Oregon State vs Washington State Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Trench Warfare

The Pac-12 is crumbling, but there's still good football being played out west. It's the case again on Saturday when two ranked teams in Oregon State and Washington State face off. Our college football betting picks expect this one to be tense throughout.

JD Yonke - Contributor at Covers.com
JD Yonke • Contributor
Sep 22, 2023 • 16:36 ET • 4 min read
Oregon State Beavers Isaac Hodgins NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Is it the Pac-12 still, or the Pac-2? The two final teams that have yet to be plucked from the conference square off Saturday as the Washington State Cougars (3-0) host the Oregon State Beavers (3-0).

You’d think some conference would want these teams considering both are playing solid football to start the year. Bigger picture aside, this sets up as a quality game on the West Coast in Week 4 between two undefeated teams early in the year. 

This is a fascinating college football odds handicap in addition to being a game chock-full of intriguing off-field storylines. I’m zoned in on this matchup and have derived my favorite betting pick for this Pac-12 showdown.

Read on for my best bet and free college football picks and predictions for Oregon State vs. Washington State on Saturday, September 23. 

Oregon State vs Washington State best odds

Oregon State vs Washington State and predictions

Oregon State being a road favorite may seem odd, but it makes a bit more sense once you consider that it’ll likely have an advantage in the trenches on both sides of the ball. 

The offensive line is elite yet again and has paved the way for a ground game that ranks second nationally in rushing success rate. They should have little trouble finding an advantage against a green Washington State defensive front that lost three of its top five defensive tackles and its star linebacker from a year ago. 

Defensively, Oregon State’s defensive line has been the tale of the season thus far. 

The veteran unit has followed through on expectations and more, ranking second in line yards and 13th in front seven HAVOC. Wazzu has question marks along the offensive line for a second straight year and currently ranks 123rd in line yards and 109th in stuff rate. 

Cameron Ward has been sacked seven times already this season — a concern in this matchup since the Beavers dragged him to the turf for six sacks a year ago. 

I point out the trench warfare aspect of this game not to highlight that the Beavers are a fantastic pick ATS, but rather to explain my expected style of play in this game, which affects the total. 

Playing in Pullman is always tough and Washington State will be riding high after knocking off Wisconsin one week and dropping 64 points the next, so I’ll target the total instead of a side with my best bet.

Oregon State will look to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible to take full advantage of its strong offensive line on the road in a tight matchup. Running back Damien Martinez has topped 100 rushing yards in nine straight regular season games and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him do so yet again on Saturday. His rushing yardage prop is set at 92.5 at DraftKings, and you know where I lean on that. 

I don’t fully trust quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei or the receiving weapons yet in a big matchup like this. I expect the Beavers to slow the game down as much as possible to limit possessions and focus on efficiency instead of explosiveness. 

When the Cougars have the ball, Ward should be under pressure early and often. I’m very surprised that the Beavers have played so well thus far defensively (second in EPA per play) considering they lost so many impact contributors from a year ago. It is a continuation of the improvement we saw once Trent Bray was elevated to defensive coordinator midway through last season. Maybe it’s time to start believing. 

I’ll take the Under as I forecast Oregon State keeping things slow offensively while Washington State’s offensive line faces a huge test.

My best bet: Under 59 (-110 at Caesars)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

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Oregon State vs Washington State same-game parlay

Under 58.5

Washington State +3.5 Alt. 1H

This two-leg SGP is centered around my best bet on the Under as outlined above. The play that I’m going to add in is Washington State +3.5 in the first half — an alternate spread that can still be had for decent juice (-185), in my opinion. 

The Cougars are fired up playing at home, where they knocked off Wisconsin in Week 2 and then dropped 64 points on Northern Colorado in Week 3. 

The Palouse is always a strange place to play and the Beavers have struggled there, dropping four straight road games against the Cougars and five of their last six. While this Beavers team is the best one we’ve seen in quite some time, it’d be surprising if Wazzu doesn’t keep things competitive, especially in the first half in front of an expected sellout crowd for a nationally broadcasted game. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Oregon State vs Washington State spread and Over/Under analysis

The line opened at Washington State +2.5 but has since moved up a half-point to +3 at current. There’s still a +2.5 available in the market, so be sure to shop around using our college football odds tool before placing your wager. The total resides between 58 and 59 depending on the book. 

A year ago, the Beavers ended a seven-game losing streak in this series last season with a 24-10 win in Corvallis. That’s a result of Jonathan Smith building the Beavers up to a point where this could be the best two-year stretch in a very long time — possibly ever — for this often-ailing program. The Beavers are 16-3 dating back to the start of last season. 

The big news in Pullman this season is the arrival of offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle. The former Western Kentucky shot-caller has worked wonders thus far for the passing attack, and we’ve seen an improved Ward in this system. 

The second-year starting quarterback has thrown for 990 yards, nine touchdowns, and no interceptions. His go-to target has been Lincoln Victor, a diminutive slot receiver who’s notched 24 receptions for 342 yards (third in the Pac-12) and three touchdowns. 

A big part to how this game will play out is if Oregon State’s secondary can continue its early-season success in this difficult matchup against a Cougars offense that wants to play fast and air it out. The Beavers lost two tremendous corners from last year’s squad but the new starters have looked the part, ranking seventh in EPA per pass. 

I’m of the belief that a strong pass rush up front should be able to help out considering Wazzu has allowed 17 pressures already this season.

Oregon State vs Washington State betting trend to know

Washington State has only hit the Over in five of its last 13 games, “good” for an ROI of -27%. Find more college football betting trends for Oregon State vs Washington State.

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Oregon State vs Washington State game info

Location: Gesa Field at Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET

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