Foster Farms Bowl Betting Preview & Pick: Arizona vs. Purdue

Foster Farms Bowl Betting Preview & Pick: Arizona vs. Purdue

Written by on December 26, 2017

Purdue was one of the big success stories this season under first-year coach Jeff Brohm, and he leads the Big Ten’s Boilermakers into Wednesday night’s Foster Farms Bowl on the field of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers against the Pac-12’s Arizona Wildcats. Let’s see which team offers the best value at the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl Odds.

Wildcats vs. Boilermakers Foster Farms Bowl Betting Preview & Pick

  • When: Wednesday, 8:30 PM ET
  • Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
  • TV: Fox
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio: Tunein
  • Foster Farms Bowl Betting Lines: Arizona Wildcats -3 (Over/Under at 66)

Bowl History

This bowl began as the San Francisco Bowl in 2002 and also has been named the Emerald Bowl, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and now Foster Farms Bowl. Beginning with the 2014 season, teams come from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. Last year, Utah beat Indiana in the game 26-14. For a while, it was held at AT&T Park, home of MLB’s Giants but the arrangement of the playing field required both teams to be on the same sideline, separated by a barrier at the 50-yard line. When Levi’s Stadium opened in 2014, the 49ers took charge of the game and it moved there. This matchup marks the first-time Purdue and Arizona will compete in the Bay Area’s annual bowl game, while the Boilermakers are 2-0 all-time against the Wildcats in the regular season.

Why should Arizona be your Foster Farms Bowl Betting Pick?

The Wildcats, under head coach Rich Rodriguez, are 9-10-1 overall in the postseason with their last bowl appearance resulting in a 45-37 victory over Nevada in the 2015 New Mexico Bowl. Rodriguez and Arizona previously played at Levi’s Stadium in the 2014 Pac-12 Football Championship Game. The Wildcats have never played a Big Ten team in a bowl game, while their last matchup with a Big Ten foe was an upset of ninth-ranked Iowa in 2010. In 12 regular season games, the Wildcats scored 502 points, establishing a new school record. The previous high was 496 in 13 games in 2012. Arizona has rushed for 3,893 rushing yards, which is also a new school record. The Wildcats rushed for 3,444 yards in 2013, which was the previous record. The Wildcats have 48 rushing touchdowns. Which leads the country and is a new school record. Arizona enters the Foster Farms Bowl, averaging 41.8 points per game, which ranks sixth in the country and fourth among Power 5 programs. The Wildcats are one of eight teams with more than 65 total touchdowns this season. QB Khalil Tate. Tate was one of the best stories in college football this season and his health is paramount to the Wildcats’ success. Tate, who took over the full-time quarterback duties in the fifth game of the season against Colorado, paced the offense to new heights. The sophomore rushed for 1,353 yards on 133 attempts, averaging an NCAA best 10.2 yards per carry. He had 12 rushing touchdowns and averaged 135.3 yards per game, despite seeing limited action in three games. Tate also threw for 1,289 yards and nine touchdowns, completing 61.4 percent of his passes. Tate was named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press. Redshirt freshman running back J.J. Taylor was named the Co-Freshman Offensive Player of the Year by the Pac-12. He rushed for 828 yards and five touchdowns and added two receiving touchdowns. Senior running back Zach Green has 11 rushing touchdowns this season.

Why should Purdue be your Foster Farms Bowl Betting Pick?

Purdue, bowl eligible for the first time in four years, enters the Foster Farms Bowl with a 9-8 bowl game record. The Boilermakers and Brohm, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, last played in a bowl in 2013 when they lost to Oklahoma State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Quarterback Elijah Sindelar has been a big part of the Boilermakers’ wins over Iowa and Indiana to finish the season. Quarterback David Blough was injured late in the season and is out for the remainder, which means Sindelar has the reins. Prior to Blough’s injury, the Purdue offense used a combination of the two QBs to provide more versatility in the backfield. Blough is a dual-threat quarterback whereas Sindelar is a pro-style quarterback with a strong arm. Purdue comes in as the underdog at the Foster Farms Bowl Betting Odds. The Boilermakers were 4-5 before Sindelar took over as the full-time quarterback and, he was able to lead the team to bowl eligibility. During that stretch, he completed 58.7 percent of his passes on 126 attempts, compiling 764 yards and seven touchdowns with only one interception. The Boilermakers averaged 390.4 yards of total offense (239.5 passing and 150.9 rushing) and 24.2 points per game this year. Eleven players accumulated double-digit reception totals, led by redshirt freshman Jackson Anthrop (44 catches, 391 yards, and five touchdowns) and senior Anthony Mahoungou (34 catches, 570 yards, and six touchdowns). Four running backs led the rushing attack: junior Markell Jones (480 yards, 5.2 average), junior D.J. Knox (460 yards, 5.8 average), sophomore Tario Fuller (261 yards, 6.1 average) and sophomore Richie Worship (257 yards, 4.8 average). Under new co-coordinators Nick Holt and Anthony Poindexter, the Boilermakers had the most improved defense in the country. In 2016, Purdue allowed a school-record average of 38.2 points per game. This year that number dropped to 19.3 points per game. The Boilermakers allowed two touchdowns or fewer in eight games, and they gave up only two second-half touchdowns in five road games. Purdue went from allowing 238.4 rushing yards in 2016 to 133.3 this year, the third-best turnaround nationally.

Game Trends & Expert Prediction

  • Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
  • Boilermakers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.
  • Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
  • Boilermakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in December.
  • Boilermakers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 bowl games.
Purdue has had a nice turnaround season, but Tate is a special quarterback and an early 2018 Heisman contender. Arizona should be your Foster Farms Bowl betting pick.
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