On Saturday (10/28/23), the Washington Huskies face the Stanford Cardinal in an exciting Pac 12 showdown. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full matchup preview. In addition, find our best bet which is Stanford +26.5.
Washington Huskies Vs. Stanford Cardinal Prediction
Washington is coming off its worst offensive showing of the season as the Huskies were held to just 15 points in a narrow win over a now 1-6 Arizona State team. Washington’s lack of a run game became a huge issue in extending drives as they registered just 13 yards on 13 carries. That put them constantly behind the sticks, and they finished the game just 3-for-11 on third down.
Michael Penix Jr. was held to a season low 6.5 yards per attempt for the game while throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns. He should bounce back this week against a Stanford defense ranked 129th in passing EPA/play allowed and 128th in PFF’s team coverage grades this season.
I’m not sure if Washington comes away with a win by a huge margin here. I’m left with concerns about their profile overall as a favorite. The Huskies rank 86th in rushing EPA/play, relying on Penix’s arm for most of their offensive production, and struggle to defend the run as they rank 105th in rushing EPA/play allowed.
Stanford has continued to evolve in its first year with Troy Taylor as the head coach, and I’ve been impressed with quarterback Ashton Daniels lately. He threw for four touchdowns against Colorado in the team’s come-from-behind win, and while he faced an elite UCLA defense last week, he still only had one turnover-worthy play.
Daniels isn’t going to light up the scoreboard, but he can lead an efficient offense across the board, and Stanford can create some issues for Washington in this game. The Huskies hit the road to face USC next week, and there’s a look ahead factor here with that game on deck. I expect the Cardinal to hang around enough to cover this big number.
Washington Huskies Vs. Stanford Cardinal Prediction: Stanford +26.5
Washington Huskies Vs. Stanford Cardinal Betting Odds
Washington opened as 26-point favorites in this road conference game after closing as 28-point favorites last week against Arizona State. The total here sits at 59.5 point despite these teams mustering just 22 points between them in their games last week.
Washington Huskies Vs. Stanford Cardinal Key Matchups
As Stanford plays host to Washington, there will be some top end talents on display in this matchup. Let’s break down some of the key matchups that will determine the outcome of this game.
Michael Penix Jr. Vs. Stanford’s Blitz
Among the leaders in the Heisman race, Michael Penix Jr. will be hungry to bounce back from his worst game of the season. Penix Jr. leads the FBS with 2,581 passing yards, and he’s one of the most potent downfield passers in the country.
However, Arizona State’s secondary held him in check for the entire game as they dialed up the blitz at a 41.9% rate, limiting to a terrible 42.9% completion rate when under pressure. He finished with two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Is that defensive approach repeatable for Stanford? Defensive coordinator Bobby April will certainly try, and the Cardinal has blitzed at a rate of 55% or higher in each of their last two games. If their blitz doesn’t get home, though, Penix will consistently beat them over the top with big plays to his incredible wide receivers.
Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. just threw his second interception of the game.
He is not happy. pic.twitter.com/RS6NGDccik
— Arye Pulli (@AryePulli) October 22, 2023
Elic Ayomanor Vs. Washington’s Cornerbacks
If Stanford makes a game out of this, it will likely be because wide receiver Elic Ayomanor leaves his mark. Ayomanor was electric in the comeback win against Colorado, catching 13 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Benjamin Yurosek has been quiet lately as he works through an injury, so Ayomanor’s impact has been even more important.
Washington ranks 20th in PFF’s team coverage grades this season and they rank 31st in passing EPA/play allowed this season. Cornerbacks Elijah Jackson and Thaddeus Dixon will be relied upon to cover Ayomanor in this game.
Here are my top performing players of WEEK 7:
Elic Ayomanor @StanfordFball
Michael Penix Jr./Rome Odunze @UW_Football
Entire defense @NDFootball
Landon Jackson @RazorbackFB
Omarion Hampton/Tez Walker @UNCFootball
Antwaun Powell-Ryland @HokiesFB
Josh Hoover @TCUFootball… pic.twitter.com/y1uHWiburE
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 16, 2023