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Boise State Broncos vs. Arizona Wildcats – Fiesta Bowl Betting Predictions, Picks, Odds and Preview – December 31, 2014

Boise State Broncos vs. Arizona Wildcats – Fiesta Bowl Betting Predictions, Picks, Odds and Preview – December 31, 2014

It doesn’t get any bigger than this. All eyes will be on the New Year’s Six as the College Football Playoff and the biggest bowl games kick into overdrive.

The Boise State Broncos are back in familiar territory, the Fiesta Bowl. The Broncos paved their way to the New Year’s Eve game by winning the Mountain West Championship. Standing in the Broncos’ way are Pac-12 runners-up, the Arizona Wildcats. Can the Broncos trample over one of the nation’s top teams? Or will the Wildcats claw their way to victory? Read on as give a complete overview of this explosive encounter.

The College Football Playoff contenders can’t have all the fun. There are other exciting matchups in the New Year’s Six. Catch our previews for the Cotton Bowl’s Michigan State Spartans vs. Baylor Bears and the Orange Bowl’s Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

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Boise State Broncos vs. Arizona Wildcats Betting Preview

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona

When: Wednesday, December 31, 4:00 PM ET

Line: Boise State Broncos (+3.5) vs. Arizona Wildcats (-3.5); total 69.5view all NCAA Football lines

Betting on the Boise State Broncos

The Boise State Broncos have a tradition of winning the Fiesta Bowl. The Broncos upset then-No. 6 TCU 17-10 in 2009 and then-No. 11 Oklahoma 43-42 in 2006.

The Broncos’ best chance of winning a third Fiesta Bowl title will likely come from the feet of Jay Ajayi.  The junior running back ranks fourth in the nation in rushing yards (1,699) and second in rushing touchdowns (25). Ajayi will be an excellent weapon against Arizona (allowed an average of 170.83 rushing yards per game), and surely deserves his fair share of the spotlight.

[sc:NCAA240banner ]Boise State becomes even more dangerous when senior quarterback Grant Hedrick is at the top of his game. Hedrick led Boise State to eight straight wins to close out the regular season. He completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 2,092 yards and 17 touchdowns during the streak. The senior quarterback should be able to continue his successful run against the Wildcats’ 101st-ranked pass defense. Arizona has given up 3,628 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns in the season.

Hedrick’s main weapon, wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes has been a constant scoring threat with all seven of his touchdowns scored in the last eight games. The Broncos quarterback has also displayed excellent scrambling ability, racking up 563 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

The Broncos can milk the clock to control the possession battle through the running abilities of Ajayi and Hedrick. Their defense may also be able to limit the Wildcats’ possession with a couple of key defensive players. Safety Darian Thompson ranks third in the nation with seven interceptions this season. Thompson poses the constant threat of an interception to force Arizona’s freshman quarterback to turn the other way.

Meanwhile, defensive end Kamalei Correa will also be available to rattle the Wildcats quarterback. Correa leads the team in sacks (10) and tackles for loss (17) to limit Arizona’s backfield. The sophomore defensive end averaged one sack per game during the Broncos’ streak.

Betting on the Arizona Wildcats

The Wildcats won’t be daunted by the running threats Boise State presents in Ajayi and Hedrick. That’s because they have an awesome linebacker in Scooby Wright patrolling the middle of their defense. Wright has already hauled in a number of awards after the college football regular season, proof that he is one of the most dominant defensive players in college football today.

The sophomore linebacker had an excellent regular season ranking first in the nation with 27 tackles for loss and third with 14 sacks. Having a player as dominant as Wright on defense will be a key for the Wildcats in getting Boise State’s offense off the field.

Arizona’s own offense is quite a balanced attack. Rookie quarterback Anu Solomon leads all freshmen in the nation with 3,458 passing yards. Solomon will be at his best when he can get the ball to Arizona’s leading receiver Cayleb Jones. The sophomore receiver has team-highs of 65 receptions, 902 yards and nine touchdowns.

Solomon and Jones should be able to exploit a vulnerable Boise State pass defense, which was burned for 387 yards and four touchdowns through the air by the only ranked team they faced this season, Ole Miss.

Having Solomon and Jones connecting on plays should also open up the Wildcats’ running game. Freshman running back Nick Wilson has averaged 5.9 yards per carry this season while picking up 15 rushing touchdowns to power the Wildcats’ ground game.

Wilson should be able to find the open lanes in the Broncos’ front seven. The Broncos were also torched for 287 rushing yards against Air Force’s run-heavy attack in a loss on September 27.

The total has gone under in nine of Arizona’s 13 games this season.

Writer’s Prediction

The Wildcats crush Boise State. Take the Wildcats (-3.5) to win and cover the spread with ease. Create a betting account now and cash in on the juiciest college football bowl games this season.

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Written by Kevin

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