• Arkansas State and Nevada should both put up plenty of points in the Arizona Bowl. But Arkansas State brings a lot of momentum on both sides of the ball that will be tough to stop.
By Zachary Cohen
December 13, 2018

Arizona Bowl – Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (+1.0)

Sat., December 29, 5:30 p.m. ET

Three things to know before betting on Arkansas State-Nevada:

1. Arkansas State hasn’t had much success in bowl games under current head coach Blake Anderson. The Red Wolves are just 1-3 both straight up and against the spread in his time with the team, but they should be able to notch their second win here. Arkansas State is one of the hottest teams in the country, having won and covered in five of their last six and allowing 17 or fewer points in four straight to end the year. Since Anderson took over, Arkansas State is an impressive 6-1 against the spread when coming off back-to-back games in which the team allowed 17 points or less. The Red Wolves are also 12-3 against the spread when playing teams with winning percentages of 51.0% to 60.0% since 1992. Meanwhile, Nevada is 2-6 against the spread versus non-conference opponents under current head coach Jay Norvell.

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2. One can make an argument that there isn’t a hotter offense in college football than Arkansas State’s right now. Over the last six weeks of the season, the Red Wolves averaged a ridiculous 40.0 points per game. The team racked up over 450 yards of total offense in five of those six games, and it’s hard to imagine that stopping against a Nevada team that gave up 378.0 yards per game this year. That isn't a horrible number, but it will take more than that to stop the Red Wolves' momentum. Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen threw for 3,172 yards with 27 touchdowns and six interceptions this season, and he got better and better as the season progressed. Over the final six weeks of the season, Hansen threw 16 touchdowns and only one pick. The senior is also capable of beating teams with his legs. He rushed for 396 yards with six touchdowns this season, and it’s possible that he’ll absolutely terrorize the Wolf Pack here.

3. Arkansas State’s 26.4 points per game allowed was good for 59th in the nation this season. That’s not incredible, but that stat dipped to a stingy 13.5 points per game over the final four weeks of the season. It’s not always smart to put too much stock into a small sample, but the Red Wolves are defending really well right now. Arkansas State has been especially strong against the pass, allowing just 152.3 passing yards per game over its past four games. The team will need to keep it up against a Nevada offense that ranks 20th in the nation.

Pick: Arkansas State -1.0

Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

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