Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Nevada Wolf Pack
Date and Time: Saturday, December 29, 2018, 1:15 p.m. ET
Location: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Opening CFB Odds: Arkansas State PK, 58.5
Arkansas State vs. Nevada TV Coverage: CBSSN
It was an up and down kind of season for Blake Anderson’s squad who managed wins in three of their first four games only to go on and drop three of their next four. They did however close the season out in fine form by rattling off four straight wins against South Alabama, Coastal Carolina, UL Monroe and Texas State. The Red Wolves weren’t the greatest of investments for CFB bettors in going 6-6 ATS overall, but five of those pointspread triumphs came in their last six games so they invade the desert in fine form.
After managing a poor 3-9 record in Jay Norvell’s first season at the helm in Reno, the 2018-19 season will go down in the history books as a major success even though the team largely failed in its attempt to be competitive against the better teams in the Mountain West Conference. Regardless, the team’s seven wins were good enough to send it back to the bowl season where the Wolf Pack last tasted victory back in 2015 when it defeated Colorado State 28-23.
Player To Watch
Ty Gangi – No longer running the “Pistol” in Nevada, the Wolf Pack have become reliant upon their ability to move the ball through the air to achieve offensive success. Nevada owns the nation’s No. 22 ranked passing attack that averages just over 273 yards per game at 7.0 yards per attempt ( No. 86 ). Gangi has thrown for 3,131 yards and owns a respectable 23:11 TD/INT ratio. He will however be throwing into an Arkansas State defense that thrived against the pass in allowing just 177.1 yards per game ( No. 10 ) and 7.1 yards per attempt ( No. 51 ). Nevada should have some success on the ground as bad the Red Wolves were at stopping the run, but the offense’s overall success will be predicated on how well or how bad Gangi deals with Arkansas State’s pass defense.c
2.5 – This is the amount of sacks the Red Wolves defense averaged in its 12 played games throughout the regular season. Only 35 other teams in the nation were able to routinely put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. However, Nevada’s offensive line ranked out as one of the best in the country at keeping its quarterback upright with Gangi only getting sacked an average of 1.2 times per game. Only 11 other schools proved to be better than the Wolf Pack in pass protection. Even so, Gangi best have his head on a swivel considering Nevada’s best option of winning this game is excelling through the air since its ground game was largely missing in action all season long ( No. 82 ).
Bet the Arizona Bowl at BookMaker.eu
Though the matchup hardly brings much fanfare with it, I’m expecting the Arizona Bowl to be one of the more exciting games of the bowl slate at offshore sportsbooks. I don’t have much faith in either of these defenses to get the job done regardless of each teams’ offensive strengths running up against their opponent’s defensive strength. With that, look for some points to hit the board. In terms of a side, I’m going with the team that has more postseason experience and that without a doubt is the Red Wolves who’ll be making their eighth straight postseason appearance.
CFB ATS Betting Pick: Arkansas State -1.5 & Over 57.5 at BookMaker.eu
CFB Score Prediction: Red Wolves 38 – Wolf Pack 33