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Oskeim Sports’ NCAA Football Pick: Stanford Invades Pullman

cardinal

Washington State delivered an outright underdog winner for us last week as Mike Leach’s squad invaded Tucson as 7-point underdogs and left with a 45-42 victory. Despite their recent success, including road wins over Oregon (45-38) and the aforementioned Arizona, the Cougars remains grossly undervalued by the betting market. Washington State is 3-0 SU and ATS (averaging +127.0 yards per game) in its last three games, and we will once again invest on an underrated stock that is a profitable 8-3 ATS as a conference home underdog of eight or more points.

Coach Leach deserves a lot of credit for keeping Washington State focused after losing its season-opener to Portland State as 31-point home favorites. Washington State possesses a very goof offense that is averaging 36.4 points and 506 total yards per game at 6.2 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.7 yards per play to a mediocre offensive squad.

The Cougars’ attack has been even more efficient over the last three weeks where they are averaging 47.3 points and 597 total yards per game at 6.6 yards per play and 12.6 yards per point. I also like the fact that Washington State is averaging 42.5 points and 549 total yards per game in conference play this season.

The Cougars should be able to move the ball against a good Stanford stop unit that is allowing 5.2 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play. However, the Cardinal are yielding nearly 400 yards per game at 5.4 yards per play on the road and 373 yards per game at 5.9 yards per play versus Pac-12 foes this season. Overall, Washington State and Stanford match up evenly from the line of scrimmage when the Cougars have the ball.

The area in which Washington State does not get enough credit is on the defensive side of the ball where new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has done a tremendous job. Specifically, Washington State is yielding 6.0 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 6.3 yards per play. The Cougars also boast a very good secondary that has been 0.4 yards per pass play better than average (7.3 yards per play to a group of quarterbacks who would combine to average 7.7 yards per pass attempt).

The Cougars will be tested by a potent Stanford attack that is averaging 6.7 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.4 yards per play. The Cardinal can beat you both on the ground (0.8 yards per rush play better than average) and through the air (3.1 yards per pass play better than average).

The silver lining for Washington State investors is the fact that the Cougars play their best defense at home where they are limiting opponents to 23.0 points per game at 5.2 yards per play. Regardless, Stanford’s offense possesses a significant advantage from the line of scrimmage and should be able to move the ball at a good clip Saturday night.

With Stanford standing at 4-7 ATS as a road favorite, grab the generous points with the Cougars and invest with confidence.

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