Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Washington State Cougars
Thursday, 8/28/14, 10:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Washington State -8
Current Betting Line: Washington State -8
Opening Total: N/A
Current Total: N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
Rutgers is set to join the Big Ten Conference this season, while it has compiled a 5-4 SU record in its last nine road openers, with the four losses coming by just a total of eight points. The Scarlet Knights have dropped their last three games on the West Coast since 1999—important to consider when making your college football predictions in Week 1. The team will welcome back 16 total starters, with 98 percent of its rushing and 70 percent of its passing yards returning. Rutgers is 2-5 ATS in its last seven overall games.
The Scarlet Knights return five players who earned All-America or All-Conference honors a season ago, while signal-caller Gary Nova also returns for his senior campaign —throwing for 2,159 yards and 18 touchdowns with 14 interceptions in 2013. Rutgers five returning starters on the offensive line have combined to play in 123 games, which should allow the team to move the football in a balanced way, especially with three returning players that ran for 300-plus yards last season. On the other side of the football, linebacker Steve Longa will look to build off his team-high 123 tackles after gaining a year of experience.
Washington State is ready to take the next step in the Pac-12 Conference under third-year head coach Mike Leach, especially with redshirt-senior quarterback Connor Holliday leading a group of eight returning starters offensively. He set single-season school records for completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdown passes a year ago in Pullman. Holliday has a wide-variety of weapons, with his top eight targets returning to the huddle. Washington State is 1-4 ATS in its last five August affairs.
The Cougars have a chance of winning the conference if they manage to match last year’s total of forcing 30 turnovers, with defensive linemen Xavier Cooper leading the charge in racking up 13.5 tackles-for-loss. Washington State is 0-6 SU when playing at Century Link Field since 2008—the home of the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
Sports bettors will likely back the Cougars due to their 10-4 ATS mark in their last 14 games.
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