Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#373 Utah vs.
#374 Arizona State
Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 10:30pm EDT
Written by Mason Folz

This Saturday, the (2-1) #13 Utah Utes and the (1-2) Arizona State Sun Devils will match up in the fourth week of the 2022 college football season. Kick-off will be at 10:30 PM EST inside Sun Devil Stadium. Both these Pac-12 teams will be looking to make a statement, as this is their first conference game of the season.

The Utah Utes are coming into this one after taking down San Diego State Aztecs, 35-7. The Utes could do whatever they wanted on the offensive side of the field and their defense also showed up. They will be looking to carry that momentum over into this game.

The Arizona State Sun Devils are entering this one after falling to Eastern Michigan, 30-21. The Sun Devils struggled to move the ball consistently on offense and their defense couldn't stop the run. Their front seven has to be better if they want to avoid another crushing loss to Utah.

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Can Utah Keep it Rolling?

Utah has started this season strong, despite their loss to the Florida Gators.  They are scoring 44.7 points per game and they are averaging 482 total yards. This is the 15th most points scored per game and the 28th most yards averaged. They have shown that they can consistently move the ball up and down the field. They are led by Cameron Rising, as the Junior quarterback has been solid to begin the year. He has already thrown for 694 yards, 8 touchdowns, and only one interception. The Utes are also averaging 264 passing yards per game, which is the 43rd most in the nation. They will be looking to get the ball to Brant Kuithe, as he has been the leading receiver for Utah this season. He has already recorded 191 yards and three touchdowns. Utah will also look to keep the ball on the ground, as they are running for 218 yards per game, which is the 29th most. Tavion Thomas and the running backs for Utah are tough runners and they aren't afraid of contact. Thomas is averaging 4.4 yards per rush and he has already racked up four touchdowns.

On defense, the Utah Utes have held their own. They are allowing 14.4 points per game and 236.7 yards, as it isn't easy to move the ball on them. This is the 28th least amount of points given up per game and the ninth least amount of yards. Moving the ball has been a challenge for Utah's opponents this season. Especially against the pass, as the Utah secondary has continued to lock down their opponents. They are only surrendering 90 passing yards per game, which is the second least in the country. The Utes are also allowing 146.7 rushing yards per game, which is the 76th most. Their front seven has to show up in this one, as well. Last week Utah gave up 60 passing yards and 113 rushing yards. I would watch for Cole Bishop in this one. The sophomore safety has already recorded 13 solo tackles this season, which leads his team.

Can ASU Play with the Big Boys?

The Arizona State Sun Devils have not had the start to the season that they were hoping for, but there is still time to turn it around. On offense, they are scoring 26.0 points per game and they are averaging 375 total yards. This is the 91st most points scored per game and the 90th most yards. They have shown that they can consistently move the ball up and down the field, but this is one of the best defenses that they have faced this season. Emory Jones will be starting at QB, as he has already thrown for 557 yards and two Touchdowns. He also has a 47.5 QBR, which is the 84th lowest in the country. As a team, the Sun Devils are throwing for 185.7 passing yards per game and 189.3 rushing yards per game. This is the 105th least amount of passing yards averaged per game and the 54th most rushing. They will lean on their run game, as Xazavian Valladay is their leading rusher. He has already recorded 361 yards and four touchdowns, as he does it all for ASU. I would also watch for Elijah Badger in this one. He has already scored one touchdown and recorded 217 receiving yards this season. He has been Emory Jones's top receiver in 2022.

On defense, the Sun Devils are giving up 22.3 points per game and 351 total yards. This is the 55th least amount of points given up and the 57th least amount of yards per game. They have held their own this season, but their secondary has carried them. They are only allowing 172.7 passing yards per game, which is the 21st least in the country. They have multiple defensive backs that can cover. They held Eastern Michigan to just 153 passing yards last week. Arizona State's front seven has struggled, as they are giving up 178.3 rushing yards per game, which is the 104th most. They have been beaten by the run all season, as they surrendered 305 rushing yards last week and 131 the week before. I would also watch for Kyle Soelle, as he leads the team with 18 solo tackles. The senior linebacker has been all over the field to start the 2022 season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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I will be hammering the Utes (-14) in this matchup with the Arizona State Sun Devils. Utah has one of the best offenses in the nation and I don't see the Sun Devils being able to stop them on the offensive side of the field. Last week, ASU surrendered over 300 yards on the ground, as Eastern Michigan destroyed them. This trend will continue, as the Utes are running for the 76th most rushing yards per game. They are averaging 146.7, as I would expect even more in this one. This will also open up their play-action passing game, as I see Cameron Rising showing why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. I understand that ASU's secondary has been great this season, but the Utah run game is going to force the ASU defensive backs to push up, which will allow them to get beat deep. Utah is the better overall team and they would be ranked much higher if they didn't lose to Florida. Utah's defense is also allowing the 28th least amount of points per game, as Emory Jones and this ASU offense will struggle to move the ball. Arizona State will look to keep the ball on the ground, but the Utes will eventually shut them down. ASU has struggled over the past two weeks and I don't see them waking up for this one.

Hammer Utah and lay the points (-14).

Prediction: Utah Utes -14

Full-Game Total Pick

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I see the Utah Utes having a ton of success on the offensive side of the field in this one, but I can't say the same about the Sun Devils. They have struggled with the ball in their hands over the past two weeks, as they have now fallen to Eastern Michigan and Oklahoma State. They will now be going up against a great Utah defense, which is allowing the 28th least amount of points per game. Their secondary is incredible and they will also stop the Sun Devil's rushing attack. Utah is currently allowing the second least amount of passing yards per game. They won't allow ASU to score enough points to push this total over (53.5). Now, Utah will have a ton of success on the offensive side of the field, but I don't see this game staying close. I also don't see the Utes scoring enough points to push this total over the number by themselves. ASU is allowing the 55th least amount of points per game, as their defense is solid enough to keep this total under the number. Utah will easily win this game, but the Sun Devils won't be able to score enough points to reach the over.

Trust the Utah defense in this one and take the under (53.5) points.

Prediction: Under 53.5
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Written By Mason Folz , "Mason Folz"

Mason graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder and he has been watching SportsCenter since before he could walk. He has been crunching numbers since he could learn to count and nothing makes Mason happier in this world than talking sports, unless he is on the golf course! We are very happy to have added Mason to our team at StatSalt and you will be glad as well. Let's win some money!