USC Wins but Won't Cover, Bet Arizona State as the Savvy College Football Pick

David Lawrence

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 1:32 PM GMT

The main thing this weekend is simply finding a way to win, but which team will come out on top and keep its main goals alive? Lets find out as we preview the betting odds & share our free pick.

Momentum
The Trojans were expected to beat Stanford at home in Los Angeles, but it didn’t happen. The Trojans did not play poorly on offense, but they were a disaster on defense. Their defensive line had no answers for Stanford’s offensive line, which picked up its level of play going back to a wretched performance in the season opener at Northwestern. Stanford was able to do whatever it wanted, whenever it wanted, using the run and the pass to perfection against a USC defense which was both confused and overpowered. The Trojans have to be worried sick about the ability of their defense to perform.

Arizona State has to be very concerned as well, even though it did not lose last week. The Sun Devils muddled along and could not gain much of any separation from New Mexico deep into the third quarter. Quarterback Mike Bercovici just isn’t playing to the level he or coach Todd Graham expected. Injuries have formed a part of the picture, but Bercovici showed so much talent and ability last season that his 2015 has been a puzzle for everyone around the program. The Sun Devils can’t continue to languish on offense. They have to make this game their coming-out party.

 

Line Moves
The line started at minus-6 points for USC, and has moved down to 5.5 points. The poor showing by USC’s defense is what has this line moving down. The fact that USC lost should make the Trojans less confident entering this game. Doubts are creeping in for this team, which has to buck up and take a stand.

 

Notable Injuries
The Trojans will be without running back Tre Madden in this game, due to a knee injury. They’re pretty deep at the position, so that alone shouldn’t affect College Football Picks too much here.

The Sun Devils are a lot worse off than the Trojans here. Defensive back Armand Perry is questionable with an ankle injury. Running back De’Chavron Hayes is questionable with a hamstring. Wide receiver Jalen Harvey is questionable with a collarbone injury. Linebacker Alani Latu is questionable with a leg injury. Tight end Dan Vear is questionable for undisclosed reasons. Wide receiver Devin Lucien is questionable with a knee injury. From August, it was known that offensive lineman Dillon Faamatau and wide receiver Cameron Smith were out for the season with knee injuries. Running back Kalen Ballage is out indefinitely with mononucleosis.

 

Handicapping The Game
The Sun Devils’ injuries should enable USC to win the game, but the USC defense will let Arizona State stay close and cover College Football Odds.

College Football Pick: Arizona State +5.5 at Pinnacle.

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