NCAA Football Picks: Washington Huskies at Arizona Wildcats

Washington Huskies at Arizona Wildcats
Saturday, 10/23/2010, 10:15 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Arizona -7.5
Current Betting Line:  Arizona -6.5
Opening Total:  53
Current Total:  53
Current Moneyline:  Arizona -255 / Washington +215

Jake Locker Washington Huskies Football
Washington QB Jake Locker heads to Tucson as a 6.5-point road underdog after capturing a double-overtime win over Oregon State last week.

Washington travels to Tucson with an even 3-3 overall record and 2-1 mark in conference to take on the Arizona Wildcats in a nationally-televised contest.  The Huskies are looking to break a pattern of alternating wins and losses over the course of the season, especially since the squad captured a 35-34 double-overtime win over Oregon State last time out.  “Obviously we’ve analyzed it and looked at it and trying to find out why,” said Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian.  “I don’t think it’s because our guys think they are the greatest thing ever after a win.”  The program holds a 17-8-1 edge in the series against Arizona, with the Huskies winning 10 of the last 15 matchups overall.  The team is 6-15 against the college football spreads versus conference opponents and the total is 9-11 O/U in that span.

The Huskies are led by senior quarterback Jake Locker and that was never more evident in his career-best five touchdown performance against Oregon State last week.  “He is continuing to grown and mature every time we go out and that’s what you want out of your players,” said Sarkisian.  Locker has tossed 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season and looks to capture another victory over the Wildcats after last year’s 36-33 comeback win.  The offense will need some help from Washington’s defense in this contest, but the unit ranks 98th nationally in total defense, surrendering 416.8 yards per game.  The Huskies have also allowed an average of 36.3 points in their last four games.

Arizona is set to host Washington for the school’s 125th Homecoming and also break its current tie with the Huskies for second place in the Pac-10 Conference standings.  The Wildcats own a solid home field advantage in winning eight of its last 10 games at Arizona Stadium and the school is expecting the third sellout crowd of the season.  With the squad’s 2-1 conference start this season, the Wildcats have 16 victories in their last 25 Pac-10 games.  Six of those nine losses have been by three points or less and by a total of 39 points altogether.  Arizona is 0-2 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points this season and 11-26 ATS in this situation over its last 37 tries.

The Wildcats will be playing this contest without starting quarterback Nick Foles, who injured his knee in last week’s 24-7 win at Washington State.  “He’ll be back when he’s ready,” head coach Mike Stoops said.  “It’s not a season-ending injury.  We anticipate him back.”  He was ranked second nationally in completion percentage (75.3) and entered last week’s game leading the conference with an average of 305.8 yards passing.  Backup Matt Scott will now lead the offense and he completed 14 of 20 passes for 139 yards against the Cougars.  The junior signal caller has three career starts under his belt and compiled a 2-1 record last year with wins over Central Michigan and Northern Arizona before a loss at Iowa.

Bettors may back off in playing the Huskies in this matchup due to their 4-10 ATS record as a road underdog, but the Wildcats are difficult to trust with a 2-10 ATS mark in their last 12 games as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10 points.

At the current line we have no opinion on this game but we do have 7 strong plays lined up for Saturday including our 20 unit game of the year.  This will be another easy winner and anyone looking to boost their sports betting bankroll or just stuff some extra cash in your pocket this week should be getting on this play now.  Visit the NCAA football picks page to get our 20 unit winner.

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