Arizona State vs. Utah College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions: Pac-12 After Dark Betting Preview

Arizona State vs. Utah College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions: Pac-12 After Dark Betting Preview article feature image

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Lloyd.

  • Arizona State and Utah meet in a battle of undefeated Pac-12 South teams.
  • Both the Sun Devils and Utes suffered non-conferences loss, but running the table will lead to a conference championship berth.
  • Check out Collin Wilson's breakdown of the game and top pick, below.

Arizona State vs. Utah Odds

Arizona State Odds-1
Utah Odds+1
Moneyline-115 / -105
Over/Under50.5 (-115 / -105)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Pac-12 South will have a clear leader when the scoreboard goes final in Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Arizona State and Utah are the only undefeated teams in the South, with the easier path after this game belonging to the Sun Devils. The Utes have a tricky remaining conference schedule that features UCLA and Oregon.

Arizona State's only loss came in front of a frenzied crowd at BYU, and it now returns to the Salt Lake City area for another important game.

Utah has had a difficult path both on and off the field. Week 1 starter Charlie Brewer left the program as Cam Rising took over quarterback duties to provide a spark. This was Rising's job in 2020 until an injury as he asserted himself as the alpha of this offensive unit.

Consecutive losses to BYU and San Diego State diminished any national title hopes, but the Utes have rebounded in conference play against Washington State and on the road at USC.

Off the field, Utah coaches and players made the trip to Texas on Monday for the funeral service of cornerback Aaron Lowe. This is a repeat trip to the area as funeral services were held earlier in the year for Ty Jordan.

While the team returned to campus late Monday night, the roster has been outspoken about the devotion each player has for the 2021 goals and each other.

Arizona State vs. Utah Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
10 p.m. ET

Arizona State Sun Devils

Best Rushing Unit in FBS

Head coach Herm Edwards wants to establish the run, stating that anytime the Sun Devils have eclipsed 200 yards on the ground, the team has gone 11-1.

Arizona State ranks fifth in the nation in Rushing Success Rate with a Line Yards rank of 12th in FBS.

The statistics back up the claim that the Sun Devils can run the ball on almost any defense. Both quarterback Jayden Daniels and running back Rachaad White have created 15 missed tackles apiece.

Rachaad White with the hurdle on a 29 yard run!

— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 9, 2021

This is an area Arizona State will have success in, especially if there's no contact at the line of scrimmage. The Utah defense ranks eighth in Stuff Rate, a measurement of how often a rush is stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage.

Utah has stuffed runs more than 10% of the national average, tallying 68 in 168 opponent attempts. Teams have had success in the open field, as the Utes are just 67th in defensive rush explosiveness.

The key to a Sun Devils' victory is more designed misdirection and pre-snap motion to avoid contact at the line of scrimmage.

Headliners in Defensive Injury Report

Following the Stanford game, Edwards spoke about injuries for a slew of players. Defensive edge Michael Matus, interior lineman DJ Davidson and two key secondary players in Evan Fields and Chase Lucas are all questionable for the trip to Salt Lake City.

Through 256 snaps, Fields is graded as the best tackler on the team, per PFF. Matus was one of the few on the defensive roster to generate a double-digit number in creating quarterback pressures.

Lucas was the second-most targeted player in opponent passing attempts, which may leave Arizona State with a depth issue on Saturday.

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Utah Utes

"Rising" to the Occasion

The pandemic season of 2020 went nothing as expected from the viewpoint of Rising. The quarterback had won the position battle over transfer Jake Bentley but suffered an injury just 14 plays into the first game.

Fast forward to 2021, and another transfer in the form of former Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer took over starting duties.

After lackluster offensive performances, Rising took over the starting position and currently stands at seven touchdowns and no interceptions.

Cam Rising’s flea flicker to Devaughn Vele in Utah’s first ever win at the Coliseum is the best @76 Fan Fueled Moment!

— LivinginSLC (@LivinginSLC) October 12, 2021

Play-action passing has the sophomore quarterback's forte, as he owns an 88% adjusted completion rate and 258 yards on just 19 completions.

The one area of improvement is pressured pockets, where Rising has completed just four passes in 26 drop-back attempts. The great news for Utah is the lack of pass rush coming from Arizona State, which has a rank of 71st, per PFF.

Utah's Defense Creating Chaos

The Utah defense has a rank of 14th in Defensive Havoc with the bulk of that number coming from activity behind the line of scrimmage. The Utes are 11th in tackles for loss per game.

Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd ranks seventh individually and continues to create Havoc in all areas of the field.

Wow, Devin Lloyd keeping the Utes alive.

— Garrit Jacobson (@gjacobson) September 25, 2021

As the defensive front seven gets behind the line of scrimmage, the Utah secondary has been excellent against the pass. The Utes rank 28th in coverage and 32nd in defensive passing expected points.

Arizona State is a run-first team with a 61% rush rate, but the Stuff Rate rank in the top 10 may have Daniels on the run.

Arizona State vs. Utah Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Arizona State and Utah match up statistically:

Arizona State Offense vs. Utah Defense
Rush Success566
Line Yards1269
Pass Success6255
Pass Blocking**293
Big Play628
Finishing Drives3045
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Utah Offense vs. Arizona State Defense
Rush Success8237
Line Yards4171
Pass Success7925
Pass Blocking**10671
Big Play3217
Finishing Drives5316
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling2115
Middle 85487
SP+ Special Teams59121
Plays per Minute11659
Rush Rate61.2% (29)48.6% (105)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Arizona State vs. Utah Betting Pick

The Pac=12 South comes down to two teams with a number of on- and off-field variables.

Utah will take the field with heavy emotions after the death of a teammate while its offense is clicking on all cylinders as conference play has started. Arizona State proved to be battle-tested in wins over UCLA and Stanford, as a road loss to BYU was chock-full of penalties.

The Sun Devils received 16 flags in the loss to the Cougars and now are near dead last in penalties and penalty yards per game. That is a contrast from the Utah penalty ranks in the top 10 with more than 300 yards less than Arizona State.

If the Sun Devils are not pushed back by flags, the Utah defense has been stellar at stuffing opponents' rushing attacks this season.

With the exception of the USC game, Utah has been notoriously slow starters by scoring less than 10 points in the first half. With Edwards expecting to spend the majority of the first few offensive series establishing the rush, there should be a slow start to the game.

With an Action Network total projection at 50, the current first-half under deserves an investment.

Utah is one of the few teams that can stop Arizona State behind the line of scrimmage. As for the Utes offense, Rising struggles in passing downs with pressured pockets. The spotlight will be on Travez Moore for the Sun Devils, graded as one of the best defenders in college football by PFF in pass-rush productivity.

As for the side, the projections of Utah -1 serves no value on the current market.

The Utes field a quarterback with a hot hand and the more disciplined squad when it comes to penalty flags. Utah will do everything on defense to stop the Sun Devils' rush attack, which will be enough to pick up the emotional victory at home.

Pick: 1H Under 24.5 or Better | Utah PK or Better

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