Washington State (10-2) is the favorite against Iowa State (8-4) at the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome on Friday (December 28, 2018, 21:00ET).
The spread started at -3.5 points for the Cougars. They’ve gone a tempting 8-1 straight up as favorites this year, and 7-2-0 against the spread. The Cyclones are 2-4 straight up as underdogs, and 4-2-0 against the spread.
This might be Mike Leach’s best Wazzu team yet. It’s amazing what top-level quarterback talent can do for an air raid team.
Graduate transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew put up crazy numbers, and completed 70.6% of his passes this season for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns. Minshew is an efficient quarterback, with a passer rating of 148.4 this season. James Williams gained 1,112 yards from scrimmage and rushed for 12 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
All together, Washington State gained 462.9 yards per game and scored 38.3 points per game. The defense allowed 345.9 yards and 23.1 points per game, while Dominick Silvels led the team with 5 sacks this season.
Iowa State got another year out of Matt Campbell, and he’s once again rumored for the biggest jobs in the country. If he stays Iowa State, the Cyclones will likely get another great year, as going 8-4 and finishing third in the conference undoubtedly is.
The Cyclones offense features quarterback Brock Purdy, who threw for 1,935 yards and 16 TD’s this season. Purdy completed 66.3% of his passes, which works out to a passer rating of 172.7. David Montgomery ran for 552 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
Altogether, Iowa State averaged 359.2 yards per game and 26.8 points. The defense allowed 351.0 yards and 22.5 points per game. JaQuan Bailey recorded 7 sacks this season.
Alamo Bowl Betting Advice
Washington State’s the better team, and I don’t think this line reflects how happy they are to hang a huge number on an opponent in a bowl game. It’s not like Iowa State is unfamiliar with Air Raid offenses, however, playing as they do in the Big 12.