Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Nevada Wolf Pack: Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Dec 13, 2018

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The Arizona Bowl won’t get a ton of attention, since it will end at the same time that the Clemson-Notre Dame playoff semifinal begins in the Cotton bowl, but this is a good matchup which is close to a pick ‘em on the betting line.

December 29, 2018, 1:15 PM ET
Arizona Stadium
Pointspread +1.5 -110
Moneyline +100
Over / Under o +56.5


Betting Action


Pointspread -1.5 -110
Moneyline -120
Over / Under u +56.5


Betting Action


The Nevada Wolf Pack did better than expected this season, going 7-5. That is a compliment but also a veiled criticism, since Nevada had been a much more powerful team a decade ago under a quarterback named Colin Kaepernick. Nevertheless, a lot of people thought head coach Jay Norvell was in over his head after some mediocre stints as an offensive coordinator or assistant coach at Big 12 schools such as Texas. Yet, Norvell has done a decent job of keeping Nevada afloat.

Betting Analysis

Let’s look at how Nevada did in non-conference games this season, since this bowl is a non-conference game. The Wolf Pack crushed Portland State, an FCS team, but then got dominated by Vanderbilt in a 31-point loss. They did beat Oregon State by two points, but the Beavers were the worst team in the Pac-12 this year. Nevada lost to Toledo in a shootout, 63-44. The overall body of work in non-conference games is not convincing.

The Arkansas State Red Wolves were not very convincing, either. They also beat an FCS team, Southeast Missouri State, very handily. They were torn apart by Alabama by 50 – that’s not unique relative to other teams. They did struggle against two bad teams, Tulsa (won 29-20) and UNLV (won 27-20). UNLV, though, is the one common opponent for these teams. Nevada lost to UNLV, 34-29.

Arkansas State Red Wolves

The Red Wolves struggled on defence in the first half of their eight-game Sun Belt schedule. In those first four games, Arkansas State allowed an average of 36 points. The team lost three of those four games and was in danger of missing a bowl game. However, the Red Wolves regrouped in their last four Sun Belt games, winning three of four as their defence allowed an average of 13.5 points per game. The ASU defence is clearly the determinant of how well this team plays. This game will say something about the relative strengths of the Sun Belt and Mountain West Conferences.

Nevada Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack had their best game of the year against Hawaii, cooling off a hot Rainbow Warrior passing attack, 40-22, on October 20. Nevada’s defence was outstanding that night against an offence which had the ability to post huge numbers. Nevada’s defence played reasonably well throughout the Mountain West Conference season, minus the sole exception of the season-ending loss to UNLV. Nevada’s defence did not get destroyed by either Mountain West champion Fresno State (21 points) or MW runner-up Boise State (31 points). This defence did not get shredded. It was able to limit huge plays for the most part. This is a part of why Arkansas State is not a bigger favorite.

Red Wolves vs. Wolf Pack Prediction