For the first time since 2006, the Washington State Cougars are favored to beat the Washington Huskies in the Apple Cup, opening up today as a 3-point betting favorite.
The Cougars are 10-1 overall and currently ranked No. 7 in the AP poll, while the Huskies 8-3 and are ranked No. 16, and with the game being in Pullman, it makes sense that the Cougs would be favored. According to oddshark.com’s historical data, this is only the eighth time since 1990 that the Cougars have been favored in the Apple Cup.
As you can see, the Cougs haven’t exactly been fantastic in these situations, only winning the game outright in three of seven tries, and only covering the spread twice. The last time WSU both won and covered the spread was in 2005.
Of course, the last time there was this much on the line for WSU was 1997 — the other time the Cougs both won and covered the spread. And those of us who were around back then will tell you that this group bears a remarkable similarity to that one, with its explosive offense — led by a Heisman Trophy candidate QB wearing No. 16 — and underrated defense. And this time, the game’s in Pullman.
Additionally, the 2018 Cougs are 10-1 against the spread this season, with the only “loss” coming against Cal, when WSU was a 7 1/2-point favorite but won the game by just six (thanks to a weird confluence of events that suppressed the Cougs’ point output).
For another look at historical betting lines in the Apple Cup, you can check out this Brian Anderson piece from 2013.