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Cardinal, Sun Devils Look To Stay Alive

Will Remound Wright and the Stanford running game prove too much for Arizona State?

Will Remound Wright and the Stanford running game prove too much for Arizona State?

In a battle of ranked sides, No. 17 Arizona State hosts No. 23 Stanford in a matchup that will have a huge impact on the Pac-12 standings.

Kickoff at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET.

With six Pac-12 teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25, the conference is building a case for sending a contender to the first ever College Football Playoff. The result of Saturday’s showdown in the desert could go some way to deciding which team that might be, or rather which team it won’t be.

The Road to the Championship

With losses to Southern California and Notre Dame, many consider Stanford (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) to already be out of the running in terms of the national championship. While it’s true the Cardinal faces a tough path to the championship, that path is still accessible for the time being.

The schedule ahead for Stanford is one that lends itself to impressing the selection committee. Three of the Cardinal’s final six come against teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25, while four are on the road. If David Shaw’s side can run the table and emerge as the Pac-12 champion, it could earn a shot at the title. The Cardinal will need help from elsewhere though.

The SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten will all need to suffer enough internal conflict that all those one-loss teams out there become two-loss teams. If Florida State loses to Notre Dame in this weekend’s big prime time showdown, the ACC may not have a legitimate contender for a position, which would help too. Of course, all of this is dependent on Stanford winning out. The Cardinal might not even win on Saturday.

After being thumped at home by UCLA three weeks ago, Arizona State (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) bounced back with a Hail Mary victory over Southern California before heading into a bye week. Those two results have the Sun Devils in contention for a Pac-12 South title at least.

Like Stanford, Arizona State has the sort of upcoming schedule that could impress the selection committee. Four games against currently ranked opponents lay in wait, including a home game against the Fighting Irish. Were the Sun Devils to upset Stanford this weekend and then go on to beat Notre Dame, the team would be doing some serious reputation building.

Again, like Stanford, the Sun Devils will likely need to win out and get a lot of help from outside the conference if they’re to be considered a playoff hopeful.

The Pac-12 Landscape

Right now both schools are well and truly in the running for their respective division titles. That will likely change after this game, and a repeat of last year’s Pac-12 Championship Game looks unlikely.

Stanford continues to play second fiddle to Oregon, according to both the pollsters and bookmakers. It’s looking increasingly likely that the Nov. 1 meeting between the schools will prove to be the decider.

Arizona State’s win over Southern California could prove to be massive come the end of the regular season. But then again, that loss to UCLA could be pivotal in deciding who plays in the conference championship game. When you throw Arizona and Utah into the mix this division is impossible to pick right now.


In a rivalry that dates back to 1985, Arizona State leads the all-time head-to-head series 16-13 and is 10-5 when playing at home.

Stanford won’t be daunted by this week’s trip to Tempe though. The Cardinal has won four straight in the series, including the last two played at Sun Devil Stadium.

Last season, Stanford left the desert with a convincing 38-14 victory in the Pac-12 Championship Game, a result that sent the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl. The prize for winning on Saturday might not be as lucrative as the conference championship, but it could be equally as important going forward.

Injury Report

Stanford will be without second-leading wide receiver Devon Cajuste thanks to a head injury. Tight end Austin Hooper (undisclosed) could also miss the game.

Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly is questionable with a foot injury. The senior has missed two straight games but is expected to be good to go on Saturday.

Check out the full injury list

ASU head coach Todd Graham expects quarterback Taylor Kelly to return on Saturday.

ASU head coach Todd Graham expects quarterback Taylor Kelly to return on Saturday.

Betting Report

Below you’ll find Betting Sports’ breakdown of odds and betting trends.

Stanford Cardinal vs. Arizona State Sun Devils odds for 10/18/2014

Moneyline: Stanford (-170) opened as the favorite over Arizona State (+150) on the moneyline but the gap between the two has shrunk as kickoff approaches.

The Cardinal is 1-1 on the road this season while the Sun Devils are 1-1 at home. As the saying goes, something has to give in this one.

Arizona State is 1-1 against ranked teams this season while Stanford is 0-2.

Spread: The spread opened at 4.5 in favor of Stanford but has slipped as low as 3 at the time of writing.

Neither Stanford (2-3-1 ATS) nor Arizona State (2-3-0 ATS) has been convincing against the spread so far this season. The Cardinal is 0-2-0 ATS on the road while the Sun Devils are 0-2-0 ATS at home. Again, something has to give.

Arizona State is 1-5-0 ATS in its last six home games, while Stanford is 2-4-0 ATS in its last six road games.

Stanford is 3-1-1 ATS in its last five games against Arizona State, but just 2-3-1 ATS in its last six trips to Tempe.

Total: The total opened at 54.5 and has subsequently dropped a point to 53.5.

Stanford (0-5-0 O/U) has seen the total go under in every game this season. Arizona State (3-2-0 O/U) meanwhile has marginally favored the over.

The total has gone under in five of the last 7 head-to-head meetings. However, the over has paid out in six of the last nine the two teams have played at Sun Devil Stadium.


For a comprehensive list of College Football odds, click here.

Up-to-date College Football Futures can be found here.

A selection of team prop bets can be found here.

A selection of player prop bets can be found here.

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