Arizona State vs. Stanford ATS Picks
By Andrew Ryan
David Shaw is one of the best coaches in the country, and that’s why the Stanford Cardinal are never really out of things until they’re out of it. Fresh off of two straight losses, Stanford rallied with a third-string quarterback to destroy UCLA last week. Now comes what should be a much easier task against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Stanford Cardinal
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA
Opening College Football Odds: Stanford -15.5
Arizona State vs. Stanford TV Coverage: Pac-12 Network
Well, that’s much better out of Stanford, isn’t it? On a night when the team allowed almost 600 yards of offense, the Cardinal still got their act together against UCLA thanks to four forced turnovers, a blocked field goal and 263 yards on the ground from Bryce Love to beat the Bruins 58-34.
You hate to say that defense that allowed 595 yards played a “good game” against UCLA, but things are at least coming together in terms of forced turnovers. The Cardinal are disciplined on that side of the ball and are still trying to figure out how to piece it all together this year.
But if Love keeps running like this, he could end up getting his name on the short list when it comes to Heisman Trophy consideration heading into October.
You probably weren’t still awake on Saturday night when Arizona State shocked Oregon 37-35. The Sun Devils had the same sort of problem that Stanford did, as they just flat out couldn’t slow down the Ducks but did just enough offensively to win the game.
The difference is that ASU put together a ridiculous passing performance. N’Keal Harry had seven receptions, 170 yards and a touchdown, while Jalen Harvey hauled in eight balls for 133 yards to help guide the Sun Devils to a big upset and a win that Todd Graham badly needed to take some of the heat off of his rather toasty seat.
Still, for the season, the Sun Devils are just 2-2, and their defense has yet to hold a team under 30 points this year. This doesn’t have a lot of promise to be the first, especially if Love is running wild.
The elephant in the room for Stanford right now revolves around its quarterbacks. We already know that the Cardinal romped UCLA with K.J. Costello surprisingly playing most of the game, but we have to wonder if he can prepare as a starter now that he has clearly supplanted Ryan Burns as the primary backup to Keller Chryst.
Then again, we also have to wonder if it’s going to matter or not. Chryst suffered a head injury and is going to have to clear concussion protocol to play this week. But even if he does, should it matter? Costello went 13-for-19 for 123 yards and two touchdowns and was clearly the best quarterback on the field against a UCLA team that brought in an NFL quarterback to Palo Alto in Josh Rosen.
Arizona State vs. Stanford Free Picks
Arizona State always feels like a skittish team to us. Manny Wilkins can run all over the place and ad lib plays together, but the offense always feels a little bit off-balance.
Stanford is the polar opposite. Even in such a poor defensive performance against UCLA, you always had the feeling that the team wasn’t going to break and knew what it was doing. Just as it was always about trusting in Christian McCaffrey for three years, it’s now about “feeling the Love.” If Stanford keeps doing that, we’re going to have a hard time making a case for a poor Arizona State defense slowing it down.
Even if the Sun Devils do happen to amass 400 or 500 yards in this game, they’re still going to be up against it to beat this number set by all of your favorite internet sportsbooks.
College Football ATS Pick: Stanford -15.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Stanford 47, Arizona State 27