Pac-12 Conference: Stanford Cardinal at Arizona Wildcats College Football Predictions

No. 6 Stanford Cardinal at Arizona Wildcats
Saturday, 9/17/11, 10:45 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Stanford -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Stanford -9
Opening Total:  53
Current Total:  56
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Arizona Wildcats are looking to spring the upset as 9-point home underdogs in welcoming in the Stanford Cardinal

Stanford has outscored its first two opponents by a 101-17 margin and will now play its first ever Pac-12 Conference game.  The Cardinal trail the all-time series with Arizona, 12-14-0, but have won three of the last four games in the series.  The team dropped the last meeting in Tucson, 43-38, which has been a topic of discussion around the locker room all week.  “We owe those guys in terms of playing there back in the Zoo,” commented Cardinal wide receiver Chris Owusu.  “It hurt losing there two years ago.  We’re playing for a lot this game.”  Stanford is 15-6 ATS as a favorite and the ‘under’ is 11-10 in those contests.

The Cardinal have won 10 straight games dating back to last season, which is the program’s longest winning streak since 1939-41.  Stanford is also fourth nationally in scoring offense, averaging 50.5 points per game.  Getting out to a lead has been a huge part of the team’s success, outscoring its last 15 opponents by a 345-100 margin in the first half.  Quarterback Andrew Luck completed 20 of 28 passes for 290 yards and four touchdown passes last week in the 44-14 road win over Duke.  He has directly led the team to score on 90.2 percent of its red zone opportunities the last two seasons.

Arizona is set to play its first conference game after suffering a 37-14 loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys as 14-point road underdogs.  The Wildcats were out-gained by 155 yards in the contest.  Through the first two games, the team is averaging just 58 yards per game on the ground, which is 115th in the nation.  An improvement must be seen in this contest, as star wide receiver Juron Criner is questionable to return after missing last week with an appendectomy.  Arizona is 8-9 ATS in its last 17 conference games and the ‘over’ is 10-8 in those contests.

The Wildcats possess one of the best passing games in the country, as senior quarterback Nick Foles is averaging 404 yards per game.  Head coach Mike Stoops is always capable of knocking off a ranked team, as he’s accomplished that feat in each of his seven seasons on campus.  Overall, the Wildcats are 9-22 against ranked teams during his time, including 3-10 versus top 10 squads.  The 2011 Wildcats are looking to earn a fourth straight bowl bid, which has never been done in the history of the school.

Bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 5-1 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Cardinal are 41-44 ATS as a favorite.

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