Washington State Cougars vs. Oregon State Beavers – College Football, November 7, 2020

| October 23, 2020 4:34 pm PDT

Mike Leach has moved on to coach at Mississippi State, but don’t expect the air raid in Pullman to suddenly disappear. Nick Rolovich comes over from Hawaii after leading a dynamic offense in the Aloha State for the past four seasons.

The Cougars open up as a slight favorite in Corvallis as both of these programs get set to embark on their truncated their six-game slate. For those looking forward to betting on this game, here’s my Washington State vs. Oregon State prediction.

Washington State vs. Oregon State Odds

Washington State (-3)-110
Oregon State (+3)-110

Take the 2019 ATS data for what it’s worth, but the Cougars covered the spread just 30.8% of the time. On the opposite end of the spectrum, bettors who consistently backed the Beavers came out well ahead.

In fact, Oregon State’s impressive 9-3 record against the spread was the third-best mark in all of the FBS.

Also worth mentioning, ESPN’s Matchup Predictor showcased this game as a virtual toss-up. It portrays the Beavers winning the game outright 49.1% of the time.

Perhaps there’s some value tied to the three-point cushion?

We’ll get to the Washington State vs. Oregon State pick momentarily. Let’s begin with a look at each team.

Assessing the Cougars

Not only has Mike Leached departed, but so is the man responsible for racking up 5,579 passing yards and 48 passing touchdowns a season ago.

Who replaces Anthony Gordon at QB is still up in the air, but there appears to still be a trio of individuals in the hunt at the time of this writing. Nonetheless, neither, Cammon Cooper, Jayden de Laura, nor
Gunner Cruz has attempted a pass in a Pac-12 contest.

True freshman Jayden de Laura hails from Honolulu (connection to Rolovich) and is the guy I expect to eventually emerge.

Wide receiver is another position totally up for grabs – as the Cougars top three wideouts from last year’s squad are no longer with the team. Look for Jamire Calvin and Brandon Gray to start stepping up, and expect Max Borghi to continue pounding the rock out of the backfield.  

Borghi’s abilities as a do-it-all RB are reminiscent of a young Christian McCaffery. Ironically, Borghi grew up in Arvada, CO, just down the road from where CMC spent his childhood.

Assessing the Beavers

The Beavers are fighting an uphill battle if they plan on finishing second in the Pac-12 North for the second straight season. 7 of 11 offensive starters are gone – including QB Jake Luton and his top two weapons (WR Jake Luton, RB Artavis Pierce).

The consolation is HC Jonathan Smith has a stout front seven – namely a dependable core of linebackers. The secondary waved goodbye to Shawn Wilson and Jaylen Moore – leaving the back end as the biggest question mark of the defense.

Just like with the Cougars, it appears to be a three-horse race to assume the duties of being the starting quarterback.

Rising junior Tristan Gebbia seems to be the frontrunner, but don’t forget that Chance Nolan was the top JUCO QB who transferred into DI in 2020. With that being said, Ben Gulbranson has been turning heads and is quickly moving up the depth chart. It’s unlikely at this point that Nick Moore pushes for playing time, although weirder things have happened.

Washington State vs. Oregon State Pick

A barnburner broke out the last time these teams clashed (Cougars won 54-53 last season), meaning a Washington State vs. Oregon State prediction in 2020 could go either way. However, the school playing at home also happens to be armed with a more trustworthy defense.

In de Laura and Gulbranson, there’s an outside chance we see a couple of true freshmen manning the quarterback position.

If that’s the case, the D with more experience should be able to shine through. Plus, even if the Beavers don’t win this game, we have a field goal’s worth of insurance to fall back on.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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