The 22nd-ranked San Jose State Spartans will be trying to finish off the season unbeaten when they face the Ball State Cardinals in the 2020 Arizona Bowl on Thursday. The Spartans (7-0) are outscoring opponents by 13 points per game, and they rank in the top 30 in the nation on both sides of the ball. They beat Boise State 34-20 in the Mountain West Conference title game, and quarterback Nick Starkel leads an offense that averages nearly 445 yards. The Cardinals (6-1) are the MAC champions, and quarterback Drew Plitt leads an offense that averages more than 34 points.
Kickoff from Tucson's Arizona Stadium is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on CBS. The Spartans are 9.5-point favorites in the latest Ball State vs. San Jose State odds, up from opening at -6.5, while the over-under for total points scored is 65, according to William Hill Sportsbook. Before making any San Jose State State vs. Ball State picks, be sure to check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It enters bowl season a sizzling 56-36 on all top-rated picks, returning over $400. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Ball State vs. San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl 2020. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college football odds and betting trends for San Jose State vs. Ball State:
- Ball State vs. San Jose State: Spartans -9.5
- Ball State vs. San Jose State over-under: 65
- Ball State vs. San Jose State money line: Cardinals +260, Spartans -330
- BSU: 3-1 ATS this season as an underdog
- SJSU: 7-0 ATS this season
Why San Jose State can cover
San Jose State is 13-3-2 against the spread in its last 18 following an ATS win, and the Spartans were a seven-point underdog in the MWC title game. Defense should make a big difference in this one, and SJSU allows less than 18 points per game and ranks 28th in total yards (341.7). The unit has 23 sacks in seven games, led by end Cade Hall's 10. He ranks second in FBS with 1.43 takedowns per game and has 7.5 in the past four contests, including two in the title game.
The Spartans are 12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 overall, and safety Tre Jenkins also is a playmaker, intercepting two passes and recovering two fumbles. Offensively, the passing of Starkel has been the key, with the senior throwing for 1,906 yards and 16 touchdowns. Receiver Bailey Gaither averages 103.6 yards per game (13th in the nation), and Tre Walker had 137 yards and a TD against Boise State. Tyler Nevens averages 8.1 yards per carry and has scored five TDs.
Why Ball State can cover
Ball State is 11-5 against the spread in its last 16 non-conference games, and Plitt is completing nearly 66 percent of his throws in leading an offense that averages more than 278 passing yards per game. He has more than 1,900 passing yards and 16 touchdowns, and he has receivers who can make a splash. Justin Hall is the top option, catching 49 balls for 665 yards, while Yo'Heinz Tyler has scored seven TDs, and both average more than 13 yards per catch.
The Cardinals are outscoring opponents by nearly a touchdown per game, and they beat Buffalo by 10 as a 13-point underdog. They are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 after allowing more than 450 yards in their previous game, and the defense had two takeaways in handing the Bulls their first loss. Linebacker Brandon Martin, the MAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, has 85 tackles, and he and all-conference safety Bryce Cosby (interception, fumble recovery) are disruptive.
How to make Ball State vs. San Jose State picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, suggesting the teams will combine for well under 60 points as both teams struggle to run the ball. It also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins San Jose State vs. Ball State? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the Ball State vs. San Jose State spread to back, all from the advanced model on a 56-36 run on its top-rated college football picks this season.