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Washington quarterback Jake Browning in action against North Dakota in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Washington is 4-1 straight up against Utah since the latter joined the Pac-12, but the Utes are 3-0 against the spread the last three meetings, pulling one upset and keeping the other two games close as dogs. Utah is a live dog again for Saturday night’s Pac-12 opener with Washington in Salt Lake City.

College football point spread: The Huskies opened as 6.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 34.0-25.4 Huskies (College football picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

Why the Washington Huskies can cover the spread

The Huskies rebounded from that season-opening loss to Auburn with a 45-3 victory over FCS North Dakota last week. Washington led 17-0 at the half, then pulled away with three scores in the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t the most impressive of performances by the Huskies, and yet they still almost covered the spread as 46-point favorites. But they got stopped on downs once at the Fighting Hawks’ 20-yard line and threw two interceptions in Hawks’ territory.

For the game Washington out-gained North Dakota 632-262, as quarterbacks Jake Browning and back-up Jake Haener combined to throw for 413 yards and three touchdowns.

The Huskies have beaten Utah the last two seasons by scores of 31-24 and 33-30. Last year Washington broke the Utes’ hearts with two scores in final minute to steal the victory.

Why the Utah Utes can cover the spread

Utah is 2-0 on the season, following last week’s 17-6 victory at MAC favorite Northern Illinois. The Utes trailed the Huskies 3-0 at the half but took the lead for good with a touchdown midway through the third quarter. Utah later iced the game with a pick-six with just under three minutes to go.

On the night the Utes out-gained Northern Illinois 354-228. Quarterback Tyler Huntley hit on 20 of 32 throws for 286 yards, wide receiver Britain Covey caught eight balls for 129 yards and the Utah defense held the Huskies offense to just 3.0 yards per play.

The Utes may have covered as 12-point favorites, but they had one field goal attempt blocked, missed another, got stopped on downs at the Huskies’ 39, punted after reaching the NIU 24, lost one fumble inside Northern Illinois territory and another inside their own, leading to a Huskies field goal.

Utah opened this season with a 41-10 win over Weber State, covering as a 30-point favorite.

Also, while the Utes lost at Washington last year 33-30 they led that game by a touchdown before the Huskies scored twice in the final minute to steal it.

Smart betting pick

Washington has not played up to potential yet this season, and yet they are the better team in this matchup, playing on the road, where the spread is friendlier. Smart money gives the points here.

College football betting trends

The total has gone over in Washington’s last four games against Utah.

The total has gone over in four of Utah’s last five games against its conference.

Washington is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games against its conference.

All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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