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A rare bowl bet against a service academy

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

December 25, 2019 05:52 PM
Anthony Gordon has led Washington State to a nation's best 443.3 passing yards per game.
© Imagn

Washington State faces Air Force in the Cheez-It Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix in the nightcap of Friday’s bowl lineup (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).

This game certainly offers a difference in styles as Air Force is expected to run the ball up the Wazzu as it averages 292.5 rushing yards per game (No. 3 in the nation) while WSU allows 170 rushing yards per game. However, Washington State counters with 443.3 passing yards per game (No. 1 in the nation) behind Mike Leach’s latest protégé, Anthony Gordon (71.87% completions, 5,228 yards, 45 TDs).

I usually don’t like to bet against the service academies since they can always be counted on to give a top effort, but I like Washington State’s chances to spring the mild upset. This is 2019, so I’ll trust the passing offense to keep up in what should be a shootout (the Over/Under has been bet up to 69 points after opening around 67).

Besides, while Air Force’s 10-2 record is impressive, it’s probably the main reason why the Falcons are favored. Air Force’s only win over a Power 5 team was 30-23 in OT over five-win Colorado, a team that Washington State routed 41-10. Frankly, I think the wrong team is favored so I’ll take whatever points are available, though also looking to be the money line (around 120 as of Thursday afternoon).

THE PLAY: Washington State plus 3.


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