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Weekend bowl odds preview

Bowl season kicks off this weekend with a tripleheader. It starts with the St. Petersburg Bowl and the New Mexico on Saturday and concludes on Sunday with the New Orleans Bowl.

St. Petersburg Bowl odds – Central Florida Knights vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

In this jousting match the Scarlet Knights are a 2.5-point favorite at Bovada.

Both Rutgers and Central Florida were 8-4 during the season, but the oddsmakers have put more stock in the Big East than the Conference USA after picking Rutgers as the favorite.

The Scarlet Knights were led by their defense this season, which was the best in the Big East. Offensively they were an inconsistent band, led by QB Tom Savage and running back Joe Martinek. Rutgers closed out the regular season with a close 24-21 loss to West Virginia, but they did knock off South Florida in their lone win versus a ranked team this season.

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Central Florida had a rough time versus ranked teams this season with losses to Texas and Miami (FL). However, they did pull off a surprising upset over then No. 13 Houston. To upset Rutgers the Knights will need to find a way though their tough defense. That will be up to QB Brett Hodges and RB Brynn Harvey who lead a pretty balanced Knights offense.

New Mexico Bowl odds – Wyoming vs. Fresno State

Wyoming returns to a bowl game for the first time since 2004, but the oddsmakers at Bovada don’t expect them to walk away with a victory after listing them as a 10.5-point underdog.

The Cowboys may have qualified for a bowl game, but they still only went 6-6 this season, which included a 4-4 mark in the Mountain West. They may have a hard time keeping up with Fresno State’s well-oiled offensive machine after recording only eight touchdown passes during the regular season.

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The Bulldogs have one of the most underrated offenses in football, which may come from playing in the WAC where Boise State gets most of the glory. Fresno State running back Ryan Coburn quietly rushed for 1664 yards and 17 touchdowns this season and could feast on a Wyoming defense which surrendered 170.5 rushing yard per game this season.

New Orleans Bowl odds – Middle Tennessee St. vs. Southern Miss

The Southern Miss may have only been 7-5 this season, but the oddsmakers at Bovada still like them to take out Middle Tennessee State as a 3.5-point favorite.

The Golden Eagles didn’t exactly finish off the season strong with two losses in their last four games. At least they came against strong opposition in then No. 15 Houston and Conference-USA champs East Carolina and both losses were by a touchdown or less.

Middle Tennessee State is in a bowl game for only the second time after a 9-3 season. Their biggest weapon is quarterback Dwight Dasher who passed for 2627 yards and 21 touchdowns and also ran for 953 yards and 11 TDs this season. He won’t have it quite as easy versus Southern Miss as he did against Sun Belt opponents though. The Golden Eagles own the No. 3 defense in Conference-USA and they were No. 2 versus the run.

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