their schedule consists of this game vs Washington, vs Arizona State, and then on the road for games against Washington State and Oregon to finish the year. If you are a believer in what the Beavers or doing or just prefer to ride the hotter team right now, you've got to figure that Oregon State needs an outright win in at least one of these next two games at home, and there is a lot to like about the situation vs Washington this week.
The Huskies 2019 season is done in terms of the preseason goals they set out for themselves – win the division, win the conference, see where they land in national picture – and it's going to be really hard for Washington to pick themselves up after coming to that realization. Washington put all their energy and focus into trying to knock off Oregon and Utah the past two weeks and they just couldn't close the deal in both cases. The 2nd half collapses have to be completely disheartening, and a road trip to Corvallis against an annual bottom feeder like the Beavers can't be high on the excitement meter for the Huskies this week.
However, at the same time, Oregon State has done their best work this year away from home, and truthfully, they've had the best of it in terms of their Pac-12 schedule. Outside of the Utah game, Oregon State has yet to face a team that currently sits with a winning record in the conference, and obviously the one time they did step up in class against Utah, the Beavers got smacked with their own tails. Washington's still got next level talent at multiple positions on both sides of the ball, and if the Huskies do decide to show up and play, this one could be another ugly loss at home for Oregon State.
Because after all, another potential scenario that could play out here is that Washington's so pissed off and frustrated with themselves for the two blown games the past two weeks that they look to take out all that frustration on a lesser opponent like Oregon State and route them quick and decisively. All that means is that this current spread of -10 is probably about where it should be and one that I believe could land either way. I do like Washington to win the game outright, but covering the number depends on how motivated they are to be in Oregon State this week.
Instead, I'm looking at this total as one that's probably a bit too high, all things considered. If Washington's out there going through the motions, chances are they aren't going to be that sharp offensively. Even with the Beavers being a team that's allowed 30+ in four of their last five games – the lone outlier coming against a California team that struggles to score against ghosts – I'm still not sure I can trust the Huskies to pull their weight here.
At the same time, Oregon State's offense is hard to trust with the step up in competition level, especially when you figure that Washington's defense is coming off two straight games where they coughed up victories. As a team the Huskies may not be that enthused for this game, but I'd be willing to bet that Washington's defense has heard an earful this week about their inability to close out games and get the key stop when needed.
Getting those issues corrected is something that they should be able to do against a team like Oregon State, especially when Washington's last two trips to Corvallis have ended with the Beavers scoring just 7 points each time. That previous step up in class vs Utah saw Oregon State score just a single TD that day, and while Utah's defense is better then what Washington brings to the table, asking Oregon State to put up any more then 20 points seems like a stretch. The Beavers have averaged just 17.5 points scored in their two previous games this year after efforts of scoring 40+, and are on a 2-7 O/U run after scoring 40+ if you take it back even further.
With the Beavers also on a 0-3-1 O/U run in their last four games against a winning team, and Washington 2-5 O/U in their last seven away from home, I expect this game to stay much lower then this current total suggests.
Best Bet: Under 65
YTD Record: 4-7 ATS