FIU vs. Arkansas State Prediction: Camellia Bowl Pick

Getty Arkansas State quarterback Lay Bonner

The Arkansas State Red Wolves are 1.0-point favorites over the FIU Panthers in Saturday’s Camellia Bowl.

Arkansas State (7-5) is appearing in a bowl game for the ninth consecutive season however they are just 3-5 in their previous eight bowl games. The Red Wolves are led on offense by one of the nation’s leading receivers Omar Bayless. The Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year is ranked 2nd in FBS with 1,473 receiving yards this season.

Florida International (6-6) is making its third straight appearance in a bowl game. The Panthers are 2-2 all-time in bowl appearances. FIU had their signature win on November 23 when they beat rival Miami 30-24. Anthony Jones had 112 yards rushing in the win over the Hurricanes and leads the team with 802 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground this season .

ESPN’s FPI gives Arkansas State a 56.7% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Saturday’s Camellia Bowl between the Panthers and Red Wolves. 

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FIU vs. Arkansas State Game Details

Date: Saturday, December 21
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
Location: Cramton Bowl (Mobile, Alabama)
Arkansas State -1
Total: 60.5

*All lines and odds courtesy of SportsMemo, Covers, & The Action Network

Line Movement

This line opened at Arkansas State -3 and has been bet down slightly to Arkansas State -1 with the majority of the bets and money coming in on FIU. This line is correlated to the action and is moving with the market.

Betting Trends

  • FIU is 6-6 SU and 4-8 ATS this season
  • Arkansas State is 7-5 SU and 5-7 ATS this season
  • Over is 6-6 in FIU games this season
  • Over is 7-5 in Arkansas State games this season

Analysis & Pick

Arkansas State has overcome adversity all season long. Head coach Blake Anderson’s wife, Wendy, died of breast cancer in August. The Red Wolves also lost starting quarterback Logan Bonner to a season-ending hand injury in Week 4. Freshman Layne Hatcher has filled in admirably throwing for 2,553 yards and 23 touchdowns. FIU has done a good job defending the pass this season allowing just 178.5 yards per game through the air, fewest in Conference USA. The Panthers offense has struggled to score this season averaging just 26.5 points per game. Senior quarterback James Morgan has thrown for 2,248 yards with 13 touchdowns. Nothing excites me about FIU on either side of the ball, and since so much of bowl season is about motivation and star power, I’ll back Arkansas State and Omar Bayless, a name that fans should remember when we get closer to the NFL draft. The Red Wolves win one for Blake Anderson and get their first bowl victory since 2016.

PICK: Arkansas State -1

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Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith