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Betting On The Sun Devils In California Is Risky Business!
It must be late in September as every year the same hype begins to circulate about the Arizona State Sun Devils. At least Jake ‘the Snake’ Plummer delivered the Grand Canyon State University to the Rose Bowl, but since then it has been slim pickings.
A few years ago, Oakland Raiders quarterback Andrew Walter had the city in the Valley of the Sun pumped up as the team was undefeated heading to LA for a date with USC and they got waxed. That one almost made me want to stop sports betting…almost.
This season, there was a major quarterback controversy between Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter with coach Dirk Koetter finally deciding on Keller. Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say Keller, I meant Carpenter, only after certain players on the team told Koetter who they thought should get the job.
Keller said good-bye and headed to Nebraska where he will start next year after sitting out the year. To date, Carpenter has been mediocre at best as the Sun Devils have beaten some very average teams. Northern Arizona, Nevada and a terrible Colorado team has made their defense look stubborn.
The Sun Devils' schedule ranks 114th nationally according to the Sagarin computer ratings. That is about to change with ASU playing California, Oregon, and USC over the next month. ASU's next three opponents have a combined 8-1 record. The past three are 1-7.
First up is California and the Sun Devils. They head to Berkeley with a poor track record playing in the state of California. ASU is 0-10 on the road against league teams from the Golden State. Adding home games against USC, California, Stanford and UCLA, the record doesn't get much better as Koetter is 3-14 overall. I’m glad I didn’t run to my sportsbook on those ASU games.
Despite scoring 36 points per game, the Sun Devils have concerns starting with turnovers and penalties. ASU turned the ball over four times against Colorado, two inside the red zone. The yellow flags have also been a problem with ASU being called for 23 penalties for 172 yards. Not all the fouls were against the offense, but after committing four false start penalties two weeks ago against Nevada, the Sun Devils had five more in the victory over Colorado.
California is going to want to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch, but that may not be as easy as it used to be. ASU has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season and has given up only seven points in the second half in three games. Opponents are getting stuffed more as the game goes on gaining just 98.3 yards after halftime.
I think Arizona’s defense shows up, but Carpenter will make too many mistakes and Koetter may wish that he had been nicer to Keller!
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.