The marquee matchup of the opening week of the college football season is clearly No. 6 Washington, the Pac-12 favorite, facing No. 9 Auburn in what is essentially a home neutral-site game in Atlanta for the Tigers as they will have about 98 percent of the fan support. Auburn is a slight NCAA Football odds favorite at our online sportsbook.
How to Bet Washington vs Auburn NCAA Football Odds & TV InfoWatchESPNRadio: TuneIn.comOpening NCAA Football Lines: Auburn -1.5 (48)
What’s at Stake?The loser here is going to find it very tough to reach the College Football Playoff. Remember, no school has made the playoff yet with two losses in a season. There’s no way that Auburn runs the table if it loses this game considering the Tigers have to visit No. 18 Mississippi State, No. 3 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama. NO CHANCE! Washington could maybe win out after this because the Pac-12 isn’t all that great. The Huskies’ toughest games will be at Utah, at Oregon and vs. Stanford before a potential Pac-12 title game. The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the Huskies and Tigers.
Why Bet on Washington?The Huskies have two Heisman candidates in QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin, both of whom could have turned pro after last season. Browning was the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year. He was still good last year if not quite as great. He started every game and broke UW career touchdown passes record, finishing his junior season with 78.Browning had some uneven play in 2017. By normal standards, Browning’s 19 touchdown passes (against five interceptions) and 152.1 QB rating would constitute a good, if not great, season. But when those statistics are juxtaposed against his breakthrough sophomore season — when he was the conference player of the year after throwing a Pac-12-record 43 touchdown passes and posting a school-record QB rating of 167.5 in 2016 — it’s easy to count his 2017 as a regression.Gaskin was named second-team All-Pac-12 last year and is only the third Husky ever to rush for 1,000 yards in three seasons, joining Napoleon Kaufman and Chris Polk. Gaskin has broken the UW record for rushing touchdowns, with 41. He’s the only player in UW history to score four or more TDs in two different games.Over the last three years, Washington’s defense has been, statistically, the best in the Pac-12 and one of the top units in the nation. The Huskies have led the Pac-12 in total defense for three years in a row, climbing the national rankings each year, capped by a No. 8 national finish last season. The UW has also paced the Pac-12 in scoring defense the last three seasons.Washington is 87-35-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .703. Since 1989, Washington has posted an 17-11 record in season openers – 10-1 at home, 7-9 on the road, 0-1 neutral site. Last year, the Huskies opened with a 30-14 win at Rutgers, who they also beat in Seattle to begin the 2016 season. The year before, the Huskies fell, 16-13, at Boise State.In the 27-season span dating back to 1989, the Huskies have opened vs. a ranked team 12 times (5-7): vs. No. 15 Stanford in 1993 (W, 31-14), at No. 17 USC in 1994 (L, 24-17), at No. 20 Arizona State in 1996 (L, 45-42), vs. No. 19 BYU in 1997 (W, 42-20) at No. 8 Arizona State in 1998 (W, 42-38), vs. No. 11 Michigan in 2001 (W, 23-18), at No. 12 Michigan in 2002 (L, 31-29), at No. 2 Ohio State in 2003 (L, 28-9), at No. 21 Oregon in 2008 (L, 44-10), vs. No. 11 LSU in 2009 (L, 31-23), vs. No. 19 Boise State in 2013 (W, 38-6), and at No. 23 Boise State in 2015 (L, 16-13)
Why Bet on Auburn?Of course, the Tigers are defending SEC West champions but their shot at the playoff vanished with a loss in the SEC title game to Georgia. Auburn has its own Heisman candidate in QB Jarrett Stidham.Last year, Stidham’s first with Auburn after transferring from Baylor, he was named SEC newcomer of the year, second team all-SEC and a finalist for the Manning Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. Stidham led the SEC and ranked ninth nationally in completion percentage (66.5, 246-370). He was fourth in the in SEC, 19th nationally in passing efficiency (151.0). Stidham ranked second in passing yardage (3,158), first in completions (246) and sixth in touchdown passes (18) among Auburn single-season all-time leaders.Nine Auburn players earned a spot on the preseason coaches All-SEC first, second and third teams. Though no Auburn player made the first team, Stidham, wide receiver Ryan Davis, defensive tackle Derrick Brown, linebacker Deshaun Davis and cornerback Jamel Dean were all voted to the second team by the league’s coaches. The other four – offensive lineman Marquel Harrell, defensive linemen Marlon Davidson and Dontavius Russell and defensive back Javaris Davis – were named to the third team.Last year, Davis set Auburn single-season record for receptions with 84 for 815 yards, 5 TD. He was second in SEC with 6.0 catches per game. Listed at only 5’9 and weighing 185 pounds, his specialty seems to be the short to intermediate routes. Although he has speed, his shiftiness is something that Gus Malzahn was able to use very well and often had him on the receiving end of screen plays.The Tigers return nine of 10 players among the two-deep depth chart from last season along the defensive line, including starting tackles Brown and Russell. Auburn has yet to settle on a starter at the pass rusher position (Nick Coe, T.D. Moultry or Big Kat Bryant), but has settled on starters in the secondary following the departures of three upperclassmen and one All-American in cornerback Carlton Davis.
College Football Betting Trends for Washington vs Auburn
- Huskies are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
- Tigers are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.