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Betting On The 2017 Fiesta Bowl

The 11th ranked Washington Huskies and 9th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions both missed out on their respective conference championships but will compete in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl.

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Fiesta Bowl 2017: Washington Huskies vs Penn State Nittany Lions

When: December 29, 2017, 8:30 PM ET

Where: AT&T Stadium

Spread: Ohio State -7.5

Total: 64.5

Moneyline: Ohio State -285 vs Penn State +245

Betting on Washington Huskies

It didn’t matter that they Washington Huskies finished with a 10-2 record, they still ended up second in the Pac-12 North because of their loss against the Stanford Cardinal, that had the same conference record but had the tiebreaker advantage.

The Huskies won their last two games of the season after losing to the Cardinal, including their rivalry game over the Washington State Cougars.

Now, Washington hopes to end their season on a positive note against the high-scoring Penn State team.

The Huskies offense is led by the big trio of Jake Browning, Myles Gaskin and Dante Pettis.

Browning deservedly garners most of the attention, but Gaskin holds his own as one of the best running backs in the nation who has rushed for 1,282 yards and a career-high 19 TDs this season.

Pettis also gains attention as the nation’s top punt returner and Huskies’ leading receiver. Pettis however left the Apple Cup with a possible leg injury that might keep him off the field in this game.

The Huskies’ offense, that gained 36.6 points per game this season, will go up against a very good Nittany Lions defense that is only allowing 15.5 points per game which is 7th in the country.

Their defense will also face a tough Penn State offense that was the 61st best rushing team in the nation thanks to all-purpose running back Saquon Barkley, who ended the season with 1,134 rushing yards and 594 receiving yards with 19 touchdowns to his name.

The Huskies must keep Barkley under a lid if they’re to win the game as it would allow for more opportunities for a pass rush and forcing Trace McSorley into making mistakes.

Betting on Penn State Nittany Lions

The Lions had hopes of making the playoff this year, but two losses to the Buckeyes and Wolverines basically quashed their aspirations along with the chances of winning the Big Ten championship.

Penn State rebounded from the losses and finished the season to their credit with a three-game winning streak.

Saquon Barkley is Penn State’s offensive motor and is one of the most dynamic players in the sport even if his Heisman Trophy aspirations are slim.

The star running back averages seven yards per touch, including 12.6 yards per catch. Though Barkley’s numbers are declining, quarterback Trace McSorley balances out things with a 68.9 percent completion rate with 7 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last three games.

The Lions know they’ll be able to run the gauntlet on the field against the Huskies using Barkley as their main offensive weapon.

Nevertheless, Penn State’s offense will still have to earn their salt against the 6th best defense in the country that only gave up an average of 14.5 points per game.

If the Huskies manage to contain Barkley, McSorley can still push the offense down the field provided the offensive line gives him time to find his receivers. This will be especially important if the Huskies keep pushing the blitz.

The Nittany Lions have a fair shot at winning as they’ve been battle-tested this year with one of the most difficult schedules in the country. Despite this fact, they only lost two games by a combined four points.

McSorley and Barkley will leave after this season which gives the team even more motivation to send them off with a win of the 2017 Fiesta Bowl.

Washington Huskies vs Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Trends

  • Penn State is 16-4-1 ATS in its last 21 games.
  • Penn State is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games in bowl season.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Penn State's last 6 games.
  • Washington is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games after a win.
  • Washington is 4-0 SU in its last 4 games against the Big Ten.
  • The total has gone OVER in Washington's last 3 games.
  • The underdog is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 Fiesta Bowls.

Expert Pick: The Nittany Lions are the two-point favorites to win. There are a couple of factors working against both offenses; first, both teams are among the top 10 in the nation in points allowed and second, both teams watched their offensive coordinators take on other jobs.

The Nittany Lions have more depth and are more grizzled. They also fared much better against the spread so I expect them to cover. I’m also taking the UNDER on this one.