The odds: Texas Tech Red Raiders (-7.5), Arizona State Sun Devils (+7.5), Over/Under: 76
The breakdown: The last time these two faced off, Arizona State (1-1) and Texas Tech (1-0) would have shattered this year’s over/under, as the two combined for 123 points in ASU’s monstrous 68-55 home win over the Red Raiders.
Maybe a better over/under would be how many touchdowns Kalen Ballage will score against a team who let him trot for eight scores last season, then went on to allow 43.5 points per game in 2016 — good for worst in the nation.
Week two was a Texas Tech’s rather early bye week that came a week before the Red Raiders crushed Eastern Washington, 56-10 in week one. While it may have seemed a dominant defensive win over a EWU team who went 12-2 in FCS play last season, the Eagles later lost to fellow FCS foe North Dakota State, 40-13 at home in week two. Saturday night will be Texas Tech’s first real test of the season.
Arizona State, on the other hand, has been tested. A week one 37-31 win over New Mexico State proved the Sun Devils’ secondary who gave up 398 passing yards, but intercepted two passes, is somewhat effective, but will once again, be extremely vulnerable against an air raid offense like Texas Tech. Arizona State’s 30-20 loss to San Diego State completely exposed its rushing defense, as the Sun Devils allowed 279 rushing yards overall with 216 of them to Rashaad Penny.
With two teams who struggle defensively, expect points — lots of points.
ASU is 1-5 against the spread in the last six games.
ASU is 1-7 straight up in its last eight games.
ASU 1-5 against the spread its last five games on the road.
ASU is 0-5 straight up in its last five road games.
TTU is 8-3 against the spread in its last 11 games.
TTU is 3-6 straight up in its last nine games.
TTU’s total has gone OVER in 15 of its last 23 games.
TTU is 6-2 in its last eight home games.
TTU’s total has gone OVER in 13 of its last 18 games
TTU’s total has gone UNDER in four of the last six home games.
Arizona State in 2-1 all-time against Texas Tech. The Sun Devils beat the Red Raiders 31-13 on Sept. 6, 1999 in Tempe. The Sun Devils then fell 37-23 to the Red Raiders in the 2013 Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30. Arizona State’s last win over TTU came on Sept. 10, 2016 in a 68-55 shootout at home.
The Sun Devils and Red Raiders had quite similar 2016 seasons, as both teams finished with identical 5-7 records. After a 5-1 start, Arizona State finished the season losing its last six games in a row. Texas Tech began the year 3-1 before losing six of its final eight contests.
Though the Sun Devils won by 13 over the Red Raiders last season, traveling to out of Tempe may be Arizona State’s worst enemy. The Sun Devils didn’t win a single road game against a Power Five opponent last season and did so just once in 2015 when ASU beat then-No. 7 UCLA 38-23 in Pasadena. Texas Tech, on the other hand, is 6-3 at home in its past nine contests.
Notable: If the Sun Devils lose on Saturday, it’d be Arizona State’s first 1-2 start since 1999.
Note: For entertainment purposes only.