College Football Week 5 Predictions: Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington Huskies

Jeff GrantContributor ISeptember 24, 2012

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Zach Ertz #86 and Josh Nunes #6 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrate after Nunes threw the winning touchdown pass to Ertz during their game against the USC Trojans at Stanford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Josh Nunes has done a solid job replacing the first overall selection in the 2012 NFL draft, but he'll now hit the road for the first time this season in taking on the Washington Huskies inside CenturyLink Field, with Thursday night's opening kickoff scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The Cardinal are currently listed as seven-point road favorites in the Week 5 college football betting odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total has opened up at 51.

Nunes is finally getting his shot with Andrew Luck now playing on Sundays with the Indianapolis Colts, as the senior had led the program to three straight wins to open up the season, including a 21-14 victory over the USC Trojans as 9.5-point home underdogs on Sept. 15.

Sports bettors will certainly be interested in laying the points, considering the Cardinal have recorded the two largest margins of victory in this series the last two years. The offense finished with 615 total yards in last year's 65-21 blowout win at home—gaining a school-record 446 rushing yards.

In making your Week 5 college football predictions, it's important to note that Thursday's visitor is enjoying an 8-1-1 against-the-spread (ATS) run when favored away from Palo Alto, Calif. while the under is 8-2 in that situation.

Washington didn't fare too well against its first ranked opponent of the 2012 campaign, suffering a lopsided 41-3 loss to the LSU Tigers as 22.5-point road underdogs, as it was out-gained by a sizable 254-yard margin.

The Huskies will lean heavily on the talents of quarterback Keith Price, who established single-season school records in TD passes (33) and completion percentage (66.9) last year. He will need to have great success through the air in this contest, as Stanford's defense ranks first nationally in allowing just 41.3 rushing yards per game.

I'm not sure you can go against the Cardinal in this spot, especially after running back Stepfan Taylor tallied a career-high 213 offensive yards against the Trojans, but the line seems awfully short on the odds board for this matchup.


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