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Week 1: Washington vs. BYU Preview & Pick

Washington Huskies vs BYU Cougars Gambling Preview + Predictions

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The 2010 College Football season opens on Thursday. Veteran sportswriter Matt Martz will preview all of the weekly PAC-10 match ups throughout the season, providing some insight to help make your college football wagers winners.

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Washington vs. BYU Free Week 1 College Football Pick

Date/Time: Saturday, September 4, 7:00 PM ET
Venue: LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, UT.
Washington Huskies at # 11 vs. BYU Cougars Lines
Money Line: Not available yet
Spread: BYU -3
Over/Under: 57
Bet Now At Bookmaker.com —>

The Washington Huskies will travel to Provo, Utah to open the 2010 NCAA College Football season against the Brigham Young Cougars on Saturday, looking to gain an early edge in the PAC-10 standings in their quest for the team’s first Rose Bowl appearance since 2001.

The Huskies have historically struggled over the last decade and hasn’t produced a winning season since going 7-6 in 2002. However, the team has shown signs of improvement finishing 2009 at 5-7 overall and 7th in the conference, after going an awful 0-12 in 2008.

Washington struggled on the road in 2009, going 0-5 while getting thumped by the likes of Oregon State and Stanford, but surprised a lot of teams including defeating Cal 42-10 after shutting out Washington State 30-0, as well as upsetting USC 16-13. Those types of quality wins should mean that Washington will improve.

Last season’s squad was young and mostly inexperienced, but those players are now retuning including senior QB Jake Locker who had a solid season tossing for 2,800 yards and 21 TDs last season. Those numbers should only perk up as his five top receivers also return.

Players to keep an eye on in Saturday’s contest will be WR Jermaine Kearse (50 receptions, 866 yards, 17.3 YPR, 8 TDs last season), WR Devin Auguilar (42 receptions, 593 yards, 5 TDs last season), and RB Chris Polk (1,132 yards, 4 TDs last season). All of who are explosive playmakers that will keep the Cougars defense honest.

That shouldn’t be a problem for a BYU as they allowed just over 110 yards per game in last year’s stellar campaign. The secondary should also be amongst the best in the MWC with three returning starters from last year, including safety Andrew Rich, whose job it will be to be all over Washington’s Kearse if they want a shot at winning this game.

The Cougars wrapped up the 2009 year finishing 14th in the BCS standings with an 11-2 overall record ahead of teams such as Pitt, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah, and West Virginia. But what are they capable of in 2010?

First you have to question the Cougars offense without QB Max Hall (3,560 yards, 33 TDs last season) who has graduated and moved on as an undrafted rookie for the Arizona Cardinals, leaving head coach Bronco Mendenhall with some tough decisions.

For now it looks like Mendenhall will go with freshman QB Jake Heaps in this weekend’s contest.

Heaps was voted the No. 1, 2010 High School Quarterback recruit according to Scout.com, and has been drawing a lot of praise from fans and the media.

But the rookie’s job doesn’t get any easier either as the Cougs’ losses didn’t end with just Hall.

They will also be without offensive playmakers: RB Harvey Unga (1,087 yards, 12 TDs last season; drafted by the Bears in round 7) and WR Dennis Pitta (829 yards, 8 TDs last season; drafted by the Ravens in round 4). However, for a glimmer of hope, BYU will have three of their top five receivers returning for another season.

Jake Locker should do well and is surrounded by a boatload of skilled playmakers to work with unlike Heap. However, a tough BYU defense will make it difficult for the Huskies to put points on the board.

The deciding factor will be whether or not Washington’s defense can step up in this one. I think they will, considering that BYU’s offense is going to be nowhere near the threat they were in 2009.

UW at BYU Betting Trends

Washington is 7-15 ATS in its last 22 games
Washington is 5-20 SU in its last 25 games
Washington is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games on the road
BYU is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
BYU is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of BYU’s last 12 games
BYU is 7-15 ATS in its last 22 games

Free Pick: Washington

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.


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