2020 Arizona Bowl Odds: Ball State vs #22 San Jose State Pick & Preview (Dec 31)

San Jose State vs Ball State is the matchup of the 2020 Arizona Bowl. Both teams are coming off very successful seasons, which promises a very entertaining duel on the last day of the year.

The San Jose State Spartans won every single game they played in 2020, with their last defeat happening back in November 2019. Their opponents did slightly worse in the regular season, with one defeat. However, that loss happened in their first game of the season. Since then, the Ball State Cardinals won everything.

Ball State vs San Jose State Schedule

  • When: Thursday, December 31, 2:00pm (ET)
  • Where: Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona
  • How to Watch: CBS

Vegas ‘Arizona Bowl’ Odds (Ball State vs San Jose State)

Arizona Bowl Preview (Ball State vs San Jose State)

The 2020 Arizona Bowl is making history – this is going to be the first college bowl game to have two female athletic directors. In Ball state, it’s Beth Goetz, while San Jose’s director is Marie Tuite. Furthermore, there’s also a female bowl director – Kym Adair.

Another milestone is that the 2020 Arizona Bowl is a game that pits two conference champions against one another. Only one other bowl game does the same this season – the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Playoffs Semifinal).

Ncaa Football: Ball State At North Carolina State
Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 Arizona Bowl could end up in history books for another reason. If the Ball State Cardinals get a win on Thursday, it’s going to be this program’s first-ever college bowl victory. The bad news is that such a scenario seems very unlikely to play out. At least that’s according to oddsmakers, who have given the role of a 10-point favorite to San Jose State.

Greatest Season in San Jose State History

In 1939, the Spartans went 13-0 in the regular season. However, that team did not have the COVID-19 pandemic forcing them to drive six hours away each time they wanted to have a training session. Nor did the 1939 team have to play in front of empty stadiums.

This season, the Spartans were also forced to play a couple of their home games far away from home – one in Hawaii and two in Las Vegas.

The 2020 Spartans, however, had to go through all that. Nevertheless, they managed to finish the season with 7-0, and now have a chance to wrap the year with another win. Of course, winning the Arizona Bowl is not going to be easy, as they’re facing a very tough opponent, with superb defense.

Strong Defense on Both Ends

Both teams owe a lot for their success this season to their defense. San Jose State did not score more than 38 points in a game this season, but the Spartans also didn’t concede more than 24 points in a game. In fact, four of their six games of the season saw them allowing 20 or fewer points.

Ncaa Football: Unlv At San Jose State
Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals were almost as impressive in defense, with only two games with over 30 points conceded. The games in question were the two played at the very start of the 2020 season. Since then, their defense has been pretty tough.

This team has also been very good in the offense, especially over the last couple of weeks. In their most recent game, on December 18, the Cardinals scored 38 points against Buffalo in a game in which they were +425 underdogs.

Ball State vs San Jose State Prediction

The Spartans should win this game; however, it’s probably not going to be a walk in the park. The Cardinals are very good at defending, so it’s likely that we’re not going to witness too many points in the Arizona Bowl. Still, San Jose State offense should score enough to grab themselves the trophy.

Annie is a seasoned veteran in sports betting and has been working in the industry for over 7 years. Her goal of educating others and sharing her knowledge on the topic has brought her to VegasOdds.com where she regularly contributes to our cornerstone guides and news to help readers improve their sports betting game. If you don’t find her writing, you can bet she’ll be studying sports stats!

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