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The BYU Cougars left the Mountain West Conference after 2010 so they could play in bigger games, especially in the postseason. Instead, the Cougars find themselves in the Poinsettia Bowl this year against a former Mountain West opponent in the Wyoming Cowboys, who are listed as 8.5-point underdogs coming off a loss to the San Diego State Aztecs in the conference championship game.

Kickoff: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 @ 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
Additional Read: Wyoming vs BYU Betting

2016 Poinsettia Odds
Team Opening Line
Wyoming +9
BYU -9
Over/Under 57.5

Odds at Bovada

Team Records
Team Conf. SU ATS OU
Wyoming MWC 8-5 9-4 9-4
BYU IND 8-4 9-3 3-9

2016 Poinsettia Bowl Matchup

BYU’s recent bowl history has shown it was not a great move to leave the Mountain West considering the school has not played later than Dec. 30 since leaving the conference. The Cougars have lost their past three postseason games, falling 35-28 last year to the Utah Utes as 2.5-point underdogs in the Las Vegas Bowl.

For Wyoming, playing in a bowl game one year after going 2-10 is a remarkable feat. Head coach Craig Bohl has already won more games this season than in his first two combined at the school and nearly won the Mountain West title on its home field. Unfortunately, San Diego State was too tough in a 27-24 loss, but the Cowboys still managed to cover the spread as 7.5-point dogs.

Defense figures to be the difference in this matchup, as Wyoming’s high-scoring offense will need to find a way to put up some points against BYU in order to have a shot to cover the spread. The Cowboys averaged 37.1 points to rank 24th nationally while the Cougars gave up 19.4 per game (15th in the country). The only time the Cowboys scored less than 24 points this season, they were blown out 52-17 by the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

These teams play two very different styles of football, and that is reflected in their betting trends. The OVER has cashed in seven of the last nine games for the Cowboys. Meanwhile, the UNDER is 6-1 in the past seven for the Cougars, who have held each of their opponents to 10 points or less during a four-game winning streak.

Both of these schools have fared well against the spread this season, exceeding the expectations of oddsmakers. But playing in this game is a much bigger deal to Wyoming, which has not been in a bowl since 2011. The remaining questions are, will that inexperience be a factor, and how motivated will BYU be? The Cougars are certainly used to playing in the postseason, and they have won the previous seven meetings (6-1 ATS) dating back to when they squared off in Mountain West play.

2016 Poinsettia Bowl Betting Trends
  • BYU is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against Wyoming.
  • BYU is 6-1 SU in its last seven games against the Mountain West.
  • BYU is 0-3 SU and ATS in its last three games in the postseason.
  • Wyoming is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games.
  • Wyoming is 3-11 SU in its last 14 games against teams with winning records.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of Wyoming's last six games after consecutive losses.
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of BYU's last seven games.

For updated lines and great props for all bowl games head over to Bovada today.

Poinsettia Bowl History
Year Bowl Team Score Team Score Spread ATS Winner SU Winner
2005 Poinsettia Bowl Navy 51 Colorado State 30 +3 NAVY NAVY
2006 Poinsettia Bowl Northern Illinois 7 TCU 37 -12.5 TCU TCU
2007 Poinsettia Bowl Navy 32 Utah 35 -9 NAVY UTAH
2008 Poinsettia Bowl TCU 17 Boise State 16 +3.5 BOISE TCU
2009 Poinsettia Bowl Utah 37 California 27 -2.5 UTAH UTAH
2010 Poinsettia Bowl Navy 14 San Diego State 35 -3 SD.ST SD.ST
2011 Poinsettia Bowl Louisiana Tech 24 TCU 31 -9.5 LATECH TCU
2012 Poinsettia Bowl BYU 23 San Diego State 6 +3 BYU BYU
2013 Poinsettia Bowl Utah State 21 Northern Illinois 14 -2 UT ST UT ST
2014 Poinsettia Bowl Navy 17 San Diego State 16 -3.5 NAVY NAVY
2015 Poinsettia Bowl Boise State 55 Northern Illinois 7 +6.5 BOISE BOISE
2016 Poinsettia Bowl BYU - Wyoming - +9