Arizona State University’s dream of a perfect college football season came to a crashing halt in the foothills of the Wasatch Range last Saturday.
That’s where the Sun Devils were thumped by the BYU Cougars, 27-17, handing ASU its first defeat of the season. It was the second ASU game since sports betting in Arizona went live on Sept. 9.
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The loss at Provo’s Lavell Edwards Stadium was one-sided in favor of the home team, with BYU jumping to a 21-7 halftime lead before icing the game in the final quarter.
The Sun Devils lost Saturday’s road game after being either a 3.5-or4.5-point favorite, depending on the sportsbook operator.
A week later and on its own turf, Herm Edwards’ team must regroup against a 1-2 Colorado Buffaloes squad that is coming off consecutive losses to Minnesota (30-0) and Texas A&M (10-7). Arizona sportsbooks have the Sun Devils as big favorites against the Buffaloes.
The Sun Devils and Buffaloes kick off from Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Arizona time, with ESPNU carrying the contest live nationally.
Sun Devils Heavy Favorites at Home
Several noteworthy operators see ASU as a heavy betting favorite against the Buffaloes on Saturday night, with DraftKings Arizona, BetMGM Arizona and FanDuel Arizona listing the Sun Devils as a 14-or-14.5-point favorite.
In terms of moneyline bets, ASU is currently at -675 on DraftKings, -625 on BetMGM and -750 on FanDuel, with all three operators listing an over/under of 44.5 for the contest.
Who to Watch on Colorado
The Buffaloes’ offense has struggled this season, having only scored one offensive touchdown in its last two games.
Two names to keep in mind come Saturday night on the visiting side are quarterback Brendon Lewis and running back Jarek Broussard.
Lewis has had an up-and-down freshman campaign for the Buffs, completing 55.4% of his passes for 246 yards and a touchdown in three starts, while picking up another 166 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The former three-star recruit out of Texas has shown glimmers of promise in three games, including in the team’s 35-7 opening week win over Northern Colorado, when he completed 10-of-15 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 44 yards.
But Lewis has been ineffective in the passing game the last two games for Colorado, completing 21 of 41 passes for 144 yards, while failing to score a touchdown during the contests.
Broussard, meanwhile, has struggled to live up to his meteoric freshman campaign in 2020, when he ran for 895 yards and five scores in Colorado’s six-game season, including a 301-yard performance against Arizona.
So far this season, Broussard has gained 153 yards on the ground with two scores, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, down from 5.7 yards per rush in 2020.
Broussard is more than capable of making the Sun Devils pay, having gained 100 yards in four of his nine career starts.
Sun Devils Look go to Get Back on Track
Arizona State and Colorado don’t have a lot of history, having faced off 11 times since 2006, with ASU winning eight of those contests.
The last time the two sides squared off was in Tempe, when Colorado knocked off then-24th ranked ASU, 31-24.
The Sun Devils’ last win in the series came in 2017, when they beat CU, 41-30, at Sun Devil Stadium.
A key for the Sun Devils if they’re going to beat the Buffs again will be for junior QB Jayden Daniels to protect the ball.
Daniels had a decent night against BYU, completing 21-of-29 passes for 265 yards, but threw two costly interceptions and failed to reach the end zone through the air during the loss.
The junior also struggled to spread out the Cougars’ defense with his legs, gaining eight yards on 10 carries.
A high point for ASU on Saturday was the performance turned in by RB Rachaad White, who gained 71 yards on the ground and 65 yards on nine catches in the contest.
Freshman running back Daniyel Ngata also had a sterling performance against BYU, gaining a team-high 82 rushing yards on eight carries in the loss.
If Ngata and White can step up their game against Colorado and open the passing game for Daniels, then ASU should have little trouble covering the spread on Saturday.