QB Questionable for Pac 12 Clash,Take Stanford as the College Football Pick

Darin Zank

Friday, October 23, 2015 4:10 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 4:10 PM UTC

Stanford has big things in mind for later this season, and as a big favorite over Washington for Saturday night. Are we going to lay the chalk against the college football odds in this spot?

Huskies-Cardinal NCAAF Odds
As of Friday morning the college football odds market had not yet lined this game, because of an injury situation with Washington's starting quarterback. If young Jake Browning, who's handled basically everything behind center so far this season for the Huskies, can go, we'd expect Stanford to be favored by around 10-14 points; but if he can't, that line might be 20, or more.


The Situation
Washington is 3-3 SU, 4-2 ATS this season, after losing at home to Oregon last week 26-20. The Huskies, as field-goal favorites, gave up a touchdown on the first drive of the game, trailed 16-3 at the half, pulled to within one score with just under four minutes to go and got the ball back near midfield in last-gasp time, but an interception ended the rally.

On the night U-Dub outrushed the Ducks 180-170, but got outgained 442-385. The Washington defense also allowed Oregon to go nine-for-18 on 3rd-down conversions, while the Huskies went just five-for-13.

Washington began this season with a 16-13 loss to Boise State, but that game wasn't nearly as close as that score might indicate. The Huskies later beat a decent Utah State team 31-17, lost to Cal 30-24 but upset USC 17-12. However, on the season Washington has been outgained and outrushed in four of six games.

On the homey side of this match-up Stanford laid an egg in its season opener at Northwestern, losing 16-6, but has since won and covered five games in a row. The Cardinal began their run with a 31-7 victory over Central Florida, and extended it to a handful last week with a 56-35 romp over UCLA.

Stanford covered as a 20-point favorite against the Knights, beat USC outright as a nine-point underdog, covered at -14 at Oregon State, at -12 over Arizona and easily at -6 over the Bruins.

The Cardinal jumped on UCLA last week right from the go, scoring on a pick-six four minutes into the game, and eventually led 56-20 before allowing the Bruins to score a couple of meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter. On the night Stanford ran the ball for 310 yards, as sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey went off 243 yards and four scores, and won time of possession by a 34/26 margin.

Big-picture, at 4-0 in conference play the Cardinal lead the Pac-12 North by a game and a half over Washington State, as they shoot for a division title, and perhaps more – much more.

Meanwhile, at 1-2 in conference play Washington is just looking for three more wins to become bowl-eligible.


Relevant Betting Trends
Stanford has won six of the last seven meetings in this series, but Washington has covered the last three, pulling an outright upset three seasons ago as a home dog, then twice keeping games close, covering at +7 and +9. Last year the Cardinal won this match-up 20-13, dominating statistically, but the Huskies, with great help from a fumble return for a score, covered as eight-point home dogs.

Stanford is ranked No. 10 in this week's AP poll; Washington, not so much. But so far this NCAAF betting season, while ranked teams are 104-15 SU against unranked teams, they're just 56-62 ATS.


Stanford is outrushing opponents by about 90 yards per game this season, while Washington is getting outrushed by about five YPG. Also, the Cardinal are averaging 49 points per game in conference play, the Huskies 20. Also, Browning is very questionable with a sore throwing shoulder.

Stanford is on a roll, with big things in mind for later this season, while the Huskies are a work in progress. So as long as the spread on this game isn't something crazy, we will make our college football pick on the Cardinal to win here.

College Football Pick: Stanford

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