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Arizona State heads to Berkeley Saturday Night seeking revenge as they take on the California Golden Bears. The 1-3 Bears are currently -2.5 point favorites at SGB Global and Betonline with the early betting action at sportsbook.ag favoring the Sun Devils by a whopping 99%.
California gets a break this week (seemingly). After two straight weeks on the road against Top 15 teams, they'll return home. Unfortunately, they get to face an Arizona State team that doesn't seem to have lost a step offensively even after losing Brock Osweiler to the NFL.
It was a scoring fest when these teams faced off last year in Tempe. The Golden Bears came out with a 47-38 win behind the legs of Isi Sofele. Zach Maynard also managed to complete over 70 percent of his passes in the win as California covered as six-point underdogs. This year's game should be a little more defensive though.
Arizona State has been rock solid, holding opponents to just 12.8 points per game as the most they gave up in a game was 24 points and that was at Missouri. California's defense hasn't been at the same level, but neither has their opponents. While they are allowing 31 points per game, the fewest they have given up this season was last week against USC in a 27-9 loss. The Cal offense will need to step up from what they have done in their first four games.
In their first loss of the season, California could only muster 24 points against Nevada. Against USC, Maynard threw costly turnovers that resulted in just nine points for his team. In fact, Maynard has not shown much progression in his senior season. He's still struggling with interceptions and isn't finding the end zone often enough. On the season he has just four touchdowns and four interceptions. That won't cut it in the Pac 12. Sofele has tried his best to pick up the slack, but there's only so much he can do when defenses aren't worried about Maynard's arm. Sofele is averaging just 4.3 yards per carry and has one TD this year. That's currently the worst average for the senior's career. If the Golden Bears want to get to a bowl game this season, this game is close to must win at home.
Arizona State meanwhile is sitting pretty with a 3-1 record after a demolition of Utah last week 37-7. However, their one loss did come in their one and only road game so far. No matter, the Sun Devils have shown a solid rushing attack this season which has totaled 750 yards and 13 TDs already. In addition to QB Taylor Kelly, the Sun Devils have a spread attack with three running backs that all have close to 30 carries and a couple touchdowns. Even backup QB Michael Eubank is used sparingly throughout the game. With the threat of the running attack, Kelly has taken control of the passing game, hitting close to 73 percent of his targets for 1,000 yards and six TDs. Once again, this is an offense California could easily have problems with.
Let's see. One team is 3-1 and the other is 1-3. The 1-3 team is favored. We'll bite. Arizona State has lost 4 straight to Cal, which means no one on this roster has experienced a win over the Golden Bears. Revenge is sweet in college ball and even sweeter when multiplied by 4. In this spot, we think the Sun Devils are the better football team and win this one straight up. So we'll gladly take any points available, which in this case, is +2.5. We hate being on the public side, but sometimes, the public is right. Arizona State +2.5
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