Arizona vs Arizona State Prediction, Pick: Back Surging Wildcats
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. TUCSON, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 25: Defensive back Ed Woods #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils stands on the field during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. This year’s game is the 96th annual Territorial Cup match between Arizona rival schools.
Arizona vs Arizona State Odds
From 2020-21, Arizona went 1-15 overall. But this year, the Wildcats have knocked off Oregon State, UCLA and Utah en route to an 8-3 record.
In one of the strongest seasons for the Pac-12 in recent memory, Jedd Fisch's Wildcats have a chance to finish the year with 10 wins.
They look for win No. 9 against heated rival Arizona State on Saturday, and they'll have added motivation.
The Sun Devils have been feisty over the past month. However, they were easily dismantled in a 49-13 loss to Oregon last week.
They will look to finish out the season with a win while also preventing Arizona from building a winning streak in this rivalry series — Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak to ASU with a 38-35 victory in Tucson last season.
This time, Arizona is a double-digit favorite on the road. Let's break it down as we look at our Arizona vs Arizona State Prediction, Pick in our college football betting preview for Saturday, Nov. 25.
Arizona's five-game Pac-12 win streak is its longest in 25 years. However, it really started with two tough losses to Washington and USC when quarterback Noah Fifita became the starter.
With how tough the Pac-12 is this season, Fifita has started six games against ranked opponents. In those games, he's completing 73.8% of his passes and averaging 284.1 passing yards per game with 16 touchdowns to only four interceptions.
The redshirt freshman is playing like a fifth-year senior, and he has the Wildcats 11th in the FBS in Pass Success Rate.
However, the Wildcats are fifth in the FBS in Rush Succes Rate. Sophomore Jonah Coleman leads the team with 834 yards on 7.1 yards per carry. He ran for 90 yards and a touchdown against a physical Utah defense.
Tetairoa McMillan and Jacob Cowing give the Wildcats one of the nation's best receiver tandems. McMillan has 69 receptions for 976 yards and nine touchdowns. Cowing is averaging five fewer yards per catch this season, but he leads the team with 74 receptions and 10 touchdowns. Six Wildcats have at least 20 receptions and 250 yards this season.
The balanced offensive attack has helped the Wildcats average 32 points per game.
Yet they've been arguably more impressive on defense.
Arizona is allowing 20.6 points per game this season, but it has lowered that average to 17.8 during its winning streak.
Sophomore Jacob Manu leads the Pac-12 with 98 total tackles and has 5.5 sacks. He will likely become the first Wildcat in five years to record 100 tackles in a season.
Michigan grad transfer Taylor Upshaw ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 8.5 sacks. The Wildcats are tied for 29th in the FBS in sacks this season and 36th in Havoc generated. They're also 24th in Defensive Line Yards and will have a big advantage in the trenches here.
Arizona State's relied on its defense this year.
The Sun Devils are 6-2 ATS in conference play. They've allowed fewer than 30 points in five of the six games they've covered. In the two ATS losses, they allowed 55 points to Utah and 49 to Oregon.
Oregon and Utah are two of the most physical teams in the conference, and Arizona is not far behind. Arizona State ranks 89th in Havoc generated, 94th in Rush Success Rate allowed, and 120th in Defensive Line Yards.
Last year, the Sun Devils allowed Arizona to run for 280 yards and five touchdowns.
Quarterback Trenton Bourguet threw for 370 yards and three touchdowns in that game. However, I would not expect another performance like that this season. He's thrown only one passing touchdown and has 250 passing yards or more in only three games this year.
The Sun Devils rank 128th Pass Success Rate, 111th in Havoc allowed and 118th in Finishing Drives.
Arizona State will likely lean heavily on running back Cameron Skattebo.
The grad transfer has run for 675 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 24 passes for 186 yards and another score. He will need a big performance for the Sun Devils to pull off the upset.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Arizona and Arizona State match up statistically:
Arizona Offense vs. Arizona State Defense
Arizona State Offense vs. Arizona Defense
Pace of Play / Other
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Arizona likely wishes it had another shot at Washington and USC, as it's playing its best ball right now. The 'Cats could get another shot at Washington if Oregon State upsets Oregon this week.
While Arizona will know its Pac-12 Championship fate before kickoff, it won't need much motivation to beat its rival.
Arizona is the better team on both sides of the ball, particularly at the line of scrimmage, which should lead to plenty of rushing success for the Wildcats. And with how Fifita is playing, the Wildcats will have balance while the defense will suffocate a struggling ASU offense.
I'm thrilled to bet the Wildcats under the key number of 11, but I'd feel comfortable playing them up to -14.
Pick: Arizona -10.5 (Play to -14)
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