Washington State vs. Oregon State - Free NCAA Football Pick Against The Spread

Luke Falk Of Washintong St

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 9:06 PM GMT

It's a potential trap game for Washington State on Saturday as the Cougars need a win at Oregon State to keep pace with rival Washington atop the Pac-12 North. Wazzu is a 13-point favorite on college football odds.

 

Cougars 4-0 In Pac-12 First Time In 13 Years

Washington State (5-2, 4-0) is on the verge of being ranked in both polls. That sure didn't look possible when Wazzu started 0-2 with losses against Eastern Washington and Boise State. But the Cougars have won five straight since, albeit by playing with fire the past two weeks.

Last Saturday, Washington State won at Arizona State 37-32 as Luke Falk threw for 398 yards and three touchdowns and Robert Taylor scored on a 100-yard kickoff return. Washington State trailed 14-3 midway through the second quarter but scored 28 unanswered points. Gabe Marks caught eight passes for 107 yards and a TD.

It's not often a team will win while rushing for negative-52 yards, but that's what the Cougars did. They barely even try to run the ball -- this team is all about passing in the Air Raid offense under Coach Mike Leach. It wasn't a great win over ASU as the Sun Devils were really banged up, including being down to their fourth-string quarterback. But any win is a good one, and WSU had lost six straight in Tempe.

Falk leads the nation in completion percentage (72.7), is fifth with 2,476 passing yards and tied for 11th with 19 TD throws. Marks ranks fourth among all active FBS receivers in career receptions (275) and is third in career touchdowns (31).

Washington State has won the past two vs.Oregon State. Last year it was 52-31 in Pullman. The Cougars are 4-3 ATS on college football odds this season and 4-3 O/U.

 

Beavers Are Badly Banged  Up

I previewed Oregon State's game last week at Washington. OSU was a 36-point underdog with a total of 55. I was a tad worried that the Huskies might look past the Beavers and toward this Saturday's tough game at Utah. OSU (2-5, 1-3 Pac-12) was able to cover in a 41-17 loss but I hit on the total. The Huskies probably could have won that game by 50 if they wanted but took their foot off the gas after leading 31-0 at the half. Oregon State was missing players who had accounted for 74 percent of the team's total rushing yards and 91 percent of the team's total passing yards this season.

Oregon State had to start third-string quarterback Marcus McMaryion due to injury and the sophomore predictably struggled against one of the nation's top defenses, going 12-for-26 for 148 yards and two interceptions. He is in line to start back-to-back games for the first time in his career. The team's top two running backs, Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce, also were out injured and Tim Cook stepped in and rushed for 108 yards and a TD. Pierce looks set to play this week, while Nall is questionable.

If the Beavers have any shot in this game, they have to run the ball to eat clock as well as have the secondary play the game of its life against the high-powered Wazzu passing attack. Oregon State is averaging 5.4 yards per carry this season, which would be a school record. But most of those guys are hurt. Defensively, the Beavers rank fourth in the Pac-12 and 28th in the nation in passing yards allowed at 196.7 yards per game.

OSU is 5-2 ATS on college football picks and 3-4 O/U.

Washington State hasn't won three straight in this series since 1991-93 but will on Saturday. Give the points, go 'over' the total. WSU is 10-3 ATS in its past 13 conference games. OSU is 8-17 ATS in its past 25 at home. The 'over' is 4-1 in the past five meetings.

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Free College Football Pick: Washington St. -12.5

Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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