The Pac-12 is already on the verge of collapse in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee. You essentially have to be undefeated if you are in the Pac-12, and only Oregon still carries that distinction. However, only two conference games have been played so far. That means that the conference crown is still anyone’s game, and there is plenty of room for chaos to ensue.
Colorado Buffaloes vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 10:30 PM EDT at Sun Devil Stadium
Both Colorado and Arizona State have suffered losses this year, but they suffered them in different ways. Arizona State had a chance to beat BYU, but they failed to deliver. While Texas A&M was heavily favored against Colorado, an injury to their quarterback stifled the offense and limited their success. It was close, but Colorado still lost this game despite the shot at a major upset. After that, they failed to even score against Minnesota.
We’ll see who can remain undefeated in conference play on Saturday. Can Arizona State bounce back from their loss to BYU? Can Colorado go 1-0 in the conference? According to NCAAF odds, Arizona State is favored by 14 points. Here are keys for a cover and a pick.
Keys for Arizona State to Cover the Spread
Arizona State could have beaten BYU, but their own mistakes hurt themselves. They had four turnovers in the game, and the 16 penalties exacerbated the situation. They gave up nearly 100 more yards on penalties, which is no way to win.
Jayden Daniels didn’t have an abysmal game, but he needs to be excellent. The offense runs through Daniels, so his ceiling is the team’s ceiling. When he doesn’t score a touchdown and throws two picks, there’s only so much the rest of the team can do. He was efficient, but he needs to take more shots down the field against the Buffaloes.
The defense also needs to get more pressure. They got two sacks against BYU, but they need more pressure against Colorado. The Buffaloes don’t have a great offense, and something as simple as consistent pressure can limit what they do as a whole. After all, Colorado failed to get on the scoreboard against Minnesota.
We’ll see if Colorado’s offense can work again, but Arizona State has what it takes to stop them from winning in the trenches. That’s a key to covering the spread.
Keys for Colorado to Cover the Spread
Let’s be honest. Colorado has gone downhill since their first game of the season. They average less than 100 passing yards per game, and that’s not from lack of trying. This isn’t a triple-option team that never wants to throw. This is a team that simply can’t succeed consistently through the air.
Because of this, they’ve gone to a traditional style of football. They’ll run the ball, try to wear down the defense, and limit the total number of possessions. Will this help Colorado win the game? No, but it’ll keep the game close. That’s all you can ask for if you’re in Colorado. At that point, you’ll have to either force a big turnover or score on a big play to try and win the game.
Colorado has to focus on the details. They can’t cover the spread if they mess up on the little things. Their offensive miscues have already hurt them this year, and they have to right the ship now if they want to salvage the season. Can they do that? Let’s make an NCAAF pick.
Who Will Cover the Spread?
Arizona State is clearly the better team in this game. The only reason they lost to BYU was because of their own errors. However, Colorado won’t be able to capitalize on those errors in this game. They haven’t done anything to prove that they are capable of doing that, and now is not the time to learn.
If this game was in Colorado, I’d consider the Buffaloes to barely cover. However, Arizona State will be looking to prove something to their home fans. Expect them to be poised on Saturday, and that will help them pull out the lopsided win.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.