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NCAAF – Washington at Stanford Money Line Prediction

Washington Huskies (8-1) @ Stanford Cardinal (6-3)

  • Where: Stanford Stadium . Stanford, CA
  • When: November 10, 2017 10:30 pm EST
  • Spread: Washington (-6) at Stanford (+6)
  • Moneyline: Washington (-230) at Stanford (+190)
  • Over / Under: Over 50 (-110) vs Under 50 (-110)

Super Bowl champion QB (and Stanford graduate) Jim Plunkett was once asked how the fans treated him during his first stint in the NFL with the New England Patriots.

“You stink, Plunkett!” the famous field general mocked in a Boston accent. “Go back’ta Stan-Fahhhd!

Stan-Fahhhd! is having another fine football season in 2017, standing at 6-3 and 5-2 in the Pac-12 with a #21 ranking. The Cardinal has a chance to win its division, should the team be able to beat-out Washington for the top spot in the North. They’re in luck – Chris Petersen’s Huskies are coming to visit this Friday night.

But it’s commonly-held that Washington has a higher ceiling than Stanford in 2017-18. UW is currently ranked #12th and has only a single blemish on its record, a frustrating 13-7 loss to Arizona State on October 14th.

Otherwise, what makes the Huskies’ record so impressive is not the strength-of-schedule but the fact that they have been hardly challenged in all their 8 wins. Peterson’s squad went to Boulder and beat Colorado 37-10 in a Pac-12 championship rematch, then later out-scored Cal and Oregon 76-10 in a pair of home triumphs.

Petersen seems to have re-created the mojo that made Boise State such a fearsome opponent under his stewardship – prison-yard defense, a versatile offense that finds 50 ways to score, and a nimble, smart special-teams unit.

Vegas odds-makers have made Washington a touchdown favorite.

Sledding right along

Just how likely is another dominant performance? There are only 3 common opponents between UW and Stanford – we might have a better idea of where the Cardinal is if the squad had played Cal already, but the Big Game is still over a week away.

QB Jake Browning is Petersen’s golden boy, a junior who would have Heisman potential in his senior year except that the Huskies’ style of play befits winning and not stats.

Browning is throwing completions at nearly a 68% clip on the season, with 16 touchdowns to 5 picks.

The running game is similarly dangerous, but balanced by-committee – Myles Gaskin has 6.2 ypc and 10 touchdowns but hasn’t been handed the rock overwhelmingly often.

Steady as she goes – why not when you’re blowing everyone out? The Husky defense is statistically #1 in the FBS, with a 240 yards-against average and an amazing 11.1 ppg-against pace. The front-7 (and occasional blitzing DBs) have combined for almost 30 sacks.

“Leaf” it all on the field

Opponents still Fear the Tree. But can Stanford really score points on Friday? The Cardinal was putrid on offense against a tough Washington State defense last weekend, gaining only 198 total yards.

Bryce Love had an OK time rushing the ball, but K.J. Costello was miserable with 9-of-20 completions and an interception. Stanford HC David Shaw announced earlier this week that Costello would start again vs UW.

Costello has replaced senior Keller Chryst after Chryst’s near-implosion against Oregon State. The move is also partially due to Costello’s youth and upside. But the project hasn’t gone well so far. Without an above-average QB to burn defenses deep when necessary, Stanford’s power-running game is left handicapped against a stacked box. And the Cardinal defense is not dominant or consistent enough in ’17 to justify an entire 4 quarters of handing-off anyway.

The Huskies are the money

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We’re liking the Huskies on the money line or ATS, especially if (-5) or (5.5) lines are available in the bettor’s network. Stanford is getting credit for its reputation and thanks to playing at home, but Petersen’s team is well-equipped to handle both.

Gaskin will run for 1st downs early and help neutralize the crowd and the Stanford pass rush. Expect Costello to be forced into mistakes in the 2nd half as Washington prevails 28-14 or 31-10.

Also, the 60-70% likelihood of the visiting defense swarming the rudderless Cardinal ‘O means that the under is a solid bet of 1 or 2 units.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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