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Sun Bowl Picks & Odds: Arizona State Looks to Notch First Win ATS as Favorite

Sun Bowl in El Paso
Arizona State looks to dispatch of a dilapidated Florida State team in the Sun Bowl. Photo by Visit El Paso (Flickr)
  • Arizona State is a 4-point favorite against Florida State in the 2019 Sun Bowl
  • The Sun Devils lost 4 of their last 6 games, and are 0-6 ATS as a favorite
  • The Seminoles will be coached by interim head man Odell Haggins after the firing of Willie Taggart

After up-and-down seasons in 2019 the Seminoles and the Sun Devils are set to meet in the first edition of newly renamed Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

Each team is looking to grab a victory and momentum heading into 2020, and the Florida State vs Arizona State odds have Herm Edwards’ squad listed as a 4-point favorite.

Florida State vs Arizona State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Florida State Seminoles +4 (-105) +165 O 54 (-110)
Arizona State Sun Devils -4 (-115) -190 U 54 (-110)

Odds taken Dec. 20th

Seminoles Rallying for Haggins

The Seminoles parted ways with head coach Willie Taggart after a 6-6 finish, so Odell Haggins will be the interim man for this Sun Bowl contest. He’s served in this role before, taking home a 42-13 victory over Southern Miss in the 2017 Independence Bowl after the departure of Jimbo Fisher. 

Florida State will be missing some key players for this matchup. Running back Cam Akers, who accounted for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns, elected to skip this game in lieu of beginning his preparations for the NFL Draft. Linebacker Dontavious Jackson and quarterback Alex Hornibrook have departed as well, and backup RB Khalan Laborn will be out after undergoing knee surgery.

James Blackman will have the reigns of the offense after a pedestrian season. He completed 63.9% of his throws, and racked up 2,095 yards along with a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 16-7. 

On the outside, Tamorrion Terry had a breakout year, catching 51 balls for 1,023 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Seminole defense struggled mightily this season. They ranked 71st nationally in scoring defense (28.5 points per game), 99th nationally in total defense (436 yards per game), and 91st nationally in opponents third-down percentage (41.8%). 

The bright spot on the unit was Hamsah Nasirildeen, who compiled 101 tackles, and added 3 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, and a sack.

Seven Win Sun Devils

Arizona State finished with a modest 7-5 record in 2019, and lost 4 of their last 6 games. However, in the penultimate week of the regular season, they pulled off a massive upset, taking down #6 Oregon by a score of 31-28.

Eno Benjamin was the star for the Sun Devils this season. He racked up 1,083 yards on the ground, and added 10 rushing touchdowns as well. 

Brandon Aiyuk was a huge playmaker as well, catching 8 touchdown passes and accounting for 1,192 yards. 

Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, the individual success of those two players didn’t translate to overall offensive success. Arizona State finished just 94th nationally in scoring offense (25.2 points per game), and 88th nationally in total offense (379.6 yards per game).

The defense was the unit that shined in 2019. They ranked 22nd nationally against the run (116.8 yards per game), as well as 8th nationally in passes defended per game (5.42) and 41st nationally in scoring defense (23.1 points per game).

Jack Jones was the anchor in the back end, leading the team in both interceptions (3) and passes defended (13).

Jermayne Lole and Khaylan Kearse-Thomas were the teams leading pass rushers, with 5 and 4.5 sacks respectively.

What’s the Best Bet?

This is a contest that should see plenty of action. In all four of Florida State’s non-conference matchups, the total finished over.

Additionally, the scoring was at a high volume towards the end of the year for Arizona State. In 4 of their last 5 games, the Sun Devils scored 30+ points. They also gave up 28+ points in 2 of their last 3 matchups.

The total sits at 54 in this game, and the over is the way to go for the Sun Bowl.

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