It’s never too early to start talking about the Apple Cup if you’re a Washington State Cougars fan and Las Vegas provided a reason last week to do just that.
According to Golden Nugget betting lines, the Washington Huskies are favorites to come into Pullman and take another Apple Cup back to Seattle. The line is presently at 4 1/2 points, so it’s expected to be a barn-burner. At least that’s how I perceive they were thinking.
Now, generally the Huskies are favored in all of the early betting lines for the game, so this is far from a good indicator. However it’s interesting that the line is so close to begin with because the national perception is mostly based on the history of the series, which is decidedly in Washington’s favor.
Also, last year’s score does not truly depict how the game was played, but double-digits always makes those that didn’t watch the game feel like one team basically controlled the game. So apparently there is a little respect being given to the fact that Mike Leach will be in his 3rd year at the helm and Chris Petersen is taking over in his first. Still, the line says Huskies, so it’s only patronizing at this point.
And consider this, the Huskies lost the only guys that really did anything to the Cougars last season, Bishop Sankey and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. They also lost their fifth-year senior at quarterback in Keith Price. Meanwhile, the Cougs return everybody offensively at the skill positions, including a potential passing record-setter in Connor Halliday. I can see the Cougs not only beating the line, but stomping the Huskies for the first time in a long time this upcoming season.
Meanwhile, the odds-makers didn’t pull many punches when looking at Oregon’s trip to the Palouse, clearing the Ducks as 23 point favorites. No other games for the Cougs have been settled as of yet in Vegas.