Stanford Cardinal Football Team Preview 2019: Odds and Predictions

2018 Season in Review

The Cardinal got off to a solid 4-0 start in 2018, taking down ranked conference opponents USC and Oregon. Their momentum from that start would fade quickly, however, with consecutive losses to Notre Dame and Utah. Losses to the Washington schools put the nail in the coffin for Stanford’s Pac-12 title game hopes, although they would rebound with three straight wins to close out the regular season. Coach David Shaw’s group would close out the year with a 14-13 win over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl.

Key Returning Players (2018 Stats)

  • QB K.J. Costello (Senior) – 3,540 Pass Yards | 29 Pass TD | 11 INT
  • TE Colby Parkinson (Junior) – 29 Receptions | 485 Rec Yards | 7 Rec TD
  • OLB Jordan Jox (Junior) – 58 Total Tackles | 8.0 TFL | 4.5 Sacks
  • CB Paulson Adebo (Redshirt Sophomore) – 64 Total Tackles | 4 INT | 17 Pass Def

Senior quarterback K.J. Costello is back in Palo Alto in hopes of capping off his college career with a banner season. Costello will get some solid help from an experienced offensive line that includes All-Pac-12 first-teamer Walker Little at right tackle. Tight end Colby Parkinson is the top returning pass catcher, while wideouts Michael Wilson and Connor Wedington are expected to step up in larger roles. Carries in Stanford’s two running back sets will be sought after by seniors Dorian Maddox, Cameron Scarlett, and Trevor Speights.

Coach Shaw will have a handful of playmakers at his disposal on the defensive end, headlined by rangy corner Paulson Adebo. The All-Conference selection will be joined in the secondary by safeties Malik Antoine and Noah Williams. Senior nose tackle Michael Williams will anchor Stanford’s 3-4 defensive frontline, while outside linebackers Gabe Reid and Jordan Fox will look to improve on their pass rushing numbers from last year.

Key Departures

  • WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (NFL Draft)
  • RB Bryce Love (Graduation)
  • MLB Bobby Okereke (Graduation)
  • TE Kaden Smith (NFL Draft)

Stanford may be more well known for injecting talent and knowledge into Silicon Valley, however, the Cardinal have shown year after year that they can produce NFL talent. Leading their five draft selections is red zone threat J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who was drafted by the Eagles in the second round. Stanford’s other top receivers from last year are also gone in Kaden Smith and Trent Irwin.

The linebacking corps lost some key leaders as Bobby Okereke and Joey Alfieri used up their eligibility, with Okereke being picked by the Colts in the third round. Last but not least, perhaps the biggest loss is star running back and potential future doctor, Bryce Love, who leaves Stanford ranked fourth in rushing yards.

Notable Recruits (Star Ratings and Rankings According to

  • RB Austin Jones – 4 Star | 5-11, 190lb | Bishop O’Dowd HS | Oakland, CA
  • DE Stephen Herron – 4 Star | 6-4, 225lb | Trinity HS | Louisville, KY
  • WR Elijah Higgins – 4 Star | 6-3, 215lb | James Bowie HS | Austin, TX
  • OT Walter Rouse – 4 Star | 6-6, 280lb | Sidwell Friends HS | Washington, D.C.

Given their status as a national brand, Stanford is able to attract talent from across the nation, resulting in a geographically diverse recruiting class. Topping the recruiting haul is Bay Area local Austin Jones, who ranks as the fifth best running back recruit in the country. The Cardinal placed an emphasis on fortifying their lines with the additions of defensive ends Stephen Herron and Joshua Pakola, along with offensive linemen Walter Rouse and Branson Bragg.

2019 Schedule

Date Opponent
August 31st Northwestern
September 7th @ USC
September 14th @ UCF
September 21st Oregon
September 28th @ Oregon State
October 5th Washington
October 17th UCLA
October 26th Arizona
November 9th @ Colorado
November 16th @ Washington State
November 23rd California
November 30th Notre Dame

The one game that sticks out on Stanford’s schedule as a must win is the home date against Washington. With the Huskies favored in the North division, the home-field advantage could tip the scales in Stanford’s favor and give them a fighting chance at claiming the division. Having Notre Dame at home also does not hurt, as they look to avenge last season’s loss. One game that could trip up the Cardinal is their cross country road trip to Orlando to play UCF, with no bye week to help them prepare for the travel.

Where to Bet on Win Totals and Conference Title Odds in New Jersey

New Jersey residents can log on to 888Sport to wager on Stanford’s Pac-12 title odds as well as their win total. With an over/under of just 6.5 wins, expectations are fairly low despite coach Shaw’s ability to make his team play above their talent level.

Pac 12 Conference Winner

Sportsbook Stanford Link
888Sport NJ +1500

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Number of Games Won – Excluding Bowl Games & Play Offs

Regular season only. Conference championship games do not count.

Sportsbook Over 6.5 Under 6.5 Link
888Sport NJ -150 +122

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Check out our college football section for more team previews.