Wisconsin vs. Arizona State Las Vegas Bowl Picks and Predictions

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Braelon Allen #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers. David Berding/Getty Images/AFP.

After missing out on a chance to play for the Big Ten title, Wisconsin takes on Pac-12 for Arizona State in the Dec. 30 Las Vegas Bowl. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Arizona State Sun Devils 

Thursday, December 30, 2021 – 10:30 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium

Four bowl games on Dec. 30 and the late-night option is this matchup between Wisconsin of the Big Ten and Arizona State of the Pac-12 from the home of the Las Vegas Raiders. ESPN has the telecast.  

This bowl was canceled last year. It’s the first time in it for Wisconsin. Arizona State has played in it twice, losing 56-24 to Boise State in 2011 and 31-20 to Fresno State in 2018. 

The Sun Devils are 3-1 all-time vs. the Badgers but the schools haven’t played since 2013 in Tempe so not really any relevant betting trends at BMR’s top-rated books. 

Wisconsin Wins Old School 

The Badgers (8-4) would have played in the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan if UW had won its regular-season finale but it was upset 23-13 at Minnesota to send Iowa to the title game from the West Division. That snapped a seven-game Wisconsin winning streak. 

As usual, this team wins with the running game and defense. Braelon Allen led the club in rushing for 1,109 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and 12 scores. Chez Mellusi rushed for 815 yards and five scores. QB Graham Mertz is more of a game manager as he has 10 picks against just nine TD passes. 

Defensively, UW allows just 16.4 points per game and is No. 1 against the rush in surrendering 65.2 ypg. That group is led by linebacker Leo Chenal, who was named the team MVP, was a first-team All-American and finalist for the Butkus Award, although that went to Georgia’s Nakobe Dean. Chenal has 87 tackles, 7 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.  

Wisconsin is bowl-eligible for the 20th consecutive year to extend the nation’s third-longest active streak, trailing only Georgia (25) and Oklahoma (23). The Badgers are 5-1 in bowl games under coach Paul Chryst. They beat Wake Forest 42-28 last year in the Mayo Bowl.  

For what it’s worth, Wisconsin has won four straight games in Las Vegas but those were all against UNLV and at Sam Boyd Stadium. As of this writing, no key Badgers players have opted out of the bowl game. However, starting safety Collin Wilder will miss it due to injury. Wilder recorded 32 tackles and 3 interceptions this season as a sixth-year senior. He also had one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. 

Wisconsin is 5-2 ATS on the NCAAF picks in its past seven bowl games. 

ASU Loses Star Running Back 

Arizona State (8-4) closed its season with a win over rival Arizona, 38-15, on Nov. 27. There was some talk that this might be the last season for Coach Herm Edwards with some NCAA violations hanging over the program but Athletic director Ray Anderson told the team after the Arizona win that Edwards would return. 

ASU will be far from whole for this game as the team’s top two running backs, Rachaad White and DeaMonte Trayanum, are not playing. White is preparing for the draft and Trayanum entered the transfer portal. They combined for more than 1,400 yards rushing and 21 scores. White totaled 30.5% of ASU's total yards on offense (1,462 of 4,799) and 35.6% of ASU's total touchdowns (16 of 45). White was the second-highest graded player, regardless of position, overall in the Pac-12 (90.7) and the second-highest graded running back in the FBS. 

Arizona State has rushed for at least 100 yards as a team in 16 straight games. Freshman Daniyel Ngata will be the primary back in this game. He carried 45 times for 286 yards and three scores this year. QB Jayden Daniels also can run; he was second on the team with 670 yards rushing and six scores.   

The Sun Devils also are a pretty good defensive team as they held opponents to 400 yards or fewer in 10 of 12 games. Defensive lineman Tyler Johnson was named first-team All-Pac-12. He has 33 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. They haven’t allowed a play of 50 yards or more in 14 straight games, the longest such streak in the FBS. ASU has outscored teams 110-42 in the fourth quarter of games this year. 

It’s the 33rd all-time bowl game for ASU, which is 15-16-1. It didn’t play in one last season. Arizona State and Wisconsin didn’t have a common opponent this season. ASU is 2-7 ATS at the NCAAF odds in its past 9 non-conference games.  

I definitely like Wisconsin to win with White out for the Sun Devils, but don’t love the number right on -7 – I would recommend buying down to -6.5.  

NCAAF Pick: Wisconsin Badgers -7 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Wisconsin Badgers -7 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.