Pick Home Dog Washington Spread vs. Stanford College Football

Darin Zank

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 2:55 PM GMT

Stanford is already 0-1 in Pac-12 play this season; the Cardinal can ill-afford another conference loss if they've got plans to play in the Pac-12 championship game. But they'll have their hands full when they visit Washington Saturday afternoon (4:15 pm ET, Fox). Here's our shot at handicapping this one, with our free college football pick. 

The Betting Odds
Most CFB betting outlets opened this game with Stanford favored by 6.5 points over Washington, but many of those shops then quickly bumped the Cardinal to -7, and even -7.5. Those who think the Huskies might pull the upset can get a price of around +280 on college football odds.

 

Game Set-Up
Stanford is 2-1 both SU and ATS this season. The Cardinal opened with a 45-0 victory over UC-Davis, covering as 42-point favorites. Stanford then began Pac-12 play with a very tough 13-10 loss at home to USC, falling as three-point home chalk. The Cardinal then stepped back out of conference play to beat Army 35-0, covering at -28. The Farmers had last week off.

Stanford actually outgained the Trojans a couple weeks ago 413-291, and held the ball for almost 34 minutes, but committed two turnovers and eight penalties, including a crucial – and iffy - chop-block infraction that negated a Kevin Hogan touchdown pass that would have given the Cardinal a touchdown lead with eight minutes to go.

Stanford returned just 12 starters this season, second-fewest in the Pac-12, from a team that went 11-3 last year. Seven starters came back on defense, but only five came back on offense, just two along the O line.

On the season Cardinal QB Kevin Hogan has hit on 73 percent of his passes, with a 7/1 TD/INT ratio.

Washington opened the Coach Petersen era with a 17-16 win at Hawaii, but came nowhere close to covering the spread as a 17-point road favorite. The Huskies then had to scramble to beat Eastern Washington 59-52, losing ATS at -17 again. U-Dub then defeated Illinois, picking up the cover at -13. And last week the Huskies beat Georgia State 45-14 but couldn't cover the spread at -34, after going into halftime down 14-0 to the FCS Panthers.

Washington returned 14 starters this year from a team that went 9-4 last year. Seven starters came back on offense, including the entire offensive line, but they lost their starting QB and last year's leading rusher, Bishop Sankey, who's now playing on Sundays. And seven starters came back on defense, including the entire front four.

Sophomore QB Cyler Miles has completed 68 percent of his throws so far this year, with five TD passes and zero interceptions.

 

Cardinal-Huskies Recent History
Stanford has won seven of the last nine meetings in this series, but Washington has covered the last two games. Two years ago the Huskies upset the Cardinal at the Clink in Seattle 17-13 as six-point “home” dogs, and last year Washington lost at Stanford 31-28 but covered at +8.

The Cardinal began last year's game by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and later led by 10 points on three different occasions. But the Huskies responded each time with a score of their own, the last one with three minutes to go to pull U-Dub within three points, claiming the cover.

Washington outgained Stanford that day 489-282. However, QB Keith Price, who threw for 350 yards and two scores, and Sankey, who ran for 125 yards and two more scores, are both now gone.

That game played 'over' its total of 52 on that last Huskies score late in the game.  

 

Cardinal-Huskies Betting Trends
Stanford is 18-4 SU and 11-9-2 ATS with Hogan starting at QB.

These two teams have combined to lean toward the 'unders' this season by a 5-1 margin.

 

College Football Pick
The last two games in this series have been decided by a total of seven points, and we expect another close one Saturday. So we'll go with the home-dog Huskies, getting 8 points at 5Dimes for our free college football pick in this spot. 

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