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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Whoever wins the Arizona State/Arizona game Friday afternoon is going to need some help from Stanford. Should UCLA lose to Stanford in a simultaneous kickoff…then the survivor of the duel in the desert will represent the Pac 12 South and face Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship game. Don’t forget that Arizona is the only team to beat Oregon this year! Should UCLA win, then the winner of ASU/Arizona will be a 10-2 team lobbying for an at-large bid to a major bowl.

Bottom line…this is going to be a fun game to watch…it might have big championship or bowl ramifications…and you’ll definitely be handicapping both of these teams again down the road…so pay attention!

Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about the best matchup of the day in terms of the national rankings (Arizona State is #13, Arizona is #11), and one of the most entertaining matchups of the final big weekend.

 

Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)

Arizona State: 9-2 (#40 schedule in USA Today)

Arizona: 9-2 (#44 schedule in USA Today)

It’s easy to get these teams confused this season. They both have the same record against very similar schedules. Both play exciting brands of football. Both have been on the fringes of the national championship picture but haven’t quite been able to rise to the top. Arizona State had a great chance to do that until getting shocked at Oregon State. Arizona fell to both USC and UCLA after their stunner at Oregon, failing to follow-up the big win with authority. Whoever wins will finish 10-2 and will be playing prominently somewhere in the bowls. The loser is likely to find themselves in a nice matchup as well.

 

Yards-Per-Play

Arizona State: 6.1 on offense, 5.7 on defense

Arizona: 6.0 on offense, 5.6 on defense

Once again, you can’t tell these teams apart! Both are exactly +0.4 in yards-per-play differential. Arizona State is the slightest bit better on offense while Arizona is the same on defense. Quality teams facing decent if not overwhelming schedules. We should note that those differentials aren’t particularly great for college football. You’re about to see what’s pushed both into 9-10 win territory.

 

Turnover Differential

Arizona State: +12

Arizona: +10

Again, similar stats! Both teams have done a good job in the risk/reward area. Even though they run high energy attacks that can be mistake-prone with the wrong quarterbacks, both are plus double digits entering their season finales. It’s the combination of plus yardage and plus turnovers that has put these two in contention. The problem is…if neither enjoys a turnover boost they become fairly mortal. That’s likely to matter in a bowl game…so make a note of it now.

 

Market Performance

Arizona State: 6-5 ATS

Arizona: 4-7 ATS

Here’s where the teams differ. Market expectations have been higher for Arizona. They’ve been unable to play to those expectations. It’s odd that the only team to upset Oregon has turned out to be a disappointment. They were 1-3 ATS before that game, and 2-4 ATS afterward. Arizona State has been 5-2 ATS after a shaky start.  

 

Current Line: Arizona by 2.5, total of 62.5

The number pretty much sums up what we’ve been reading. The teams are very close to even. Home field advantage is usually worth 2-3 points in rivalry games matching teams who are nearby geographically. Arizona splits the difference as of press time. Sharps haven’t been interested in betting the game to the key number of three because Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon is dealing with an injury.

This game may or may not be on the final Friday ticket for JIM HURLEY. He doesn’t force TV games just to have action! Customers only get the best Las Vegas betting options. You can purchase Friday’s BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card in the hours leading up to first kick. If you have any questions about the rest of this year’s annual TURKEY SHOOT, call us in the office during normal business hours Friday at 1-888-777-4155.

Back with you tomorrow to crunch the numbers in Saturday’s huge Auburn/Alabama game. Then, it’s back to the NFL Sunday and Monday for previews of the prime time matchups…

Saturday: College TV Preview…Auburn at Alabama

Sunday: NFL TV Preview…Denver at Kansas City on NBC

Monday: NFL TV Preview…Miami at NY Jets on ESPN

You may have finished eating your Thanksgiving feast…but don’t get the idea that the rest of the weekend is just leftovers! NETWORK will have major releases each and every day this weekend…including GAME OF THE YEAR caliber selections. Your holiday winning is just beginning with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

 

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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

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