2017/2018 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Picks & Preview: Arkansas St Red Wolves vs. Middle Tennessee St Blue Raiders
Matchup at a Glance
Where: Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama
Date & Time: Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET
Spread: Arkansas State -3.5
Over/Under Total: 62.5
Quick Pick: Arkansas State Red Wolves -3 (Buy down half point)
The Arkansas State Red Wolves and the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders will meet up in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl on Saturday Night, December 16, 2017. This game is set to kick off at 8:00 PM ET and can be seen on ESPN.
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
The Raycom Media Camellia Bowl is an annual football bowl game that is played at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Cramton Bowl holds rough 21,000 people, so this is a rather small bowl in comparison to some of the other bowls. The Raycom Media Camellia Bowl has been around since 2014 and this will be the first time that both Middle Tennessee State and Arkansas State have appeared in this bowl. This bowl would usually be filled with a team from the Mid-American Conference and the Sun Belt Conference but due to the fact that Akron accepted a bowl bid to play in the Boca Raton Bowl, and Central Florida is playing in the Peach Bowl, they were forced to reach outside and select another conference to provide a team, hence the reason Middle Tennessee State is playing in this bowl.
Previous Matchup History
Arkansas State Red Wolves and Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders should be fairly familiar with each other, as they were Sun Belt Conference opponents from 2001-2013. Middle Tennessee State holds a 9-5 all time record over Arkansas State. Arkansas State Red Wolves have won 4 out of the last 5 games, both SU and ATS, against the Blue Raiders.
Arkansas State Red Wolves 7-4 (Sun Belt)
The Arkansas State Red Wolves ended their 2017 season 7-4 SU and ATS, and finished in 3rd place in the Sun Belt Conference. The Red Wolves have had their struggles covering the spread in these non-conference games. In their last 10 games outside the Sun Belt, they have gone 3-7 ATS.
The Red Wolves have also had their issues against teams from Conference USA, going 1-4 ATS against teams from that conference. The Red Wolves played 7 out of their 11 games under the posted total this year and have played under the posted total in 31 out of 44 non-conference games.
This will be the 7th consecutive bowl for the Red Wolves of Arkansas State and their 8th bowl game appearance in the history of the program. The Red Wolves hold a 3-4 record in the bowls
Arkansas State will be coming into this bowl game off a regular season loss. They lost last week to Troy on the last drive of the game, with 17 seconds left in the game. Troy beat Arkansas State 32-25 in the game. Arkansas State dominated the game on paper, especially on offense, where they out gained Troy 606 yards to 293 yards. The reason for the loss…..simple, they turned the ball over 3 times Those turnovers have been the demise of the Red Wolves.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders 6-6 (Conference USA)
Middle Tennessee State played .500 this year, going 6-6 SU and 5-7 ATS. The Blue Raiders needed to win their last game of the year, against Old Dominion, to simply become bowl eligible. They played 9 out of their 12 games this year under the posted total. The Blue Raiders went 2-4 SU on the road this year but only 1-5 ATS.
The Blue Raiders have been a smart bet when they are playing a team from the Sun Belt Conference. They have gone 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games against teams from the Sun Belt Conference. The Blue Raiders may be good against the Sun Belt Conference but they have struggled badly at covering the spread on a neutral site. They have gone 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on a neutral site.
Middle Tennessee State will be going bowling for the 4th time in the past 5 years under head coach Rick Stockstill. That being said, they have not won a bowl game since 2009 so this team is eager to find a way to win a bowl under Stockstill. The Blue Raiders bowl history is anything but memorable for bettors as Middle Tennessee State is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 bowl games. The Blue Raiders are 3-7 in bowls in the history of the school. In their last 5 bowl games, the Blue Raiders have gone over the posted total 4 out of 5 times.
Middle Tennessee State should have a decent showing this year in their bowl. Head Coach Rick Stockstill announced on Monday that he will personally purchase $10,000 worth of bowl tickets for the Middle Tennessee State students due to the fact that they were unable to travel with the team due to distance in the last 2 bowl games in Hawaii and Bahamas..
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Handicapping
This game will be determined on one thing….can the Red Wolves control the ball and limit the turnovers. They have found themselves turning the ball over much more than Blake Anderson will care for. Anderson was a offensive coordinator at North Carolina and Southern Miss prior to taking the head coaching position at Arkansas State so turnovers are not something that he is accustomed too and a very frustrating aspect of the game for a offensive coordinator. With the extra time to prepare and plan for this game, the Red Wolves should be able to make the corrections needed and control the football.
In this game, we have Arkansas State winning the game by a tad bit more than a touchdown. BetOnline has the pointspread in this game at Arkansas State -3.5 and the total set at 62.5. We recommend that you buy the line down to Arkansas State -3 and go with the Red Wolves minus the points.
Spooky Express Pick: Arkansas State -3
Note: This bowl game is being handicapped and broken down weeks in advance of the game being played. Please be sure to check back periodically to determine if any changes have been made and be sure to check the day of the game, to receive and over/under plays that we may provide.