Arizona State vs Fresno State
2018 Las Vegas Bowl Pick
Arizona State vs Fresno State 2018 Las Vegas Bowl Betting Trends
- Sun Devils are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games
- Sun Devils are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in December
- Bulldogs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in December
- Fresno State is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Fresno State’s last 5 games
- Arizona State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Fresno State Betting Preview
The Bulldogs, who will serve as the home team, will play in the Las Vegas Bowl for the third time overall but first time in five years. They fell 17-16 to Utah as a member of the WAC in the 1999 edition and 45-20 to USC in 2013. Head coach Jeff Tedford previously led Cal to a 35-28 victory over BYU in the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl.
Fresno State is seeking to become the first team in the 97-year history of the program to win 12 games in a season. Fresno State most recently had a chance to win 12 games in 2013. That team fell to USC in the Las Vegas Bowl, 45-20.
FSU is led by QB Marcus McMaryion. He has thrown for 3,453 yards with 25 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He is completely in control of this offense, and he rarely makes a costly mistake. It helps that he has a great wideout in KeeSean Johnson, who hauled in 93 passes for 1,307 yards and eight touchdowns this season. The Bulldogs had 31 or more points in seven games this season.
When McMaryion gets to the line of scrimmage Saturday, he will see something familiar. Arizona State defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales spent seven seasons at San Diego State and in 2017 was the coordinator for Aztecs coach Rocky Long, playing that 3-3-5 that has given so many teams in the Mountain West so much trouble.
The Sun Devils are ranked seventh in the Pac-12 in passing defense and have allowed 40 explosive pass plays of 20 or more yards, tied for fifth in the conference. But they have given up 13 of those 40 pass plays in the final three games of the regular season. So FSU could capitalize there.
The Bulldogs have a chance to defeat two Pac-12 teams in one season. The last time Fresno State beat two Pac-12 teams in the same season was in 2003 (OSU/UCLA). Fresno State is seeking to finish the season ranked for the first time since 2004.
Arizona State Betting Preview
ASU earned a second-place finish in the Pac-12 South Division with a 5-4 mark. The Sun Devils, who are led by first-year head coach Herm Edwards, make only their second appearance in Las Vegas, having lost here to Boise State, 56-24, in 2011. ASU will play in its 31st bowl game overall and the team’s seventh bowl appearance in the last eight seasons.
Sophomore Eno Benjamin is one of the best tailbacks in the country. At 1,524 yards this season, he is 42 yards away from the ASU all-time single-season school rushing record (1,565 yards by Woody Green in 1972). He also set the ASU school record with 277 carries this season. Benjamin is tied for third nationally with his 1,524 rushing yards and his 15 rushing touchdowns are seventh in the country. Both totals lead the Pac-12 Conference. His 147.6 all-purpose yards per game are ninth nationally.
He is the highest-graded running back in the Pac-12 and 10th-highest graded offensive player in the Pac-12, regardless of position (81.3). His 75 first downs this season are second in the FBS while his 43 runs of 10 or more yards are 5thin the country. Earlier this season Benjamin set the school’s single-game rushing record (No. 8 on Pac-12’s all-time list) with 312 yards against Oregon State – the most by an FBS running back this season.
However, star receiver N’Keal Harry will not play in the bowl game after announcing that he’d enter the 2019 NFL draft. The 6-foot-4, 213-pound Harry had 73 catches for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He finished his ASU career with 213 receptions for 2,889 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Linebacker Merlin Robertson was named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. Robertson led the team in tackles (77), tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (5.0) and Added an interception, two breakups, a fumble forced and a fumble recovered. He was the first freshman to lead the team in tackles since Jason Shivers in 2001 and the first freshman to lead the team in tackles for loss and sacks since Junior Onyeali in 2010.
Fresno State vs Arizona State Prediction
This should be the best college football of the game to watch. If you have not seen Fresno State before then you are going to see a program that is on the rise. If the names were switched around, Arizona State would be a 10 point favorite. Take the Bulldogs.