Pac-12 Football Picks: Predictions against the spread for Week 1

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Dec 27, 2014; El Paso, TX, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Todd Graham during the second quarter as his team faces the Duke Blue Devils in the 2014 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State Sun Devils At Texas A&M Aggies

NGR Stadium, Houston, Texas

The Line: Arizona State +3

No respect for the 15th ranked Sun Devils here, as they are the underdogs heading into one of the better match-ups on Saturday afternoon(3:00PM, Pacific time, ESPN). Sure, the Aggies are in the big, bad, SEC, and the game is in Houston. Nevertheless, the Aggies are unranked and Arizona State was picked to get in the College Football Playoff by Kirk Herbstreit. Heck, even Tom Fornelli of picked Arizona State as his lock of the week to “upset” Texas A&M.

Keys To The Game:

Fornelli said it perfectly in his reasons why the Sun Devils will win this game:

"I know that this game is in Houston, but that doesn’t really do anything to affect the way I feel about the Sun Devils — either in this game, or in 2015. While I think Texas A&M is going to be a better team this year, and have a major say in who ends up winning the SEC West, I happen to think Arizona State is a legit playoff contender this season. I also have serious reservations about a Texas A&M defense that did allow nearly 37 points per game (and nearly seven yards per play) against Power Five opponents last season. Yes, John Chavis will fix it. But in the first game? I don’t think so. Arizona State 38, Texas A&M 30"

This is a high powered offense with lots of weapons in Arizona State. Mike Bercovici is the best player no one on the east coast has ever heard of, and their skill positions are brimming with quality and depth. Given that the Aggies struggle on defense and you can see disaster in the future for head coach Kevin Sumlin.

The Prediction:

The Sun Devil offense races out to a big early lead on the back of an incredible performance by Bercovici. Todd Graham’s defense does just enough to keep the Aggie offense at bay, and we head into half time talking about how brilliant Herbstreit’s prediction was.

However, the second half is a different story as the Sun Devil defense gives up big plays and Texas A&M comes storming back. The comeback bid is ended, though, by the golden arm of Bercovici as he leads a game sealing drive late in the fourth quarter, giving the Devils a 42-31 victory.

Next: Michigan At Utah