Pick ASU Road Cover vs. Washington for College Football Betting

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 12:45 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 12:45 PM GMT

Arizona State wasn't considered a major threat to repeat as Pac-12 South champion this season, but the Sun Devils could be in sole possession of the lead by Saturday night with a win at Washington. ASU is -3.5 on Pinnacle's NCAA football odds. 

No, Really, This Time Kelly Will Play
ASU won the South in 2013 by two games over UCLA before getting handled easily in the Pac-12 title game by Stanford. The Sun Devils lost a lot of talent off that team, including leading rusher Marion Grice and two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Will Sutton. Yet here we are with ASU (5-1, 3-1) second in the South behind USC (4-1 in conference) but holding a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Trojans. That could be huge down the line. In addition, USC has a very tough game at Utah on Saturday night so ASU might find itself alone in first with a win and some help from the No. 19 Utes. ASU and Utah and play next week in Tempe.

Things are looking good for Arizona State starting quarterback Taylor Kelly to return from injury against Washington. Kelly hasn't played since Sept. 13 because of a right foot injury. Of course, it also looked good for Kelly to return last week against Stanford, but Coach Todd Graham decided to stick with Mike Bercovici against the Cardinal. Bercovici has been great in three starts, all against ranked teams. ASU lost big to UCLA but has since beaten USC and then the Cardinal. Bercovici was 23 of 33 for 245 yards with a TD in last week's 26-10 win with the Sun Devils as 3-point home underdogs at sportsbooks.

Stanford hadn't allowed more than 17 points in a game this year and had held opponents to 20 points or fewer in 13 straight regular-season games. I had recommended Stanford vs. ASU but did hit on the under. Bercovici has thrown 118 passes without an interception, but Graham says Kelly is his starter if healthy. In the first three games, Kelly had thrown six touchdowns with no interceptions and rushed for two more. He is a major threat with his feet.

Arizona State is 3-3 against the spread on NCAA football odds this season, going 2-1 ATS on the road.

 

Banged-Up Huskies
Washington (5-2, 1-2) would need a miracle to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game for the first time after losing 45-20 at Oregon last week. Throw out a puzzling 59-52 win over Eastern Washington and the Huskies hadn't allowed more than 20 points in a game this season. However, the Ducks put up 554 yards of offense in beating Washington for the 11th straight time, the longest streak in the history of that series.

Washington starting quarterback Cyler Miles was 19 of 28 for 147 yards, a touchdown and a pick in that game before leaving with a possible concussion. Coach Chris Petersen said the plan is for Miles to start this game, but if he isn't cleared then redshirt freshman Troy Williams would get his first start. Williams was 5-for-10 passing for 37 yards in the fourth quarter against Oregon. He also ran five times for 28 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown.

In addition, Washington's top two running backs, Dwayne Washington and Lavon Coleman, left the Oregon game with injuries. So Petersen mentioned that linebacker Shaq Thompson could get more carries this week. Thompson has carried nine times for 84 yards this season, including a 57-yard touchdown. Still, reports out of Seattle are that Washington and Coleman should be good to play.

This game is Homecoming for Washington, which is 3-4 against the spread on NCAA football odds in 2014 and 2-2 ATS at home.

 

Last Meeting
Washington visited Tempe in 2013 and lost 53-24 as a 3.5-point underdog on NCAA football odds. Kelly passed for 271 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 84 yards and two scores. Grice rushed 21 times for 158 yards and two scores. ASU held Huskies star running back Bishop Sankey, now with the Tennessee Titans, to 22 yards on 13 carries. Washington was outrushed a whopping 314 to minus-5. Arizona State has won the past eight meetings to take a 16-15 all-time lead. ASU hasn't lost in Seattle since 1997, but the teams don't play every season.

 

Free College Football Picks
We recommend taking Arizona State -3.5 and the 'under' 61.5 points at 5Dimes for your free college football picks. This line could obviously move depending on both quarterbacks' status. ASU has covered its past six trips to Washington. The 'under' is 10-1 in Washington's past 11 home games vs. teams with a winning road record. The 'under' is 4-1 in ASU's past five following an ATS victory.

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