2014 Sun Bowl College Football Betting Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs #15 Arizona State Sun Devils

2014 Hyundai Sun Bowl
Duke Blue Devils vs #15 Arizona State Sun Devils

Sun Bowl – El Paso, Texas
Saturday, December 27, 2014, 2:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Arizona State -8
Current Line: Arizona State -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 68
Current Total: 65
Opening Money Line: ASU -280 / Duke +230
Current Money Line: ASU -270 / Duke +220

Arizona State is a 7 point favorite against Duke in the Sun Bowl Saturday.
Arizona State is a 7 point favorite against Duke in the Sun Bowl Saturday.

The 9-3 Duke Blue Devils and 9-3 Arizona State Sun Devils meet for the first time ever Saturday in the 2014 Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso. Duke went 5-3 in the ACC Coastal Division and finished second behind 6-2 Georgia Tech. Arizona State went 6-3 in the Pac 12 South Division and tied for second with USC and UCLA behind 7-2 Arizona. Late season losses to arch rivals kept both Duke and Arizona State out of their respective conference championship games.

Duke is 3-7 all-time in bowl games. The Blue Devils are playing in a third straight bowl for the first time in school history. Duke has lost 4 straight post-season games including 52-48 last season to Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Duke has never played in the Sun Bowl before.

Arizona State is 13-13-1  all-time in bowl games. The Sun Devils are playing in a fourth straight bowl game. ASU has lost 4 of their last 5 bowl games, including 37-23 to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl last year. The Sun Devils are playing in the Sun Bowl for the fourth time ever and first time since 1997.

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Duke is coached by David Cutcliffe. The Blue Devils have losses at Miami 22-10 and Virginia Tech along with a home loss to North Carolina 45-20. Duke has home wins over Elon 52-13, Kansas 41-3, Tulane 47-13, Virginia 20-13, and Wake Forest 41-21 in the last game of the regular season, along with road wins over Troy 34-17, Georgia Tech 31-25, Pittsburgh 51-48 in double overtime, and Syracuse 27-10. The Blue Devils are 7-4-1 ATS and the total is 3-8 this season. Duke was an 18 point favorite against Wake Forest  and the total was 44.5.

Arizona State is coached by Todd Graham. The losses came at home to UCLA 62-27, at Oregon State 35-27 and at Arizona 42-35 in the regular season finale. The Sun Devils have home wins over Weber State 45-14, Stanford 26-10, Utah 19-16 in overtime, Notre Dame 55-31 and Washington State 52-31. The Sun Devils have road wins over New Mexico 58-23, Colorado 38-24, USC 38-34, and Washington 24-10. ASU is 6-6 ATS and the total is 6-6 this season. The Sun Devils were 2 point underdogs against Arizona  and the total was 64.5.

Duke is outscoring teams 33-21 this season. The Blue Devils are #44 in scoring and #21 in points allowed nationally. Duke is averaging 398 yards per game on offense including 215 passing and 183 rushing yards. On defense, the Blue Devils are allowing 400 yards per game including 204 passing and 196 rushing yards. Duke is #34 in pass defense and #96 in rush defense. The Blue Devils are +8 in turnovers in 21 takeaways. Duke averages 39 penalty yards per game and opponents average 65 yards per game. The Blue Devils are 86/206 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 67/200. Duke has forced 27 sacks and allowed 13 this season. The Blue Devils are 46/52 scoring in the red zone with 32 touchdowns and opponents are 39/45 with 26 touchdowns. Duke has 2 defensive and 2 special teams touchdowns.

Duke quarterback Anthony Boone has completed 56.9% of his passes for 2,507 yards with 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and also has 88 carries for 346 yards and 5 touchdowns. Back-up quarterback Thomas Sirk has thrown 3 touchdown passes and rushed for 8 more.

Running back Shaun Wilson has 74 carries for 590 yards with 5 touchdowns, plus 18 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. Shaquille Powell has 105 carries for 501 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 15 catches for 102 yards. Josh Snead has 79 carries for 399 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 9 catches. Receiver Jamison Crowder has 78 catches for 942 yards with 6 touchdowns. He also has a punt return for a touchdown. Isaac Blakeney has 43 catches for 521 yards and 6 touchdowns. Max McCaffrey has 36 catches for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns. David Reeves has 13 catches and 3 touchdowns.

Arizona State is outscoring teams 37-28 this season. The Sun Devils are #19 in scoring nationally. Arizona State is averaging 447 yards per game including 276 passing yards and 170 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are #34 in total offense and #30 in passing nationally. On defense, ASU is allowing 419 total yards per game including 262 passing and 157 rushing yards. Arizona State is #106 in pass defense and #87 in total defense nationally out of 128 teams.  The Sun Devils are +12 in turnovers with 25 takeaways. ASU averages 34 penalty yards per game and opponents average 63. The Sun Devils are 80/205 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 79/213. Arizona State has forced 39 sacks and allowed 37 this season. The Sun Devils are 52/58 scoring in the red zone with 36 touchdowns and opponents are 32/42 with 23 touchdowns. ASU has 5 defensive/special teams touchdowns and has allowed 6 this season.

Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly injured his foot against Colorado and missed 3 games. Back-up Mike Bercovici started those 3 games. Kelly has thrown for 1,874 yards with 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and also has 86 carries for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bercovici has thrown for 1,445 yards with  12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 16 rushing yards.

Running back D.J. Foster has 183 carries for 1,002 yards and 9 touchdowns, plus 59 catches for 646 yards and 3 touchdowns. Demario Richards has 77 carries for 437 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kalen Ballage has 3 rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown. Receiver Jaelen Strong has 75 catches for 1,062 yards and 10 touchdowns. Cameron Smith has 41 catches for 596 yards and 6 touchdowns. Kody Kohl has 14 catches but 4 touchdowns.  Four defensive players are questionable or out for the Sun Devils.

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Duke is 4-0 ATS against teams with winning records, 7-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 4-1-1 in non-conference games, 10-3 after a cover, 12-4 after a straight up win, 3-1-1 after passing for more than 280 yards, and 18-7-1 overall.

ASU is 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-1 after failing to cover, 2-8 in December and on turf, 1-5 in bowl games and in neutral site games.

This will be a match-up of Arizona State’s explosive offense and Duke’s solid defense. The Blue Devils are no slouches on offense either. This should be a high scoring game and I think Duke keeps it inside the 7 point spread.

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