The Cactus Bowl is a new one on me. All I know is that this game must take place somewhere in the desert, right? Yes we can assert that much, as this one is one of those baseball stadium game in Arizona which have become popular in recent years. The scene is set at Chase Stadium, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, for West Virginia and Arizona State. There is a bad taste in the mouth from the BIG 12 the last couple days. Notably from the performances of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Both were exposed rather easily, as Clemson rolled and Ole Miss made quick work of the Cowboys. West Virginia will need to come out and play a strong game to avoid another embarrassment against the PAC 12 and Arizona State. It’s kind of hard to get up for the Cactus Bowl after a couple days of big bowl games, but if there is money to be won I don’t care what the bowl is.
I don’t think this matchup is going to make for the worst of games. West Virginia and Arizona State are decent teams, but neither could stay consistent enough week-to-week to have productive seasons. In college football a few off weeks is enough to disrupt an entire season. West Virginia and Arizona State had more than a few off days, so there wasn’t much question that they wouldn’t be playing in a meaningful bowl game.
Note that this is the last bowl game before the National Championship. If you have been getting killed betting the bowls then you’ll just be happy that these games will be over soon. Let’s try and make money off one of these pointless bowl games one last time. The National Championship is January 11th and the start of the NFL playoffs is right around the corner. Big games to come, but it is kind of sad that football will be coming to a conclusion rather soon. I provide my final pick of the bowl season below.
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Cactus Bowl Betting Odds:
Arizona State +2(-110)
vs. West Virginia -2(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Arizona State vs. West Virginia Pick:
Mike Bercovici will take the controls for ASU in this one. He had a pretty nice season for the Sun Devils this year, but a 6-6 record was in no way what they had in plan. A lot of pundits didn’t have a .500 record in the works either for them. They were a fancy pick to reach the college football playoff at the start of the season. It would have been a stretch, but there were plenty of people expecting no less than a 2 or 3 loss season. As it is, Arizona was so up and down they could never find any rhythm. There biggest win on the season was against UCLA, a win that was supposed to put them on a roll. Instead Arizona State lost three straight games following that. The 61-55 loss to Oregon in overtime was gut-wrenching for them. They had their moments though, beating UCLA and Washington were nice wins. As well as beating up on rival Arizona, 52-37.
Arizona State averaged 34 points per game this season to make for a nice offense. They just haven’t been able to get anybody off the field. The Sun Devils have allowed 32.7 points per game. Defending the pass has been difficult for them, giving up 321.7 yards per game in the secondary. West Virginia averaged 33.3 points per game this season. They ran the ball extremely well with 235 yards per game on the ground. There should be some points, I like the OVER 63.5 to conclude bowl season for 2015-16.
PICK: OVER 63.5 POINTS (-110)