In a matchup pitting the Pac-12 against the Mountain West, the Sun Devils battle the Bulldogs in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday afternoon in Sin City.
College football point spread: The Bulldogs opened as 4.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 38.0-23.8 Bulldogs (College football picks on every game)
Why the Fresno State Bulldogs can cover the spread
Fresno State started 8-1 this season, with its only loss coming against Minnesota out of the Big Ten. The Bulldogs then suffered yet another tough loss to Boise State but won their last two games to finish 7-1 in Mountain West play.
Fresno State then got sweet revenge on the rival Broncos, outlasting them 19-16 in overtime in Boise in the MWC championship game.
The Bulldogs are also playing in a bowl for the second straight season.
Fresno State actually fell down to Boise State 16-13 in the top of OT in that championship game but drove 25 yards in five plays to a game-winning touchdown.
The Bulldogs outgained of nine of their 13 opponents, and out-rushed eight of 13 foes.
ASU started 2-0 this season, including a win over Michigan State, then lost four of its next five games, although each defeat came by exactly seven points.
But the Sun Devils then won four of their last five, including victories over Pac-12 South champion Utah and rival Arizona, to finish 5-4 in Pac-12 play and make a bowl for the second straight season.
Arizona State trailed the Wildcats in their season-ending Territorial Cup battle 40-21 through three quarters then scored the last 20 points of the game to steal the win.
The Sun Devils outgained four of last six opponents and outrushed three of their last five. Arizona State is also 5-2 ATS this season as an underdog on the betting line.
ASU will play this bowl without leading receiver N’Keal Harry, who’s opting out for the NFL draft. Also, in games against common opponents this season, Fresno State swept UCLA and San Diego State, while the Sun Devils beat the Bruins but lost to the Aztecs.
Finally, the Mountain West entrant would love nothing more than to knock off an outfit from the Pac-12. The smart money here bets the Bulldogs.
Arizona State is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games in December.
Arizona State is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games against the Mountain West.
Fresno State is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 games.