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Texas Tech

vs.

Arizona State

College Football Pick

9/10/16

If you want to see points, you've come to the right place. Texas Tech scored the second-most points per game a year ago and continued that trend in the opener dropping 69 points. Arizona State can score as well, but a new quarterback may hinder their total effectiveness this season. The over/under was sitting around 79 points for this game with the home team, the Sun Devils, opening as -3 point favorites at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.

By the way, both of these teams beat teams nicknamed "the Lumberjacks" last week. What are the odds? At any rate, on to the game....

That new quarterback wasn't exactly needed in the opener for Arizona State in a 44-13 win, but Manny Wilkins' performance wasn't too comforting for fans. The Sun Devils got out to a slow start scoring just 10 points in the first half and 10 more in the third quarter before opening things up against Northern Arizona. Under center, Wilkins finished with just 180 passing yards and an interception. Most of his damage was done on the ground along with a couple running backs. Wilkins, Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage led the way as ASU ran for 276 yards and five touchdowns as a team.

That's a tad different than what we've seen from the Sun Devils under Todd Graham, as they are usually one of the nation's best teams passing the ball. And in a game like this against Patrick Mahomes and Texas Tech, that could be a problem.

Want to know the score BEFORE the game is played? Our Score Prediction Model is the answer! Get it here

And maybe the bigger issue for ASU is that they let Northern Arizona throw for 369 yards. If that happened against an FCS school, then what will one of the country's best passing attacks do against them? Mahomes was his usual self in the opener, throwing for 483 yards and four touchdowns to go with 57 more yards and two TDs on the ground.

However, the ground game has to be a bit worrisome for the Red Raiders as they didn't really get much going outside of Mahomes. With so many playmakers and linemen gone from last year's unit, a depleted ground game could hurt them on an overall scale. And we'll get to know just how much that could hurt them against Arizona State.

Then again, Mahomes could throw for 400 yards and Texas Tech could drop 50 points. Tech's games are always high scoring and when Arizona State plays better teams, that's usually the case as well. Against another Big 12 team in last year's bowl game, ASU fell to West Virginia 43-42. Of course, that was with an experienced quarterback and more skill players.

Keeping up with Mahomes and company may be too tall of a task for Arizona State unless their defense shows up, something that hasn't been the case in recent meetings against good offenses.

And yet, the Sun Devils are the favorite, mainly because it's a home game. Wilkins has a lot riding on his shoulders this season, given the starting gig with limited experience and this will be the first game in which he encounters some adversity. Does he have it in him to out-duel Mahomes and Tech? ASU may be favored, but Mahomes is the easier quarterback to trust in a high-scoring matchup.

Our Pick - As a general rule, we don't particular like getting involved in games that figure to be high scoring shootouts. However, when we do, we'll usually side with the dog. Texas Tech +3

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