Sponsored by Nova Home Loans, the Arizona Bowl was added to the NCAA postseason schedule in 2015, along with the Austin Bowl and the Cure Bowl. The game is played at Arizona Stadium on the University of Arizona campus, bringing bowl football back to Tucson for the first time since 1999 – when the former Copper Bowl (now Cheez-It Bowl) relocated to Phoenix.
Despite its ties to the Grand Canyon State, the game was originally designed to feature representatives from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA – neither of which includes Arizona-based teams. But with the Mountain West on board, the Arizona Bowl does invite teams from each of the state’s direct neighbors (California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico) to provide regional appeal.
The Sun Belt Conference serves as a backup, but in the inaugural game both C-USA and the Sun Belt lacked enough bowl-eligible teams, leaving the Mountain West to send Nevada and Colorado State. That was the first time since 1979 that two teams from the same conference met in a non-championship bowl game. At 7-4, the Rams were 4.5-point favorites over a 5-6 Wolf Pack team, but Nevada notched a 28-23 upset by scoring six with under two minutes to go.
In 2016 an 8-3 Air Force team represented the Mountain West, and after organizers ditched the Conference USA tie-in altogether, the Sun Belt sent 6-5 South Alabama as 13-point underdogs. That time, the favorites did their job, as the Falcons crushed the Jaguars in a 45-21 rout.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves will square off against the Nevada Wolf Pack in this year's Arizona Bowl. For the latest odds, a free pick and handicapping information, visit our Arizona Bowl Game Center.
|Year||Bowl||Team||Score||Team||Score||Spread||ATS Sportsbook||SU Sportsbook|
|2015||Arizona Bowl||Nevada||28||Colorado State||23||-4.5||Nevada||Nevada|
|2016||Arizona Bowl||South Alabama||21||Air Force||45||-14.5||Air Force||Air Force|
|2017||Arizona Bowl||Utah State||20||New Mexico State||26||+5.5||New Mex State||New Mex State|
|2018||Arizona Bowl||Arkansas State||13||Nevada||16||-1.5||Nevada||Nevada|