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The state of Arizona just had an incredible weekend of football (including NFL). The Wildcats improbably destroyed Oregon 42-16 in an upset no one saw coming. The Sun Devils got a huge road win at UCLA to win the Pac-12 South. With that said, Arizona State is still a large favorite at home, as -13 point favs at 5 dimes sportsbook with a total of 61.
It's hard to figure out this Arizona team after last weekend's win. Where did it come from? This is the same team that lost to Washington State the previous week. The Wildcats have been competitive in all but one game this year (at Washington) and will try to stay competitive in this in-state rivalry.
Arizona State continues to squeak out wins and if they get another one, will be hosting Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship game. After early season losses at Stanford and Notre Dame, the Sun Devils have reeled off six straight wins to take the South.
Arizona is mostly a power-rushing team and that showed last week as they went for 304 yards on the ground. One of the best running backs in the nation, Ka'Deem Carey, absolutely went off for 206 yards and four touchdowns against the Ducks. Carey has 1,559 yards and 16 TDs on the season. Quarterback B.J. Denker is also a proven runner after he went for 104 yards last weekend. In addition, Denker had one of his better passing games of the season completing 19-of-22 passes. If the Wildcats can move the ball like that, there's no reason they won't be in this game.
ASU has a solid defense, but can be beat. After being up 22 points in the first half last weekend, they let UCLA come back and almost win.
The Sun Devils offense is led by Taylor Kelly, who hasn't been great passing the ball in recent weeks. Kelly hasn't surpassed 225 passing yards in three straight games to go with just two TDs and two INTs in those contests. Interestingly he threw for at least 225 yards in the first eight games of the year. Nevertheless, his 99 rushing yards came up big last week. Kelly is joined by all-purpose back Marion Grice who just keeps going. Grice has 20 total TDs to go with 996 rushing yards and 50 receptions. Wide receiver Jaelen Strong will likely be a factor in this game as he's Kelly's favorite WR by far.
The Wildcats stopped Oregon to 16 points last week so who knows what they will look like in this game. Many are projecting a letdown for Arizona as a 26-point win over the Ducks looks a bit fluky.
The Sun Devils won this matchup last year 41-34 despite being outgained by 60 yards. Taylor Kelly struggled in the passing game, but as a team they rushed for 292 yards which was the difference. Carey had 172 yards and a TD for the Wildcats. Will we see another rushing battle this time around? It's very possible.
The Wildcats are 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win. The Sun Devils are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games. The underdog is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings between these schools and the road team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight. The under has hit five straight times in matchups at Arizona State.
The betting trends at sportsbook.com show 67% of the wagers taken on this game have come in on Arizona, no doubt a result of last weeks big upset of Oregon.
You could make a case for a letdown here for Arizona after last weeks unlikely blowout win over Oregon. So must proceed with caution here. Here's a team that lost to Wash State the week before Oregon. That said, Arizona actually has the better yards per point numbers by way of their defense and this game has been decided by a TD or less the last 4 times. See no reason why this one won't follow that pattern. Arizona +11.5
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