Arizona State Betting Odds Preview
Arizona State faithful couldn't ask for too much more from the first season of the Todd Graham era last year.
Coach Graham took a team that hadn't posted a winning season in five years and won eight games, including a bowl, and basically came a field goal away from winning the Pac-12's South Division. This year ASU should field its best team in a half-dozen seasons, with a very simple goal in mind; playing in the Pac-12 championship game.
ASU had a league-low eight returning starters for its first season under coach Graham last year, but there was some talent in place, and a bowl berth seemed like an attainable goal. The Sun Devils then took advantage of some opponents' tough luck to get off to a 5-1 start, including a 3-0 start in Pac-12 play. But Arizona State then lost four games in a row to some teams it's going to have to learn to beat, getting blown out by Oregon, falling on a late field goal to UCLA, then getting soundly defeated by Oregon State and USC.
The Devils recovered to trounce Washington State and rallied to win their rivalry game against Arizona in Tuscon, then put up 62 points on Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl. So Arizona State finished 8-5 overall, 5-4 in Pac-12 play, and 8-5 ATS, thanks in part to a +6 turnover ratio. This year the Devils return 15 starters; seven are back on an offense that averaged 38 PPG last year, led by QB Taylor Kelly (29/9 TD/INT ratio last year), leading rusher Marion Grice, and three along the offensive line; and eight return on a defense that led all of FBS in tackles-for-losses last year, led by All-American DT Will Sutton. But that defense also gave up 183 YPG on the ground, so there's room for improvement in that department.
This year's schedule is a little tougher than last year's slate. ASU opens with what should be a scrimmage with Sacramento State, but then hosts Wisconsin in a very interesting Pac-12/Big Ten bout. The Devils then jump right into conference play with a road game at Stanford and a home date with USC. They then get a chance to show their stuff on a big national stage when they take on Notre Dame at Cowboys Stadium on October 5.
From there on out Arizona State hosts Colorado, Washington, Oregon State, and Arizona, and visits Washington State, Utah, and UCLA. They also miss Oregon, which is nice. The Sun Devils might only be favored in one or two of their first five games, but they could be chalked in six of their last seven.
Pac-12 Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of August 11
Oregon State +1050
Arizona State +1100
Washington State +6000