Arizona State vs. Stanford Odds & Picks: 2 Bets for Pac-12 Showdown

Arizona State vs. Stanford Odds & Picks: 2 Bets for Pac-12 Showdown article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee.

Arizona State vs. Stanford Odds

Saturday, Oct. 22
4 p.m. ET
Pac-12 Network
Arizona State Odds
-105o / -115u
Stanford Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Stanford hosts Arizona State in Saturday’s homecoming game on the Farm in a battle between a pair of 2-4 teams.

Both teams struggled mightily to start the season against FBS teams but enter this game with momentum after pulling upsets in their last matchups as heavy underdogs. Arizona State emerged victorious over Washington as a 13.5-point underdog before its bye week, while Stanford downed Notre Dame as 17-point dogs last week.

Which team will emerge victorious and keep their bowl hopes alive while the other team suffers another frustrating defeat? Let's dive in.

Arizona State Sun Devils

The visiting Sun Devils fired head coach Herm Edwards after an embarrassing loss to Eastern Michigan in their third game, but they have covered in each of their last two games against USC and Washington while beating the Huskies outright, 45-38, in Tempe.

Starting quarterback and Florida transfer Emory Jones looked good early in that game but suffered an injury, and junior backup quarterback Trenton Bourguet stepped in and led the Sun Devils to an upset win.

Some Arizona State fans have called for Bourguet to start in this matchup, but Jones will take the field under center. Arizona State interim head coach Shaun Aguano isn’t a fan of rotating quarterbacks, but if Jones struggles early, expect him to have a short leash.

The Sun Devils are decent through the air, ranking 47th in Passing Down EPA/Play, 33rd in Passing Down Explosiveness and 33rd in Passing Down Success Rate.

However, the offensive line has allowed defenses to put them behind the chains, as they rank 108th in PFF pass-blocking grade and 126th in Havoc Allowed.

Limiting negative plays will be key in this matchup, regardless of who's playing quarterback.

The Arizona State rushing attack, led by Xazavian Valladay and Daniyel Ngata rushes behind a line that ranks 33rd in Line Yards. However, ASU still ranks 108th in Rush EPA/Play and 111th in Rush Play Success Rate.

Expect the Sun Devils to put an emphasis on running the ball against a Stanford defense that has struggled mightily against the run this season.

Arizona State has reshuffled the offensive line with left guard LaDarius Henderson out due to injury. The line has experience but not necessarily in the positions they'll play on Saturday.

Defensively, Arizona State has struggled so far this season, allowing at least 30 points to every FBS opponent it's faced.

The unit ranks outside the top 100 in a myriad of statistics, including 131st in Defensive Finishing Drives, 124th in Success Rate Allowed, 111th in EPA/Play, 117th in Standard Down Success Rate Allowed, 122nd in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 111th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

The Sun Devils also rank dead last in the Conference of Champions in sacks and forced fumbles.

Creating Havoc plays will be important against Stanford’s slow mesh running game that can leave the Cardinal susceptible to losses on early-down RPOs if not blocked correctly.

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Stanford Cardinal

Although Stanford has also had a disappointing start to the season, David Shaw — the winningest coach in Stanford football history — likely isn’t on the hot seat.

His team had a challenging schedule to start conference play with road trips to Seattle and Eugene mixed in with hosting USC. Those teams capitalized on the Cardinal’s offensive errors and ran over to give Stanford three straight double-digit losses to start conference play.

Since then, the Cardinal have shown signs of life. They squandered a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against Oregon State two weeks ago but bounced back with an outright win at Notre Dame last week as 17-point underdogs.

Offensively, the Cardinal have made the most of their scoring opportunities, ranking 25th in Finishing Drives. However, they struggled to finish their drives last week in South Bend, as they scored just 16 points on eight drives past the Notre Dame 40-yard line.

However, the Cardinal also had a three-and-out percentage of just 8.3% against the Irish’s stout defense, which is a sign that the blocking up front and overall execution are improving as quarterback Tanner McKee continues to get the ball out more quickly.

Stanford's offense took a big loss with star receiver Michael Wilson suffering a significant injury in South Bend that will sideline him for a “significant portion of time,” according to Shaw.

The Cardinal have other experienced big receivers with big-play potential, but Wilson is their best route runner and will be missed.

The offensive line is also in flux with a handful of potential starters listed as either questionable or doubtful, including tackle Walter Rouse, guard/tackle Barrett Miller, tackle Jack Leyrer and guard Levi Rogers.

The Cardinal need at least two of these four players to play for fans on the Farm to feel comfortable about giving McKee and emerging running back Casey Filkins time on the slow mesh.

Defensively, the Cardinal have experience in the back seven, but they lack game-breaking speed there. However, outside of Elijhah Badger, the Sun Devils don’t have a ton of playmakers at receiver, so it remains to be seen if this weakness will be exploited like it was against USC.

Up front, the Cardinal are very young, but they're improving. True freshmen Jaxson Moi and David Bailey have stood out, although Bailey is doubtful this week. Fellow underclassmen Tobin Phillips and Aaron Armitage have also flashed more recently.

These underclassmen are undersized up front, as no player weighs over 300 pounds, but they've continued to improve over the last few weeks. Consequently, Stanford has fared much better against the pass when allowing its young rushers to stunt with its experienced secondary behind them.

The Cardinal need to continue to improve against the run, as they rank 121st in Rushing EPA/Play Allowed, 116th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 108th in Havoc Created and 129th in Line Yards.

Luckily for Stanford, it has some momentum after creating a season-high 15 Havoc plays in South Bend.

Arizona State vs. Stanford Matchup Analysis

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

Arizona State Offense vs. Stanford Defense
Rush Success111116
Line Yards33129
Pass Success6353
Pass Blocking**10899
Finishing Drives3489
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Stanford Offense vs. Arizona State Defense
Rush Success85111
Line Yards118127
Pass Success69122
Pass Blocking**9290
Finishing Drives25131
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling7733
PFF Coverage8589
SP+ Special Teams1317
Seconds per Play28.9 (115)25.9 (54)
Rush Rate52.5% (72)51.2% (78)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Arizona State vs. Stanford Betting Pick

Our Action Analytics projected spread has this at Stanford -8.6, showing significant value on the Cardinal to cover as 2.5-point favorites.

Stanford has been trending up defensively with its young defensive line looking better each week, and it gets a relatively favorable matchup against an ASU team that hasn’t run the ball efficiently.

While Jones has dual-threat ability for the Sun Devils, he has just 14 net rushing yards on the season, and Bourguet isn’t a threat to run. The Cardinal have struggled to contain running quarterbacks, but they may not have an issue this week.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the Cardinal’s injury updates leading up to kickoff with several key offensive linemen’s statuses up in the air. If at least two of the four linemen mentioned earlier are active, I’ll play Stanford to cover the spread up to -3.

I also like its team total over of 27.5 points at DraftKings against an ASU defense that has allowed at least 30 points in all five of its FBS games.

If your book gives you the option to parlay these two together, it’s worth a sprinkle as well.

Pick: Stanford Team Total Over 27.5 ⋅ Stanford -2.5

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