College Football Odds & Picks for Arizona State vs. Arizona: How to Live Bet Friday’s Pac-12 Matchup

College Football Odds & Picks for Arizona State vs. Arizona: How to Live Bet Friday’s Pac-12 Matchup article feature image
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Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils.

  • An in-state Pac-12 rivalry will commence on Friday when the Arizona Wildcats take on the Arizona State Sun Devils.
  • Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels represents something Arizona wish it had right now in a consistent playmaker at the position, but the Wildcats are struggling in that area after Grant Gunnell suffered an injury and Will Plummer took over.
  • Check out Darin Gardner's full betting breakdown complete with a pick below.

Arizona State vs. Arizona Odds

Arizona State Odds -12 [BET NOW]
Arizona Odds +12 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -455/+330 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 56 [BET NOW]
Time Friday, 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds as of Thursday at 5 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

The annual battle for the Territorial Cup between Arizona State and Arizona takes place Friday night, with each team looking for its first win of the season.

The Sun Devils have only played twice this season due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program. They traveled to USC on Nov. 7 and did not play another game until taking on UCLA on Dec. 5.

On the other side, the Wildcats are struggling. Arizona is sitting at 0-4, with an average point differential of -12.2.

Arizona State is riding a three-year win streak in the rivalry. Can the Sun Devils make it four consecutive victories, and more importantly, cover the two-score spread?

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Arizona State Sun Devils

Offense

Many people had high expectations for the Sun Devils this season after true freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels led the team to an 8-5 record in 2019.

Getting a quarterback like Daniels is a rare occasion for a school like Arizona State. Back in 2019, he was rated as the third-best quarterback recruit in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite ratings. He was thrown into the fire right off the bat after stepping on campus and finished his freshman year tied for 12th in the nation in adjusted yards per attempt.

This season, the passing game hasn’t been great. However, the running game has been incredible in Arizona State’s two-game sample size.

The Sun Devils currently rank first in the nation in Rushing Success Rate and third in Expected Points Added (EPA) per rush. As far as run blocking goes, Arizona State ranks third in line yards. The Sun Devils should be able to feast on the ground against a struggling Arizona front.

As a whole, Arizona State actually ranks first in the nation in First Down Rate and 12th in Success Rate. Again, this is only a two-game sample, so we can’t really make any definitive statements on the offense just yet.

Defense

The best way to describe Arizona State’s defense so far is “average.” It ranks 66th in Success Rate Allowed, 62nd in points per drive, and 50th in EPA allowed per rush. In the air, though, the Sun Devils rank 34th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.

One area in which Arizona State has done really well so far is causing disruptions. It currently ranks 13th in Sack Rate and 12th in Havoc Rate.

Last week against UCLA, the Sun Devils sacked quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson five times. Defensive end Tyler Johnson was an absolute menace in that game, registering three sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. The ASU defensive front should be able to keep that going against an Arizona offensive line that ranks 119th in Sack Rate Allowed.


Arizona Wildcats

Offense

It’s been a rough year for the Arizona offense. Over its past two games, it has scored a total of 23 points. What’s even worse is that only three of those 23 points have come in the second half.

On the season, Arizona ranks in the bottom 15 in Success Rate, Passing EPA, points per drive, Touchdown Rate, and Finishing Drives. The offense has struggled in pretty much every area, especially at the quarterback position.

True freshman Will Plummer has been forced to play the last two games after starter Grant Gunnell injured his shoulder. It sounds like Gunnell still has not returned to practice at the time of writing, which should point to Plummer being under center on Friday.

Plummer has played 91 non-garbage time offensive snaps. There are 133 quarterbacks who have played at least 90 snaps, and he ranks dead last among that group in EPA per throw. He averages just 2.5 adjusted yards per attempt and has thrown three interceptions with zero touchdowns. His Pro Football Focus passing grade is just 53.2.

To be fair to Plummer, he was thrown into a terrible situation with the Arizona offensive line. The unit ranks 119th in Sack Rate and 92nd in Stuff Rate. The offense as a whole ranks 89th in Havoc allowed. It would be incredibly hard for any true freshman to succeed in a situation like this.

Defense

Arizona finally managed to pick up a sack on Saturday, making its season-long sack total one. Before Saturday, the Wildcats had not registered a single non-garbage time sack in three games. Even though it finally got a quarterback on the ground, it still ranks dead last in the nation in Sack Rate.

If it took four games to get just one sack, you’re probably assuming this defense is terrible. And you’d be right. The Wildcats are allowing opponents to gain 62% of available yards, which ranks 117th among all defenses. Additionally, Arizona ranks 125th in First Down Rate Allowed and 109th in Turnover Rate.

Arizona State has been gashing teams on the ground, and it should probably continue against this Arizona rush defense. The Wildcats rank 101st in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 122nd in yards per rush allowed. Last week, Arizona allowed Colorado running back Jarek Broussard to pile up 301 rushing yards on 21 carries.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

As far as a side for the game, my numbers have a small edge on Arizona State. I have the Sun Devils projected as 13.3-point favorites. I probably will not have a play on this pregame, but I will be looking for a live number on Arizona State.

In a positive game script, the Sun Devils can put away a lead very effectively with their rushing attack. Arizona, meanwhile, looks like a team that won’t be able to throw its way back into a game against anyone. Even if Arizona State has a fairly significant lead at halftime, I probably will still like it to outscore Arizona in the second half behind its rushing attack.

Pick: Wait for Arizona State second-half bet.

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