NCAA Football Bowls Opening Weekend Betting Preview At Bovada
The 2012-13 college bowl season kicks off in the beautiful locales of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, and the book will offer Live Betting of both the Gildan New Mexico and Famous Idaho Potato Bowls.
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It's a matchup of 7-5 teams in New Mexico as Nevada of the Mountain West faces Arizona of the Pac -12. It's the first bowl game for Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez since his Michigan Wolverines suffered the worst bowl loss in school history, 52-14 to Mississippi State in the January 1, 2011, Gator Bowl. Rich Rod was fired soon after and spent last season in the TV booth before Arizona came calling. He had led West Virginia to three-straight bowl wins before leaving for Ann Arbor.
Arizona is currently a 9.5-point favorite with the total at 75.5 in a game that features the top two rushers in the nation in average yards per game: Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey (146.4) and Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson (141.9). Those two combined for 42 rushing touchdowns. Both schools also have dual-threat quarterbacks in the Wolf Pack's Cody Fajardo (2,590 yards passing with 17 TDs; 981 rushing yards, 11 TDs) and Wildcats' Matt Scott (3,238 yards passing, 24 TDs; 485 yards rushing, 5 TDs).
The Wolfpack ranks No. 7 nationally in rushing (260.0 ypg) and averages 37.0 points per game, while Arizona is No. 15 in rushing (230.4 ypg) and puts up 37.3 points per game. The offenses should have a field day because both Nevada and Arizona rank near the bottom of their conferences in rushing defense. In fact, both defenses allow more than 32 points and 430 yards of total offense. The first bowl game of the season has the potential to be the most high-scoring of them all.
Arizona and Nevada haven't played since 1941. It's the first New Mexico Bowl for any Pac-12 team, while Nevada won this bowl in 2007. These schools didn't have a common opponent this year, although Nevada did beat Pac-12 team Cal in its season opener. The Wolf Pack didn't beat a team that finished the season with a winning record, while all but one of Arizona's losses came to ranked teams. It also upset two ranked clubs (at the time): Oklahoma State and USC.
Nevada has covered just one of its past eight games overall and has failed to cover its past five bowl games. The over is 7-1 in Arizona's past eight games overall.
*-Toledo versus No. 18 Utah State (-10, 58): It's the second Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in a row for Utah State, the WAC champion, as it faces Mid-American Conference team Toledo on the blue turf in Boise.
Utah State (10-2) finished its best season ever unbeaten in the WAC - which dissolves as a football conference after this season - for its first outright conference title in 76 years. This is the first time in 40 years the Aggies have been to back-to-back bowls. Last year they lost to MAC team Ohio 24-23. USU coach Gary Andersen is a rising star in the business, and he turned down reported interest from Kentucky, Colorado and California. The Aggies' only two losses were by a combined five points at Wisconsin and BYU. This program won six or more games in only three seasons from 1981-2010.
Running back Kerwynn Williams leads a rushing attack that is sixth in the nation and Williams leads the team with 1,277 rushing yards on 200 carries (106.4 ypg) with 12 touchdowns. He also leads the team with 43 catches for 663 yards and five touchdowns. Utah State's defense ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense (15.4 ppg) and 15th in total. In a crazy statistic, Utah State has outscored opponents 131-6 this season in the opening quarter. It is the only school not to allow a first-quarter touchdown.
Toledo (9-3) is in a bowl game for the third-straight year under first-year coach Matt Campbell, who took over before last year's bowl game when Tim Beckman left for the Illinois job. Toledo has an explosive offense that ranks No. 8 in points (42.2 ppg) and No. 17 in rushing (213.6 per game). Running back David Fluellen is the star, ranking No. 8 nationally in rushing by averaging 132.7 ypg. He missed Toledo's regular-season finale against Akron but will play Saturday. Starting QB Terrance Owens also missed that game but is expected to play.
Toledo and Utah State have never met and didn't have any common opponents this season. The Rockets did beat a ranked Cincinnati team earlier in the year and pushed Arizona to overtime in the season opener in Tucson. The total has gone under in Toledo's past five games overall. USU's best wins were versus San Jose State (in which the Aggies had a school-record 13 sacks) and at ranked Louisiana Tech. The Aggies had the best NCAA ATS record of any team this season at 10-1-1.
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