The Cardinal look like a very tempting play in the NCAA week 9 Arizona at Stanford free pick. Oddsmakers have listed the home team as just -1.5 favorites on Saturday. What really raises some red flags is the fact that Stanford actually opened as a +1 home ‘dog. Stanford does have some QB injury issues heading into this game, but Arizona has allowed a total of 92 points the last two weeks.
Wildcats Need to Find Some Defense
The total for the NCAA week 9 Arizona at Stanford is free pick is set at 52. It’s a slippery number to grasp because a) the Wildcats defense has played so bad recently but b) the Stanford offense is very ‘blah.’
The Wildcats have had two horrible defensive weeks coming into this game. They include a 27-51 loss to Washington and a 14-41 beatdown at USC. The Huskies had 450 total yards including 205 on the ground while the Trojans racked up 448 including 201 rushing. Stanford is definitely going to try and run the ball in this one but that part of the Cardinal game has been uncharacteristically down this season (114.2 ypg, 119th in the country).
Stanford gave up over 260 rush yards last week vs. UCLA so it will be big news if J.J. Taylor can go for Arizona (Q – ankle). Taylor has back-to-back 80+ yard rushing games. Arizona has questions about what they’ll get (or who will be in) at the quarterback position. Khalil Tate has been pulled from each of the last two games. Freshman Grant Gunnell was 16/26 with 2 TD vs. USC, but the Trojans also had a 34-0 lead at one point in the game.
Stanford Searches for Consistency on Defense
It’s hard to get a gauge on the Cardinal heading into the NCAA week 9 Arizona at Stanford free pick. That’s especially true on the defensive side of the ball. Stanford has played their last two games at home, a 23-13 upset over Washington (STAN +13.5) and a 16-34 loss to UCLA (STAN -4).
There was a bye week mixed in there and the loss to UCLA was last Thursday so Stanford should be on the fresher side when hosting the Wildcats. The question is what version of that defense shows up? Stanford held high powered Washingon QB Jacob Eason to just 206 yards in the air but let Chip Kelly’s 75th ranked UCLA rushing offense scamper for 263 on the ground.
Stanford also has questions on the offensive side of the ball, specifically at quarterback. Davis Mills will miss a 2nd straight game with a calf injury and Sr. K.J. Costello has missed the last 3 games with a thumb injury. It would be huge to get Costello back vs. the Wildcats #127 ranked passing offense. Jack West had just 143 yards passing in the loss to UCLA.
NCAA Week 9 Arizona at Stanford Free Pick
Arizona has questions on both sides of the ball after their defense has allowed 40+ in consecutive games and with Tate’s inconsistent play at QB this year (as well as Taylor being a bit banged up). Stanford at least has the potential for a solid defensive outing with the way they played against Washington a couple weeks ago. Throw in the fact that Stanford is at home and they’ve had 2 extra days to prepare with their last game being on a Thursday and it’s looking like a solid Cardinal play.
Pick: Stanford Cardinal -1.5