Bet Notre Dame +2.5 vs. Arizona State for NCAAF Picks

Darin Zank

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 2:28 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 2:28 PM GMT

In a game that might have something to say about who makes this season's national championship playoff in January 7-1 Arizona State and 7-1 Notre Dame battle in Tempe Saturday afternoon; here's our take on this interesting non-conference contest, with a free college football pick thrown in, just for playing.

Irish-Sun Devils Betting Odds
Most books we consulted opened ASU at around -1 or -1.5, then bumped the Sun Devils to -2 and -2.5. Those who think Notre Dame might win this game straight-up could get +110 on the moneyline at 5Dimes, so keep track of SBR's College Footbal betting odds for this upcoming game. 

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Irish-Sun Devils: The Situation
Notre Dame went off this season getting odds of around 50/1 to win the national championship, with a win OVER/UNDER of 7.5, mostly because it looked like the Irish were going to play one of the toughest schedules in the country. At 7-1 SU (5-3 ATS) the Irish need just one more victory to play "Over" their total, and they've been bet down to around 30/1 on most CFB championship boards.

Notre Dame started 6-0 this season, beating the likes of Rice, Michigan, Purdue, Syracuse and North Carolina. The Irish also defeated Stanford 17-14 a few weeks ago on an Everett Golson touchdown pass on fourth down with a minute to go. They did, however, outgained the Cardinal 370-205. The Golden Domers then experienced some bad karma when they lost at defending national champion Florida State 31-27, getting a game-winning score negated by a questionable offensive pass interference call.

Last week Notre Dame bounced back with a 49-39 victory over Navy, although it couldn't cover at -14. The Irish led that game 28-7 in the second quarter, later trailed 31-28, then had to fight like hell to come back and hang on for the victory. The Irish have outgained and outrushed six of eight opponents this season.

Arizona State, meanwhile, went off this season getting 12/1 to win the Pac-12 championship, also with a win OVER/UNDER of 7.5. At 7-1 SU (4-4 ATS) and with a half-game game lead in the Pac-12 South, the Sun Devils are now lined at 8/1 to win the Pac-12, and also only need one more victory to top their win total.

ASU started 3-0 this season, but then lost at home to UCLA 62-27, as junior quarterback Mike Bercovici made his first start in place of the injured Taylor Kelly. But the Sun Devils then pulled back-to-back upsets, beating USC at the Coliseum 38-34 on a Hail Mary on the final play of the game, and stopping Stanford 26-10. Then they  won at Washington 24-10, and last week, with a little help in the form of a missed field goal in overtime, beat Utah 19-16. The Sun Devils did, however, outgain the Utes 444-241.

So at 5-1 in conference play ASU leads the South Division by a half-game and a tiebreaker over the 5-2 Trojans. Arizona State has also outgained six of eight opponents, but only outrushed four of eight foes.

 

Irish-Sun Devils: Not Much History, But …
These teams have only met three times before, but last year they played a dandy down at JerryWorld in Arlington, a 37-34 Notre Dame victory. The Irish led by 11 late in the third quarter, allowed Arizona State to tie the score at 27-27 with eight minutes to go, then scored 10 points in a two-minute span, with help from an interception return for a touchdown, for the win and the cover as six-point underdogs.

Notre Dame outrushed the Sun Devils that night 145-65 and won time-of-possession by a 35/25 margin.

 

Irish-Sun Devils Betting Trends

Notre Dame is 17-2 SU and 11-7-1 ATS in games Golson has started.

The Irish are also 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games at Pac-12 teams.

Arizona State is just 1-4 ATS in its last five home games.

These team are a combined 6-10 on the totals this season.

 

Injury Update
Notre Dame took a hit on defense last week when linebacker and leading tackler Joe Schmidt suffered a dislocated ankle; he's now done for the season. On the other side of the ball, Arizona quarterback Kelly missed three games with a foot injury, but has returned, albeit at a somewhat diminished level of play.

 

Irish-Sun Devils Free Pick
Arizona State owns an edge on offense, but Notre Dame, even after losing Schmidt, holds an advantage on defense. The key, however, will be Golson's play-making ability. He moves well, extends plays, and makes big throws; so we'll go with the Irish as our College Football Pick, and they probably won't even need the points. 

Free College Football Pick: Notre Dame +2.5 at Heritage

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