Last week saw AllSunDevils go 1-1 in predicting the spread and over/under during Arizona State's 28-10 victory over Stanford, putting us at an even 5-5 on the year for predictions.
Arizona State (-13)? Check. The Sun Devils covered the spread for what felt like the entire way.
Over 52? Big fail, as the over fell three possessions short. Stanford crossed midfield over ten times and came away with ten points, so the Cardinal didn't exactly help to push the total score over.
Yet we live and learn, moving onto week seven's match-up with the Utah Utes. Let's make some bread.
Arizona State at Utah: Betting the Spread
On SI Sportsbook, the Sun Devils are just one point favorites over Utah. As favorites, this is the smallest spread for ASU this season, with the next closest coming in their sole loss at BYU when they were favored by three points.
It's notable that Arizona State has covered the last three weeks, with two of those spreads in the double digits. They're 3-3 on the season, whereas Utah has covered the spread just once this season. It's also worth pointing out the Utes were underdogs heading into USC last week, the lone game Utah covered.
At just one point difference, the game essentially becomes a "pick'em" game.
The Sun Devils boast a better overall resume, although both squads fell on the road to BYU by nearly similar scores (ASU lost 27-17, Utah lost 26-17).
On both sides of the ball, Arizona State ranks higher in every major team statistical category such as yards per game (overall, passing and rushing) and points scored per game.
However, Utah quarterback Cam Rising replaced the now transferred Charlie Brewer and the team hasn't looked back. Rising touts a 7 TD-0 INT record since taking over, as the Utes have been far better off with him under center.
Can Arizona State's top-ranked defense in the conference force Rising into his first turnover, much like they did with Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee last week?
This game boils down to who will make mistake-free football, a facet Utah has mastered as of late. Both offenses are capable of putting up points, yet do it in two drastically different ways.
The Utes rank last in the Pac-12 with just 155 carries on the year despite averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Their overall passing numbers appear average at best, although that includes time with Brewer playing as well. On the flip side, the Sun Devils allow a mere 181 yards per game through the air while also reaching the quarterback 21 times thus far, seven more times than any other team in the Pac-12.
Do you trust Arizona State's top-ranked defense to limit Rising and company? Do you trust ASU's offense to put up points when needed the most?
Playing in likely cold weather and on the road, it won't be easy for the Sun Devils to emerge with a win. However, as long as Arizona State continues to stray away from penalizing themselves with flags and turnovers, they continue to be the more talented team over Utah.
Pick: ASU -1
Arizona State at Utah: Betting the Over/Under
Between Arizona State/Utah's eleven games, just a combined five games have hit the over. SI Sportsbook has the total currently listed at 51.
With 26 points a piece needed from each side and both defenses playing above average at the moment, that would be quite a tough number to hit.
If you're hoping for the over, the good news is Utah plays at a faster pace (2.37 plays per minute) than Stanford along with passing the ball at a higher rate, giving more hope for this game to hit the over than Arizona State's prior contest.
Even using the 28 points against a stout Stanford defense as a basis for Saturday night, that would still require Utah to put up 24 points against Arizona State, something only BYU accomplished thanks to aforementioned turnovers and penalties.
The Sun Devils love to churn clock, and with a fully healthy backfield and less than ideal weather conditions, it's easy to see ASU establishing their presence early and often.
We say this every week, yet it rings true time after time: This total could go either way. However, based off of common history and defensive play, it's more likely than not the under hits.
Also, a cherry on top is ESPN's PickCenter believes an under of 50.5 has a 55% chance of happening, so we'll take confirmation bias wherever possible.
Pick: Under 51