College Football Picks: Arizona State vs. Stanford

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:20 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 12:20 PM UTC

The Stanford Cardinal haven’t looked like the fifth-ranked team in the country through two games this season, but that’s about to change when taking on the Arizona State Sun Devils Saturday.

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Pac-12 Conference matchup at Stanford Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on FOX.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 4.

Survive and advance

Arizona State was fortunate to pick up a 32-30 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers as seven-point home favorites last Saturday, as the game had one of the more bizarre endings that you’ll ever see on the gridiron.

The Sun Devils are 1-7 SU and 1-5-2 ATS as underdogs over the last two-plus seasons, with no advantage in terms of the betting total (4-4 Over/Under).

Lacking motivation

Stanford has won both of its games this season, but has failed to cover the number in each of those contests, including a 34-20 victory over Army as 30.5-point road favorites in Week 3.

College football handicappers might take a long look at playing against the Cardinal in this matchup, but I believe they’ve simply lacked motivation due to their first two opponents.

Scoring first

The Sun Devils have scored first in 13 of 15 games under second-year head coach Todd Graham, which makes them a dangerous team when getting points, especially in the opening 30 minutes of play.

Arizona State also possesses a 16-11 SU all-time record against Stanford, but has dropped five of its last six trips to Palo Alto.

Dominance at home

Few teams are better at home than Stanford, which is clearly demonstrated in the team outscoring opponents by an average of 16.5 points in its last 33 home games.

The Cardinal have won 10 consecutive games at this venue—tied for the fourth longest winning streak of its kind nationally.

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I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinal with their college football picks, as the favorite is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series.

Keep an eye on the second-half point spread when the number is released in the market, as it may offer sports betting value if Stanford goes into halftime leading or trailing by a single score.

College Football Pick:  Stanford Cardinal -7

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