|Arizona Odds||+11.5 [BET NOW]|
|Washington Odds||-11.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+370/-520 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||52.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
After losing a close game against USC, Arizona will have to turn around for another tough matchup as it heads to Washington.
The Huskies are coming off a win over Oregon State in Week 1 and receive another advantageous matchup for their offense here. Arizona kept it close against USC after going nearly a full year without playing a game, but will the Wildcats be able to cover another spread on the road against the Huskies?
Arizona seems to have found a good one in quarterback Grant Gunnell. The 6’6, former three-star recruit performed well as a true freshman last year and continued to impress against USC last week.
Gunnell ranked highly in a lot of metrics last season as a true freshman, but the sample size was small. Going into the year, I was interested to see if he could keep up his 2019 performance or if it was a result of a small sample size. Against USC, he definitely showed the potential to be a quality starter going forward. In terms of Expected Points Added, Gunnell averaged 0.436 per play. There are only 16 quarterbacks with at least 100 snaps who rank higher.
In total, Arizona ranks 37th in EPA per play on offense after Game 1. The Wildcats gained 444 yards on 76 plays and put up 30 points.
Arizona was one of the worst defenses in the country in 2019 and lost its top six tacklers from that unit.
The 2019 Arizona defense ranked 128th in Success Rate, 123rd in First Down Rate, 127th in Busted Drive Rate, and 121st in Sack Rate. From what it showed against USC, I’m not sure we can expect much of an improvement this year.
The Wildcats rank 116th in Success Rate and 125th in Available Yards Allowed. Arizona allowed 9.3% of USC’s offensive plays to go for at least 20 yards, while the national average sits at 6.8%. Unsurprisingly, the Wildcats rank 116th in that department. They allowed the Trojans to cross their 40-yard line nine times and did not record a single sack of Kedon Slovis. Arizona will also be facing a Washington offensive line that did not give up any sacks against Oregon State.
The Washington offense underwent a lot of changes after 2019, so it was hard to get a read on how the offense would look in 2020 with a new quarterback and head coach. The 2019 offense ranked 70th in EPA per play, so there was definitely room for improvement going forward.
Against Oregon State, the Huskies posted a 47% Success Rate and kept quarterback Dylan Morris clean throughout the whole game. Washington gained 70% of available yards, which has it ranking third nationally in that department after one game. The Huskies also rank third in First Down Rate.
Quarterback Jacob Eason declared for the NFL Draft after last season, which left Morris as the starter in 2020. Morris performed well in his first game of the season and currently ranks sixth among Pac-12 quarterbacks in Pro Football Focus grade.
Washington is known for its defense, and with former defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake taking over as head coach, it figured to continue performing well in 2020.
Washington’s defensive performance against Oregon State was interesting. It allowed Oregon State to successfully move the ball on a per-play basis but also did not give up a single play over 20 yards. However, the Huskies will look to improve in Success Rate.
Oregon State posted a 48% Success Rate on the game, and it increased to 61% on standard downs. Currently, the Huskies are third-worst in the nation in standard downs Success Rate Allowed.
Washington also had problems up front and ranks 124th in Line Yards and 123rd in Opportunity Rate on the defensive line. Washington has only played one game, so it’s tough to tell if this is actually a cause for concern or just a one-game outlier. Washington’s top two interior defensive linemen currently grade in the 50s, according to PFF.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There is a lot of uncertainty here, as we are dealing with a one-game sample size for both teams.
However, my numbers show value on the total of 52.5. Both teams ran at least 75 plays in their first games, so we can expect a relatively fast pace. I project the total at 60.3 and admittedly took a bad number on the opener, but I see a good bit of value on the over here. I don’t see Arizona stopping Washington here — or any Power Five offense in general.
Pick: Over 52.5 (up to 54.5)