Some of you have already batted this topic around in the comments section, but I figured I would bring it out here for greater visibility (nice of me, huh?)
Anyway, here’s a link to some early betting lines for some of the top college football games this season from the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.
Here are the specific lines for UW games with comment:
Sept. 4: BYU by 3-and-a-half over UW: That seems about right for a road opener in a tough venue against a consistently good team. It will be interesting to see if the bettors bring it down under three, which would indicate that much more confidence from those on the outside in the Huskies.
Sept. 18: Nebraska by 4.5 over UW: Obviously, after the first game all lines fluctuate based on momentum, injuries and other factors impossible to guess beforehand. Given the relative states of these two teams last season, this seems about right, though I wouldn’t be surprised to come down a little bit in UW’s favor, especially if the Huskies have won their first two games coming into this one.
Oct. 16: UW by 4.5 over Oregon State: UW has lost six in a row to the Beavers — and few have really been close. But it’s not hard to see UW favored thanks to the homefield advantage and OSU’s uncertain QB situation.
Oct. 23: Arizona by 3.5 over Washington: When you consider that lines usually swing three points based on which team is at home you’re kind of seeing a trend here — most of these games look basically like tossups with the home team getting a slight edge. Arizona has just about its its entire offense coming back but loses much of its defense, so this has all the makings of a 42-38 type game on a Saturday night in Tucson.
Oct. 30: UW by 3 over Stanford: Another one that’s basically a toss-up other than UW being at home. And this line seems about right given that these two teams are usually viewed being in that middle 4-6 group of the Pac-10 this season. Key to this one will be whether UW can stop Stanford’s running game forcing the Cardinal to throw — usually a trickier proposition for a road team.
Nov. 6: Oregon by 10 over UW: This line might seem high to die-hard UW fans, but hard to argue objectively considering the Ducks have beaten the Huskies six straight times, all by 20 points or more, and this one will be held in Autzen Stadium. We’ll know by the kickoff of this one whether the Ducks have been able to replace Jeremiah Masoli (or whether it hasn’t mattered because a veteran Oregon O-line and all those RBs are just steamrolling everyone on the ground).
Nov. 18: UW by six over UCLA: As many have noted, UCLA is 4-0 against the two Washington schools in Rick Neuheisel’s two years in Pasadena, 2-12 against the rest of the Pac-10 (beating Stanford at home in 2008 and Arizona State at home in 2009). But UW could break that streak in this one. This will be Jake Locker’s last home game and considering how the season is going, could be one of the most fevered atmospheres at Husky Stadium in years.
Nov. 27: Cal by 3 over UW: Another one that the oddsmakers basically see as a toss-up other than it being at Cal. Who has what on the line will go a long way to determining how this game unfolds.
Dec. 4: UW by 17 at WSU: Who knows what kind of shape the Cougs will be in by this point? This might turn out a little high — rivalry games are always tricky, especially on the road. But given what we know now, seems about right.
As you can see, it was mentioned that there was no line yet for the USC game, likely due to uncertainty over what is going on with the Trojans at the moment.
Other games aren’t listed because they aren’t viewed as high interest games.
But here’s my guess at lines for the other UW games:
Sept. 11: UW by 9 over Syracuse: I think many UW fans are looking at this one as a gimme. But it also looks like something of a potential trap, sandwiched in between the trip to BYU and the visit by Nebraska. And the Orange, while likely to be picked near the bottom of the Big East, may be better than you think in the second year of the Doug Marrone era.
Oct. 2: USC by 8 over UW: Given what we know about both teams at this moment, I would still expect the Trojans to be favored by a decent amount, especially given that the game is at the Coliseum.
Oct. 9: UW by 7.5 over Arizona State: ASU is pretty much a consensus pick to finish ninth in the conference this year. But the Devils could have one of the top two or three defenses in the country and I’d be surprised if this game’s a blowout unless it becomes a turnoverfest (which could happen given ASU’s uncertain QB situation).