The Arizona State Sun Devils will host the New Mexico State Aggies to open up the 2017 season. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:30 EST on Thursday, August 31 at Sun Devil Stadium. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Want to place a wager on the action? Oddsmakers currently have the Sun Devils listed as a 23.5-point favorite with a total sitting at 70.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 1 game odds and more free betting leans.
Arizona State vs New Mexico State Vegas Game Odds & Predictions
The Sun Devils will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 5-7 campaign in 2016. One in which they lost their final 6 games. It marked the first time that ASU failed to make a bowl game under head coach Todd Graham.
There’s a lot of pressure on Graham to get things going back in the right direction in 2017. The good news is last year’s struggles can be attributed to the team being crippled by injuries. They officially only have 13 starters back, but are more experienced than that would suggest.
While the Sun Devils are looking to rebound, the Aggies are hoping to just be more competitive. New Mexico State finished 3-9 for a 3rd consecutive season under head coach Doug Martin, who has a 10-38 record in 4 years on the job. Hard to put all the blame on him, as the Aggies have only finished with a winning record 4 times since 1967. With 16 starters back from last year, the Aggies are at least in a good position to take a step forward.
Free NCAA Football Selection Against the Spread: ASU -23.5
While I think New Mexico State is going to be a decent team to back this year in the Sun Belt, I don’t see them making this a game against the Sun Devils. Keep in mind that late last year the Aggies were a 44-point dog at Texas A&M and lost by 42 points. Now I’m not saying Arizona State is on the same level right now as Texas A&M, but the Sun Devils are laying 20.5-points less.
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I like taking teams like the Sun Devils in a home opener after a year in which they didn’t meet expectations. This team is going to come out with a chip on their shoulder and in terms of talent it’s not even close. I expect ASU to average close to 40 ppg this season and have the potential to score 50+ points here.
The Sun Devils have two great options to turn to at quarterback. They bring back junior Manny Wilkins, who started 10 games last year. They also added in Alabama transfer Blake Barnett. Whoever wins the job figures to put up big time passing numbers.
I just don’t see New Mexico State being able to keep up offensively. The Aggies aren’t a team that’s built to play from behind and rely on their passing game. I also like the fact that Arizona State is changing things up defensively by bringing in 40-year vet Phil Bennett. I think he can finally get the Sun Devil defense to play up to their talent level.
On top of all that, Arizona State falls into a very profitable system. Home favorites of 21.5 or more points that allowed 6.1 or more yards/play the previous year are 32-9 in the first month of the season over the last 10 years. That’s a 78% system in favor of the Sun Devils covering the spread.