The college football bowl season is upon us. With 39 games spread out over the next two and a half weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline. Find all our picks here. All lines are as of the date of publication.
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Middle Tennessee State (6-6) vs. Arkansas State (7-4)
Spread: Arkansas State -3.5
Spread: The Blue Raiders got off to a solid start to the season with a win over Syracuse, but then things trailed off after QB Brent Stockstill got hurt. The Blue Raiders with Stockstill starting were 4-2. Without him, they were 2-4 this season. It also didn’t help that expected top WR Richie James broke his collarbone early in the season and has missed the last seven games. The offense as a whole has averaged a shade under 25 points per game, and both of their top running backs (Brad Anderson and Tavares Thomas) are questionable for this game. That doesn’t bode well, though the defense has been picking up the slack for much of the season holding opponents to just 24 points and 350 yards per game. The offense has been better with Stockstill running the show, averaging 30 points in games he starts.
For Arkansas State, QB Justice Hansen has been the star, averaging over 330 yards passing per game while throwing 34 TD passes to just 15 interceptions. He has the Red Wolves offense ranked in the top 15 in points per game averaging 38.5 per outing. He’s also the team’s second-leading rusher (380 yards, 3.3 YPC) behind Warren Wand (660 yards 5.3 YPC). The Red Wolves use a varied rushing attack so, while Wand is the leader, two other backs have 40 or more carries. The defense has been fairly effective, allowing just under 25 points and 382 yards per game.
In terms of ATS records and trends, Arkansas State went 7-4 against the spread but failed to cover in three of their last four games. Middle Tennessee State covered in five of their 12 games but those were spread fairly evenly throughout the schedule. The biggest trend in favor of the Red Wolves is that Middle Tennesse was just 1-4 ATS as an underdog, while Arkansas State was 5-2 as a favorite. Expect that trend to continue here. Arkansas State -3.5
Total: Neither team has been good about hitting the over in their games this season as Middle Tennessee hit the over just twice and Arkansas State hit four times. Three of those four times have come when the Red Wolves were favored though. The number here is fairly high, but if both teams hit their averages, they could go over. Not sure that will happen though. Under 62.5