Houston vs San Diego Las Vegas Bowl Prediction, 12-17-2016 – Oddsboard.com
2016 Las Vegas Bowl Prediction
Houston Cougars (9-3) vs San Diego State Aztecs (10-3)
Thursday December 1st, 8:00pm EST
Game Preview, Total Prediction and Odds
Las Vegas Bowl Odds: San Diego Aztecs +3, 55
The 2016 Las Vegas Bowl matches up the Houston Cougars vs San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday December 17 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oddsmakers have the Cougars favored by -3 points with the total currently sitting at 55 at the time of this release.
Houston kicked off the 2016 football season with a program changing win over Oklahoma as +13 point underdogs. They followed by winning 5 straight games to go 6-0 to start the season and a top 10 ranking. A tough loss to Navy on October 8th was followed by another bad loss to SMU two weeks later. The Cougars bounced back to win three straight including a win over Louisville but they ended the season on a loss to Memphis.
Houston averaged 38.0 PPG on 459.2 total yards per game (301.9 passing, 157.3 rushing). Offensively, the Cougars were led by duel-threat QB Greg Ward Jr. who accounted for 31 total TD’s on the season.
Defensively the Cougars conceded 22.6 PPG which ranked them 27th in D1, 325 yards per game ranking them 14th and their rushing defense has been stout allowing a mere 97.9 RPG ranking them 3rd in the nation.
One of the biggest losses to this Houston football team heading into the Las Vegas Bowl is head coach Todd Herman left to take over the Texas Longhorns program and will not be coaching this team. We’ll see how this team responds but it’s always tough for teams to play bowl games without coaches that were there for them all season, often times, recruited these players. It will be an adjustment to say the least.
Cougars Betting Trends
- The Cougars are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games
- Under is 4-0 in Cougars last 4 games following a ATS loss
San Diego State finished the regular season with 10 wins and repeated as Mountain West Champions. San Diego State looked unstoppable for the majority of the season with a strong rushing attack and solid defense, however, did struggle at the end of the regular season with losses at Wyoming and at home against Colorado State. However, they managed a win over Wyoming, 27-24, in the Mountain West Conference Championship to secure the Las Vegas Bowl.
The Aztecs averaged 273.3 rushing yards per game which ranked them 7th in the country. San Diego State averaged 35.3 PPG on 419.1 total yards per game (145.8 passing, 273.3 rushing). The Aztecs were led by RB Donnel Pumphrey who had 16 rushing TD’s on the season while averaging 155.2 rushingYPG, Rashaad Penny 76.5 YPG, 11 TD and Juwan Washington, 33.3 YPG, 5 TD.
Defensively, San Diego State is allowing their opponents to average 21.0 PPG on 320.2 total yards per game (208.2 passing, 111.9 rushing). The Aztecs forced 25 turnovers on the season and finished the season with a turnover margin of +10. They will face their toughest QB, Greg Ward Jr, that they have defended all season.
Aztecs Betting Trends
- 6-6-1 ATS on the season
- 0-3 ATS the L3 games
- Aztecs are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- Over is 4-0 in Aztecs last 4 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game
Houston vs San Diego State Pick & Prediction
This is one of the first games in the Bowl season but it could be one of the best. San Diego State hasn’t played the competition that the Cougars have faced in 2016 but they are a solid team that repeated as Mountain West Conference Champs.
There are going to be lots of explosive players on the field so even though the defenses are solid we should see some big plays. Mindset will be critical on the Houston side. I always look underdog first in the bowl games. In this case I like a lot of what I see with the Aztecs. Another big concern is the off field distractions that Houston has faced with their head coach. Do the student athletes feel they are playing for something or do they feel abandoned? It’s a tough spot to play in and it will take pride to overcome these feelings. I think this will be a close game but there is something about underdogs in these games that are intriguing. The player to watch here is RB Donnel Pumphrey who will end with a 2,000 yard season and is worth the price of admission. If he has a big game so do the Aztecs. I’m taking the Aztecs and the +3 points to pull out the upset.