13.Oct.2010 Analysis: Oregon State @ Washington
It feels good to be back to discussing football. This week it's the Washington Huskies.
I like to glance the Vegas' opening line and how it moves throughout the week. This week, the Beavers opened as 2.5 favorites, and it's now down to a pick 'em game. I understand the common gambler's reasoning for picking Washington:
1. James Rodgers is out.
2. Washington beat USC.
But what the average college football fan doesn't realize is that Markus Wheaton is just as good, if not better (gasp!) than James Rodgers. Okay, so he is probably not better, but only because James had some leadership skills and four years in the offense, allowing him to master details. Wheaton is getting there fast, though.
As far as Washington beating USC–I have a feeling a lot of average to good teams are going to beat USC. The Trojans have nothing to play for, and they have a head coach whom nobody respects.
So a 2.5 line, and now a pick 'em game. Really?
I love the Beavers in this game. There are few teams with a worse defense than the Beavs, but Washington is one of them. OSU also has a superior running back, quarterback, and wide receivers. Their return game is second to none in the country, and should continue churning with Poyer and Wheaton taking over duties. Where does Washington have an advantage? Even their coaching staff is inferior. Figure Vegas gives Washington +3 for the home field. That is still way too low.
Notice above I said the Beavs have the advantage at QB. Mel Kiper wouldn't agree, but if we're being honest who would you rather have right now? Locker is an erratic mental case. He'll overthrow a receiver wide open down the middle (right into the arms of Lance Mitchell) at least once in this game. Katz has been in 3 huge games this year versus top 10 teams. How many has Locker been involved in his entire career? Truth be told: Locker is a gamer, leader of men, and a player who demands respect due to the passion with which he plays the game, but his football intelligence and throwing ability do not match his heart.
The wild cards that might keep this game close:
1. Noise–We all know the reputation of Husky Stadium. However, the Beavers have quietly become road warriors.
2. ESPN broadcast — The Beavers are notoriously horrible in the prime time. However, they do tend to play better in this time slot versus familiar Pac-10 opponents.
3. Mobile QB–Sure, Locker can't throw, but he can scoot. Luckily Washington does not run much option.
Last week's game felt like a pick 'em. This one doesn't.
Beavers by at least 7, but I'm thinking more like 13+.
38-24, good guys.