Ducks vs. Sun Devils NCAA Football Picks Week 13
Oregon Ducks vs. Arizona State Sun Devils, Saturday November 23, 7:30 p.m. ET
For Oregon, the stakes are high here. At least high in some cases. In terms of the Pac-12 Conference, the game actually means nothing for them. They already have the Pac-12 North title clinched with two games left, so they could forfeit their last two games and still head to the Pac-12 Championship Game and, hopefully, one heck of a showdown with Utah. But the Ducks have aspirations far beyond just that. They currently sit sixth in the playoff rankings. They trail three SEC teams -- only one of which can obviously win a conference championship. And they are ahead of Utah, Oklahoma and Penn State -- the teams that represent their biggest challenges. If the Ducks can dominate their last two regular-season games, and then beat Utah with some style points, they would be in very good position to challenge for a playoff spot.
Their final game, their rivalry showdown against Oregon State, is tougher than it has been for a long while, but still not too tough. But this game against Arizona State is the one that looms as a tricky one. The Sun Devils have not been very good lately, losing four in a row. But they were stronger before that, pulling off some nice wins and generally being more dangerous than many -- including me -- expected. Now, the wins that were impressive at the time came against Michigan State, Cal and Washington State, and none of those teams look as good now as it seemed they might back then. But still, this team and their crazy circus coaching playing at home is just the type of game that could derail the grand ambitions of the Ducks if they aren't dialed in and ready.
Oregon at Arizona State Betting Storylines
When Herm Edwards was hired at Arizona State to be some sort of coaching CEO, it seemed like a horrible idea. Last year things were probably a little ahead of expectations as they won seven games and made a bowl. And this year, when they started out 5-1, it was again reasonably easy for people to make grand conclusions about the progress Edwards was making. But with this recent stretch of losses, it is harder to be optimistic. Last time out against Oregon State, several players were held out of the game early for various disciplinary problems. That's not a good sign. And with each loss, their intensity seems to have faltered. This is their toughest game of the year -- alongside the Utah game they lost 21-3 -- and it's tough to be optimistic about their chances here when they aren't at their best, and they would likely be outmatched even if they were at their best.
While we are piling on the Sun Devils, we might as well talk about the two lines. Neither of them is particularly strong right now, and they really don't have any depth. The two most telling signs of the line woes is that they are among the worst teams in the country both for rushing yards gained and passing yards allowed. In other words, they can't open up gaps or pressure a QB. They are up against a very good run defense for the Ducks, so the Sun Devils offense will be very one-dimensional. And Justin Herbert has tightened up his game lately, completing more than 70 percent of his passes in each of the last three and throwing seven touchdowns in his last two games. The matchups for Arizona State are just plain lousy here. They have played tight games in three of their four recent losses. But the one they weren't close in was against Utah. They lost that one 21-3 against another team that could exploit their weaknesses on both lines easily.
Oregon at Arizona State Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened widely with Oregon favored by 14.5 points -- two touchdowns and a hook . It has stayed mostly steady at that level, though 14 is starting to show up in spots . A small majority of bets have been placed on Oregon, so the movement is no cause for alarm. The total opened at 54.5 and has fallen to as low as 52.5.
The Ducks are 4-1 ATS both in their last four overall and their last four on the road. They are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games in November. Arizona State is just 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four conference contests. The Ducks are 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings between the teams and 5-2 ATS in the last seven at Arizona State.
Oregon at Arizona State Predictions and Picks
This feels like an easy play. If you can find the 14 points available, I would jump all over it and take Oregon. I'd happily take them at 14.5, too, but the half point is nice if you don't have to pay a premium for it. Oregon is much more talented, much hungrier, much more focused, has much better coaching, and has much more on the line. This should be a mismatch, and I am not worried that Oregon will not be up for this one. The Ducks are the play against the spread.
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