The Thursday game of the week for week 5 of the 2012 college football season features a PAC-12 match up with the 8th ranked Stanford Cardinal (3-0) traveling to Seattle, WA to take on the Washington Huskies (2-1) in prime time (9:00pm ET). Stanford is 2-1 ATS this season, covering their last two games, a 21-14 win over USC as a 9.5 point underdog, and a 50-13 win over Duke to easily cover a 16.5 point line. Washington is 1-2 ATS this season, failing to cover 15 points in their opening 21-12 win over San Diego St., losing 41-3 at LSU in week 2, and rolling 52-13 over Portland St. to cover a 32 point line their last time out.
The Stanford offense has been a grind-it-out type of unit this season riding running back Stepfan Taylor (338 rushing yards, 3 TDs) to 30.3 point per game (55th in the nation) and 356.7 yards per game (95 in the nation in total offense). The Cardinal defense has carried the team in the absence of an explosive offense, ranking 22nd in scoring defense with 14.7 PPG allowed and 26th in total defense with 317.7 YPG allowed.
Washington has slogged their way to 313.3 YPG on offense (111th in the nation) and 25.3 PPG, good for 89th best in the country. The Huskies defense has fared somewhat better, allowing 22 PPG (52nd in the nation) and 341.7 YPG to rank 44th in the nation.
Stanford vs. Washington Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Stanford Cardinal -6
@ Washington Huskies +6
Over 49.5 (-110)
Under 49.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Stanford vs. Washington Pick:
Stanford has gone 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against winning teams, 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games, and 35-15-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall. Washington is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games, 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall, and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams. The over is 20-7 in Stanford’s last 27 games against winning teams and 4-0 in their last 4 games following a bye week. The under is 5-2 in Washington’s last 7 games overall and 5-2 in their last 7 games against winning teams. In head-to-head play, the under is 6-2 in their last 8 meetings, and the favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
These two teams are both much better defensively than they are offensively, and Stanford has one of the best defenses overall in the nation and THE best defense against the run. Washington has put up a pitiful display offensively this season, and when they went up against a top flight defense in LSU, they were only able to manage 183 yards of total offense and 1.1 yard per rush and 4.4 yards per pass play. That type of offense will not get very far against Stanford. The Cardinal are by no means an offensive juggernaut, and Washington is strong defending the pass with 167 YPG allowed through the air (14th in the nation), therefore the Cardinal will likely keep the ball on the ground and work the clock. This should not be a high scoring game, especially by PAC-12 standards. Take the under in this game.