Stanford vs. Arizona State Betting Odds
Both these teams looked awfully good last week.
Arizona State took down UCLA as three-point underdogs, while Stanford shocked Oregon as eight-point underdogs.
That was Stanford’s second big upset victory, after their two-touchdown smashing of USC as 17.5-point underdogs.
While Arizona State has won four of their first five games, they’re just 2-3 against the spread (ATS). They lost to BYU as three-point favorites and failed to cover against UNLV and Southern Utah.
Both these teams are very high coming into this game, so how do we handicap it?
Let’s dive into Friday Night Football.
Stanford Cardinals Odds
Stanford’s early-season success is confusing.
They rank 92nd in Offensive Success Rate and 119th in Defensive Success Rate. They’ve been outgained in four of their first five games, including two of their three wins. They have a -2-turnover differential, losing that battle in three of their five games.
Other than their special teams, which grades out as 12th in PFF’s grades, there’s not a single unit on this team that has been a net positive.
However, Stanford is elite at one monumentally important position: The quarterback. Tanner McKee can spin it, and PFF ranks him as college football’s 21st best quarterback. He’s completed 65% of his passes for almost 1100 yards and an 11:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
TANNER MCKEE 🎯
Stanford up on #3 Oregon…
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) October 2, 2021
The only thing holding him back is the play-calling. On straight dropbacks, McKee has completed over 70% of his passes with eight Big Time Throws. But on 37 play-action dropbacks, he’s completed just 38% of his passes with zero Big Time Throws and a Turnover Worthy Play.
I’m weary if McKee can continue to carry a Cardinals team with a horrendous offensive line (100th in Line Yards), an average run game (114th in Rushing Success Rate), and a horrendous defense (125th in Defensive Line Yards).
Arizona State Sun Devils Odds
While Stanford might be fraudulent, Arizona State is certainly not. They’re third in Offensive Success Rate and 27th in Defensive Success Rate.
On offense: Jayden Daniels has completed over 70% of his passes for close to 10 yards per attempt, and the Sun Devils are averaging over 200 yards rushing per game at 5.6 yards per attempt – a stat that ranks 10th in the FBS. It’s a very well-rounded offensive attack, anchored by an offensive line that ranks sixth in Line Yards.
Daniels and Rachaad White are the catalysts of the attack. Daniels has added almost 300 yards rushing at seven yards per carry so far this season, while White has already punched in eight touchdowns.
— Gabe Swartz (@gabeswartz_) October 3, 2021
On defense: The Sun Devils are stifling in the passing game. They’re 12th in the FBS in Defensive Passing Success Rate, allowing less than 150 passing yards per game. While you can get yards on the ground against Arizona, they’ll stop you in passing downs, as the defense ranks 17th in Passing Downs Success Rate.
Pick and Prediction
My Pick: Arizona State -13
This line opened at ASU -9.5 but has been bet way up since. All of the smart money is on Herm Edwards, as the Sun Devils are pulling just 40% of the tickets but over 80% of the handle.
I’d recommend following the smart money in this spot. Stanford’s season has been filled with fraudulent box scores, they’ve shown no efficiency, and they’re brutal in the trenches.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils should be considered one of the best teams in the Pac 12, if not the nation. While Stanford upset Oregon and their dominant rush attack last week, that only makes the Cardinals overvalued in my opinion, and they won’t keep up with this Arizona State team.
One caveat: Try and get this line before it reaches -14. Even though I really believe in Arizona State, I’d rather be laying -13.5 than two touchdowns.