The Arkansas State Red Wolves travel to Tucson, Arizona on Saturday to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack in the 2018 Arizona Bowl facing a tight line as slight favorites.
Arkansas State finished atop the Sun Belt West Division, but failed to lock down a spot in the Sun Belt Championship against Appalachian State because they lost to Louisiana. The Red Wolves, however, still earned a bowl bid in one of the warm-up games to the College Football Playoffs. Although missing out on the Sun Belt Championship game was disappointing, Arkansas State has to love playing on the same day as the four best teams in college football.
Nevada didn’t play in their conference championship, either. The Wolf Pack finished behind both Fresno State and Hawaii in the MWC West Division. Like Arkansas State, they’re just happy to have gotten a bowl bid after finishing 7-5.
Both teams should play their hearts out in the 2018 Arizona Bowl. Check out my breakdown and a free pick for one of the warmup bowls to the College Football Playoff Semifinals!
2018 ARIZONA BOWL FOOTBALL BETTING
Arkansas State Red Wolves vs Nevada Wolf Pack
Saturday, December 29th– Arizona Stadium – 1:15pm ET
Odds: Arkansas State -2 (58)
Red Wolves Look to Continue Late Season Roll
Arkansas State has become one of the top non-Power 5 college football programs in the nation. The Red Wolves always show up and play tough. Even in the 7-57 loss to Alabama early on in the season, the Red Wolves played hard despite facing a daunting recruitment mission every year.
That’s just what Arkansas State does. They were fantastic during the second half of the season, winning 5-of-6. The Red Wolves only lost by 4 to Louisiana, 43-47, and proved that the can hang with one of the best in their conference. They went on a 4-0 SU and ATS run to finish the season.
Don’t expect Arkansas State to be intimidated when they meet Nevada on the gridiron in the Arizona Bowl. The Red Wolves are going to show up and do what they always do.
Wolf Pack Believes Schedule Gives Them an Edge
The Mountain West Conference produced some talented teams this season. That’s what Nevada’s hanging their hat on when they battle Arkansas State on Dec. 29 in the 2018 Arizona Bowl. The Wolf Pack will be brimming with confidence because they’re battle-tested, and they’ll have no trouble beating the Red Wolves SU as a slight dog.
Losing still hurts, but considering the strength of their competition, it’s not unimaginable to give Nevada some serious credit here. Utah State finished 11-2, Boise State finished 10-3, and Fresno State finished 12-2. That’s 3 teams in the same conference with 3 losses or less.
They lost 3-21 against Fresno State, but bounced back the following week by narrowly losing to Boise State 27-31 as +14.5 dogs. Afterwards, they ripped off a 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS run. They’ve always boasted one of the better aerial attacks in the country, and finished the season 20th with 285.3 passing yards per game. Ty Gangi accumulated 3,131 yards and 23 passing scores through a tough, but electric, season.
2018 Arizona Bowl Betting Analysis & Free Pick
This might be one of the most difficult bowl game to handicap this year. Both teams appear ready to rock it on Dec. 29.
Arkansas State is 4-0 ATS in their last 4, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 following a straight up win of more than 20 points, and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Nevada is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 following an SU loss and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games in December.
Trends are favorable on both sides and both teams also possess momentum, but the value play is on Nevada as a moneyline dog on neutral territory. They came from a stronger conference and will expose Arkansas State’s pass defense on Saturday.
2018 Arizona Bowl Betting Free Pick: Nevada +105 ML