The total has gone UNDER in each of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s last six games against Pac-12 opponents, and the Irish will try to keep the Arizona State Sun Devils’ offense in check when they face them in Arlington, Texas, Saturday night.
Arizona State was a 6-point favorite (at most sites monitored by OddsShark.com) in this neutral site battle featured on NBC Sports.
The Sun Devils are rolling on offense, averaging 44.25 points per game and coming off of a sensational offensive effort in a 62-41 blowout win over USC last week. The defense hasn’t been nearly as good as it was expected to be this season, allowing 30 points or more in three consecutive weeks since shutting out Sacramento State in the season opener.
Still, Arizona State looks comfortable in the role of being a shootout team until the defense figures things out.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are still looking for their first cover of the season, going 0-4-1 ATS through their first five games, according to the college football database at OddsShark.com. Two early interceptions thrown by Tommy Rees put Notre Dame in an early hole against Oklahoma last week of which it was never able to climb out.
The Irish are clearly missing Manti Te’o and other veterans on defense, but Everett Golson’s absence on offense is also taking its toll.
These two teams haven’t met since 1999, when Notre Dame completed a home-and-home series with the Sun Devils with two blowout wins for a 2-0 SU and ATS record.
With both defenses off to sluggish starts this season, this game will likely come down to which team can perform better on offense; and if early season returns are any indication, that team is clearly ASU.
The Sun Devils are averaging nearly 20 more points of total offense per game than the Fighting Irish, and it is hard to see Notre Dame keeping up unless the defense has its best game of the season.
PICK: Arizona State -6 | Computer Prediction: 43-30 Arizona State (from OddsShark.com computer)