There’s an excellent late-night Top 25 non-conference college football matchup on Saturday when No. 19 Arizona State visits No. 23 BYU. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Brigham Young Cougars
Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 10:15 PM EDT at LaVell Edwards Stadium
There are three games featuring a pair of ranked teams around college football in Week 3 on Saturday: No. 1 Alabama at No. 11 Florida at 3:30 p.m. ET (check out my preview of that one here at BMR); No. 22 Auburn at No. 10 Penn State at 7:30 p.m. ET; and this matchup between No. 19 Arizona State and No. 23 BYU at 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Cougars already are 1-0 vs. ranked opponents this year and 2-0 vs. the Pac-12.
This is the 28th all-time meeting between schools about 625 miles apart – they were former co-members of the Western Athletic Conference. Arizona State leads 20-7 and is 8-3 at BYU. When both are ranked, ASU leads 1-0. That meeting was way back in 1977 and they haven’t played at all since 1998, so really any NCAAF betting trends from the series are fairly useless.
This will be Arizona State’s final non-conference game. BYU is of course an independent for a few more years until it joins the Big 12.
Won Betting Against ASU In Week 2
I previewed Arizona State’s game last week at home vs. UNLV and recommended the Rebels at +32.5 on NCAAF picks. That was a winner as the Sun Devils (2-0) prevailed 37-10 – they trailed 3-0 after one quarter.
ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels, who is +4000 at BetOnline to win the Heisman Trophy, completed 20 of 29 for 175 yards, two scores, and a pick and rushed for a career-high 125 yards on 13 carries. Those were the fourth-most rushing yards in a game by an Arizona State quarterback eve.
Running back Rachaad White is a TD machine as he rushed for two more TDs and has four consecutive multi-touchdown games dating to last season. Fellow running back DeaMonte Trayanum didn’t play with an injury. It is believed he will return for this one. The program is 10-1 under Coach Herm Edwards when rushing for 200+ yards.
The Sun Devils defense was awesome in the second half in shutting out UNLV and forcing it to punt on seven straight possessions. The 155 total yards allowed overall were the seventh-fewest in school history. ASU has allowed only 379 yards through two games, its fewest since allowing 299 in the first two games of the 2009 season.
ASU has won four games in a row, each by double digits – it’s the first time the school has done that by double digits since the first five games of the 2007 season. This will be Arizona State’s first road game with fans in attendance since 2019.
“They’re obviously a very, very good football team. Very well-coached, they have athletes on both sides of the ball,” Edwards said of BYU. “The quarterback is a ‘wow’ guy. He can make some plays with his legs and has a great arm. He does a really good job making plays off schedule. They have a big ol’ offensive line that can push you around, defense doesn’t give up a lot of points. They’re a very sound football team, and it shows with what they’ve done these last couple years.”
Arizona State is 3-8 ATS at BMR’s top-rated books in its past 11 following a win of at least 20 points.
Cougars Haven’t Missed Wilson Yet
It was expected that BYU (2-0) might take a step back this year after finishing 11-1 in 2020 and a final ranking of No. 11 but losing star QB Zach Wilson as the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft to the New York Jets.
Yet the Cougars have barely missed a beat in wins over Arizona and, last week, an upset of No. 21 Utah, 26-17, to end a nine-game losing streak in the Holy War. The Cougars never trailed. They converted 11 of their 19 third downs and their lone fourth-down conversion and scored on all five of their red-zone chances — with three touchdowns and two field goals.
Quarterback Jaren Hall went 18 of 30 for 149 yards and three touchdowns and rushed eight times for 92 yards. Running back Tyler Allgeier added 27 carries for 102 yards. It was the first win over Utah that did not come down to a last-second game-winning play since 1996 when BYU won 37-17. It was the first time BYU rushed for more than 200 yards against Utah also since 1996.
The victory got BYU into this week’s Top 25 for the first time this year. BYU has nine wins over Power 5 teams under head coach Kalani Sitake. BYU's 29 Power 5 wins since 2003 are the most of any non-Power 5 team. BYU is scheduled to play seven Power 5 teams this season — five of which are in the Pac-12.
Sitake was a sophomore fullback for BYU the last time it faced Arizona State. This will be ASU’s first trip to Provo since 1998 when BYU defeated the No. 14 Sun Devils 26-6. The Cougars have won 11 straight at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU is asking all fans to wear white for this game to create a “whiteout” effect.
I certainly think BYU can win this game outright, much less cover the number, as Arizona State is just 3-11 ATS on NCAAF odds in its past 14 as a favorite. The Cougars are 5-1 ATS in their past six as underdogs.
*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.