Vegas Game Preview & Free ATS Pick: Arizona State vs Oregon

The no. 6 Oregon Ducks will try to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive when they head to the desert to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. Game time is at 7:30 EST on Saturday, November 23 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The game will be broadcast for a national audience on ABC.

Oddsmakers list the Ducks as 14.5-point favorites on the road with an over/under of 54 points. Be sure to check out a full list of this week’s college football betting odds.

Arizona State vs Oregon Game Preview & Betting Odds

Ever since they lost their season opener to Auburn, the Ducks have done everything in their power to remain in the CFP conversation. Oregon has won nine straight games, including a lopsided 34-6 win over Arizona last week. Only two of those nine wins have come by less than 10 points, so they’ve been convincing in most games. 

Oregon has already locked up the Pac-12 North title and a spot in the conference championship game. However, for the Ducks to have any chance of getting into the top-4, they’ll have to beat Arizona State and Oregon State to close out the season and win the Pac-12 Championship Game. Even then, there are no guarantees, so Oregon can’t afford a letdown late in the season.

Meanwhile, Arizona State is spiraling out of control. After the Sun Devils started the season 5-1, they have lost four games in a row, including a 35-34 loss to Oregon State last week in which they failed to convert a 2-point conversion late in the game. In their defense, four of their five losses this season have come by 10 points or less. However, they’ve yet to solidify a bowl bid with two games left in the season.

The Sun Devils will have to either upset Oregon this week or takedown in-state rival Arizona next week to become bowl eligible. Arizona State is already assured of a losing season in Pac-12 play after going 5-4 in the league and 7-6 overall last season. Not reaching a bowl game at all would be a meaningful step back for Herm Edwards in his second season, making the Sun Devils desperate to get a win.

On the bright side, Arizona State beat Oregon two years ago when the Ducks last visited Tempe. However, that’s ASU’s only win over the Ducks in the last 12 meetings between the two schools. Oregon had won 10 in a row over the Sun Devils before losing two years ago. The Ducks also eked out a 31-29 win when they hosted the Sun Devils last year.

College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: Oregon -14.5

I’ll admit that Arizona State is better than almost any other team in the country that has also suffered a four-game losing streak at some point this season. The Sun Devils deserve at least some credit for being competitive in almost every game this year. However, they lost to Utah by 18 points last month, and I think that Oregon, like Utah, is a level above the rest of the Pac-12. That makes me think the Sun Devils the Sun Devils will struggle to keep pace with the Ducks. I’m willing to eat the 14.5 points and take Oregon to cover.

The ASU defense has become the biggest problem for the Sun Devils during their losing streak. They’ve allowed at least 31 points in three straight games and have conceded at least that much in five of their seven Pac-12 games. That doesn’t bode well for their chances to contain the Oregon defense. 

To their credit, the Sun Devils have been stout against the run most of the season. But the ASU secondary has been shredded at times, which figures to be a problem against the Ducks. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is arguably the best pure pocket passer in the country. He has seven touchdown passes in his last two games, giving him 28 on the season compared to just three interceptions. Even if the Ducks don’t have much success on the ground, Herbert should be in line for a big day against the Arizona State defense.

Meanwhile, it’ll be up to ASU true freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels to keep up with Herbert. Even with a proven running back in Eno Benjamin, the Sun Devils can’t seem to muster much of a rushing attack this season. That has put everything on Daniels’ shoulders. For the most part, Daniels has answered the call, throwing 14 touchdown passes to just two interceptions. He’s at least given ASU a fighting chance most weeks. 

However, Daniels had a disastrous performance against Utah’s defense and could have similar problems against an Oregon defense that’s nearly as good. Through 10 games, the Ducks have held their opponents under 10 points six times. That doesn’t give me much optimism for a one-dimensional Arizona State offense.

Ultimately, Daniels will have a hard time having success against Oregon without much support around him. The Sun Devils don’t have a viable running game or a trustworthy defense. Even if they play above their weight class at home, it’ll be tough to keep up against the Ducks for four quarters. I like Oregon to pull away in the second half and cover the spread.

Read More Like This