A day before the Washington State Cougars take on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, the point spread for the matchup has settled in at Oregon minus-14 just about everywhere you look. Which got us thinking: Given the success of the last four years, it’s probably been a while since WSU has been that big of an underdog.
According to oddsshark.com, the last time it happened was 2015 — when the Cougars went to Eugene as 15.5-point underdogs.
Here’s a quick glance at the times WSU has been two-touchdown underdogs in the Mike Leach era:
If you’re too lazy to count, that’s 15 times in Leach’s first four seasons. The Cougs won outright just three times, although they are 12-2-1 against the spread. If we extend the analysis to the last 30 games in which WSU was a two-TD underdog, the Cougars are 20-9-1 ATS dating back to 2009.
Of course, one of those outright wins was against Oregon in 2015. There aren’t a lot of similarities between that opponent and this one; the Ducks were in the process of bottoming out under Mark Helfrich, and the Cougs were facing a backup QB — definitely not the case this year. However, this season also features a WSU team trying to figure itself out — 2015 had an inexplicable loss (that year, to an FCS team) and a close loss on the road to a ranked team it should have beat (that year, the week before at Cal).
WSU figured itself out, beating the Ducks in OT and kicking off this four-year run of success.
At any rate, WSU plus the points seems like a pretty decent bet, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here are a couple of other takes:
2019 college football betting trends — Week 9 | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Washington State at Oregon (-14): Washington State coach Mike Leach has won and covered the Cougars’ last four games against Oregon and has covered all seven since taking over in 2012. Washington State has covered the last nine meetings. Leach is 13-6 as an underdog since 2015. The Ducks are 2-2 ATS at home this season, and coach Mario Cristobal is 4-5 ATS as a home favorite. Edge: Washington State.
Pac-12 picks: Edge to ASU, Cal and Oregon against the spread - Mercury News
Washington State (+14) at Oregon: Facts are facts: The Cougars have won four in a row in the series by an average margin of 15.5 points. But two words explain why that streak ends Saturday night: Andy Avalos. The Ducks’ defensive coordinator has the scheme to slow the Air Raid and the personnel to execute. If Oregon allows Penei Sewell and Co. to lead the way — as it did in the second half in Seattle — the Ducks should be comfortably ahead in the fourth quarter. If they get pass happy, WSU will be mighty appreciative. Pick: Oregon.
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