NCAA Football Betting Favorite: Arizona State -7.5
This Friday night on ESPN, two top 25 teams will square off in the desert. The Missouri Tigers may have lost Blaine Gabbert, but they still have a very solid team. Dennis Erickson and the Arizona State Sun Devils have been on the rise in the past couple years, and now they are out to prove they are for real. Both teams will be looking for a signature win to propel them forward the rest of the season.
Missouri kicked off the season with an ugly 17-6 victory over Miami (Ohio) last weekend. The Tigers offense just couldn’t get it going at all last week. James Franklin took over the starting quarterback job now that Gabbert is in the NFL, and the Tigers will need him to perform better than he did last weekend. Franklin did a nice job running the football last week, but 129 passing yards won’t get it done against the best teams. Missouri’s wide receivers are talented, but Franklin needs to get comfortable in the pocket. Missouri has a lot of depth in the backfield, but they need one of their young runners to step up and be a leader. The Tigers defense is talented, and they can really get after the opposing quarterback. Expect them to dial up the pressure quite often in this game. Overall, Missouri is a team with a lot of depth all over the field, and that should help them a lot this year.
Arizona State started the season off with a 48-14 win over the UC Davis Aggies. UC Davis was completely outclassed in that matchup, and it really is difficult to read much into the Sun Devils performance in that game. Brock Osweiler is the starting quarterback for Arizona State, and he really seems to be the right type of guy for this offense. Osweiler was tremendous in the team’s last two games last season. He has shown an impressive ability to make good decisions with the football, which has helped Erickson and the rest of the coaching staff gain complete trust in him. The entire offensive line is back from last year, and leading rusher Cameron Marshall is back as well. The Sun Devils returned five pass receivers who caught at least 20 passes last season. Defensively, the front seven is extremely talented and they should fare well this year. The secondary is probably the team’s biggest weakness. Arizona State is all set to make a run in the Pac 12 South this season.
Arizona State’s weakness is in the secondary, but I don’t think Missouri can exploit that weakness. The Sun Devils have a balanced offense that should be able to move the ball well against Missouri. Arizona State is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 home games.
Free College Football Pick: Arizona State -7.5
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