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Sports >  WSU football

Washington State opens as slight favorite against injury-riddled Iowa State in Alamo Bowl

Washington State Cougars cornerback Marcus Strong (4) celebrates after he intercepted a pass against Arizona during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars cornerback Marcus Strong (4) celebrates after he intercepted a pass against Arizona during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Las Vegas oddsmakers like Washington State’s chances of picking up a win in the Valero Alamo Bowl, but they also expect that a Dec. 28 game between the Cougars and Iowa State will come down to the wire.

Hours after WSU learned it would be playing the Cyclones in the San Antonio-based bowl game, the Cougars opened as a 1 1/2-point betting favorite to beat their Big 12 opponent. The line moved to 1 point later in the day.

WSU (10-2, 7-2) and ISU (8-4, 6-3) will be meeting for the first time ever when the Alamo Bowl kicks off at 6 p.m. PT in the Alamodome.

The Cougars’ status as an early favorite could be in part because of ISU’s growing injury list.

The Cyclones entered Saturday’s season finale against Drake starting safeties D’Andre Payne (shoulder) and Greg Eisworth (unspecified), in addition to starting cornerback Datrone Young (shoulder). ISU right tackle Bryce Meeker (leg) and linebacker Marcel Spears (unspecified) left the Cyclones’ 27-24 win with injuries.

WSU has stayed relatively healthy this season, with the exception of starting cornerback Sean Harper Jr., who sustained an unspecified upper body injury midway through the year and has missed each of the last six games. Harper Jr. isn’t expected to return for the Alamo Bowl.

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