Nevada, Arizona clash!
December 12, 2012
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New Mexico Bowl Preview
Nevada vs. Arizona (-10, 75.5)
This weekend brings the first college football bowl games of the season as Nevada and Arizona get it going on Saturday. Both teams come into this game with identical 7-5 straight up records and equally porous defenses. Nevada is the better defensive unit of the two at 89th in the country in total yards allowed per game (431), allowing 32.5 points per contest. Arizona is ranked 120th in the nation allowing 485 yards a contest and giving up 34.2 points a game. It is because of those brutal defenses that neither of these teams won more than seven games this year and open up the Bowl season.
Nevada’s defense did take some positive strides in their final two games, not allowing more than 27 points against as they beat New Mexico and lost to Boise State. In fact, that game vs. New Mexico was in this very same stadium so that in itself gives them a bit of an edge in terms of how comfortable the players will be here. They nearly rallied for a comeback win in that Boise State game and to end the season on a high note would have been great for this Wolfpack team. Bettors may be scared off the fact that they went 1-4 both SU and ATS down the stretch and were a money-burning 3-9 ATS on the year overall but two of those three wins came when they were dogged. In fact, they were 2-1 ATS this year as ‘dogs and a perfect 2-0 when getting more than a FG. In a game where it will likely end up that the team with the ball last wins, 10 points is a lot to give up.
Arizona’s defense was their Achilles Heel all year and if they could have gotten a few more stops, they would’ve had a few more wins and been playing a bowl game a lot later this holiday season. They stumbled vs. hated rival Arizona State in their finale as small favorites and were 1-4 ATS this year as favorites against Division I schools. The only other time they were laying double digit points was in the season opener vs. Toledo and they needed OT to win 24-17. Defensively they have imploded all season, but especially in the final five games as they allowed a total of 198 points in those contests for an average of nearly 40 per game (39.6).
To put it frankly, Arizona has not a team you can trust laying points all season, let alone double digits. Yes, Nevada’s defense may be bad and Arizona will score plenty, but the Wildcats defense is even worse and will let Nevada hang around all day.
Take the points with Nevada in this game that should likely sail “over” as well.