Utah State (7-5) is making its third straight appearance in a bowl game and has been to the postseason in eight of the last nine years. The Aggies are 5-8 all-time in bowl games. Jordan Love is expected to play in the game despite being charged with marijuana possession earlier this week. Love has thrown for 8,283 yards in his career and is expected to enter the 2020 NFL draft.
Kent State (6-6) is playing in a bowl game for the first time since the 2012 season when they posted an 11-3 record. The Golden Flashes are 0-3 all-time in bowl games. Quarterback Dustin Crum is a dual-threat with 2,333 passing yards and 560 rushing yards this season. Crum has scored 23 combined touchdowns. The Golden Flashes defense has struggled this season allowing 31.1 points and 470.8 total yards per game.
ESPN’s FPI gives Utah State a 64.6% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Friday’s Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl matchup between the Aggies and Golden Flashes.
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Utah State vs. Kent State Game Details
Date: Friday, December 20
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
Spread: Utah State -6.5
This line opened at Utah State -8 and has been bet down to Utah State -6.5 with the majority of the bets and money coming on Kent State. This line is correlated to the action and is moving with the market. This line got as far down as Utah State -4.5 at one point when news broke of three Aggies players, including starting quarterback Jordan Love, charged with misdemeanor drug possession. The line went back up to Utah State -6.5 when it was confirmed that Love would play in the bowl game.
- Utah State is 7-5 SU and 7-5 ATS this season
- Kent State is 6-6 SU and 8-4 ATS this season
- Under is 6-5-1 in Utah State games this season
- Over is 6-6 in Kent State games this season
Analysis & Pick
I’m impressed with what I’ve seen from Kent State’s second-year head coach Sean Lewis. Despite going 2-10 in 2017 and 2018, and starting this season with a 3-6 record, Lewis rallied the troops and guided the Golden Flashes to three straight wins to secure bowl eligibility by the slimmest of margins. I expect Kent State to be up for this game as it’s their first postseason appearance in seven years. Meanwhile, Utah State is dealing with legal troubles at the most important position on the field. Jordan Love’s draft stock took a hit with news of the marijuana possession charges and he will now have to undoubtedly answer questions about his character the NFL combine in a couple of months. Distractions are bad in bowl season, and the Aggies are facing them in droves. I question Utah State’s motivation in this matchup as well, considering they expected to be playing in the Mountain West title game and a much more prestigious bowl. Take the points.
PICK: Kent State +6.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith