The first batch of bowl games quite often feature teams that are not really on the radar of anyone but the most die-hard college football fans. We get to break the mold a little bit this weekend with what looks to be a very decent match-up at the Las Vegas Bowl. The Houston Cougars and the San Diego Aztecs both finished the season at 9-3, and both spent a little bit of time in the top 25 during the regular season. While both teams are sure to be somewhat happy with their overall record on the year, they are also both probably looking at this season as a bit of a missed opportunity. The Cougars were a sexy pick for many college football fans, especially after getting things rolling with a big win over Oklahoma. They ended up faltering halfway through the season, and head coach Tom Herman, who did a masterful job in Houston, has now moved on to pastures new. This will be an opportunity for this group of players to impress Coach Todd Orlando, as the Cougars come in as a 3.5-point betting odds favorite.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Week 17 College Football Free Picks: Cougars Vs Aztecs
When: Saturday, December 17 at 3:30 PM EST
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
Live Stream: ABC Live Stream
NCAAF Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Houston Cougars
Houston Cougars can do some damage to the Aztecs by putting together the sort of balanced attack that led them to 37.8 PPG average this season. They will be led by QB Greg Ward Jr. who not only completed over 67% of his passes, but who also led the team in rushing. He is a dual threat back there, but he is not the only offensive weapon that San Diego State needs to worry about. If they focus too much attention on the QB, he will light them up in the secondary. The biggest concern for bettors looking at playing Houston in this one is that they have not been overly convincing as a favorite this season, going just 3-6 ATS.
Why bet on the San Diego State Aztecs
While the Cougars offense is sure to get a lot of praise in the lead up to this game, we shouldn’t forget that the Aztecs are no slouches either, averaging 35.5 PPG this season. The Aztecs finished at 9-3, but added one more win to their resume by beating the Wyoming Cowboys in the Mountain West Championship Game. That win was huge in a couple of ways. Not only did they get to hoist the conference crown, they got to break up a 2-game losing skid that could have had them coming into this one on a real downer had it been extended to 3. This will be the first time that the Aztecs have come into a game as the underdog this season.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
These two teams have met twice before, with Houston winning both, but those games were quite some time ago, and have no real bearing here. Two good offensive teams on display here, but I believe the Cougars have more weapons to turn to, which will be the difference.