Chris Petersen is one of the most consistently successful head coaches in the NCAA ranks. But he isn’t spoken of in the same breath as legends like Urban Meyer from the SEC and Big Ten, or Jimbo Fisher of the ACC.
That’s for one reason and one reason only – geography.
Coaching out west just comes without as much hype. But Petersen prefers it that way, so long as his teams win. His 2017 Washington Huskies are off to a typical roaring start, 2-0 after whipping Rutgers and strong FCS program Montana. Washington hosts Fresno State this Saturday with former UW consultant Jeff Tedford in charge of the Bulldogs.
Who: Fresno State Bulldogs at Washington Huskies
When: Saturday, September 16th, 9:30 PM EST
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA
Lines: Fresno State (+33) at Washington (-33) / O/U Total: (56)
The near-5 touchdown point spread jumps right off the betting board. Sure, the Huskies are currently ranked 6th in the country, and star running back Miles Gaskin has barely had to break a sweat so far. Jake Browning has returned, and the Husky defense is playing well.
But even a 49-17 final score wins an against-the-spread bet on the underdog. Under those circumstances, it’s worth taking a hard look at Fresno State. Just a few on-field signs of life from the Bulldogs could bust a wager on Washington to cover.
What has Fresno State done so far? A 66-0 win over out-matched Incarnate Word and a 41-10 loss to Alabama. A Mountain West team could do worse than Chason Virgil at QB, and WR Keeshan (note spelling) Johnson has 15 catches for almost 200 yards over 2 starts.
A few SEC teams will lose by scores similar to 41-10 against Alabama this season, so it’s hard to understand why bookies are treating Fresno State like a patsy.
Tedford knows the Huskies well and can prepare an upper-tier Mountain West unit to compete with their top-10 opponent.
But the real reason value lies with Fresno State in this contest is the Bulldogs’ defense, which may be slightly underrated due to the final score at Alabama. The Bulldogs allowed Crimson Tide RBs a modest 151 yards rushing – it was only the fleet feet of Jalen Hurts which brought the visiting defense down.
Besides, another 31-point loss on Saturday covers the spread for Fresno. Take the underdogs in this one and exploit an exaggerated Vegas line.