Last week, the BYU Cougars upset Utah in the “holy war” rivalry game as seven-point underdogs. After that epic upset, BYU vaulted itself into the AP Top 25 poll. On top of last week’s news that the Cougars were invited to join the Big 12, BYU is looking to establish itself as a national powerhouse.
This weekend in a late-night matchup, the 23rd ranked Cougars host an upstart 19th ranked Arizona State Sun Devils program. Recently, Arizona State has not had much success, but this year’s team looks promising.
With Arizona sports betting just getting started last week, Saturday night’s game will be the first big college football game that Arizonans can bet on involving a local team.
Below, I go over how I think the game will go and my favorite bets.
Arizona State vs. BYU Best Bet: BYU Moneyline (+160) at DraftKings
For in-depth analysis of this CFB bet of the day and others, continue reading.
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Arizona State vs. BYU Prediction
Going into the season, Arizona State was projected by college football prognosticator Phil Steele to finish in third place in the Pac-12 South. Utah was similarly projected to finish in second place.
Despite beating Utah 26-17 last week as a seven-point underdog, BYU is surprisingly a 3.5 point underdog at home against a team of similar strength to Utah.
One reason why ASU is favored on the road against BYU is the perception that they have played a tougher schedule over the last few years. The Sun Devils play in the Pac-12, which is a power five conference, while BYU is an independent that plays mainly cupcakes. Additionally, Arizona State’s head coach is Herm Edwards, who used to coach in the NFL.
However, the Cougars proved last week against Utah that they can hang against power five opponents. BYU limited Utah quarterback Charlie Brewer to only 147 passing yards, 15 completions, and one passing touchdown.
While BYU will be in good shape if they can limit Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, they may struggle to contain the Sun Devils rushing attack. Even though the Cougars beat Utah, they still allowed 7.7 yards per carry.
Last week against UNLV, the Sun Devils ran for 290 yards and had three rushing touchdowns. Against Southern Utah, ASU had 222 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. If Arizona State wins, it will be because they establish the run against BYU.
While Arizona State should give BYU a tough time, I believe BYU is being overlooked once again against a Pac-12 team in Saturday’s matchup.
Prediction: Arizona State 17, BYU 24
Arizona State vs. BYU Best Bets
Best Bet: BYU Moneyline (+160) at DraftKings
Wager: 1 Unit
In my opinion, Saturday night’s game is a toss-up. BYU proved last week that they legitimately are a top 25 team, and Arizona State has been in the top 25 all season. At +160 (40% breakeven odds), the Cougars are worth a bet.
My only worry for BYU is that they won’t be able to contain a dynamic ASU rushing offense. However, BYU put together a strong defensive performance against Utah, and it is possible they can replicate that performance against the Sun Devils.
At +160, the Cougars are worth a shot, and I would bet them up to +115.
Best Bet: Under 51 Points (-105) at PointsBet
Wager: 0.5 Units
In my opinion, there is a direct correlation between BYU winning and under 51.5 points being scored. If BYU contains Arizona State’s run, then they are likely to win, and the total is likely to go under.
However, there is a scenario where the Cougars offense falls flat, and they contain ASU’s run. That is why, in addition to betting on BYU’s moneyline, I am also betting half a unit on the under.