PAC 12 action here as the Stanford Cardinal will travel to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. Although the game is on a Thursday, both teams will be well rested, with both teams coming off bye weeks. Both team’s suffered tough losses in their last games, with Stanford getting blown out by Utah while Arizona State lost a close one to Colorado. It should be a great game, nationally televised on ESPN, and one that should have major implications for the final PAC 12 standings.
Stanford Crumbling After Hot Start
Stanford had a great start to 2018, as they jumped out to a 4-0 record. They beat USC, and Oregon on the road, but their record was a bit misleading. They only beat Oregon because of an incredible series of miscues by the Ducks, and were arguably outplayed by the Trojans as well. Their luck finally ran out the last two weeks, when they were beat by Notre Dame and Utah by a combined 40 points.
They were without star running back Bryce Love for the Utah game, who’s been battling an ankle injury. I would tentatively expect Love to suit up for this crucial game after having the bye week to recover, but it’s not a sure thing. This will definitely be something to monitor throughout the week and could effect the handicap here.
Stanford has been way more pass-heavy than was expected heading into the year, and now has around three times as many passing yards as rushing yards. Their main threat is J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who uses his size to impose his will. Whether the ASU corners are physical enough to stick with him will be the key matchup in this game, and I ultimately think they will be.
Arizona State Better At Home
Like Stanford, Arizona State got off to a hot start. They upset Michigan State in the second game of the season, but have stumbled since. Interestingly, ASU has gone 0-3 on the road, but has won all three of their home games. They get a great crowd and always seem fired up and ready to play at home. With this game coming in prime time, the crowd should be raucous, and the Sun Devils could be very live home dogs.
Nine years after his last coaching job, ASU made a bold decision by hiring ESPN analyst Herm Edwards to be their head coach. The move was met with a lot of skepticism, as Edwards had never coached a college team before. While he sits at 3-3, Edwards has firmly demonstrated that he isn’t over his head.
On This Date a year ago, the Sun Devils took down No. 5 ranked Washington in a defensive slugfest 👊 pic.twitter.com/D1oM5as8Dk
— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) October 15, 2018
The team has been reasonably well-coached so far, and he’s done a great job recruiting and getting his players fired up for big matchups. Overall, it’s been a relative success so far, and Edwards and his staff should have a great gameplan with extended rest off the bye. ASU’s quarterback Manny Wilkins has been efficient, throwing 11 touchdowns and just one interception, and I think he’ll have some success against a Stanford defense that’s been carved up recently.
Sun Devils are:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games
- 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This just feels like a great spot for the Sun Devils. They’ve been great at home, so getting them as a home dog in primetime under the bright lights just seems like too good an opportunity to pass up. The wheels look like they’ve fallen off for Stanford, and I don’t think they’ll rebound on the road. Edwards will have his guys ready to go, and Wilkins is a better quarterback than K.J. Costello. I think ASU will get the outright win here.
Prediction: ASU +2
Full-Game Total Pick
This should be a pretty scrappy game. It’s a game that both teams desperately need to right their respective ships, and it should be very physical. It’s a conference game with two opponents very familiar to each other, and both teams could be a little rusty having not played in a while. I think this one will start off slow, and end up being very low scoring.
Half-Time Side Pick
I love Arizona State in the first half here. Playing in a nationally televised standalone primetime game, the crowd should be insane. The Sun Devils have come out hot in all their home games so far, and that trend should continue here. If you’re taking ASU full game, you have to take them in the first half also.
Prediction: Arizona State
Half-Time Total Bet
I think the first half will be especially slow-paced. Both sides will be looking to avoid making a mistake early on, and I think the first couple quarters will be a feeling out process. There should be a lot of ground and pound in the first half, and this should easily come in under.