Wisconsin Badgers vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Pick – Las Vegas Bowl December 30, 2021

The Wisconsin Badgers representing the Big Ten and Arizona State Sun Devils of the Pac-12 meet at Allegiant Stadium for the Las Vegas Bowl. This is a new era of the Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium.

The game has been moved from Sam Boyd Stadium to the new Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV Rebels. Before the change, the Las Vegas Bowl was a lower-tier bowl featuring a Mountain West team.

It is now one of the more attractive bowls outside of the New Year’s Six. I’m not putting Wisconsin and Arizona State up against Oklahoma and Oregon in the Alamo Bowl, though this is certainly better than seeing Boise State in Las Vegas again.

Wisconsin played for a spot in the Big Ten Championship against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in their regular season schedule finale. That was a huge misfire from the Badgers.

They were 7-point favorites and lost straight up by 23-13. Minnesota beat the Badgers at their own game. The Gophers like to do the same as Wisconsin, and they were just better at playing smashmouth football.

The Las Vegas Bowl just isn’t what they had in mind opening the season, though. It was a disappointing campaign for the Badgers, but still a respectable year at 8-4.

Expectations were high for quarterback Graham Mertz. Mertz failed to live up to expectations for the Badgers in 2021.

He did nothing to get the attention of NFL scouts and looked like a guy that should be on the bench more than not.

It’s hard to mess things up with an offensive line and running game like Wisconsin, but Mertz fell short in big spots. Mertz will be expected to take a massive leap next year, and finishing off 2021 strong would be nice.

Arizona State did the same as Wisconsin at 8-4 this season. They won the games they should have won, though they lost the big ones against Utah, Washington State, BYU, and Oregon State. The Sun Devils covered their expectations with wins against the likes of Arizona, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, and USC.

Arizona State has taken on a new identity under head coach Herm Edwards. The Sun Devils aren’t that far off from Big Ten teams, in the sense that they emphasize defense and a strong run game. You have to be tough and want to hit to play for Edwards. This is a pretty good matchup in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Head below for our free Wisconsin vs Arizona State Las Vegas Bowl pick on December 30, 2021.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Las Vegas Bowl Betting Odds and Team Statistics:

The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Wisconsin Badgers -6 (-110) -230 Over 41 (-110)
Arizona State Sun Devils +6 (-110) +190 Under 41 (-110)
Team Data Wisconsin Badgers Arizona State Sun Devils
Overall Record 8-4 8-4
ATS Record 6-6-0 5-7-0
Away/Home Record NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
ATS Away/Home NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
Points Per Game 25.8 29.7
Points Against Per Game 16.4 20.9
Passing Yards Per Game 162.1 197.6
Rushing Yards Per Game 215.3 205.8

Wisconsin vs. Arizona State Prediction:

Wisconsin has a serious strength of schedule edge going into the Las Vegas Bowl. They had a top-10 strength of schedule, ranked the seventh most difficult schedule.

Wisconsin’s schedule included Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Iowa. Conversely, Arizona State had the 59th strength of schedule in the country. Besides Utah, they didn’t really see any tough opponent.

Arizona State avoided Oregon on the schedule, so BYU and Utah are the only ranked teams they played, both losses. The Sun Devils had a layup against Arizona to end the regular season and looked mediocre in a 38-15 win as 20-point favorites.

For Wisconsin, if they can slow down Jayden Daniels, they will be in business. Arizona State doesn’t throw the ball well; they’re 96th with 197.6 passing yards per game. However, Daniels is a quarterback that can run well.

His arm has been a major disappointment. Daniels passed for 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on 66.4% completions. He’s gained 670 yards and 6 touchdowns on 5.6 yards per carry, though, so the Badgers will have to be ready for him to take off and run.

Arizona State is 23rd in the FBS with 205.8 rushing yards per game. This isn’t the Sun Devils of old before Herm Edwards was hired. It would be nice if Daniels was more of a passer because they’ll need his arm against Wisconsin.


Wisconsin Badgers vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Betting Trends:

Wisconsin

  • 5-2 ATS in their previous seven bowl games
  • 4-2 ATS in their previous six games
  • 7-1 overall in their previous eight games
  • 2-7 ATS in their previous nine games after a loss
  • OVER is 4-1 in their previous five games as a betting favorite

Arizona State

  • 1-5 ATS in their previous six games as an underdog
  • 3-9 ATS in their previous 12 games at a neutral field
  • 2-7 ATS in their previous nine games versus a non-conferece team
  • 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games after a win
  • 0-8 ATS in their previous eight games on a Thursday

The Badgers are first in the nation, with 241.4 yards allowed per game. They don’t give up much room, and Arizona State should find it tough to generate offense.

Wisconsin is strong against the pass and run, excelling on the ground, with only 65.8 rushing yards allowed per game. Arizona State has to get Daniels in space to use his legs, but it’s going to be tough.

When Daniels has to drop back, he’s passing into the seventh-best secondary in the nation with 175.6 yards allowed through the air per game. The Las Vegas Bowl likely will not go well for the Arizona State offense.

The Sun Devils’ should make some plays, but the Wisconsin ground game will be too much to hold back in the second half. Wisconsin is 16th in the FBS with 215.3 yards per game. It’s going to wear too heavily on Arizona State for 4 quarters.

If you watched the Guaranteed Rate Bowl between West Virginia and Minnesota, you might have already watched a preview of the Las Vegas Bowl. Don’t expect a lot of offense, with the Big Ten school drawing off for a 21-13 or 24-14 win.

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Wisconsin vs. Arizona State Pick
WISCONSIN BADGERS -6
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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