San Diego State at Arizona State Lines and Best Free Pick

On a weekend chock-full of terrific, high-profile games such as Ohio State vs Oklahoma and Notre Dame vs Georgia, it’s easy to overlook a West Coast gem such as San Diego State at ASU.

But that doesn’t make it less of a potential classic.

Coach Rocky Long’s SDSU Aztecs are flying high after a top 25 finish last season and a nice win over UC Davis in Week 1 that saw RB Rashad Penny score 2 touchdowns. San Diego State is 2-time defending Mountain West Conference champion and expects to figure prominently in the national conversation this year.

Meanwhile, ASU got by New Mexico State 37-31, and Todd Graham’s head coaching seat is getting just a little warmer.

Who: San Diego State Aztecs at Arizona State Sun Devils

When: Saturday, September 9th, 11 PM EST

Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ

Lines: San Diego State (+3.5) at Arizona State (-3.5) / O/U Total: (55)

Team Analysis and Point Spread for San Diego State vs Arizona State

ASU’s Manny Wilkins is a bright spot at QB, having gone 22-of-27 last week against New Mexico State. He will be throwing to talented sophomore N’Keal Harry.

But Wilkins was sacked not 5, not 6, but 7 times last weekend…by a Sun Belt defense.

The Sun Devils’ offensive line is struggling. Big senior RB Kalen Ballage rushed for over 75 yards against NMSU, but other rushers combined for…wait for it…0 yards.

Can the Aztecs take advantage? Possibly. Long’s defensive line is massive, but the team plays old-school, stop-the-run-first defense. That might give Wilkins an opportunity to throw against some single coverage early on.

However, the Sun Devils would be wise to limit the QB’s drop-backs.

SDSU signal-caller Christian Chapman has had no such protection problems…yet. Chapman had a modest sophomore season passing the football in 2016, but has good speed and quickness and fits in well with the Aztecs’ scheme. He should be able to lead a decent number of scoring drives in Tucson. Given the Sun Devils’ problems on offense, that could be more than enough to give the visitors a leg up.

Best Bet for San Diego State at Arizona State

The point spread for this contest began as a pick’em, and has shifted ASU’s way to the tune of almost 4 points. We don’t want to accuse gamblers of mass insanity, but there are obvious issues in Tucson, and perhaps this is a case of Power-5 conference bias.

Yes, Arizona State plays in the PAC-12. But that’s not a reason to make them a favorite over anybody – you have to earn that on the field. 5 or 6 weeks from now, hindsight will most likely show that the faltering win in Week 1 was the distant thunder before an unpleasant storm. A scrappy and disciplined SDSU bunch will be glad to feast on the decay.

Take San Diego State and (3.5) points to prevail.

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