ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (4-4)
at USC TROJANS (5-3)
Kickoff: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EDT, Line: USC -5.5, Total: 60.5
USC has lost three of its past four games, but a great remedy for the Trojans in recent history has been a date with Arizona State. USC has won the past 10 meetings straight-up, covering the spread in seven of the 10 games. The spread in this series hit double digits in seven of the past eight meetings, averaging 14 points. Curiously, Saturday’s spread is less than a touchdown. NFL scores.
The low spread is mostly based on the Trojans being unable to stop anybody lately. They surrendered 53 points to Oregon last week and gave up a combined 69 points in their other two losses to Washington and Stanford. USC ranks 114th out of 120 FBS schools in passing defense (276 YPG). QB Matt Barkley continues to carry the offense with 267 passing YPG, 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Barkley will be looking for redemption after his woeful 7-for-22, 112-yard performance at Arizona State last season. USC ranks in the top-15 in the nation in offense (479.4 YPG) and scoring (36.8 PPG). NFL spreads.
Arizona State has lost four of its past six games, with the only wins coming against Washington and Washington State. QB Steven Threet was tremendous last week against WSU (26-for-32, 300 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT) and didn’t show any signs of a concussion suffered in the prior game at California. For the Sun Devils to keep this game close, Threet and the rest of his teammates will have to control their turnovers. ASU is tied for 107th in the nation in average turnover margin (-0.9 per game) with 18 giveaways this year (four fumbles, 14 interceptions). The Sun Devils have 13 turnovers in their past three losses.
The favorite is 14-2 SU (11-5 ATS) in the ASU-USC series since 1992. This five-star FoxSheets trend also expects the favored USC to win and cover.
Dennis Erickson is 0-11 ATS (-12.1 Units) in road games off 1 or more consecutive unders as ASU’s coach. The average score was ARIZONA ST 18.8, OPPONENT 31.9 – (Rating = 5*). NFL lines.
Although the past five USC games have all gone Over the total, the FoxSheets side with the Under based on this trend affecting both teams:
Play Under – All teams where the total is between 56.5 and 63 (USC, ARIZONA ST) – in a game involving two good passing teams (7.5-8.3 PYA) after 7+ games. (42-14 over the last 10 seasons.) (75%, +26.6 units. Rating = 3*).