Behind a strong contingent of college sports programs in the state, the Washington State Cougars have a sizable fan base behind their football team. Expanding out across the country, betting on Cougars football during the season has become popular in states offering legal sports betting.
Washington State Cougars Team Overview
Following in the same tradition as other major Pacific Northwest college football programs, Washington State started play in the old Pacific Coast Conference in 1917. The list of other teams in the PCC included the Washington Huskies, Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers.
The Cougars played as Independents from 1959 through 1961 before joining the Athletic Association of Western Universities in 1962. The conference marked the unofficial start of the Pac-6, which was formally renamed the Pac-8 in 1968.
Washington State’s only previous postseason appearance in a bowl game at that time dated back to the Rose Bowl in 1930 as a member of the PCC. The arrival of Dennis Erickson as head coach in 1987 marked a change of fortune for the Cougars. He only held that position for two seasons before Mike Price took over the reins in 1989.
Under the guidance of Price, Washington State appeared in the 1998 and 2003 Rose Bowl. His team was ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation during the 2002 season. That was the highest national ranking in the history of Washington State football.
In recent years, Mike Leach had a strong run during his eight seasons as head coach from 2012 through the 2019 football season. The Cougars went 11-2 in 2018 to finish the year ranked No. 10 in the final Associated Press Top 25.
Playing in the Pac-12, the Cougars’ biggest rival remains Washington, but this list could be extended to include both Oregon and Oregon State as other members of the North Division.
Betting on Washington State is at its peak when the Cougars face the Huskies in that annual rivalry showdown. If the Cougars happened to be seven-point road underdogs against Washington on the game’s point spread, they could still win that bet with a loss by six points or less.
Betting on the Washington State Cougars in Washington
Legal betting on sports in Washington became a reality in 2020. However, state lawmakers stopped short of expanding legal betting beyond in-state tribal casinos. Through an amended gaming compact with the state’s governor and federal government, retail sportsbooks are permitted in land-based tribal casinos.
Efforts to expand sports betting online through mobile sportsbooks continues. Current law also excludes any form of betting on in-state college teams. The best way to wager on Washington State football in season is where a state’s legal sportsbooks can offer betting on college games.