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Houston vs. Fresno State - 12/24/17 Hawaii Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Houston Cougars (7-4) at Fresno State Bulldogs (9-4)

College Football: Sunday, December 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm (Aloha Stadium)

The Line: Fresno State Bulldogs +1.5 -- Over/Under: 49 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Fresno State Bulldogs and Houston Cougars meet Christmas Eve in the college football Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium.

The Fresno State Bulldogs have won eight of their last 10 games and look for double-digit wins for the first time since the 2013 season. The Fresno State Bulldogs haven’t won a bowl game since the 2007 college football season. Marcus McMaryion is completing 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,384 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. McMaryion has one or less touchdown passes in five of his last seven games. KeeSean Johnson and Da'Mari Scott have combined for 1,461 receiving yards and nine touchdowns while Jamire Jordan has 21 receptions. The Fresno State Bulldogs ground game is averaging 156.8 yards per contest, and Jordan Mims leads the way with 609 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Fresno State is allowing 17.2 points and 319 yards per game. Jeffrey Allison leads the Fresno State Bulldogs with 113 tackles, Malik Forrester has five sacks and Jaron Bryant has three interceptions.

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Houston vs. Fresno State - 12/24/17 Hawaii Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Cougars have split their last six games and look to win at least eight games for the fifth straight season. The Houston Cougars have split their last eight bowl appearances. D’Eriq King is completing 69.8 percent of his passes for 991 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. King has four touchdown passes and one interception in his last three games. Linell Bonner and Steven Dunbar have combined for 1,723 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while King has 29 receptions. The Houston Cougars ground game is averaging 175.4 yards per contest, and Duke Catalon leads the way with 621 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, Houston is allowing 23 points and 417.5 yards per game. D'Juan Hines leads the Houston Cougars with 104 tackles, Ed Oliver has 5.5 sacks and Garrett Davis has four interceptions.

The Bulldogs are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 bowl games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall. The Cougars are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. MWC. The under is 14-3 in Cougars last 17 games overall and the under is 13-3 in Bulldogs last 16 games overall.

Fresno State has been the more consistent team this season and played better teams, nearly winning the MWC by beating a decent Boise State team back-to-back weeks. The Houston Cougars have been so up and down and have some bad losses on their resume in large part to an offense that can struggle. There should also be more motivation for Fresno State considering it hasn't won a bowl game since the 2007 season, and there should be a decent home crowd for the Bulldogs with Cali being much closer and an easier trip to Hawaii than Texas. I'm going to side with the small underdog here.

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