A preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game could take place on Saturday night as fifth ranked Stanford welcomes No. 23 Arizona State to Palo Alto for a showdown at Stanford Stadium. This weekend’s meeting between the Cardinal and Sun Devils is scheduled to get underway at 7:00pm ET on FOX. Opening College Football Odds at offshore bookmaker Sportsbook.ag have David Shaw’s Cardinal listed as a -9 against the spread home favorite.
Stanford enters this weekend’s game with a 2-0 record, but it has, in some respects, failed to live up to expectations. The Cardinal were unable to cover the spread in their opener against San Jose State, defeating the Spartans 34-13 (24.5 line), and they missed the mark by 17 points last weekend, topping Army 34-20 as a 30 point road favorite in West Point.
Stanford’s performance against the Black Knights may signal cause for concern as Army nearly matched the Cardinal’s offensive production (408 yards to 333). Certainly Arizona State presents a much bigger threat than the Knights as it demonstrated in last week’s 32-30 win over Wisconsin.
The Sun Devils were lucky on one hand as a blown call robbed the Badgers of a likely win, but they helped their own cause as well. ASU stormed back from an early 14-3 deficit and it finished the game with 32 first downs and 468 total yards. It also picked up a win against a tough opponent despite a difficult night from quarterback Taylor Kelly.
Kelly, who completed 67.1 percent of his passes last season for 3039 yards, connected on 29-of-51 pass attempts for a total of 352 yards in the win. He also failed to throw a touchdown pass, but did toss a costly interception early in the third quarter with the Sun Devils sitting at the Badgers 33 yard line.
These two schools have not played since 2010 when Stanford posted a 17-13 win in Tempe. The Cardinal also scored a 33-14 win over the Sun Devils in 2009, but Arizona State had won three straight in the rivalry series prior to that meeting. The Sun Devils have covered the spread in four of the last five games between the two teams, including the most recent one, which featured a 4.5 point line.
Power Rating Projection: Stanford by 6.9 points.
Notable Trends: Stanford is 1-4 against the spread (5-0 SU) in its last five games as a home favorite with a spread between 8 and 10.5 points. The Cardinal are 0-5-1 opposite the number (5-1 SU) in their last six games as a home favorite against a Pac-12 opponent.
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Arizona State vs Stanford Pick Against the Spread: Provided by Sportsbook.ag
Arizona State Sun Devils +9 (-110)
Stanford Cardinal -9 (-110)