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Poinsettia Bowl betting preview

In a renewal of a recently discontinued conference rivalry 9-3 San Diego State takes on 7-5 BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl Thursday, Dec. 20 at Qualcomm Stadium (8 pm ET, ESPN).

The early Poinsettia Bowl betting odds showed the Cougars, who used to play the Aztecs regularly as members of the Mountain West up until two seasons ago, as three-point faves over SD State, which just finished as tri-champs of the MWC.

The Mountain West Conference won the past 6 Poinsettia Bowl games. [ More Poinsettia Bowl betting trends, preview and stats ]

View BYU vs San Diego State Odds and Stats.

Betting Line: Sportsbooks such as Sportsbook.ag had set the Aztecs as 3-point underdogs on the opening line for this contest. The total was 49 earlier over at Bovada, check for line moves during the week.

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BYU Bowl History


Year Bowl Team1 Score Team2 Score Team2Line ATS win
1996 Cotton Bowl Kansas State 15 BYU 19 3 BYU
1998 Liberty Bowl BYU 27 Tulane 41 -7 TULANE
1999 Motor City Bowl BYU 3 Marshall 21 -2 MARSHL
2001 Liberty Bowl BYU 10 Louisville 28 -2.5 LOUISV
2005 Las Vegas Bowl BYU 28 California 35 -8 BYU
2006 Las Vegas Bowl BYU 38 Oregon 8 3.5 BYU
2007 Las Vegas Bowl UCLA 16 BYU 17 -6.5 UCLA
2008 Las Vegas Bowl BYU 21 Arizona 31 -3 ARIZON
2009 Las Vegas Bowl BYU 44 Oregon State 20 2.5 BYU
2010 New Mexico Bowl Texas El Paso 24 BYU 52 -10.5 BYU
2011 Armed Forces Bowl Tulsa 21 BYU 24 2.5 BYU

San Diego State Bowl History


Year Bowl Team1 Score Team2 Score Team2Line ATS win
1998 Las Vegas Bowl North Carolina 20 San Diego State 13 7 Push
2010 Poinsettia Bowl Navy 14 San Diego State 35 -3 SD.ST
2011 New Orleans Bowl Louisiana-Lafayette 32 San Diego State 30 -6 UL.LAF

How They Match Up:
The game also pits San Diego State's No. 28-ranked offense, averaging 35.1 PPG, against a Cougars defense that ranks No. 5 this week at 14.7 PPG. The Aztecs aerial game is averaging 178.6 yards per game, less than the Cougars secondary allows through the air, 182.1 YPG per game.

In comparing defenses, the Cougars own the league's No. 12-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 106.7 yards per game when on the road. San Diego State, on the other hand, rates No. 18 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

In their last action, BYU was a 50-14 winner on the road against New Mexico State. They covered the 27.5-point spread as favorites, while the combined score (64) was profitable news for OVER bettors. James Lark led his team to victory last time out, throwing for 384 yards Saturday as the Cougars downed the Aggies 50-14 at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

In their last action, San Diego State was a 42-28 winner on the road against Wyoming. They covered the 7-point spread as favorites, while the combined score (70) was profitable news for OVER bettors. Last time we saw the Cowboys, they had no answer for Adam Muema as the Aztecs rolled to a 42-28 victory at War Memorial Stadium.

BYU Cougars Trends:
When playing in December are 7-3
When playing on grass are 8-2
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When playing outside the conference are 6-4

San Diego State Aztecs Trends:
When playing in December are 3-5
When playing on grass are 7-3
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When playing outside the conference are 6-4

A few Cougars at Aztecs trends to consider:
BYU is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing San Diego State
BYU is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against San Diego State
The total has gone OVER in 4 of BYU's last 5 games when playing on the road against San Diego State
BYU is 16-6 SU in its last 22 games
San Diego State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
San Diego State is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Diego State's last 5 games when playing at home against BYU
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Diego State's last 6 games