College Football Pick - Arizona State, UTSA Clash With Contrasting Styles

Arizona State Sun Devils

Willie Bee

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 6:41 PM GMT

Arizona State takes its scoring machine on the road this week with a Friday night visit to face UTSA, and the Sun Devils are 18 point favorites on the college football odds.

Friday nights on the college gridiron schedule isn't nearly as weak as it is on NCAA basketball courts, we even have the potential for a top 10 battle taking place a few weeks from now. Still, it leaves a lot to be desired for the most part with matchups like the Week 3 collision down in San Antonio between the UTSA Roadrunners and Arizona State Sun Devils.

It's a bit of a late kickoff, 8:30 local time and 9:30 PM (ET) with ESPN2 on hand to document the interconference battle. 5Dimes, one of the top-rated sports books at SBR, has the Sun Devils laying 18 points after sending it out a half-point higher, and should release a game total later today.

It's the first time the two schools have gotten together, and that can be attributed mostly because this is only the fifth season UTSA has played at the Div-I level. The Roadrunners have gone up against one team from the Pac-12, ASU's biggest rival Arizona, and lost all three of those games though they did cover the NCAA football odds each time.

Arizona State's only experience against teams currently in Conference USA has been against UTEP, a school they use to share space in the old WAC with, the Sun Devils owning a decided 33-13-3 advantage against the Miners with the most recent meeting taking place 12 years ago.

 

Ballage Coming Off Record-Tying Performance
Arizona State started receiving a few votes in both polls last Monday, and after scoring 68 points this past Saturday, you'd think Todd Graham's bunch would get even more attention from the pollsters this time. Then again, the Sun Devils did give up 55 points to Texas Tech and weren't able to really put away the game against a 2nd-tier squad at best in the Big 12 until late.

It was a wild and crazy game, the two teams combining for more than 1,250 yards of offense, ASU rushing for more than 300 yards and Tech passing for 540. The Sun Devils will not crack the top 25's, but should at least move up on the totem pole if for no other reason than Kalen Ballage's performance. The junior tailback touched the pigskin 15 times and scored on eight of those plays.

There are some injury updates that college football bettors need to get before making their wagers, one of them on the offensive line were starting right tackle Zach Robertson is questionable with a bum ankle. Two defensive starters are also listed as questionable, junior outside linebacker Christian Sam (foot) and redshirt freshman nose tackle George Lea (leg).

 

'Los Correcaminos' Have To Get Running Game Going
In their first season under Frank Wilson, the Roadrunners have so far broken even. They may have actually played a little better in some ways losing 23-14 to Colorado State as 8 point underdogs than they did the week before in beating Alabama State, 26-13. The biggest issue has been the offense, ranking near the bottom of CUSA in scoring, total yards, and rushing.

Some of that might be partially attributed to the ankle injury that has limited senior Jarveon Williams; the No. 1 tailback on the depth chart has been limited the past two weeks with an ankle problem but is probable to start this Friday. I believe it has more to do with an all-upperclassmen line getting pushed around.

We're obviously not concerned with the Alamo City forecast (upper 80s Friday afternoon, humid, partly cloudy) since the game is at the Alamodome. After the way Colorado State chewed up rushing yards against the Roadrunners last week, the Sun Devils shouldn't have any trouble doing so this Friday. Let's play the visitors for our free college football pick.

 

Free College Football pick: Arizona State (-18) 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes
Season: 8-6 (+2.05)

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