Sports Picks

Arizona Bowl Features Boise State and Central Michigan for New Years Eve Battle


The 2021 Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl will take place on December 31 at Arizona Stadium in Tuscon, Arizona. The game will kick off at 2:00 PM ET and feature the Boise State Broncos against the Central Michigan Chippewas. 

Boise State comes into this matchup with a record of 7-5, while Central Michigan has gone 8-4 on the season. Arizona Stadium has a seating capacity of 50,782, and a large crowd is expected to be in attendance on New Year’s Eve. 

Barstool Sports is now the title sponsor of the Arizona Bowl after an announcement was made in July. The 2020 version of the game was played without any fans in attendance due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Even though the Arizona Bowl is set to take place on New Year’s Eve, it is now one of the top bowl games on the schedule. This bowl chooses teams from the Mountain West Conference and the Mid-American Conference (MAC). 

History of Arizona Bowl

The Arizona Bowl was one of three new bowl games added and sanctioned by the NCAA back in 2015. The first game was played with two teams from the Mountain West Conference, but the MAC is now tied into this bowl as well.

This game has been played six times since 2015, and Nevada is the only team that has won the Arizona Bowl more than once. The 2021 game was won by Ball State, marking the first victory for a team from the MAC in the Arizona Bowl.

The Mountain West has had a team in the Arizona Bowl in all six games, including two teams in the first matchup. Mountain West teams have won four of the first six games, with the Sun Belt Conference also picking up a win in the history of the Arizona Bowl.

NOVA Home Loans was the title sponsor for the first five years of this game, but that company decided not to renew the contract when it came up. Offerpad stepped up at that time to become the title sponsor in 2020, but that was just a one-year deal.

Barstool Sports will stream the 2021 Arizona Bowl, and it will not be available on ESPN like the rest of the bowl games. 

Broncos are Betting Favorite

The betting odds for the Arizona Bowl are not the biggest spread out of all bowl games, but there is a pretty clear favorite. Boise State is an eight-point favorite over Central Michigan, and the Broncos are a team that spent time in the Top 25 this season. 

Both teams are coming into this game with some momentum after going 4-1 in their last five games, which could create a pretty good matchup. Central Michigan is the better offensive team in this game, but Boise State has been a tremendous defensive team.

Central Michigan averages over 180 rushing yards per game, while Boise State does most of their damage through the year. The team that can establish their identity on New Year’s Eve should be able to take control of this game. 

Since the Chippewas hail from the MAC Conference, you can expect some crazy or exciting plays in this one. Boise State is another team that has a history of completing trick plays in bowl games, and everything will be on the table. 

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