The Fisch that saved Arizona didn’t play football in either college or high school. As a schoolboy he made all-state in tennis in New Jersey and he earned an undergraduate degree in criminology at Florida.
Jedd Fisch’s main goal in Gainesville, however, was to somehow become a gofer for Gators football boss Steve Spurrier, which happened; as a graduate assistant, he nabbed a master’s degree in sports management.
Twenty-three years later, he has made the Wildcats formidable in his third season. Arizona had endured five consecutive losing seasons, including a 1-23 run between 2019 and ’21.
UCLA patrons unhappy with Chip Kelly might bristle that Fisch was in their grasp, as interim coach after Jim Mora’s dismissal in 2017. As 7-point favorites, though, the Bruins lost at home to Cal, and were pounded by Kansas State as 6-point dogs in a bowl.
This magic has taken time. Arizona is ranked 16th, and alums and supporters aren’t even two months into having witnessed the program’s complete turnaround.
They were 3-3 when they caught fire, having won their past five games and covered six of their past seven. Arizona is 9-2 against the number, tied with Miami of Ohio and a notch behind 10-1 UNLV atop that tree.
The Sun Devils, meanwhile, are rudderless and spinning, having dropped eight of their past 10 contests.
This total opened 53.5 and has been steadily whittled down to 50. Twelve of the past 13 between these two have sailed OVER, many convincingly, into the 70s and 80s, and a 91.
However, a deep excavation into Arizona vs. Arizona State odds showed the sharp tack being switching from dealing with this total to taking Arizona and giving the points, due to ASU’s turmoil.
Arizona vs. Arizona State odds: Point spread, moneyline, total
Here are the latest college football betting odds for the No. 16 Wildcats vs. Sun Devils:
No. 16 Arizona betting news: Wildcats rolling into rivalry battle
A 43-41 defeat at No. 9 USC, in which Arizona racked up 506 yards of offense, set the stage for this magnificent turnaround.
Jayden De Laura had started the season at QB but was lost to an ankle injury in the fourth week. In the next game, Noah Fifita went 27-for-39, with three TD passes, in a 31-24 home defeat to No. 7 Washington when Arizona was a 19.5-point dog.
The Wildcats were 21-point dogs the following week at the Trojans. If ever two defeats could inject life into a moribund program, that’s what appears to have occurred.
The following week, as a 7.5-point underdog, Arizona went to the Palouse and embarrassed No. 19 Washington State, 44-6. The Cougars ran 22 times for a paltry 35 yards, and in a 34-31 victory at Colorado the Buffs gained 77 yards on 30 runs.
In fact, nobody has busted the 150-yard ground barrier against these Wildcats. Their defense yields just 3.4 yards per carry to opponents, placing them among the top 25 rush defenses in the country.
In this five-game run of excellence, no opposing quarterback has completed 70 percent of his passes against Arizona.
Meanwhile, the 5-foot-11 sophomore Fifita has been scorching, completing less than 73 percent of his attempts against only Colorado. In this run, he’s 127-for-172 (73.8 percent), with 10 TDs and only two interceptions.
Last week, Oregon QB Bo Nix racked up 463 passing yards against this ASU secondary inside Sun Devil Stadium. Just days later, Fifita playing against his team’s archrival constitutes perfect timing.
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Arizona State betting news: Musical chairs at quarterback has sunk the Devils
Getting shut out at home against Fresno State ignited the warning lights and sounded the sirens about the state of the Sun Devils.
ASU starting QB Jaden Rashada, who started the first two games, didn’t play due to an undisclosed injury that has since been traced to his high school days. The 6-4 rookie is a legacy, the son of former Sun Devils DB Harlen Rashada.
Three played the position in the Fresno disaster, and two of those—at least—also sustained injuries. In total, ASU has employed six different QBs this season.
In a 49-13 loss to Oregon last week, Trenton Bourguet started and went 20-for-37, for 142 yards. He was relieved by Cameron Skattebo, normally a tailback, and 6-4 junior Jalin Conyers, who usually plays tight end.
The ASU offense has been a shambles all season, exemplified by its -0.191 points-per-play margin, 16th-worst in the country. Every wheel has fallen off, though, as its -0.364 margin over the past three weeks is seven places from the basement.
It’s a circus, and these three-ring Sun Devils don’t figure to provide any more clarity come Saturday against their chief rival. Don’t expect the electric Arizona offense to show an ounce of pity.
More Pac-12 betting previews: Washington vs. Washington State odds, props, predictions | Oregon State vs. Oregon odds, props, predictions
Arizona vs. Arizona State prop picks
Oregon’s 49-13 victory at ASU last weekend might have set a keen example of how to extract a bit more profit from this game. The Ducks were giving 22 points, translating to a first-half line of Oregon -13.5.
At halftime, Oregon led 42-0.
The far better team fires out of the gate, not downshifting until the break. Should this Arizona spread deliver a first-half line of less than a touchdown, that would offer another way to capitalize on this one-sided affair.
It currently sits at
Arizona at Arizona State predictions ATS
ASU’s spiral is no surprise, considering a rotation of quarterbacks that includes a tailback and tight end. Arizona could easily duplicate what Oregon did to the Devils last weekend.
Rookie ASU boss Kenny Dillingham told his guys there are two seasons in Tempe, the first 11 games and then Arizona. Maybe he empties his playbook, going from the Wishbone to the Wing-T to five wideouts on consecutive plays, but that would only confuse his guys. There’s enough confusion in Tempe, where ASU has yielded 0.459 points per play, a bottom-20 national home rate.
The Wildcats don’t figure to let up against this enemy, so expect ugliness.