Take San Diego State +5.5 (#209)
This is the very definition of a ‘spot play’, as we look to fade Arizona State off their high profile win against Michigan State. Yes, Herm Edwards Sun Devils are 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS, a solid early season surprise. But make no mistake about it – the Sun Devils are running into a juggernaut in San Diego this weekend.
Arizona State was expected to compete for last place in the PAC-12 South, not first place, in Edwards first season on the job. They may still finish in last, as their PAC-12 slate is brutal. That slate starts next week, at Washington. Coming off a signature win, with a road trip to revenge minded Washington on deck, this has all the makings of a flat spot for this overachieving squad.
Make no mistake about it – Neither Arizona State early season victory means very much moving forward. They blasted bottom feeder UTSA in their opener. Utah State hung 31 on Sparty in East Lansing; ASU managed just 16 last week, 13 of which came against a tired and hot Michigan State defense in the fourth quarter. Without a strong running game, the Sun Devils offense is mostly what QB Manny Wilkins can create. And while Wilkins is a solid senior QB, he’ll be tested by a feisty Aztecs secondary on Saturday Night.
San Diego State beat Arizona State 30-20 last year, and there was nothing fraudulent about that victory. The Sun Devils gained just 1.4 yards per carry while giving up 279 rushing yards. Arizona State trailed by two scores for most of the second half. While the betting markets ‘zig’ towards the revenge angle, I’m looking to ‘zag’ in favor of Rocky Long’s squad; a team with a recent history of beating up on their PAC-12 foes.
The results do not like. The Aztecs have been more than capable of beating the big boys, with wins over Stanford, Cal and Arizona State since the start of the 2016 campaign. They bounced back nicely off their Week 1 ‘revenge’ loss to Stanford, and RB Juwan Washington is already picking up where first rounder Rashaad Penny left off, with more than 300 rushing yards in his first two games. We don’t need the outright upset to cash this ticket….but I wouldn’t be shocked in the slightest if we get it. Take San Diego State.