Utah continues to win and keeps jumping up in the AP Poll, now the No. 4 team in the country. A win here for the Utes would put them in a great spot to win the Pac-12 South. Arizona State won’t go down easy, though, and has looked good since its last loss. At Rice-Eccles Stadium, the Utes are a -6.5 point home favorite as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
The last two times these teams have met, it’s been super close, but with the Sun Devils winning both of them. They won 19-16 in 2014 and 20-19 before that. Another win in this matchup would be huge. ASU outgained Utah by 200 yards last year, but still barely pulled off the win. Expect this Game to be a little different as Travis Wilson only passed for 57 yards in that loss.
Speaking of Wilson, he’s coming off a Game in which he struggled a bit, but still got the win for the Utes over California. Wilson has been completing more of his passes this year, while also staying effective in the ground Game. That combined with Devontae Booker (665 yards, 6 TDs), who seems to run over every team, has been enough to lead Utah.
Arizona State still doesn’t have a great defense and that should equal more success for Booker and Wilson. However, will the Utes be able to contain the Sun Devils on the other end?
since losing 42-14 to USC a few Games ago, ASU has turned things around with two big wins, most notably a 38-23 win at UCLA. The offense is finally clicking and most of that is on quarterback Mike Bercovici, who is in his first season as the starter. Through six Games, Bercovici has 14 TDs and 4 INTs, but over the last two he has thrown for seven touchdowns to go with 77 yards on the ground. His ability to pick up yards on the ground has helped this offense much like what Taylor Kelly used to do.
Combine that with a running Game that has had success throughout the year and you get an offense that is scoring plenty. The addition of running back Kalen Ballage has helped as well as he joins Demario Richard (529 yards, 4 TDs) in the backfield, and once in a while D.J. Foster.
Utah has a good defense, but hasn’t completely shutdown an offense yet. Both teams should move the ball, much like last year, it’ll just come down to who gets the touchdowns. These teams combined for seven field goals a year ago.
Utah is always a tough team to play at home, but Arizona State already has confidence from beating UCLA at Rose Bowl a couple weeks ago and the road crowd shouldn’t be something unfamiliar. All signs point to this being another close Game like in previous years, so the 7-point spread seems a bit large.
The Sun Devils have covered in eight straight October Games, which is a weird stat, while the under has hit in Four straight home Games for the Utes.
Our Pick – When two teams have played a Schedule similar in strength, we can look at yards per point numbers and get an idea of who the better team is and how the Game will play out. For Utah, their offensive number of 10.8 is among the best in the nation. 6th overall to be exact. Their defensive number of 19.8 is very good and places them in the top 20.
The Sun Devils numbers of 14.4 and 14.6 makes them mediocre on both sides of the ball.
Clearly Utah is the better team here. They are at home and have revenge multiplied by 4 as Arizona State has won this Game 4 straight times. Only one way to look here. Utah -6.5