Two of the top teams in the PAC-12 meet this Thursday night (9:00pm ET) at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ when the 3rd ranked and undefeated Oregon Ducks (6-0) come to town to take on the 24th ranked Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1). The Ducks have a 2-4 record ATS this season, and come into this game fresh off of a bye week after pounding conference rival Washington 52-21 in week 6 to cover a 24.5 point spread. ASU is 5-1 ATS this year, and soundly defeated Colorado on the road last week in the Thursday game of the week 51-17 to cover a 22 point line in a pick that we correctly forecasted in this blog last week.
The Ducks again feature one of the most explosive offensive units in the country utilizing Chip Kelly’s fast-paced version of the spread option, ranking in the top 10 nationally in scoring with 52.3 points per game (2nd among FBS teams), 8th in total offense with 541.7 yards per game (8th nationally ) and rushing offense with 302.3 YPG (4th nationally). De’Anthony Thomas (9.2 YPC ) , Kenjon Barner (6.3 YPC, 9 TDs) and quarterback Marcus Mariota (67.9% completion rate, 15 TDs) are the main cogs in the Ducks’ explosive attack. The Oregon defense ranks 32nd in scoring defense with 20 PPG allowed and 45th in total defense with 359.8 YPG allowed.
ASU has lit up the scoreboard so far this season as well, ranking 18th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 40.5 PPG, and 24th in total offense with 479 YPG. Unlike the Ducks, the strength of the team has been their defense which ranks 9th in the country in scoring defense with 14.2 PPG allowed and 8th in total defense with 272.7 YPG allowed. The Sun Devils have been flat out impossible to throw against with only 144.2 YPG allowed through the air (5th among FBS teams).
Oregon vs. ASU Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Oregon Ducks -8
@ Arizona St. Sun Devils +8
Over 69.5 (-110)
Under 69.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Oregon vs. Arizona St. Pick:
Oregon has a 4-1 record ATS in their last 5 road games, a 2-5 record ATS in their last 7 Thursday games and a 22-7-1 record ATS in their last 30 games in October. The Sun Devils are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on grass, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 home games. The over is 21-7 in Oregon’s last 28 PAC-12 games, 8-3 in their last 11 October games and 37-18-2 in their last 57 games overall. The over is 11-3 in their last 14 games on grass, 11-3 in their last 14 PAC-12 games and 15-5 in their last 20 games overall. The head-to-head trends show that the favorite is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings, Oregon is 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings and the over is 4-0 in their last 4 meetings. Oregon has won 6 straight in the series overall, including a 41-27 win last season in Eugene in which they pushed on a 14 point spread.
These two teams have very different styles, Oregon as has been the case for quite a while, will flat out try to outscore every team that it plays with an offense that sets the tempo with a frenetic pace and seeks to exploit mismatches and tire out opposing defenses. Arizona State has done a tremendous job defensively this season, but the Sun Devils have yet to face an offense the caliber of Oregon’s and they allowed 327 yards rushing and 6.7 YPC to Oregon in last seasons’ meeting, including 171 yards by Barner alone. Oregon has the speed and experience on offense to wear out ASU over the course of the game, and it is impossible to prepare for the pace at which they play. This gives Oregon the advantage on the road and combined with their dominance in the series makes it tough to pick against the Ducks. The call is Oregon to cover in this game.
PICK = Oregon -8