Last Updated: 2017-12-28
The college football schedule is jam packed over the holidays and that is certainly true for the games that are played on Friday December 29th. This is arguably one of the best days of the year to watch college football as good teams and great bowl games are all over the schedule. One of the best games that day could easily be the Arizona Bowl.
The Arizona bowl may not have the marquee names that some of the other bowl games have on this day, but it does have a quality matchup. This bowl game will be played in Tucson Arizona and it will kick off at 5:30 p.m. eastern standard time. Unlike some of the other games that are televised on ESPN or CBS, this game will be featured on CBSSN. When it comes to betting on college football games, every game deserves a look for value and this could be a game that provides plenty of value since it will be overlooked.
The Arizona bowl usually will feature teams that come from the Sun Belt conference and the Mountain West Conference. The team representing the Sun Belt will be New Mexico State and the team from the Mountain West will be the Utah State Aggies. This will be the second bowl game this season that matches up two teams that have the same nickname.
New Mexico State finished 6-6 during the regular season which allowed the team to become bowl eligible. They finished with a 4-4 record in the Sun Belt which is only good enough for seventh place in the crowded conference. The Troy Trojans won the Sun Belt with an 11-2 overall record. The Aggies finished the season by winning two straight games and three of the last four games on the season. They had some impressive wins on the season but some very ugly losses. When they stepped up against a team with talent they were usually crushed as evident in games against Appalachian State and Arkansas.
New Mexico State finished just above .500 with a 6-5 record against the spread (ATS). This included a 4-2 ATS road record that looked good, but they managed to stumble down the stretch only covering four games in the last nine outings.
Utah State had a similar season as they were 6-6 on the regular season and just 4-4 straight up in conference play. They finished second to last in the Mountain division of the Mountain West conference. They lost the last game of the regular season against the Air Force Falcons, but they did win two out of the last three games. They had a big win in the game against BYU, but had some very ugly losses to big named teams like Wake Forest, Wisconsin and Boise State.
When it came to betting on or against Utah State the results were dead even. They were 6-6 ATS on the season and 5-5 ATS in the last ten games that they played overall.
The point spread for the Arizona Bowl has moved since it was set when the bowl games were announced. The line opened up with Utah State as (-3) point favorites. That line has moved and Utah State is now a (-4) point favorite. This is a one point move, but it is big considering that it is now off the key number of three points. The over / under in this game has also moved. The total for the bowl opened up with a 61 point total placed on the game and has since moved up to 63 at many of the sportsbooks who take bets on college football bowl games.
The public is betting on this game, but not as heavily as others considering the big named teams that are playing on the same day. Utah State is getting only 51 percent of the betting action which is only a slight advantage. Overall this bowl game is getting even action across the board. The total is getting more betting attention from the public. The over is getting 67 percent of the wagers coming in on this game. This could explain why the total has moved up two points since it opened.
This is a big bowl game for New Mexico State considering that it is the first bowl game it has been in since 1960. The school has already announced that they expect over 10,000 fans to show up in support of this team. That could prompt some betting on this team as well. The Aggies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a loss against the spread. But they are also 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Utah State is familiar to bowl games. They are playing in their sixth bowl game in seven years. They have not always been a good bet however. The Aggies are 9-20 ATS in their last 29 games overall, 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
These two teams have faced each other many times considering they shared a conference for 26 years. Although the last meeting was in 2012, they still have some betting trends in the history of this series. This is quite clear in this trend as the underdog has cashed in 10 of the last 14 meetings between these two teams.
New Mexico State has a senior quarterback in Tyler Rogers who can really sling the football. He has led the Aggies offense who ranks fourth in the FBS in passing offense. They will go up against a formidable defense in Utah State, but should have no trouble putting up points.
New Mexico State has the offense, fan support and the motivation. Because of those reasons they are the play in this game. Bet on New Mexico State.
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