Sun Bowl Prediction: Arizona State vs. North Carolina State

Last Updated: 2018-12-07

sun bowl free pickAnother Friday game with a relatively early start time is the Sun Bowl between North Carolina State and Arizona State. The Wolfpack is favored by 7 and the total has remained at 59.5 despite an overwhelming majority of the bets coming in on the over.

North Carolina State had a solid season going 8-4, but weren’t a team you liked to wager on,as they finished with a 4-8 ATS ledger, including a dismal 1-5 mark as favorites.

The Wolfpack ran and threw 38 times per game, gaining 4.7 yards per rush against teams who allowed 4.3 yards per carry and completed 64% of their passes against teams that allowed just an average of 57.9% pass completions.

Defensively, the big question is if Bradley Chubb will play, as the future first-round draft pick could become the latest player to skip a bowl game before the draft, a trend that is growing in popularity and will continue to do so, as long as NFL teams seemingly approve and draft those players where they likely would have gone anyway. You really can’t blame the players for not wanting to take any chances, but it would be nice to see these players on the field with their teammates, as well.

With Chubb, the Wolfpack allowed just 3.9 yards per carry and held teams to 55.8% passing, both of which were a fair amount below what the opposition averaged during the regular season.

This will be the final game for coach Todd Graham and you know his players will give it everything they have, which may or may not be enough depending on which Sun Devil team shows up. Arizona State pulled several huge upsets during the year, but was also waxed at home by USC and lost to San Diego State in front of the home fans. Getting rid of Graham is a bit puzzling, as the Devils defeated Arizona in their big rivalry game and also defeated Washington, Oregon and Utah.

The Sun Devils were a +3.6 offensively, scoring 31.9 points against teams who allow 28.3 and were pretty average on defense, allowing 31.2 to teams who averaged 32 points. The Sun Devils ran more than they threw, but were solid in the passing game with a completion percentage four points higher than the opposition allowed.

Going to take the Sun Devils and the over in this one, as I think Arizona State plays hard for Graham in his final game and does everything they can to send their coach out a winner.

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