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The pick: Why Washington State will beat Oregon State

PULLMAN – One of Washington State’s Pac-12 North win streaks was suffocated earlier this season when the Cougars bowed to Oregon for the first time in five years, losing 37-35 at Autzen Stadium.

But WSU renewed another one last week, beating Stanford 49-22 for a fourth straight win over the Cardinal.

The Cougars would love to make it 2 for 3 tonight, with a sixth consecutive win over Oregon State, and I wouldn’t bet against it.

With the exception of a late September slip-up, WSU has been a machine at home, scoring 58 points, 59 points, 63 points, 41 points and 49 points in five games at Martin Stadium. I’m positive the Cougars can churn out another 40-50 against Oregon State, but the play of WSU’s defense in home games – again, all but one – is what gives me confidence the hosts will prevail.

Even if you include a 67-63 loss to UCLA, WSU is giving up just 24.6 points per game at Martin Stadium. Away from Pullman, the Cougars are allowing 34 ppg, and they’ve conceded at least 24 in each game. OSU’s offense has the ability to explode and WSU’s defense has the ability to unravel. But even if both things happen, the Beavers may still need to have their best defensive game under Jonathan Smith – a big ask for a team that’s allowed at least 30 points in five of seven Pac-12 games.

The Beavers are improved in just about every category and I’d give them a great chance at making a run at the Cougars in 2020. But before that, WSU will grab a sixth straight victory in this series.

The pick: WSU 51, OSU 45.

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