The 2013 PAC-12 Championship Game from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ this Saturday night (7:45 pm ET) features the 7th ranked Stanford Cardinal (10-2) taking on the host Arizona St. Sun Devils (10-2). The Cardinal took care of Notre Dame at home last week by a score of 27-20 after dismantling Cal in their rivalry game the previous week 63-13. Their last loss came at USC in week 12 by a count of 20-17. ASU is red hot having won 7 games in a row since a 37-34 loss to Notre Dame in Dallas in week 7. The Sun Devils took care of in-state rival Arizona (58-21) last week and then-14th ranked UCLA on the road the previous week (38-33). This game will decide which team earns the PAC-12’s spot in the Rose Bowl. ASU is looking for its first trip to the game since 1997, while Stanford was the conference representative last season.
The Cardinal has one of the best defensive units in the nation, and they have ridden hard-nosed play on that side of the ball and a power running game to a top-10 ranking. Stanford ranks 13th among FBS teams in scoring defense with 19 points per game allowed and 15th in total defense with 341.3 yards per game allowed. Stanford ranks 68th nationally in total offense with 404.4 YPG and 44th in total offense with 32.8 PPG scored.
The Sun Devils rank 21st nationally in total offense with 473.3 yards per game and and 8th in scoring offense with a impressive 43.3 points per game. ASU has allowed 24.8 points per game to rank 49th nationally in scoring defense, while ranking 24th nationally in total defense with 351 YPG allowed.
Stanford vs. Arizona St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Stanford Cardinal +3.5
@ Arizona St. Sun Devils -3.5
Over 53 (-110)
Under 53 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Stanford vs Arizona St. Pick
The Cardinal are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 road games, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss and 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall. The Sun Devils are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall, but 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games in December.The Under is 6-1 in the Cardinal’s last 7 games overall and 5-1 in Cardinal last 6 conference games. The Over is 20-6 in Sun Devils last 26 vs. a team with a winning record and 6-2 in their last 8 home games. The Cardinal are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Arizona State.
ASU’s only conference loss came at Stanford on September 21st by a score of 42-28, but the Sun Devils are a perfect 7-0 at home this season. The loss of senior running back Marion Grice, their leading rusher will hurt ASU though. Stanford averages 208.5 YPG on the ground, good for 26th best in the country, and ASU allows only 133.8 YPG on the ground which ranks 27th nationally. Something will have to give here, and in September the Cardinal was able to gouge ASU for 240 yards and 4.9 YPC on the ground with Tyler Gaffney running for 87 yards and 2 scores. Gaffney may be the difference in this one, the senior has run for over 1,400 yards and 17 TDs this season and the presence of PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year Will Sutton in the middle of the ASU defense will not intimidate the Stanford offensive line which is among the best in the country. Take the Cardinal as an underdog here.