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LA Bowl Prediction – Washington State vs Fresno State

If you said a few months ago that the Fresno State Bulldogs would be playing in a postseason game as Mountain West Conference champs few would’ve believed you, not even the Fresno State faithful. The club completed its massive turnaround beating Boise State in the MW title game for its eighth straight victory earning a date with the Pac-12’s Washington State Cougars in the Los Angeles Bowl. Fresno State was buoyed by the return of QB Jake Haener, who tossed 11 scoring passes without being intercepted over the last five games. The Bulldogs are a 3-point favorite on the college football betting line.

The Los Angeles Bowl college football game between the Washington State Cougars and Fresno State Bulldogs will take place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 17, 2022 and will be televised on ABC.

Washington State vs Fresno State Odds

Washington State Cougars +3

Fresno State Bulldogs -3

Over/Under 54.5

Odds Analysis

It’s been a roller coaster season for the Cougs starting with three straight wins, including a 17-14 decision at Wisconsin in Week 2 as a 17.5-point dog. They had won three straight with payouts in four in a row before closing the regular season with a 51-33 loss to rival Washington to finish 7-5 SU and 8-4 ATS. Six of their seven wins came as the favorite on the closing line and the Cougs opened laying 2.5-points. However, plenty of early action on Fresno State forced the spread to jump the fence with Fresno State now favored by a field goal. I guess winning eight consecutive games can make believers in people, and the Bulldogs have done that with an average margin of nearly 19 points. They are also 6-2 ATS in that span with three straight payouts. Fresno State hasn’t had a lot of luck against Pac-12 foes, though, winning just five of their previous 20 meetings.

Washington State Cougars

With plenty of time to stew over the thumping they took against their bitter rivals in the Apple Cup, the Cougars aim to close the season on a positive note. Prior to that 51-33 setback, Wazzou was 3-0 SU and ATS knocking off Stanford and the Arizona schools as the favorite in each game. They won the games they were expected to going 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS when laying points. However, with the roles reversed so were the outcomes. The Cougs were just 1-5 SU and 3-3 ATS as a dog. They are a bit of a mystery in this game hitting the board as the favorite before the betting public moved them to a field goal dog.

It’s easy to see what the Cougs need to do in order to win this game. In all seven victories they held opponents to 20 points or less while allowing an average of 34 points in five losses. They also were beaten by the Pac-12s best with setbacks to USC, Utah, Oregon and Oregon State. It’s not the air raid attack we saw under former coach Mike Leach, but the Cougs have been effective throwing the football. Cameron Ward threw for 322 yards and a pair of scores against Washington and has 10 TD passes with only one interception in the last seven games. Playing against some big totals the UNDER is 6-2 in WSU’s previous eight games.

Fresno State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs snuck up on a lot of people to claim their first Mountain West title since 2018. It was a bleak start to the year with four straight losses following a season opening 35-7 win over FCS Cal Poly. Fresno State was favored by 42.5-points in that game and went 0-5 ATS in that opening stretch of games. That run included a 40-20 setback against Boise State that they avenged just a few weeks ago in the MW title tilt. The Bulldogs are on a massive heater going 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games.

Heaner sparked the offense once he returned from an ankle injury that forced him to miss four games, including the initial contest with Boise State. In six games since returning he’s completed 73.2 percent of his passes averaging nearly 300 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and two interceptions. He hasn’t thrown a pick in his last five games covering 164 pass attempts. And they’ve been stingy on defense allowing just 20.5 points per game and less than 200 yard per game through the air.

Prediction: Fresno State Bulldogs -3 and UNDER 54.5

Washington State vs Fresno State Prediction

You would think a lengthy delay between games would affect the hotter team, and the Bulldogs were on fire at the end of the campaign. They’ve also struggled to beat Pac-12 foes over the years, though it wasn’t from a lack of trying. This appears to be a different Fresno State club and Haener is a difference-maker giving me confidence to back the Bulldogs.

Prediction: Fresno State Bulldogs -3 and UNDER 54.5

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Jake Flynn
Jake Flynn
Senior writer for Writes NBA, NCAA basketball, MLB, UFC and daily fantasy sports articles.

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