Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Close Proximity Calls for Utah St. -6.5 as The Pick vs. Akron

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, December 12, 2015 9:48 PM GMT

Our analyst takes an early look at the bowl matchup between Akron and Utah State. Join us in reading this insightful betting preview article that concludes with his college football pick.

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College Football Pick: Utah State -6.5 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Akron (7-5) and Utah State (6-6) will square off in the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Tuesday 12/22. The opening kickoff at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho is slated for 3:30 PM ET. Current (12/12) college football odds indicate that Utah State is a 6.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 48.5. According to my college football 4D handicapping software that dates back to 1980, this will be the first meeting between these schools on the gridiron over that 36 season span.

 

The Skinny on Akron
Akron has failed to beat any team with a winning record this season. Their seven victories came against opponents with cumulative records of 20-62 (.244).  Five of the seven wins were versus foes that ended the 20105 campaign with 3 wins or less. During their five losses this year, the Zips scored 12 points or less in each of those contests. On some positive notes, Akron ended the regular season by going 4-0 SU&ATS in their final four games, and won by an average of 13.5 points per contest. The Zips defense has been fairly stout, allowing 21.5 points and 328.5 yards per game. They were especially good against the run, holding opponents to a mere 90 yards rushing per contest.

 

Utah State Aggies
The Utah State football program has established a winning tradition in recent years under former head coach Gary Anderson, and Mark Wells who currently roams the sidelines. However, they went through a tough 2015 campaign that saw them post just a .500 winning percentage, and lose four of their last six regular season games. The highlight of their season came during a 52-26 home win over then nationally ranked Boise State. However, they finished the regular season with an embarrassing 51-28 loss to BYU as a 3.0 point home underdog.

Check Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Pick

Final Thoughts and Pick
Utah State has by far played the tougher schedule compared to Akron, and this bowl contest will be played in relatively close proximity (305 miles) to their campus. On the other hand, their bowl opponent (Akron) needs to travel across two time zones, and their trip to Boise, Idaho will entail a 2,047 mile journey. The Zips have a somewhat small fan base to begin with, and it’s highly unlikely even their most ardent followers will make this long trek for what’s considered to be a ho-hum bowl matchup. The Zips defense is good enough to keep them in this game for awhile, but they won’t be able to generate enough offense, and that will ultimately be the difference. I’m siding with the favorite for one of my college football picks.