Washington vs. Arizona kicks off this Saturday at 10:00pm EST in Tucson as a home game for the Wildcats. Washington is currently a -18 favorite and -1000 on the moneyline while the total is set at 68. Read on for more Washington vs. Arizona best bets and predictions as Washington looks to get off to another hot start by covering the spread in the first half.
Washington Vs. Arizona Prediction & Best Bet
It’s the Michael Penix Jr show as he once again lit up the board by throwing for 304 yards and four touchdowns in his latest outing against the California Golden Bears. This has now thrust him into a tie with Caleb Williams as the Heisman favorite, if not the outright favorite in some sports books depending on where you look.
He now gets another opportunity to put up a monster state line as they hit the road to battle it out against the Arizona Wildcats. This game is right before their bye week, serving as ample time before their lookahead against the Oregon Ducks two weeks from now. This brings potential value to their first half numbers over the full game, making it intriguing to see how aggressive Washington gets throughout the game.
On paper, metrics say that the Washington Huskies pass attack should hit some speed bumps against the Arizona secondary. Arizona ranks 28th in Def Pass Success rate, excelling at an area that Washington thrives in. Washington relies on consistency over the big play when moving down the field, picking apart opposing second levels for modest gains as they rank second in the nation in Off Pass Success Rate and third in Off Pass PPA.
The issue for Arizona is that this may mirror the Michigan State situation when Washington shredded that secondary with ease. Arizona has played a cupcake schedule thus far into the year, playing the likes of Northern Arizona, Mississippi State, UTEP, and Stanford. Not exactly world beaters, potentially fluffing up the Wildcats defensive metrics.
Fully expecting the Wildcats defensive metrics to regress back towards the expected mean, Washington’s pass attack should not skip a beat. Michael Penix has been a magician under center and is surrounded by plenty of weapons that can create separation and expose the gaps in coverage. With a bye week on deck and Oregon in two weeks, expect the Huskies to come out firing on all cylinders to open the game and cover the first half spread before calling back the starters for extra rest.
Washington Vs. Arizona Prediction & Best Bet: Washington 1H -10.5
Washington Vs. Arizona Betting Odds
With Washington looking like one of the best teams in the nation, it’s no surprise that oddsmakers once again opened them as a comfortable favorite. After opening at -21.5, bettors were quick to back the Wildcats by taking them down to +17.5. A curious movement as it crossed through the key number of 21, as well as a lack of quality opponents to back up their impressive metrics. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Huskies have a bye week coming up, giving their starters a chance to get extra rest by pulling them in the second half.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a lightning quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 69.5. Bettors believe that number was a tad too high, backing the under down to as low as 67.5 as of writing. This is dependent on the Wildcats ability to do their part towards the total, getting the benefit of going against an average Huskies defense as well as playing their backups late in the contest.
Washington Vs. Arizona Key Matchups
Can Washington’s ground game crack the Arizona defense?
Dillon Johnson Vs. Arizona Front Seven
While the Washington pass attack gets all the praise, their ground game holds more weight heading into this matchup as it can open up the field for Penix to shred. Their ground game has yet to show up in a dominant fashion, yet they may have found something with Dillon Johnson.
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) September 24, 2023
While Will Nixon continues to struggle, Dillon Johnson has stepped up in a major way to diversify the Washington ground attack. He plays a major role in allowing Washington to get more aggressive on secondary downs with his ability to cut the distance in half when he gets his name called. Arizona ranks 35th in Def Rush Success Rate and sixth in Def Rush Explosiveness, making it intriguing to see if he can continue to churn out yards in the second level.