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Missouri vs. Arizona State Pointspread Pick With Analysis

9/9/11

Arizona State hosts Missouri on Friday Night as the Sun Devils shoot for their first winning season since 2007. The game opened Arizona State -7 and as we wrote this Monday afternoon their was an across the board move to -7.5.

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College Football can be a game of inches. A break here and there for or against can be the difference between a winning season and a losing one. A play here and there can be the difference between playing in a Bowl game and watching the festivities on TV.

Such was the case for Arizona State last season. This was a good solid football team with an offense that was 3rd in the PAC-10 and 28th nationally and a defense that was so-so at 57th overall but 16th in the land against the run. The Sun Devils suffered some very close losses that in the end, wrote their story last year. They lost to #11 Wisconsin 20-19 on the road as 12 point dogs. They lost to Title game runner up Oregon 42-31. They lost to Oregon State 31-28, USC 34-33 and power house Stanford 17-13. The only loss that wasn't close was 50-17 to Cal. Bottom line, this team went toe to toe with some of the best teams in the nation but couldn't seal the deal.

Missouri fared much better in the win loss column with 7 straight wins out of the gate before falling to Nebraska and Texas Tech. They also managed to beat the mighty Oklahoma Sooners. They finished the year with a 3 point loss to Iowa in the Insight Bowl. Missouri had the 6th best defense in the nation in scoring giving up just 16 points per game and a 43rd ranked offense at 30 points per game.

Both of these squads return a healthy number of starters on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense, while both also start new QB's. If you're looking for a common denominator here, looking back to last year, it would be that when both of these teams played "good" teams, they were always close games. Neither was able to dominate another good team.

With that in mind, we have to side with Missouri here in a game where you could certainly make a case for a straight up win. This one has all the makings of a close toe to toe affair so we'll make a slight recommendation on Missouri +7.5

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