Week Six College Football Betting Picks: Arizona Wildcats at Stanford Cardinal
Arizona Wildcats at #18 Stanford Cardinal
Saturday, October 6, 2012, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Stanford Stadium – Stanford, California
Opening Line: Stanford -12 1/2
Current Line: Stanford -9 1/2
Opening Total: 57
Current Total: 54
Opening Money Line: Stanford -350 / Arizona +290
Current Money Line: Stanford -325 / Arizona +275
The Stanford Cardinal and Arizona Wildcats meet for the 28th time Saturday in Palo Alto. The Wildcats lead the series 14-13 overall, and 7-5 at Stanford. The Cardinal have won 2 straight in the series and 7 of the last 9, including 37-10 last year in Tucson. The series dates back to 1979 when Arizona joined the Pac 10.
Arizona is 3-2 this season under first year coach Rich Rodriguez, and 0-2 in Pac 12 play. The Wildcats opened the season with non-conference home wins against Toledo 24-17 in overtime, 59-38 against Oklahoma St, and 56-0 against South Carolina St. Arizona opened Pac 12 play by getting crushed 49-0 at Oregon, and last week the Wildcats lost 38-35 at home against Oregon St. Arizona is 2-3 ATS and the total is 2-2 this year. The Wildcats were 2.5 point favorites against Oregon St last week, and the total was 58. The Beavers jumped out to a 17-0 lead with 6 minutes left in the second quarter. Arizona scored 21 unanswered points to take a 21-17 lead. The teams traded touchdowns for the rest of the game. Oregon St scored with 1:09 left to take a 38-35 lead. Arizona advanced to their own 42 yard line before an interception by quarterback Matt Scott ended their hopes of winning. It was the second pick of the game for Scott who threw for 403 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Wildcats also missed a 40 yard field goal in the first half.
Arizona is averaging 538.2 yards per game including 343.8 passing yards and 194.4 rushing yards. The Wildcats are in the top 10 nationally in total and passing offense. For the season, Arizona is outscoring opponents 34.8-28.4 this season. Arizona has forced 10 turnovers, but has given up 11 turnovers to opponents. The Wildcats have allowed 9 sacks. Arizona is 35/83 on third and fourth down conversions, and 20/31 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns. On defense, the Wildcats are allowing 451.2 yards per game, including 284.4 passing yards and 166.8 rushing yards. The Wildcats have forced 5 sacks this season. Arizona opponents are 39/04 on third and fourth down conversions, and 16/18 scoring in the red zone, with 12 touchdowns.
Scott has completed 141 of 220 passes (64.1%) for 1,608 yards with 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He is also the second leading rusher for the ‘Cats with 52 carries, 228 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Running back Ka’Deem Carey has 97 carries, 538 yards, and 7 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 152 yards with a touchdown. Daniel Jenkins and Jared Baker will also get some carries. Each has a rushing touchdown this year. Receiver Austin Hill has 31 catches, 443 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dan Buckner has 31 catches, 422 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Richard Morrison has 22 catches, 171 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Six Wildcats are out indefefinitely or for the season, and three more are questionable for Saturday’s game. The injured players include 5 defensive players and 3 offensive linemen.
Stanford is 3-1 this season under coach David Shaw. The Cardinal are 1-1 in Pac 12 play. Stanford opened with home wins over San Jose St 20-17, Duke 50-13, and then #2 USC 21-14. Last week, Stanford went on the road for the first time at Washington. The Cardinal lost 17-13 in Seattle last Thursday night. The loss dropped the Cardinal from #8 to #18 in the latest poll. The Cardinal are 2-2 ATS and the total is 1-3 this year. The Cardinal were 7 point favorites in the Washington game and the total was 48. Stanford took a 6-3 lead at halftime, with only field goals for either team. The Cardinal had a 40 yard pick six late in the third quarter to take a 13-3 lead. Washington pulled to within 13-10 on the last play of the third quarter with a 61 yard run from tailback Bishop Sankey. The Huskies took the lead with 4:53 left on a 35 yard touchdown pass. Stanford advanced to the Washington 34 before an interception gave the ball back to Washington. It was the second turnover of the game for Stanford, while Washington had just the one. The Huskies ran out the clock and pulled off the upset. Neither team did much on offense, as the Huskies had 313 total yards and Stanford had 235 yards.
Stanford is averaging 326.2 yards per game, including 197.8 passing yards and 128.5 rushing yards. The Cardinal are outscoring opponents 26-15.2 this season. Stanford is +5 in turnovers, and has allowed 4 sacks. The Cardinal are 19/61 on third and fourth down conversions, and 11/13 scoring in the red zone with 5 touchdowns. On defense, Standord is giving up 316.5 yards per game including 251.2 passing yards, and 65.2 rushing yards. The Cardinal are 4th against the run nationally, and in the top 25 in scoring and total defense. Stanford opponents are 22/77 on third and fourth down conversions, and 8/10 scoring in the red zone with 4 touchdowns.
Quarterback Josh Nunes has struggled so far. Nunes has completed 65/125 passes (52%) for 785 yards with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He has been sacked 5 times. Running back Stepfan Taylor has 88 carries, 413 yards, and 3 touchdowns along with 14 catches, 89 yards and a touchdown. His back-up Anthony Wilkerson is questionable with a leg injury, but he only has 9 carries. Tight end Zach Ertz has 15 catches, 252 yards, and a touchdown. Ty Montgomery has 15 catches for 139 yards. Levine Toilolo has 8 catches, 137 yards and a touchdown. Drew Terrell has 7 catches, 85 yards and 2 touchdowns.
By a strange coincidence, this is the third time Arizona has played the #18 team in the country in six games. Oklahoma St and Oregon St were both ranked #18 at the time they played the Wildcats, as is Stanford. The Wildcats are 6-14 ATS after passing for more than 280 yards, 3-7 overall, 4-11 after a straight up loss, and against teams with losing records, 7-22 after allowing 280 passing ayrds or more, 1-4 after allowing 450 yards or more, and in road games, and 1-5 in Pac 12 games.
Stanford hasn’t lost consecutive games since 2009. The Cardinal have won 8 straight October games, and have won 16 of their last 17 games at home. Six of the last eight games in this series ahve gone under the total, including 4 of the last 5 at Stanford. The Cardinal are 6-0 ATS in October, 4-0 after scoring less than 20 points, 12-3-1 in Pac 12 games, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 22-8 at home, 23-9-1 on grass, 5-2 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 35-16-1 overall, 34-16-1 after allowing less than 20 points, 1-4 after failing to cover, and after gaining less than 275 total yards. Stanford has covered 4 of the last 5 against Arizona.
Stanford is really great on defense, but struggles on offense. Arizona has the third worst defense in the Pac 12, but has a top 10 offense nationally. If Arizona can’t score against Stanford, I don’t see the Wildcats winning a low-scoring slugfest against the physical Cardinal. By the same token, Stanford can’t get into a shootout with Arizona. I like the Cardinal to win at home, because I think they can control the tempo with Taylor running the ball.
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