July is a painful, painful month for college football fans. To numb some of the pain, I got a heads start on outlining some bets for the 2015 Husky season by talking with Peter Loshak from http://www.sportsbookreview.com/ .
1. Has 2014 starting quarterback Cyler Miles leaving the program lowered Washington's win total odds during the off-season?
Not really at all. Miles' issues of course have been known for a long time, and even as far back as mid-March, it was evident that he probably wouldn't be playing this season. If Miles had left the program unexpectedly, much closer to the start of the season, after the win total odds had been up for a while and taken betting action, then we might have seen an impact. But in this case, no.
2. Washington looks like a significant underdog going into their opener at Boise State. Do you think the spread will climb or fall leading up to the game?
Yes right now the places that have a line up for that game have Boise St as a favorite of about 11 points, and my guess would be that the spread could climb even higher by kickoff. I am pretty sure the general public will favor Boise St in that game, even at -11, and unless significant sharp action comes in on Washington, which is possible, but which would surprise me, then the line will go a little higher.
3. Washington faces six teams that will likely be ranked in the preseason (Arizona, at Arizona State, at Boise State, Oregon, at Stanford, at USC), which one of these games looks like their best chance for an upset?
I would say the home game against Arizona on Oct 31. First of all, that game comes a bit later in the season, so Chris Petersen will have had a little time to get the pieces he has to work with this year working at least a little better than they probably will be at the beginning of the year, when there could be some unsightly moments with all the roster holes and talent issues Washington has to deal with this season. And, it's not a great scheduling spot for Arizona. Washington has an open week in early October, while Arizona will be playing in their 9th week in a row with no off week, so fatigue could be a factor that favors Washington. And, the week after the Washington game, Arizona has a road game at USC, which will be their first big game in a while, and they could get caught looking ahead a bit. So out of those 6 games I would say the home game against Arizona is the most likely to result in a win for Washington.
4. Other than the Boise State opener are there any games on Washington's schedule that are seeing a lot of action.
The road game at USC on Oct. 8 already has a line up at some places and has taken betting action, and from what I'm told, it's been favoring USC despite the high line, which is not a surprise. The line on that one could easily climb to -21 or higher by kickoff, if the public loads up on USC and no sharp action comes in on the other side, which is probably the mostly likely scenario.
5. Is it possible that Washington could be an underdog at home against Utah State if they perform poorly in their opener against Boise State?
It's possible, but I doubt it. Washington is expected to lose by double digits at Boise, so even if they get completely blown out there and lose by 30 or 40, I think they will still come back and wind up closing as a small betting favorite against Utah St. Now, whether they should be a favorite or not in the Utah St game is a different question, but no I don't think they will actually wind up as an underdog in the betting markets against Utah St even if they are awful against Boise. It would take major sharp action on Utah St without notable public action on Washington for that to happen, which is of course entirely possible, but as of right now, I think less than likely.
6. Do you believe betters have lost any faith in Chris Petersen after an underwhelming first season at Washington?
Oh I don't think so at all, Petersen has proven himself as a coach who can really build a program and get results, and meet or exceed high expectations when given enough time. He was doing that even in assistant roles even before he took over at Boise St. I think savvy and experienced college football bettors do have that impression of him in mind, and do generally expect Washington under Petersen to be a team that will have good value betting on them at some point in the reasonably near future, even if it's not this year.
7. Not considering Sacramento State, which opponent do you think Washington will have the biggest spread over in 2015?
As of right now I would say it's most likely to be the home game against Washington St on Nov 27th. Now, that game is a long ways off, and Washington St could play significantly better than their pre-season forecasts throughout the course of the season, and if that's the case then who knows, Washington St could even wind up closing as the betting favorite. But as it stands right now, that looks like the most likely candidate. Home games against Utah St, Cal and Utah should all have very competitive spreads, and the only other possibility would be the road game at Oregon St on Nov 21, but by that point Oregon St will probably be getting enough respect from the betting public to keep the line in that one very competitive as well.
8. What do you think will be the spread for Washington's game against Oregon?
It will be big, it should be somewhere between 2 and 3 touchdowns with Oregon as the favorite, and could attract lopsided betting action depending on how the season develops. If Oregon has 3 straight blowout wins leading up to the game, which is entirely possible, the betting public might jump all over Oregon, and drive the line way up. If the big sharp action decides that Washington has betting value as a big home underdog, then the line could hold steady, or even close lower than -14. So it will be a double-digit spread, and I'm almost certain that the public will pile all over Oregon. The movement of the line and the closing number will depend on how the sharp action responds. If the sharp action stays off the game, or even possibly agrees with the public, then the line will go flying up towards -20 or -21. If the sharps like Washington getting all those points, then it will hold steady around -14 or even close slightly lower. They would be my guess on the spread, betting action, and line movement for the game.