College Football Week 3 Predictions: Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Missouri Tigers

Arizona State Sun Devils at Missouri Tigers
Saturday, 9/15/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Missouri -7.5
Current Betting Line:  Missouri -6
Opening Total:  63.5
Current Total:  63.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Missouri Tigers have won 17 straight home games against non-conference opponents

Arizona State will go on the road for the first time this season, as it travels to Columbia, MO, to snap a 3-3 series tie between these two teams.  “The Tigers are very good,” commented Sun Devils first-year head coach Todd Graham.  “I haven’t seen a lot of people stop them.”  The Sun Devils are 0-5 all-time against SEC schools, as their opponent Saturday moved from the Big 12 into college football’s elite conference.  Arizona State is 3-0 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points the last two-plus seasons, with the “under” going 2-1 in those contests.

The Sun Devils lucked out in last week’s 45-14 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini as 5.5-point home favorites, as they didn’t have to face an injured Nathan Scheelhaase.  Arizona State scored touchdowns on four of its six first-half possessions.  With 108 points through two games, the program ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense.  Graham has brought discipline to the program, something it lacked under Dennis Erickson, as it’s been penalized just five times for 35 yards this season.

Missouri will end its three-game homestand in this contest, coming off a disappointing 41-20 setback to the Georgia Bulldogs as one-point home underdogs.  The Tigers actually one the statistical battle by 16 yards in that contest, but the offensive line is in shambles.  A group that came into the 2012 college football season with 69 career starts, will enter this contest with just 21.  Quarterback James Franklin is still an offensive force, throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns versus the Bulldogs.  Missouri is 8-6 ATS at home the last two-plus seasons.

The Tigers will take to Faurot Field Saturday night looking to defend their 17-game win streak against non-conference opponents at home.  Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel has tallied an impressive 24-2 record in that situation.  Defensively, the unit ranks 26th nationally in total defense, allowing just 289 yards per game.  This is definitely a proud program under Pinkel’s direction, tallying the 10th-most wins in college football since 2007.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 14-6 ATS mark in September, while the Sun Devils are 0-2 ATS when the total is 63 or greater.

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