The Washington State Cougars (10-2) face the Iowa State Cyclones (8-4) on Friday night in the 2018 Alamo Bowl from San Antonio. Kickoff is set for 9:00 PM EST on Friday, December 28th at the Alamodome. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Washington State is currently listed as a 4-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 54.5 points.
Alamo Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Washington State vs Iowa State
Iowa State won seven out of their last eight games to finish with a solid 8-4 record during the regular season. The Cyclones got off to a rough start to begin the year, going 1-3 out of the gate before really turning things around in the second half. QB Brock Purdy passed for 1,935 yards and 16 touchdowns while also rushing for 262 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Purdy had a ton of help from star WR Hakeem Butler who racked up a team-leading 51 receptions for 1,126 yards and nine touchdowns. RB David Montgomery led the way on the ground, rushing for 1,092 yards and 12 touchdowns on a team-high 231 carries. Overall, Iowa State averaged 26.8 points per game (81st overall) on 359.2 total yards of offense.
The Cyclones were very strong on the defensive side of the ball during the regular season, allowing opponents to score an average of just 22.5 points per game (36th overall).
Washington State is coming off of a tough 28-15 loss to Washington in the 2018 Apple Cup that cost them an appearance in the Pac-12 title game. The Cougars had won seven straight games heading into the game against the Huskies but couldn’t find a way to get things done in the snow, getting outgained 487-237 in total yardage. QB Gardner Minshew had a monster season, throwing for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns and adding three more on the ground. WR Davontevean Martin was the top target in the receiving game, catching 65 passes for 650 yards and eight touchdowns. On the ground, RB James Williams rushed for 532 yards and 12 touchdowns on 119 carries in 12 games. As a whole, Washington State averaged 38.3 points per game (15th overall) on over 450 total yards of offense.
The Cougars were also well above average on defense for much of the season, giving up 23.1 points per game to opponents (39th overall).
2018 Alamo Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Washington State -4
I think that Washington State offers the best value in this particular matchup for several reasons. While their regular season did end on a sour note, they were playing in a snowstorm against an extremely formidable defense – one that only gave up 15.5 points per game during the year (5th overall). While Iowa State is also above average defensively, the Cougars should have a much easier time moving the ball up and down the field playing in a dome against only the 62nd best pass defense in the nation (228.7 yards per game allowed through the air). Washington State had far and away the best aerial attack of any FBS school during the regular season, averaging a ridiculous 380.0 passing yards per game. I fully expect them to rebound in the Alamo Bowl on Friday night after struggling during a blizzard their last time out.
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The Cyclones are only 1-4 ATS over their last five games in the month of December. They are also just 1-5 ATS in their last six neutral site games and 0-4 ATS over their last four games overall. Washington State is a very solid 10-2 ATS over their last 12 games overall. They were also 4-1 ATS in their five games away from Martin Stadium during the regular season.
While both of these teams have pretty similar defensive numbers, there is no doubt that the Cougars are the vastly superior team on offense – they averaged almost 12 more points per game than Iowa State during the regular season. I know that the Pac-12 was an easier conference to play in than the Big 12 this season, but I still think that Washington State should be able to win this game by a touchdown. It certainly helps that senior defensive back D’Andre Payne may be unable to suit up for the Cyclones in this one, as he recorded 36 tackles, one sack, an INT, and a forced fumble during the regular season. I’m going to lay the four points and side with the favorites in this matchup – give me the Cougars.