Arizona State Sun Devils (6-6 SU, 3-8-1 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (11-1 SU, 4-8 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, Thursday, December 22, 2011, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, TV: ESPN
by Scotty L, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ASU +14/BSU -14
Over/Under Total: 66
Bet the Arizona State/Boise State game using your credit card at an online sportsbook where it WILL work for deposits: BetOnline.
The Arizona Sun Devils and Boise State Broncos meet at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 22 in the Las Vegas Bowl. Neither team will likely come into this game with an optimal headspace. Arizona State has seen their positive-looking season completely flame out, while the Broncos have to wonder what they did to catch such an unfavorable postseason position.
For the second year in a row, Boise State finds themselves as a bowl afterthought–despite a pair of consecutive one-loss seasons, where a missed field goal against a top-25 team was the only thing separated them from a perfect season. Without getting into the nuts and bolts as to how Boise State has been plagued by a faulty BCS system, suffice to say this is a monstrous disappointment. Potential Boise State backers might be wondering if they will see a psyched squad or a flat one.
Its strange to consider that somehow Arizona State managed to slide into this bowl as an opponent to a top-ten Broncos team. Four straight losses, all as favorites, turned their season so sideways that head coach Dennis Erickson was told he will not return for next season. The current version of this squad bears little resemblance to the team that beat Missouri and USC by 3 touchdowns during their 5-1 start.
It can be difficult to figure where Arizona State will be mentally for this game. This is their first bowl appearance since 2007. Do they take this as an opportunity to right some wrongs of a terrible finish to the season or do they phone it in? There are a lot of distractions in Vegas, especially with a coach in Dennis Erickson who might be a bit apathetic at this point. Erickson didnt have a long successful coaching career by phoning it in, but one still has to wonder what kind of Sun Devils squad they will see come December 22.
Arizona State has a prolific offense, but theyre defense–forget about it. QB Brock Osweiler, with 3641 yards and 24 touchdowns, is a good field general. RB Cameron Marshall has 18 combined touchdowns and over 1000 yards on the ground. Their offense is just outside the top-25 in total yards and their passing attack in 10th in the nation. A defense that stopped playing in week 10 is why theyre 6-6.
Being ranked 107th against the pass makes one wonder how the Sun Devils will ever contain Kellen Moore and Company. Moore completed 73.9 % of his passes for 3507 yards and 41 touchdowns against 7 picks this season. Doug Martin gives the Broncos balance with 1148 yards on the ground with 15 touchdowns. With a variety of threats, like WR Tyler Shoemaker (59-959-15), expect to see the Arizona State D on its heels.
While this is not what Boise State had hoped for, it is Kellen Moores last game. There is a reason why he is college footballs most winning quarterback of all-time, so dont expect his disappointment on bowl selection issues to have him hanging his head too much. In addition, hes not a guy who is likely to be starting for a NFL team next year, so this could be his last chance to be a quarterback for a while. Look for him to have a good game.
Anyone who has been betting these teams lately will likely be hesitant to pull the trigger with either squad. By the time they meet in Las Vegas, these two teams will have a combined one cover in the past 9-10 weeks. Boise State has failed to cover the spread in 6 straight games, despite a 5-1 record during that stretch, while the Sun Devils have failed to cover in 4 straight–all straight up losses despite them being favored by a combined 36 points in those games.
Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Maaco Bowl Point Spread: Boise State has been struggling to put money in the pocket of their backers, but the spread of 14 in this game is a little more manageable than the 30 and 40-something point spreads they have been dealing with lately. Look for Arizona State to score some points, but for a Boise State offense to really cook in the second-half against a beleaguered Sun Devils D that will begin running out of answers. Take the Boise State Broncos minus 14 points.
Additional College Football Betting Previews