2013 Las Vegas Bowl: Is Fresno State the Underdog Play of the Weekend? Print
Written by TJ Pemberton   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 10:00

Is Fresno State a great value bet?

las vegas bowl games predictions fresno state usc trojans

LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - With the first weekend of Bowl Games quickly approaching we first look at the numbers to see if anything jumps off the board.

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Right away I look at this Fresno St. team getting +7 points. The Bulldogs are a live dog and lets see why.

As a football program, Fresno State has been knocking on the door for quite some time now, and this is finally their chance to break through on the big stage. Despite being the only ranked team in this matchup the Bulldogs find themselves as fairly large underdogs, a position that they know all too well. The Trojans have been hot and cold this season, and are in a difficult spot as they prepare for this game with interim coach Clay Helton. Ed Orgeron led the Trojans to six of their nine victories this season, but he won’t be on the sidelines for the Las Vegas Bowl as the team continues their search for a new head coach.

The USC coaching staff is in limbo and that’s a distraction, but the biggest threat to USC’s chances is FSU quarterback, Derek Carr. The senior quarterback has tossed 48 touchdowns this season against just seven interceptions, and is widely regarded as one of the most talented quarterback prospects in college football. Playing in the Mountain West Conference, Carr and his teammates haven’t gotten the national attention that they deserve. The team hasn’t faced a marquee opponent yet this season, making this Carr’s last chance as a Bulldog to make a big statement before the draft.

This isn’t the USC we’re used to seeing, mainly offensively. The Trojans’ didn’t feature a 1000-yard receiver or rusher on offense this season, and their quarterback, Cody Kessler, threw just 16 touchdown’s. USC’s defense improved by leaps and bounds as the season progressed, but they simply don’t have the weapons to keep up with Derek Carr and the Bulldogs.

Key Trends:

  • Trojans are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games.
  • Bulldogs are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.

Play on Fresno St +7 points.

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