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WSU Cougars vs. Utah Utes Gambling Prediction & Week 10 Preview

Cougars vs Utes NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping

The Washington State Cougars will travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium this weekend to take on the Utah Utes, and while neither team has excelled this season, both squads are coming off promising performances, even though only one of them got the win. This matchup wasn’t made for prime time television, but those who like to see the ball fly through the air should tune in.

Washington State Cougars (2-6) vs Utah Utes (3-5)
Saturday November 3, 2012
Rice-Eccles Stadium, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
3:00 PM ET
Moneyline: Utah -425, Washington State +325 Bookmaker
Spread: Utah -11.5
O/U: 49

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Washington State Cougars

The Washington State Cougars are coming of their fifth straight loss, but surprisingly enough, the team from Pullman put together a decent showing against No. 17 Stanford in week nine. Despite having no running game to speak of, and allowing 10 sacks in the contest, a strong passing attack kept the team in it until the clock struck zero.

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A 24-17 loss doesn’t do anything for their record, but it certainly gives them confidence that they can hang with their competition from here on out.

The Cougars have one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the nation under Mike Leach this season. Jeff Tuel threw one interception in last week’s contest, but he also completed 43 of his 60 passes for 401 yards and two touchdowns. The team averages 332.1 yards through the air per contest, which is good enough for eighth in the nation. The problem is, those yards aren’t equaling wins. WSU is just 2-6 on the season, and the hype that was surrounding Leach entering his first season as head coach is all but gone at this point in the year.

Having rushed for a whopping negative 16 yards (that’s right, -16 yards) last week, establishing a balanced offense is out the window at this point. The Cougars are ranked 124th in the nation in rushing, and if they’re going to win games, it’s going to be through the air. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Utah Utes

The Utah Utes are coming off a dominant home performance against the California Golden Bears, and they’re looking to carry that momentum forward into their matchup with the Cougars this weekend. While the offense was good against the Bears, it was the special teams that made the difference. Reggie Dunn was out of his mind with two 100-yard kickoff returns. That kind of performance will get you a win more times than not, but you can’t count on historic showings week in and week out.

The answer for the Utes to defeating the Cougars this weekend comes down to one key concept: stop the pass. Utah is just 56th in the nation this season in stopping the pass, as they’ve allowed 227.6 yards per game. Their rushing defense is 24th in the nation, but they can take a break come Saturday, as the Cougars have made it clear what their objective is on offense.

The Utes average only 23.8 points per contest, but they’re going up against a defense that gives up 29.6 per game. The Utes should be able to take advantage offensively, and if they can stop the pass, it’s going to be an easy outcome in their favor.

Trends

Under is 5-1 in Cougars last 6 road games.
Under is 4-1 in Cougars last 5 games following a S.U. loss.
Under is 4-0 in Utes last 4 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
Under is 9-2 in Utes last 11 games following a S.U. win.
Under is 8-2 in Utes last 10 games following a ATS win.
Utes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.

O/U Pick: Under 49
Score Prediction: Utah 28 – Washington St. 14

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