Arizona State snuck into the Top-25 rankings after an impressive start to the season, but the Sun Devils have dropped back-to-back games since, dealing first year head coach Herm Edwards his first losing streak at the collegiate level.
Oregon State drops PAC 12 opener
Oregon State lost its PAC-12 opener last week, falling at home to Arizona 35-14. The Wildcats ran all over the Beavers, rushing for 442 yards and three rushing touchdowns before it was all said and done. Conor Blount finished the game 17 of 24 for 137 yards and two touchdowns on the night, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a blowout loss. Blount now has 707 yards passing, six touchdowns, and just one interception so far this year. Jermar Jefferson leads the team in rushing with 473 yards and six touchdowns, while Isaiah Hodgins has a team-high 318 receiving yards and Trevon Bradford has caught four touchdown passes already this season.
The Beavers come into the weekend allowing 540 yards of total offense per game, more than half of which (280) comes on the ground. It’s not like most of their games have been against ranked opponents either. They faced a tough Ohio State team in the opening week and lost 77-31, but since then, it has been Southern Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. The Beavers have given up at least 35 points in all three of their losses and its hard to expect that to chance here. Oregon State is averaging 32 points per game, while allowing 43.5 points per contest heading into this game.
Sun Devils’ passing game gets deflated vs. Washington
Arizona State is fresh off of its second consecutive one-touchdown defeat on the road against the Washington Huskies. The Sun Devils struggled to get their passing game going all evening and finished the game with just 104 passing yards on the night. Highly-touted wide receiver N’Keal Harry caught just five passes for 20 yards and no receiver finished with more than 36 yards in the 27-20 loss. Instead, Arizona State was forced to turn its previously non-existent run game and it worked for the most part, as the team was able to rumble its way to 164 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Eno Benjamin finished with 104 yards on 26 carries to lead the team in rushing. It marked the second time Benjamin had gone over 100 yards this year, however, he had totaled just 48 yards over his previous two games combined. Quarterback Manny Wilkins is the leader of the offense. The senior quarterback has thrown for 1,062 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception so far this season.
Arizona State is averaging 393 yards of total offense per game and they should be able to get their potent passing attack back on track against the Beavers here. Even if Manny Wilkins and company have it going this weekend, it wouldn’t be surprising for Herm Edwards to lean on the ground game after they moved the ball effectively on the ground last week, especially against this lackluster Oregon State rush defense.
- Sun Devils are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September.
- Sun Devils are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
- Sun Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Beavers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points.
- Beavers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Beavers have given up at least 35 points in all three of their losses and its hard to expect that to chance here. Arizona State got their ground game going last week and Oregon State comes into this one giving up 280 rush yards per game. Opposing teams are scoring less than 20 points per game against Herm Edwards’ defense, so you have to like the Sun Devils’ chances of covering the spread at home in this spot.
Prediction: Pick: Arizona State -21.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The question here will be can Oregon State generate enough offense to push this game over the projected total on Saturday. They managed just 14 points last week against Arizona, but put up over 30 points in each of their first three games of the season. I expect Arizona State to get their passing attack going after a quiet day last week as well, so I’m leaning towards the over in this PAC 12 matchup on Saturday.
Prediction: Over 63
Half-Time Side Pick
The halftime line is nearly two-thirds of the full-game spread, but that isn’t going to be enough for me to shy away from taking the Sun Devils in this spot. Arizona State might be one of the best 2-2 teams in the country right now. They’ve faced a very tough schedule so far and they’ve played three consecutive games against top-tier defenses. Look for Herm Edwards and company to get on the scoreboard early and often against a team giving up 540 yards of total offense per game. Take ASU to cover the first half spread.
Prediction: Arizona State -13
Half-Time Total Bet
Both teams struggled on offense last week en route to disappointing defeats. Oregon State managed just 14 points against a struggling Arizona team, while the Sun Devils’ vaunted passing attack totaled just 104 yards through the air versus a top-10 Washington team. Points should be easier to come by for the Sun Devils here, which has me leaning towards the over in a bounce back performance here.
Prediction: Over 33.5