Arizona State vs. BYU Prediction ATS 9/18/21

by | Sep 14, 2021 | cfb

Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. BYU Cougars (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)

College Football Week 3

Date and Time: Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 10:15PM EDT

Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: ASU -3.5/BYU +3.5 (Bovada - Bet this game LIVE at the BEST live wagering platform on the we AND get a 50% bonus for doing so! Bovada is one of the top 3 sportsbooks on the web!)

Over/Under Total: 51

The Arizona State Sun Devils come to Provo for a big week three matchup with the BYU Cougars. While it’s young in the season, both teams have taken care of business. For Arizona State, opening with wins over Southern Utah and UNLV shows a team with a lot of upsides. But they will be facing an even more-tested team in BYU, coming off a big win over Utah, 26-17, on Saturday, suggesting that they’re not ready to fade away, as some suspected. After already beating Arizona, can the Cougars complete the Arizona sweep on Saturday? Or will Arizona State score the kind of win that might make them a team to watch moving forward?

Reassessing BYU

Their big win over Utah showed that they might be able to keep this machine moving forward this season, even without Zach Wilson. After getting sparse play the last few seasons, QB Jaren Hall has stepped in and scored wins over consecutive Pac-12 schools, including a ranked Utes squad. They go for their third win over a Pac-12 school this week and face some favorable conditions. It’s a little bit of an out-of-the-way locale for an ASU team coming off two games at home. They don’t make it up to Provo very often. And the Sun Devils offensive mettle will be tested by a BYU team that has been stingy through two weeks against good opposition.

While Wilson is gone, a lot of contributors remain who helped guide BYU to their best season in years in 2020. Sure, the ASU defense has been much-improved to the unit we’ve become accustomed to seeing, but the shaky state of the opponents’ offense contributed to that, as well. There will be no such luxury with the BYU offense. Between the lively legs of QB Jaren Hall, who had 92 yards rushing against Utah, and backs Tyler Allgeier and Lopini Katoa, their ground game has a lot of punch and options. Throw in ball-catchers Puka and Samson Nacua, Gunner Romney, and others, and you have a lot of experienced talent working alongside an offensive line that moves people around.

Sun Devils Dangerous in this Spot

Herm Edwards has all his guys in there at this point. It’s sink-or-swim for this program, and they’re looking for things to manifest behind dual-threat QB Jayden Daniels and a mix of experienced contributors and exciting youngsters. Daniels threw two touchdowns and ran for 125 yards last week, getting good contributions from Rachaad White and Daniyel Ngata (questionable) on the ground. We’re starting to see a multi-pronged rushing attack that could start to register in a big way.

While the Cougars have beaten ASU’s in-state rival and then Utah, the Sun Devils’ success has registered in a lesser context. But dating back to last season, they’re on a 4-game win streak where they scored a combined 194 points. The offense is starting to find something, but the defense has perhaps been made to look a little better than it really is. The level of difficulty would appear to rise here significantly. At the very least, their offensive prospects seem to outshine their defensive hopes this week. But coach Edwards’ background is in defense, and perhaps we’re starting to see some of that pay off too. Either way, they will be tested this week to a far greater extent than they have during this recent mini-spurt of success.

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Has ASU Been Made to Look Better Than They Are?

There has been a lot to like, namely how the offense is moving, in addition to a defense that has been disruptive through two weeks of play. They are ranked and headed in the right direction. Linebacker Darien Butler had two picks in week one and two sacks on Saturday. He led the defense over the second half on Saturday, as they allowed very little after a tough start. But in letting UNLV be that competitive as 33.5-point underdogs for a whole half wasn’t a good look and those betting on ASU so far this season have yet to cash.

Against a team like BYU on the road, the kinds of mistakes and the long spells of ineffectiveness ASU is prone to would resonate in a more destructive way. A bad half takes them out of the game. Turnovers will do the same. An ASU offense that languishes against a quality defense would not lead to a win or even a potential cover. Arizona State is going to need to see their offense translate against a good team and not the dysfunctional or lower-end conference teams they’ve been thriving against going back to the end of last season. Meanwhile, BYU has already shown what they do works at levels that surpass ASU.

Take the Points on the Home Team

I don’t question whether or not Arizona State has the offensive punch and potential to come into Provo and score the nice win. With a defense that has more real contributors on it than in recent memory, one shouldn’t poo-poo their chances this week. I just think with the dual-threat skills of Jaren Hall that the BYU offense isn’t going away as some suspected. And they still have a lot there in terms of contributors on the ground and through the air, along with a front that gets a lot of push. Add in a defense that isn’t built to get totally exploited, and I see the overall competence of BYU football being a hill that’s a bit too steep for ASU to climb with a small number to cover, to boot. I’ll take the Cougars.

Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Brigham Young Cougars plus 3.5 points. Rough day today? Instead of reloading at your sportsbook for NOTHING, you may want to consider loading up with a generous 100% bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! All you need to do is register for an account and use promo code PREDICT100 and it’ll activate the special 100% bonus! (Their normal bonus is 50%).