The total for the NCAAF week 4 Colorado at Arizona State free pick is set at just 48.5 due mostly to the way the Sun Devils have played defense this season. ASU is off to a 3-0 start, allowing just a TD in each of their three victories. Colorado comes in to Saturday night’s contest having won last year’s meeting, and with an offense that is more potent than any that Arizona State has seen thus far. Is ASU by a Touchdown and the hook (ASU -7.5) too many points here?
Has Tucker Regrouped After Last Week?
Colorado is off to an interesting start in 2019. They took care of business against an in-state rival in the opener beating Colorado State 52-31 (COLO -11). Then the Buffs won a game they probably shouldn’t have 34-31 vs. Nebraska (NEB -4) but last week dropped a 23-30 contest to Air Force that probably should have went Colorado’s way.
The NCAAF week 4 Colorado at Nebraska free pick has the Buffaloes going on the road for the 1st time this season. True they are up against an ASU defense that has been dominant through three games, but Colorado has some electric playmakers on offense. Laviska Shenault, Jr. leads that group but the potential Heisman candidate WR has been held in check this year for just 203 yards receiving. On the bright side, Mel Tucker and the Colorado coaching staff realized this and game planned so that Shenault had 8 grabs for 124 yards. It wasn’t enough to beat Air Force though.
If Colorado is going to go on the road and get a win, their experience at QB behind Steven Montez definitely helps. The Senior has thrown for 220+ in each game and has 6 TD to 2 INTs on the year. The Colorado defense has also allowed at least 30 points in all three of their contests this year, but the Sun Devils offense is less-than-dynamic.
Arizona State in a Good Spot Here
On Saturday night the Sun Devils will be hosting a Buffaloes team that is not only playing their first road game of the season, but who has also been involved in back-to-back emotional OT games. ASU is coming off their own draining victory though, a 10-7 win at Michigan State in which the Sun Devils were +15.5 underdogs.
The win in East Lansing showed that the Arizona State defense is for real. That unit had been dominant in a 30-7 win over Kent State and a 19-7 victory against Sacramento State but ASU was at least a 24 point favorite in both of those games. It’s quite the early turnaround for an Arizona State defense that ranked in the 50th to 70th range in most major defensive categories a year ago. Speaking of 2018, Colorado won this meeting 28-21 at home a year ago behind 494 yards of offense including 328 through the air from Montez.
One thing noticeable from Arizona State’s 3-0 start is the fact that their offense has scored just 30, 19, and 10 points so far. Freshman QB Jayden Daniels is going through a learning curve with 3 TD and 0 INT through three games. The ASU running game not cracking open yet is more of a concern. Eno Benjamin set a school rushing record with 1,642 yards a year ago but has just 209 through 3 games this year. Benjamin had 28 carries for 120 yards and 2 TD last season vs. Colorado so maybe this game is what gets him going.
NCAAF Week 4 Colorado at Arizona State Free Pick
The hook looms large in this one with Colorado as +7.5 road underdogs. The Buffaloes will be missing two defensive starters in this one and could be feeling the effects from back-to-back OT dramatics. Going on the road for the first time and doing so in 85 degree humidity in Tempe doesn’t help either. There’s a buzz at ASU right now after a 3-0 start, and the Sun Devils will take advantage of the home crowd tonight.
Pick: Arizona State Sun Devils -7.5