Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington Huskies Preview and Free Picks
(6-1, 3-4 ATS)
(3-4, 2-5 ATS)
Every single year, the Washington Huskies and Stanford Cardinal lock horns in a heated NCAA football betting battle. That clash this year will be decided in Seattle, where both teams are going to look to take major steps at accomplishing their goals.
We talk about this every week with Stanford, but we know that any given loss in conference play now will end any hopes of going to the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal are playing like it as well, having scored at least 31 points on all seven of its foes this year. Washington figures to only be a tiny pothole in the question to keep that streak going. This unit ranks No. 15 in the country in total offense at 466.4 yards per game, and QB Andrew Luck has himself on the ballot for the Heisman Trophy this year because of it. Luck is more of a drop back passer, but he has a good set of wheels on him as well. He has thrown for 1,728 yards and 19 TDs and has accounted for 253 yards and a pair of tuddies on the ground as well. RB Stepfan Taylor is keeping this offense going as well to the tune of 624 yards and five scores in the rushing game. Our concern for HC John Harbaugh and crew is the defense. This unit has allowed at least 28 points in three straight games now, averaging allowing 38.3 points per game in that stretch. Perhaps this wouldn’t be as concerning had the Trees not given up 28 to the lowly Washington State Cougars last weekend.
We know that HC Steve Sarkisian is still trying his best to get this program on the map, but he badly needs to find a way to scratch out three more wins this season. This would be a prime game to win, as one would think that the only winnable games left are against UCLA at home, Cal on the road, and the Apple Cup at Wazzou. QB Jake Locker badly needs to pick it up as well, and he probably has more on the line on Saturday than any other man in the country. If Locker can outperform Luck, he might make himself the first quarterback taken in next year’s NFL Draft and be guaranteed to be a Top 10 pick. Unless both the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills end up drafting in the Top 10 though, both men cannot be taken. Luck probably won’t come out unless he knows he is going to be the top draft choice. Locker doesn’t have an option anymore. He has been up and down this year, but has had some atrocious games. Locker has thrown for 1,614 yards and 14 scores against four picks and has 252 yards and three TDs with his legs as well. A 56.5 percentage completion percentage doesn’t have an NFL scouts going ooh and ah, but a win against the Cardinal in this big spot might change all of that.
The wheels just look like they’ve fallen off this year in Seattle, and it is fairly clear that things aren’t changing overnight. Sure, Locker could go bananas and guide the team to a massive victory like he did at the LA Coliseum a few weeks back against the USC Trojans, but that isn’t likely. We’ll take the safer pick and hope that Stanford’s defense can at least remotely keep Locker down.
College Football Free Pick: Stanford Cardinal -7
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