The PAC-12 action continues Saturday night (11:00pm ET) with the 17th ranked Utah Utes (6-1) and the 14th ranked Arizona St. Sun Devils (6-1) squaring off at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. Utah has won 3 games in a row, including a 24-21 win at home over USC last week. Their only loss came in their Pac-12 opener in week 5, a 28-27 loss to Washington St. Since then they have notched strong road wins over UCLA (30-28) and Oregon St. (29-23). The Utes also have a non-conference road win in the Big House over Michigan (26-10). Arizona St. has won 3 games in a row since their 62-27 week 5 five beat down against UCLA on a Thursday night. Since then they have beaten USC (38-34) on the road and Stanford (26-10) at home prior to last week’s 24-10 against Washington in Seattle.
The Utes rank 27th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 35.9 points per game and 75th nationally in total offense with 392.3 yards per contest. Wide receiver Kaelin Clay is a big-play man as a returner, and has scored 4 TDs on returns this season and ranks 3rd nationally with 22.5 yards per punt return. Utah ranks 29th nationally in points allowed with 21.6 per game and 55th in total defnse with 376.9 YPG allowed.
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Arizona St. ranks 24th nationally in scoring offense with 36.6 PPG and 22nd in total offense with 489.3 YPG. Quarterback Taylor retuned last week after missing the 3 previous games with an injured foot, but he showed some rust last week and took a hit to the head against the Huskies. Defensively ASU ranks 56th nationally with 25.3 PPG allowed and 72nd in total defense with 405.9 YPG allowed.
Utah vs. Arizona St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Utah Utes +6.5
@Arizona St. Sun Devils -6.5
Over 58.5 (-110)
Under 58.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.ag
Utah vs. Arizona St. Pick:
Arizona State has won 10 straight in the series, including a 20-19 victory in Salt Lake City last season and holds a 19-6 lead over the Utes all-time. ASU is 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the spread versus Utah since the Utes joined the Pac-12 three seasons ago. This will be the first meeting with both teams ranked in the top 25. The Utes are 2-0 against ranked teams this season, defeating UCLA when they were ranked 8th and USC when they were ranked 20th. Utah is 6-1 ATS this season, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 3-1 ATS in conference play. ASU is 3-0 ATS in their last 3 games, but 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
The Utes have hardly been a dominant team this season, but they have found a way to win both outright and against the spread while playing a tough schedule. They have experience and confidence playing on the road, and they have a team built to play well on the road. Utah ranks 19th nationally against the run with 112.1 YPG allowed. Utah has run the ball effectively against all of their conference opponents, outshining them by an average of 100 YPG. ASU is the ideal team for them to have success against, as the Sun Devils have been out-rushed by 4 of their 5 Pac-12 opponents and rank a dismal 82nd nationally defending the run with 180.4 YPG allowed. Utah as a underdog is too good to pass up here, take the Utes and the points.