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College football Bowl odds recap

New Year’s eve is a busy night for bowl games with five of them on tap starting with the Armed Forces Bowl between Houston and Air Force.

Armed Forces Bowl – Air Force Falcons vs. Houston Cougars

In this bowl matchup between the nations top offense and a pretty good defense the Cougars are a 5-point favorite over at Bovada.

The Cougars averaged an amazing 581.2 yard per game this season while scoring 43.9 point per contest. Offensively they’re led by QB Case Keenum, who led the nation in passing with 5449 yards. As a comparison the No. 2 passer, Bowling Green’s Tyler Sheehan, passed for 4051 yards.

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Houston may be able to score seemingly at will, but their defense is horrible, which is why they were 10-3 this season instead of a perfect 13-0.

The Falcons could be the ones to finally slow down the Houston passing attack, as they boasted the nation’s top pass defense this season. Air Force allowed only 148 passing yards per game this season, much lower than the 450 yards Houston puts up per game.

Coincidentally this is a rematch of last year’s Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars were a 5.5-point favorite in that game and won 34-28.

Sun Bowl – Stanford Cardinal vs. Oklahoma Sooners

The Cardinals may have played giant killer a number of times this season in the Pac-10 and boast this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, but it’s the Sooners who are the favorite in Sun Bowl odds at Bovada as a 10-point chalk.

Oklahoma’s season started out badly after last season’s Heisman winner, QB Sam Bradford went down with injury. Bradford eventually returned, but barely got his arm loose before injury struck again and knocked him out for the season.

Backup QB Landry Jones took over and filled in admirably, but one just has to wonder where this Sooners team might be right now if Bradford has been healthy all season.

The Cardinal knocked out three ranked Pac-10 opponents this season with wins over Washington, Oregon and USC. Heisman winner Toby Gerhart led the way while rushing for 1736 yards and 26 touchdowns. He’ll be in tough against Oklahoma’s run defense, which ranked third in the Big 12 this season.

Texas Bowl odds – Navy Midshipmen vs. Missouri Tigers

The Tigers are the oddsmakers choice in this one at Bovada, currently coming in as a 6.5-point chalk.

Missouri finished off the regular season with three-straight wins to earn their bowl invite. The Tigers rely heavily on the pass and it’s no wonder with Danario Alexander catching balls. Alexander led all receivers this season with 1644 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Midshipmen live by the run behind their triple option offense. Quarterback Ricky Dobbs had a huge season on the ground with 1037 yards and 24 touchdowns. Navy’s triple-option won’t be able to target the Tiger’s weakness this season. The Tigers were dreadful against the pass this season, but Dobbs only threw for 901 yards all year.

Insight Bowl – Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Both the Golden Gophers and the Cyclones stumbled to 6-6 record this season, but the oddsmakers at Bovada think Minnesota is a bit better in the battle of .500 teams and have them listed as a 2.5-point chalk.

Minnesota lost four of their final six games behind a horrid offense. The Golden Gophers were dead last in offense yards and scoring offense in the Big Ten this season. They may have drawn the perfect opponent though, as the Cyclones were nearly just as bad on defense, ranking 11th in the Big 12.

Minnesota also played in last year’s Insight Bowl when they were pounded by Kansas 42-21 as a 9-point underdog.

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Chick-fil-A Bowl – Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Tennessee Volunteers

The Volunteers may have finished the regular season strong, but it’s the Hokies who the oddsmakers at Bovada have down as a 5.5-point favorite in this one.

Tennessee won four of their last five games and QB Jonathan Crompton showed great improvement down the stretch. The Vols biggest offense threat is still running back Montario Hardesty, who rushed for 1306 yards this season.

Virginia Tech also has a noteworthy back in Ryan Williams. This season Williams rushed for 1538 yards as a freshman and a found the end zone 19 times. The Hokies appear to have the edge of defense, which could lead them to victory if they can shutdown Hardesty.

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