This has been a breakout season for the Arizona State Sun Devils, who stormed their way to the top of the Pac-12 South division, put themselves on the betting map later in the year and are now heavily favored on the National Holiday University Bowl spread. ASU’s stunning 5-3 ATS record in their last 8 games was matched by a 7-1 SU run that led them to the Pac-12 championship. They lost 14-38 against Stanford, but that should not deter you from taking them in this game.
Being prepared for a big game is half the battle in college football, and Arizona State has never really been a major player so it’s understandable that they were overwhelmed by the milestone moment the Pac-12 Championship represents. That all changed after they barely lost to Notre Dame on the road in the first weekend of October. ASU ripped off seven consecutive wins in convincing fashion, posting a season average of 41.0 points per game while their defense shut opponents down with just 25.8 points 363.8 total yards allowed. Quarterback Taylor Kelly was emphatic this year as well with 3,510 passing yards and 28 touchdowns ranking amongst the top-15 passers in the country.
Kelly was joined by Marion Grice who had 996 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground, while Robert Nelson led the defense with six interceptions. There are plenty of games where the large numbers should scare you a little. The National Holiday University Bowl spread is not one of them. ASU is as legit as they come, and losing to Stanford is nothing to be ashamed about.
There was a time when Texas Tech was a fun underdog play, but those days are long gone. The Raiders went just 5-7 ATS on the year, and ended the season on a miserable 0-5 SU and ATS losing streak. And they didn’t just lose those five games – they were decimated by an average of -20.6 points per game. There is literally nothing about TTU that should entice you to gamble on them.
I don’t honestly know if ASU can repeat their amazing 2013 campaign in 2014, but right now they are one of the best teams in the country. They’ll end their season on a high note while their defense smothers Texas Tech’s vaunted passing attack. The National Holiday University Bowl spread is one of the largest of the post season, but I don’t think it’s nearly enough points considering how dominant ASU was at the end of the season compared to their fledgling opponents this Monday.