Two teams that once appeared to be almost definitively headed toward berths in the four-team College Football Playoff will clash when the 11th-ranked Washington Huskies and the Fiesta Bowl betting odds favorite Penn State Nittany Lions square off at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday, December 30, 2017, 4:00 PM ET.
Both teams will look to go finish their respective 2017 campaigns on a positive note as they bring multiple-game winning streaks into this intriguing bowl game showdown. Now, let’s find out which team is offering the best value against their NCAAF betting lines in this intriguing affair.
Nittany Lions (10-2) vs. Huskies (10-2) 2017 Fiesta Bowl Betting Analysis
— PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (@Fiesta_Bowl) 27 de diciembre de 2017
- When: Saturday, December 30, 2017, 4:00 PM ET
- Where: University of Phoenix Stadium
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: 93.5 FM (Penn State) / 97.7 FM (Washington)
- Live Stream: Watch ESPN
- Fiesta Bowl Betting Odds: Penn State Nittany Lions -2 (Over/Under at 55 points)
- Clear: 23°C/74°F
- Humidity: 12%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Cloud Cover: 0%
- Wind: 3 mph SSW
- Stadium Type: Retractable
- Home: Washington 7-0 / Penn State 7-0
- Away: Washington 3-2 / Penn State 3-2
- ATS: Washington 7-5 / Penn State 7-4-1
- Over/Under: Washington 5-6 / Penn State 6-6
Why consider the Huskies Fiesta Bowl Betting Odds?
Why bet on the Huskies in this contest? Because they are pretty elite on both sides of the ball and have two explosive Heisman trophy-caliber stars!
Washington (7-5 ATS) had a perfect home season and reached No. 5 in the AP Top 25 Poll before an upset loss at Arizona State derailed their chances of reaching the CFP for the second straight season. The Huskies won two straight and four of their final five regular games and beat the hell out of Washington State 41-14 in its finale. The Huskies put up a fantastic 36.9 points per game this season (17th) while holding their opponents to just 14.5 points per game defensively (6th).
Quarterback Jake Browning completed a blistering 68.8 percent of his passes for 2,544 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions while running back Myles Gaskin rushed for a team-high 1,282 yards and 19 touchdowns. Browning holds the career touchdown record for Washington with 77 while Gaskin has a school-record 43 rushing touchdowns and 47 total touchdowns.
All-American receiver/kick returner Dante Pettis has 62 receptions for 721 yards and seven touchdowns. He had four punt returns for touchdown this season to set the NCAA Division I career record with nine. he’s expected to play in this contest after suffering an ankle injury in the regular-season finale against Washington State.
“Very explosive player for us, our best receiver,” Browning said of Pettis.
Head coach Chris Petersen said his team was excited about playing in this year’s Fiesta Bow – until they found out who their opponent was.
“When we heard we were coming back, there was a lot of jumping around and smiling faces … until we found out it was Penn State,” Petersen said.
Why consider the Nittany Lions Fiesta Bowl Betting Odds?
Why bet on the Nittany Lions (7-4 ATS) in this contest? For the exact same reasons that I stated about Washington. Penn State is elite on both sides of the ball and they too, have a pair of Heisman Trophy-caliber stars.
Penn State needed one defensive stop against Ohio State and one scoring drive against Michigan State for an unbeaten season and accompanying berth in the college football playoff, but they didn’t get them in suffering consecutive losses against the Buckeyes (39-38) and Spartans (27-24) as their playoff hopes crashed and burned.
“You know, I guess for us, we try not to really think about it that way,” Franklin said of Penn State’s close calls. “Obviously there’s a lot of outside noise with fans and media about those types of things. Preseason rankings, midseason rankings don’t really matter. It’s where you end up at the end of the season.”
Still, Penn State won three straight to close out the regular season including their 66-3 out of Maryland in their finale on Nov. 25. The Nittany Lions average 41.6 points per game while limiting the opposition to just 15.6 points per game defensively to finish an identical seventh in both categories.
Quarterback Trace McSorley passed for 3,228 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions while running back Saquon Barkley was a superstar dual threat this season by rushing for 1,134 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding 594 receiving yards and three touchdowns and adding in 426 return yards and two scores. Barkley had a school-record 348 all-purpose yards and career-high 211 yards rushing in a 21-19 victory over Iowa this season.
“I cannot imagine that there’s a better player in all of college football,” Franklin said after the Iowa game.
Expert Analysis and Prediction
I really like both teams in this matchup and picked both to reach the four-team CFP earlier this season. Having said that, I think the outcome for the 2017 Fiesta Bowl looks like a field goal finishes more than anything else. Each team has scored at least 30 points 10 times this season and again, are pretty damned elite on both sides of the ball.
Having said that, I’m going to urge you to back the Penn State Nittany Lions to get the narrow win and ATS cover because I believe Saquon Barkley will be the best player on the field in this contest and Penn State’s more powerful defensive line will pressure Jake Browning into at least one costly turnover.
I know Washington is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record but the Huskies are also just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Penn State has gone a consistent 16-4-2 ATS in their last 22 games overall and 9-2-2 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record. I’m going with the Nittany Lions to get the win in this must-see Fiesta Bowl matchup, that I genuinely believe is worthy of being a CFP semifinal showdown!
Fiesta Bowl Betting Pick: Penn State Nittany Lions -2