Utah vs. Arizona State Odds, Picks & Predictions: Back the Utes as Road Favorites
Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Rising (Utah)
- Arizona State looks to begin a new era as it hosts Utah on Saturday night.
- Can the Sun Devils pull off the upset in their first game under Shaun Aguano?
- Cody Goggin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Utah vs. Arizona State Odds
Arizona State will host Utah just a week after firing head coach Herm Edwards and losing in embarrassing fashion at home to Eastern Michigan.
Since we last saw Utah on a national stage against Florida, it has just been handling its business, winning its last two games by a combined score of 108-14.
We’ll see this Saturday if the Sun Devils are able to give Utah any trouble with an interim coach, or if the Utes will continue their path of dominance toward another Pac-12 Championship game.
Cameron Rising is a star at quarterback and one of the best that Utah has had in years. Primarily known for being a physical running team, Kyle Whittingham has transformed this Utah offense to win in multiple ways behind the arm of Rising.
Utah’s offense ranks 20th in the nation in Success Rate, coming in at 22nd in passing and 27th in rushing. SP+ ranks this as the 12th-best offense in the country, and it's certainly one of the hardest teams to stop.
So far this season, the Utes have played Florida and San Diego State as their FBS competition. In these two games, they posted a 98th-percentile Success Rate and a 89th-percentile Success Rate against defenses that rank 53rd and 51st in SP+, respectively.
Arizona’s defense is slightly better than these two, but probably on a similar tier.
I don’t see how the Wildcats will be able to slow Rising and the Utes down.
Despite the Utes' offensive revolution, the defense still remains as one of the best in the conference. SP+ ranks Utah as the 27th-best defense in the country.
The Utes showed this against Southern Utah and San Diego State — both teams were in the fourth percentile or worse in terms of Offensive Success Rate.
But Florida was able to move the ball against them.
The Gators, who have an electric rushing attack with Anthony Richardson but struggle through the air, had a 97th-percentile Offensive Success Rate against this Utah team in Week 1.
It seems that Utah has been able to settle down in recent weeks defensively, but this was against pretty weak competition. San Diego State has just the No. 109 offense, per SP+.
Arizona State, on the other hand, ranks 71st, which isn’t great, but is still better than everyone that Utah has faced outside of Florida.
Sun Devils Offense
This atrocious Arizona State offense is likely one of the reasons Edwards was fired. The unit hasn't performed well so far this year, ranking 118th in Offensive Success Rate and 121st when running the ball.
The final nail in the coffin last week was scoring just 21 points against an Eastern Michigan defense that ranks 119th in SP+.
The most comparable defense to Utah’s that Arizona State has faced yet this year was Oklahoma State’s. The Cowboys rank 50th in defense, per SP+, and Arizona State was only able to manage 17 points and a 14th-percentile Offensive Success Rate against this team.
I wouldn’t expect much from the Sun Devils' offense this weekend, unless they rally behind interim head coach Shaun Aguano.
Sun Devils Defense
Arizona State’s defense is the better unit on the team, but it still hasn't been great this season.
The Sun Devils rank 74th in Defensive Success Rate, including 95th against the pass and 60th against the run.
They were impressive against Oklahoma State, when they allowed just a 50th-percentile Success Rate to the Cowboys, who rank 14th in SP+ on offense.
There is a chance that this Arizona State defense could provide some resistance to Utah, but I think that the ability of Rising through the air will be able to succeed against this secondary.
Utah vs. Arizona State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Utah and Arizona State match up statistically:
Utah Offense vs. Arizona State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Arizona State Offense vs. Utah Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||14||58|
|Seconds per Play||28.6 (104)||30.2 (121)|
|Rush Rate||56.7% (47)||59.6% (32)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Utah vs. Arizona State Betting Pick
You never know what to expect when a team fires its head coach. Sometimes they come out reinvigorated and other times they fall flat on their face like Nebraska did a week ago.
If ASU was playing a much less talented team than Utah, I may have given it a chance, but Rising and this great Utes offense will be too much for the Sun Devils to handle without having an offense of their own.
I believe that Rising’s passing yardage prop of 236.5 is low, but my favorite play on this game is just to take Utah as 15.5-point favorites.
The Utes should be able to dominate this game thoroughly against this Arizona State team.