For the first time, there was the equivalent of a bowl game merger when Miami pulled out of the Sun Bowl and Boise State withdrew from the Arizona Bowl, prompting its cancellation when Central Michigan agreed to replace Miami to face Washington State. While many fans were looking forward to the original Sun Bowl matchup, pitting 8-4 Central Michigan from the MAC versus 7-5 Washington State could actually be a more compelling contest. Let’s take a closer look at the upcoming match between Central Michigan and Washington State so you can bet against the College Football Bowl odds.
Central Michigan Chippewas Vs Washington State Cougars Betting Analysis – Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Odds
Sun Bowl Betting Lines and Odds from MyBookie Online Sportsbook
- Spread: Central Michigan +7.5 (-115), Washington State -7.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: Central Michigan +235, Washington State -290
- Total: 57.5 (-110 o/u)
Central Michigan Chippewas Betting Preview
Central Michigan running back Lew Nichols led the FBS in rushing, gaining 1710 yards on the ground while also picking up 300 receiving yards with 17 total touchdowns with an average of 5.5 yards per rushing attempt that led Central Michigan to 33 points a game. The Chippewas come into the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on a four-game winning streak, outscoring opponents by 19 points a game during that stretch.
With an average of 451 total yards per game, Central Michigan operates a potent offensive attack that was able to overcome a defense that allowed 394 yards per contest, but held opponents to 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. Quarterback Daniel Richardson is a good complement to Nichols, tossing 23 touchdowns and throwing just five interceptions on the season.
Washington State Cougars Betting Preview
The Cougars had a mid-season coaching change after a 4-3 start when Nick Rolovich was fired for failing to follow Covid-19 protocols and was replaced by defensive coordinator Jake Dickert, who led the Cougars to three wins in their final five games. Washington State lost three of their first four contests but was able to recover by recording victories in six of their final eight contests to finish with a 6-3 Pac-12 record.
Washington State has a glaring weakness that will be a big vulnerability when facing the nation’s leading rusher, allowing opponents to rush for 160 yards a game and 4.7 yards per attempt. The Cougars were able to limit opposing quarterbacks to less than 220 yards and a total of 16 touchdowns through the air, but that might not matter against a team that inflicts most of their damage on the ground.
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Prediction and Pick
It seems like a knee-jerk reaction for oddsmakers to automatically make a Power Five team a touchdown favorite over an opponent from a Group of Five conference, regardless of their overall records or the details of their performances. Both of these teams have exemplary records against the spread, with Washington State 4-1 as a favorite and Central Michigan is 3-1 as an underdog.
With Lew Nichols in the backfield, Central Michigan will pose a serious threat to a Washington State defense that has been vulnerable against the run in a schedule that hasn’t presented any player who has close to the talent of Nichols. Take the Chippewas to at least cover the spread by successfully running the ball on the Cougars.
Pick: Central Michigan +7.5