The past five Holiday Bowls have all played under the total, but that trend will be challenged when the Arizona State Sun Devils meet up with the Texas Tech Red Raiders for this year's edition on December 30 in San Diego.
The total on the Holiday Bowl odds menu opened at 72, and the computer is projecting 80 points in total.
So far this season, the Sun Devils and Red Raiders are a combined 18-7 on the over/under.
Point spread: Sun Devils opened as 13-point favorites; the total was 72. (Line updates and matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 44.9-35.1 Sun Devils
Why the Sun Devils can cover the Holiday Bowl spread
It only took head coach Todd Graham two seasons to get Arizona State to a conference championship game. The Sun Devils laid an egg in that game against Stanford, but notice has been served. ASU will be a contender in the Pac-12.
The Devils had 15 starters back this season and only lost three games while playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. They own victories over seven teams that are playing in bowls this season including Wisconsin, USC, Washington and UCLA.
Running Graham's up-tempo attack, ASU has averaged 184 yards per game on the ground and 277 yards through the air, while defensively the Sun Devils rank a very respectable 31st nationally.
They face a Texas Tech team that has won six of seven bowls but also failed to cover in six of them.
Why the Red Raiders can cover the Holiday Bowl spread
Texas Tech started 7-0 this year for new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and while the Raiders lost their last five games, this senior class will be playing in its third bowl. Tech basically won every game it was supposed to, going 6-1 straight up when favored on the betting line.
While it lost its last five games, one reason was playing a true freshman walk-on at quarterback (who actually played well). Another reason was a brutal schedule, which closed with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas.
Kingsbury likes to move the ball through the air, and the Raiders rank second in the country, averaging 392 yards.
Stanford provided the blueprint to beating Arizona State, having done so twice this season. Shove the ball down its throat with the power run game and get in its face on defense. But does that sound like Texas Tech?
Outside of the two losses to the Cardinal, ASU went 10-1 straight up and 7-4 against the spread this season. Meanwhile, when the going got tough, the Red Raiders faded. And now they're suddenly without their starting quarterback, after true freshman Baker Mayfield abruptly left the program following the regular season.
The Sun Devils won and covered their only bowl so far under Coach Graham, beating up on Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl last year 62-28. This Holiday Bowl could provide a similar result. Give the points with Arizona State.
The Holiday Bowl betting history has also seen under bettors rewarded in the past five Decembers.
- Favorites are 11-4 against the spread past 15 Holiday Bowls
- Past five Holiday Bowls played under total
- Arizona State is 1-4 against the spread past five bowl games
- Texas Tech is 6-1 straight up but 1-6 against the spread in past seven bowl games