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Poinsettia Bowl Betting Tips – Former Conference Foes Clash In Poinsettia Bowl

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/6/2012 5:52:30 PM

The Brigham Young Cougars do not like the San Diego State Aztecs, dating to their days in the Mountain West Conference. Two schools will relish the chance to get back at each other.

2012 Poinsettia Bowl –
Brigham Young Cougars vs. San Diego State Aztecs – Thursday, December 20      
Sport betting line: Brigham Young -3

Why Brigham Young Will Win

This game might not be as unpredictable as any of several online casino games, but it still offers a considerable degree of uncertainty. You might think that San Diego State – playing in its home stadium – should be favored, but BYU is the favorite for a reason.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall and BYU probably had higher expectations coming into 2012, but another bowl trip to end the season is always a nice reward. BYU has proven to be one of the nation’s top defenses this season with a dominant group of 11 that ranks in the top ten against the pass and the run. As the owner of the No. 3 defense in all of college football, the Cougars have been the backbone of a team that is a few breaks here or there from possibly being a 10-win team.

The Cougars have been phenomenal at getting off the field on third down and have the best red zone defense in all of college football by a slight to modest margin over fellow powerhouse Notre Dame. As a sign of how stout their defense has been, the Cougars have trailed by only seven points or more in just three games this past season. The Cougars have had relatively solid special teams most of the year, with some of the best net punt coverage in the country.

BYU has often forced opposing offenses to sustain long drives against the defense mentioned above. Headed to the Poinsettia Bowl, BYU will present a tough game to San Diego State. The Aztecs will have to bring their best stuff to the ballpark on the offensive side of the ball.

Why San Diego State Will Win

When football betting wizards size up this contest, they will note that San Diego State's fearless coaching and overachiever's mentality will give the Aztecs a real shot at the Cougars.

Head coach Rocky Long and his San Diego State team did what most figured was an impossibility before the season when the Aztecs went to Boise State and won, earning a share of the Mountain West Conference title in the process. When running back Ronnie Hillman and quarterback Ryan Lindley departed after last season, there were major roles to be filled coming into 2012.

Quarterback Ryan Katz came over from Oregon State, and despite numbers that may not jump off the page, he’s managed an Aztecs offense that has turned the running duties over to Adam Muema. The defense has played better down the stretch, holding both Boise State and Air Force to fewer than twenty points. The Aztecs get productive tight end play out of Gavin Escobar as well; Escobar was named a John Mackey award semifinalist for being considered as the nation’s top tight end.

One thing to really like about the Aztecs is that Long has a ton of confidence in his team. At Nevada he went for two in the first overtime to pull off the road victory over the Wolf Pack, 39-38; later in the season at Boise State, on a fourth down with a chance to ice the game, the team converted in a short yardage situation to seal the win. In a sport where coaches often play not to lose, Long is a confident coach who expects his team to make plays when a win is within reach.

Who Will Win

It’s going to be a close game, which means that in the fourth quarter, the more resilient side is the one most likely to win. BYU's offense is wobbly, but its defense is the best unit on the field. That last reality gives BYU an ever-so-slight advantage. The Cougars will probably find a way to win in San Diego on the Aztecs' home turf.

College Football Betting Pick: Brigham Young

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