Washington has survived high-profile tests against Oregon and USC, but a tough Oregon State defense is among the Huskies’ toughest challenges yet. Let’s dive into the odds and best bets for Saturday’s (11=18=23) Pac-12 battle.
Washington vs. Oregon State Prediction & Best Bet
Washington hasn’t yet seen a genuinely tough defense on the road. After a slew of too-close-for-comfort games leading up to Week 12, this one has the potential to finally burn the Huskies.
Oregon State’s defense is built to generate more pressure on Michael Penix Jr. than any team has this season. The Beavers are unbeaten at home this year, they’ve allowed more than 30 points only twice (both on the road). Washington simply can’t afford to rely on an offensive explosion to win in Corvallis.
The concern with Oregon State is an inconsistent offense, but Washington has allowed four touchdowns in three consecutive games, including a disappointing defensive showing against Stanford. With Damien Martinez’s emergence giving the Beavers an intimidating ground game to support D.J. Uiagalelei, it’s tough to see Oregon State’s offense being held in check by the Huskies. Washington’s offense has benefitted from an improving run game as well, but the Beavers boast a strong run defense.
In all likelihood, pressure will be on Penix and his talented receivers to simply rise above the talent of Oregon State’s defense. That’s absolutely possible, but this isn’t an especially strong matchup for Washington after a tough stretch. Oregon State moneyline is a safer pick than Oregon State -2.5 in what could end up being a close battle.
Washington vs. Oregon State Prediction & Best Bet: Oregon State Moneyline (-135)
Washington vs. Oregon State Best Betting Odds
Oregon State is a slight 2.5-point home favorite, entering Saturday’s game at -135 on the moneyline. The over/under is 63.5 points.
The Beavers haven’t found as much success as the Huskies this season, but they’re unbeaten at home and boast a powerful defense. Is this line an overreaction to Washington’s recent unsteady play, or does Oregon State really have the advantage?
Washington vs. Oregon State Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Saturday’s game between Washington and Oregon State.
Dillon Johnson vs. Oregon State Run Defense
Penix and the passing game rightfully soak up most of the attention for Washington, but a steady running game might be the reason the Huskies are still undefeated.
Dillon Johnson ran for 256 yards and four touchdowns in the win over USC, and he posted 104 yards plus a touchdown against Utah’s tough defense last weekend. He’s been efficient over his last five games, with one major exception: A forgettable performance against Arizona State in a game that saw Washington score just 15 points.
The Huskies are much better when they don’t have to rely entirely on the passing game, and Oregon State’s defense – which allows just 3.5 yards per carry – would do well to remove that element from Washington’s offense rather than focusing all attention on Penix.
It’s worth noting the Beavers haven’t faced many prominent running backs this season, which could contribute to that figure. The best might’ve been Cal’s Jaydn Ott, who had only 13 attempts but averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
Oregon Pass-Rush vs. Washington Offensive Line
Like most quarterbacks in the thick of the Heisman race, Penix has been well-protected this season. He’s taken just seven sacks all year, half as many as Oregon State quarterbacks have absorbed, and there has been just one game with multiple sacks of Penix. Can the Beavers get to him?
Oregon State’s defense has registered 36 sacks this season. That’s a gigantic disparity between what Washington has allowed, and only one of these trends is going to continue. With the third-highest sack rate among power-five programs, the Beavers could give Penix pressure he hasn’t consistently seen this season. Andrew Chatfield Jr. will be the most important player for the Huskies’ line to contain, as he has nine sacks on the year.