2023 Washington Huskies Betting Preview

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The Washington Huskies had a very successful program under coach Chris Petersen from 2016 through 2018, but when Petersen abruptly stepped down after the 2019 season, the program stumbled. New coach Jimmy Lake did not manage the team well. Washington had to hit the reset button in 2022 by hiring Kalen DeBoer to replace Lake, who lasted just two years on the job in Seattle. DeBoer was regarded as a good hire, but no one expected him to be this good this quickly on Montlake.

DeBoer led Washington to 11 wins in his first year as the Huskies’ head coach. He had worked with quarterback Michael Penix at the University of Indiana. Penix transferred to Washington precisely because he knew and liked DeBoer. The reunion went better than anyone could have imagined, with Penix loading up the stat sheet and turning Washington from a bad offensive team to one of the best offensive teams in the country. Now Washington will try to take the next step and win the last Pac-12 football championship in history before the dying conference is either reconfigured into another league or is dissolved entirely.

Washington Huskies 2023 Futures

Odds To Win Pac-12: +340 at Bovada

Odds To Win National Championship: +4000 at Bovada

Best Bet To Win Heisman

Michael Penix is priced at +1600 to win the Heisman Trophy, according to the latest NCAAF odds. He is certainly one of the top 10 candidates on the board. Penix is playing in a Pac-12 Conference which is loaded with quality veteran quarterbacks: Caleb Williams of USC, Bo Nix of Oregon, and Cam Rising of Utah. It stands to reason that if Penix is going to make a serious run at the Heisman Trophy this year, he must get Washington to the Pac-12 Championship Game. That would vault him past some of the other top quarterbacks in the Pac-12.

In all likelihood, Penix needs to win the Pac-12 championship at Washington and get the Huskies to a New Year’s Six bowl game. If he can do that, he has a very good chance of being the Pac-12’s top Heisman vote-getter, which would mean Penix would end Caleb Williams’ hopes of becoming just the second man to win back-to-back Heismans. (The only man to do that is Archie Griffin of Ohio State in 1974 and 1975.)

Penix will certainly make a push for the Heisman. Team success should influence how Heisman voters look at his individual success.

Pick: Michael Penix

Best Player Prop To Bet

Rome Odunze Receiving Yards

Washington is widely viewed as having one of the two best receiver rooms in the Pac-12, with USC being the other. Washington has quality and depth in this position group, which means that defenses have to account for the whole field and cannot overly load up against certain players. Opposing secondaries will not be able to throw many (if any) double-teams at UW’s receivers. This reality should keep the field open for Rome Odunze, widely regarded as the Huskies’ best wide receiver this season. If you see a wide receiver proposition for receiving yards, Odunze is more likely to go over that number than not.

Pick: Rome Odunze Over Receiving Yards

Regular Season Win Total

Washington, like the other top teams in the Pac-12 this season, does not have an easy schedule. The Huskies have to go through the other contenders in the conference and won’t skip anyone. They have to play USC, they have to play Oregon, they have to play Utah and Oregon State. They will need to beat at least two of those teams to not only go over the 9.5 win total, but make the Pac-12 Championship Game and earn the chance to make a New Year’s Six bowl after narrowly missing out this season.

The good news for Washington is that the Oregon and Utah games are at home. That should help a lot. Washington had to play Oregon on the road last season. Getting the Ducks at home this year will put UW in the best possible position to beat the Ducks and gain leverage in the race for the Pac-12 title game. Utah is the two-time defending Pac-12 champion, but the Utes did lose some depth on their roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball. UW and Utah did not meet last season, so Washington should feel confident that its offense – which Utah’s defense did not play against last season – will be able to strike first and score big before the Utes’ defense is able to make sufficient adjustments.

Examining The Schedule

Washington did not have a single player picked in the 2023 NFL draft. That kind of reality often points to a lack of quality inside the program, but with the Huskies, it’s different. No players were picked in this year’s draft because they basically all decided to return for one more season. Every really good player inside the program wanted to run it back one more year and make a run at championships – Pac-12 championships, national championships, the whole deal. That’s why Washington is such an attractive pick to make the Pac-12 Championship Game and exceed the 9.5 win total.

Will Washington have a tough time winning at USC and Oregon State? Yes … but as long as the Huskies win their big home games of the season, they should be able to get to 10-2.

Washington isn’t going to be challenged by the teams in the lower half of the Pac-12. The only possible candidate for an upset is Washington State, given that the Cougars are part of the Apple Cup rivalry game. Rivalries can get contentious, and the saying which is often applied to rivalry games is that “you can throw the records out the window” when two backyard neighbors get together for a grudge match with bragging rights on the line. However, Washington gets that game at home in Seattle this year. It just doesn’t set up as a likely upset spot for the Huskies.

A road nonconference game at Michigan State doesn’t seem very threatening, given the roster losses Michigan State has endured in the offseason. Ultimately, more than two losses – fewer than 10 wins – seems unlikely for the Huskies in 2023. Take the over.

Pick: Over 9.5 Wins