Washington State vs. Houston: Prediction, pick, odds, line, football game, point spread, kickoff time, preview

The Week 3 college football action on Friday night brings us a nonconference matchup with the potential to produce some offensive fireworks as Mike Leach and No. 20 Washington State will make the trek to take on Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars. Washington State will be looking to move to 3-0 on the year while Houston aims to keep its momentum going with a second consecutive win since the season-opening loss to Oklahoma. 

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Even though this matchup was booked well in advance, it pits a pair of coaches against each other who are rather familiar with their adversary. Offensive guru Leach takes on his former understudy Holgorsen, who served as an assistant on Leach’s staff at Texas Tech for eight years.

Defense may be optional on Friday night with the total currently sitting at 73.5 points. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect at NRG Stadium on Friday night between these two Cougars.

Storylines

Washington State: Leach’s team scored 58 points in its season-opener and topped that by scoring 59 in Week 2. Incredibly, it seems he’s done it again: replaced an elite quarterback with another highly-competent gun-slinger. Senior Anthony Gordon is completing 81.1 percent of his passes this season, and is fueling a top-10 offense while rating out comfortably in total quarterback rating among the best in the nation.

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Houston: Holgorsen was reminded in Week 1 of the season what he’s been taught since Lincoln Riley took over at Oklahoma: beating the Sooners — no matter the venue — is a near-impossible task. The Cougars fell 49-31 to open their season at Oklahoma but bounced back in Week 2 with a confidence-boosting 37-17 win over Prairie View A&M. Getting quarterback D’Eriq King back into his Heisman-contending groove will be a must for Holgorsen’s squad to have a puncher’s chance.

Viewing information

Date: Friday, Sept. 13 | Time: 9:15 p.m. ET
Location: NRG Stadium — Houston, Texas
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN.com  

Game prediction, picks

I get that NRG Stadium isn’t Houston’s home palace, but this is about as favorable a venue as the Cougars from the Lone Star State could get here. And they’re getting points? No chance I’m giving up free money. I like the hometown Cougars to cover against the visiting Cougars — especially with an 8.5-point spread. Pick: Houston +8.5

So what picks can you make with confidence in Week 3, and which national title contender gets a huge scare? Visit SportsLine to see which college football teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,500 in profit over the past four seasons.

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