Washington State vs. Washington kicks off this Saturday (11/25/23) at 4:00pm EST in Seattle Washington as a home game for the Huskies. Get Washington State vs. Washington predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on Washington State +16.5 as this contest may be closer than the spread implies.
Washington State Vs. Washington Prediction
They may still be undefeated, but the Washington Huskies are looking as vulnerable as ever as teams are starting to figure them out. If it weren’t for very poor coaching on Oregon State’s end, then this Huskie team could be 10-1 with their playoff hopes in critical condition. Instead, the Beavers opted into the idea of continuing to throw the ball in heavy rain while the ground game was working, resulting in stalled out drives and generous Huskie field position.
With that win, Washington has now clinched their spot in the Pac 12 championship and host the Washington State Cougars who are still looking to clinch a bowl game with a sixth win. It’s motivation vs cruise control, potentially giving value towards the Cougars +16.5. The two-score spread with the hook is especially enticing when digging deeper into the numbers as the Cougars may be in a position to slow down Michael Penix Jr and the high-powered Huskie offense.
Washington’s offense has been prone to stalling out as of late as opposing defenses have started to piece it together on how to stop them. They have opted into keeping their linebackers in coverage and daring Penix to make plays into tight passing windows. Washington State is in a good position to do the same as their defense currently ranks 30th in Def Pass Success Rate. That means they excel in smothering the short field, forcing Washington into converting third downs at longer distances to gain.
Limiting Washington’s Success Rate is vital for the Cougars chances of covering the spread as the Huskies offense is built around picking apart short gaps in coverage to set up a shot down field. Penix and the vaunted Washington pass attack currently ranks fifth in the nation in Pass Success Rate as well as 71st in Pass Explosiveness. Drawing in the safeties may be tough with the Cougars second level being able to hold their own, helping mask their own inefficiencies with defending the big play.
On the other side of the ball, it should be business as usual for the Washington State offense as this unit will be in a good position to routinely move the sticks. Washington’s defense has struggled defending the mid field this season, ranking 115th in Def Success Rate and now have to figure out how to slow down dual threat quarterback Cameron Ward. This puts stress on the linebacking unit, keeping them scrambling and creating gaps in coverage for Ward to exploit.
Washington State Vs. Washington Prediction: Washington State +16.5
Washington State Vs. Washington Best Odds
Even in a desperate spot to keep their bowl hopes alive, oddsmakers still tempered their expectations of the Cougars shocking the nation by opening them as a +13 underdog. Bettors have even less faith in Washington State, backing the Huskies up to +16.5 as of writing. With a defense built to slow down Washington, expect the Cougars to make this closer than the number implies.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a lightning quick pace by opening the number at 66.5. Bettors believe points will come at an even faster pace, backing the over up to the current total of 68.5. The over steam is a bit intriguing as Washington State is in a position to slow down Washington, while also being able to find more offensive success as the Huskies defense is well below average in most metrics.
Washington State Vs. Washington Key Matchups
Can Nakia Watson exploit the weak Washington front seven?
Nakia Watson Vs. Washington Front Seven
Just because the Cougars call the run at one of the lowest rates in the nation, ranking 132nd in Rush Play Rate, doesn’t mean that they won’t find resounding success when they do so. Nakia Watson is their lead back in this situation, coming off an average of 5.9 yards per carry in his last game out against Colorado.
Cam Ward to Nakia Watson for six. Watson looks quicker than he has all season.
WSU 28, Colorado 7 pic.twitter.com/pN44QzaHPB
— Greg Woods (@GregWWoods) November 18, 2023
Defense has been optional for the Huskies this season, especially when defending the run as they currently rank 131st in Def Rush Success Rate and 129th in Def Rush PPA. Factor in Ward’s ability to hit the open field and the Cougars offense will be in a great position to routinely move the sticks into scoring position.