Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

Bowl Season Betting Blog: Pamela’s Thoughts on Every Bowl Game

Bowl Season Betting Blog

December is both my most favorite and least favorite month of the year. On one hand, the NFL playoff picture is becoming clearer, college football bowl games consume the holidays and, of course, all the holiday food. On the other hand, bowl games also mean another year of college football is almost over and, ugh, this makes me sad every dang time.

So, in an effort to soak up every last bit of college football we have left, I’ve decided to write a running blog throughout bowl season, documenting my thoughts and leans for every single bowl game.

Don’t see the game you’re looking to bet? Check back a couple of days before kickoff.

Upcoming Games

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Southern Miss vs Tulane -7, 56.5

The Golden Eagles and quarterback Jack Abraham had a horrible final game of the season. I was all over them as dogs but boy did they disappoint, losing to Florida Atlantic 34-17. In all fairness, Abraham was expected to sit due to injury but instead played and perhaps that played a role. He threw for just 182 yards, zero touchdowns, and had FOUR interceptions. 

Let’s compare quarterbacks. Abraham has a 67 percent completion rate with 18 touchdowns and nearly as many interceptions, 15 to be exact. Maybe this game he’ll make out like Jameis Winston and finish 18-18. When he connects with his receivers, though, it is good, averaging 8.7 yards per pass.

Tulane’s Justin McMillan is a running threat. He has 26 touchdowns, 12 of them on the ground, making him third in the country among quarterbacks in rushing scores.

Defensively, Tulane, in their last three games, gave up 297 passing yards to Temple and 319 to UCF, and allowed SMU to put up 37 points, losing all three contests. In their game against Memphis, they surrendered 358 passing yards. This is a team highly susceptible on that secondary. 

Southern Miss, in its last two games, was only able to produce 10 and 17 points. I think this is a game of bad vs bad and who is going to be less bad?

Lean: Southern Miss +7

LendingTree Bowl: Miami (OH) vs Louisiana-Lafayette -14, 55.5

RedHawks quarterback Brett Gabbert completed only 53 percent of his passes and had only 11 touchdowns against eight interceptions. You just can’t be that inadequate offensively and think you can contend with a Ragin’ Cajuns team that is averaging 38 points per game, is ninth-best in red-zone scores, and top 10 in both rushing yards per game and per carry. Miami (OH) is that team that does not score (averaging just 19 points per game) but still won games, finishing the regular season 8-5. 

The question becomes can they defend against Louisiana? They did face rushing teams in Cincinnati and Ball State, losing both by two scores or more, but beat Buffalo early in the season and Kent State. 

This team makes no sense to me. Louisiana should want to bounce back against an inferior opponent after losing to App State 45-38.  But do they have the interest in playing here?

If Miami (OH) falls behind early, do they have the ability to play catchup? I don’t see it. 

Lean: Louisiana -14

Past Games

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Nevada vs Ohio -8, 58.5

I think we saw with Utah that losing your season closer in ugly fashion possibly carries over to your next game. Nevada enters this bowl the same way. They lost to rival UNLV 33-30 in overtime to close out their regular season. That wasn’t the end of it, though. Post-game saw a bit of a brawl that led to multiple suspensions. Missing will be a safety, cornerback and defensive tackle, while a linebacker will sit out the first half. As if things couldn’t get worse, Nevada will also have a new slate of interim coaches. The Wolf Pack let go of their defensive coordinator, secondary coach and safeties coach.

With all that being said, Ohio and Nevada aren’t even in the same league offensively. The Bobcats average 35 points per game compared to Nevada’s 18, and are better at red-zone scoring, yards per game (by a lot – 441 vs 315), yards per play (6.6 vs 4.6), passing yards per attempt (9.3 vs 5.9), and both rushing yards per game (225 vs 126) and per carry (5.4 vs 3.7). 

For Ohio, they have an opportunity to close out a winning season (currently 6-6) and for quarterback Nathan Rourke, it’s his final game. Let me tell ya, he’s no slouch – 61 percent completion rate, 2,676 passing yards, 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions, and he is the team’s second-leading rusher with 780 yards and 12 touchdowns.

This Nevada team is 114th in defending the pass, allowing 260 yards per game. Good luck, Nevada. The Bobcats are also 16th-best in third-down conversions. They will move the chains, they will score points, and Nevada may just throw in the towel. 

But laying 8 points with a MAC team? Nevada has a terrible offensive line, is susceptible to turnovers, has a one-dimensional mediocre offense and can’t defend the pass. Yeah.

Lean: Ohio -8

TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl: Boston College vs Cincinnati -7, 55.5

Could we see a big game from BC running back AJ Dillon. He’s rushed for 1,685 yards and has 14 touchdowns. Combine his ability with David Bailey – 816 yards with eight touchdowns – and you’ve got yourself the fifth-best rushing team in the nation. Aside from UCF, the Bearcats have not faced a top-25 rushing team this season and did give up 200 rushing yards to Memphis in both meetings. 

In away stats, these two teams are actually very similar, limiting opponents to 180 rushing yards per game, 4.7 yards per carry, with pass rushes that don’t instill fear. They’re really good at ball protection and there’s no edge in takeaways. 

One difference, however, is that BC is third-best at converting on third down while Cincinnati is 100th in defending. If the Eagles can keep drives alive, then I like their chances of keeping the ball out of Desmond Ridder’s hands and keeping this game close.

Lean: Boston College +7

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Indiana vs Tennessee -2, 52.5

The Volunteers will be without receiver Jauan Jennings for the first half of the game due to suspension. Tennessee is not a team built on offense, though. They average just 14 points per game and are 114th in red-zone scores and 94th in total offense.

Their strength lies in the defense, top 30 in opponent yards per game and opponent passing, and with a top-25 pass rush. That, however, will be tested against Indiana’s passing offense and receiver Whop Philyor. He recorded 1,000 receiving yards this season and leads the Big Ten with 489 yards after the catch.

What I like: The Hoosiers are fourth in the nation for time of possession with a six-minute differential over Tennessee. They are also an offense that has tied a team record with nine games of 30 points or more. 

Lean: Indiana +2.5

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Baylor vs Georgia -5, 42

I’m not impressed with either of these teams. The Bears came away with a lot of close wins this season, beating Rice by eight points, Iowa State by two, Texas Tech by three, West Virginia by three and TCU by six, and lost to Oklahoma twice. Baylor did put a stomping on Kansas and UTSA (insert eye roll emoji).

Georgia, on the other hand, shut out two teams but only put up 21 and 27 points in those contests, and got stomped on by LSU. Can’t fault them too much for that one, but I think this is a team that was given too much credit all season and it finally caught up to them in the end. Georgia will be without two starting offensive tackles as they prep for the draft, receiver Dominick Blaylock will be out after tearing his ACL against LSU, and defensive tackle Tyler Clark will also miss the game. 

Even with Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer expected to play, I think this will be a defensive battle. He’s coming back from a concussion and this isn’t the defense you immediately want to face. The teams are 16th and second in opponent points per game, while Georgia is first in the country in opponent red-zone scores. Both teams also have difficulty converting on third down, ranking 102 (Baylor) and 84 (Georgia), with Georgia being 11th-best in defending these downs.

If fully healthy, Brewer is the more capable quarterback – 20 touchdowns, six interceptions, 65 percent completion rate and averaging 8.5 yards per pass. Jake Fromm, on the other hand, only averages 7.4 with a 60 percent completion rate. 

It’s another game that comes down to motivation. I think Baylor will be up for the challenge after coming off six losses in 2018 to now just two this season and will be looking to ride that wave into 2020. Georgia, though, who knows. They got wrecked in their final game of the season and with many players out, the ones who are there may feel the empty space around them. 

Lean: UNDER, Baylor +5

VRBO Citrus Bowl: Michigan vs Alabama -7, 58.5

Alabama will be without cornerback Trevon Diggs, who accounts for three interceptions and 37 tackles this season, and linebacker Terrell Lewis. I think the expectation is that Michigan will be with all of its players due to a “finish what I started” mentality. 

This is uncharted territory for Alabama. Nick Saban and company are used to being in the spotlight and the VRBO (although a great travel company) isn’t a national championship game or playoff game. So where does that leave the Crimson Tide? This is still an opportunity for quarterback Mac Jones to put on his big boy pants and show that he has what it takes to be a QB1. He’s no Tua but he has thrown for a 70 percent completion rate on over 1,100 yards with 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions, two of which came against Auburn in a 48-45 loss in their season closer. 

Now how do we gauge Michigan? They got wrecked by Wisconsin and Ohio State, and lost by one score to Penn State. They did put a stomping on Notre Dame but I clearly remember that game (you always remember your losses) because it was played in nasty, ugly, rain, wind, bad weather. I don’t like judging teams’ results in situations like that. The Wolverines do well against bad teams and crack under pressure against good ones. But again, how good and, more importantly, how motivated will Alabama be? There’s no metric for motivation and for that, this is a complete stay-away. 

Lean: OVER. We know Alabama’s defense has been susceptible, allowing 46 points to LSU, 48 to Auburn and even 28 to A&M. Michigan gave up 56 to Ohio State and is averaging 37 points in its last three games. QB Shea Patterson seems to have found a bit of a stride and Jones is still auditioning. 

Outback Bowl: Minnesota vs Auburn -7, 53.5

Auburn will be without defensive tackle Nick Coe, and Minnesota will be without outside linebacker Kamal Martin. 

Auburn confuses me. The Tigers lost to Florida, barely lost to LSU, barely beat Ole Miss, lost to Georgia and barely won in a 48-45 shootout against Alabama. A team I consider to be all over the place. One thing I am certain of, Minnesota has a balanced offense with some big playmaking abilities. Quarterback Tanner Morgan has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards with 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He looks good because he is good but he also has two offensive weapons at hand, receivers Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson, who have combined for 2,284 yards and 22 touchdowns.

This matters because Auburn just gave up 335 passing yards to Alabama and four passing touchdowns. In their loss to Florida, they gave up two passing touchdowns and 270 passing yards. Although Auburn only allowed 23 points to LSU, they allowed over 321 passing yards. Tanner Morgan is no Joe Burrow but this trio is a talented group and can exploit a susceptible Auburn secondary. 

I don’t think Bo Nix and this passing offense is much to fear. Nix is only throwing for a 57 percent completion rate and averaging just 5.8 yards per pass away. Auburn’s strength lies in the run game but if they fall short early, they’ll have to turn to Nix to come up with some big plays and I don’t believe he has the consistent ability to do that. Morgan, on the other hand, is averaging 10.8. However, Minnesota has shown they, too, can be exploited as we saw in their 31-26 win over Penn State, giving up 339 passing yards. Still, I think this will be more of an offensive game rather than defense showing out. If that’s the case, I like Minnesota to stay within a touchdown and potentially pull off the upset. 

Lean: Minnesota +7

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs Wisconsin -3, 50.5

Running back Jonathan Taylor is a stud: 21 touchdowns and averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Can he have success against an Oregon defense that is 15th-best, limiting running backs to just 3.8 yards per carry? That will be the key as he was limited to a combined 182 yards rushing and just one touchdown in Wisconsin’s two losses this regular season, excluding the Big Ten championship game. Here’s the thing, though: Oregon has faced just two rushing teams, losing to Auburn in their season opener 27-21 and beating Utah in their season closer 37-15. In between, the teams they have faced are ranked 122, 112, 69, 70, 129, 118, 68, 101 and 76 in rushing. So yeah, those stats are skewed just a bit.

But yes, Justin Herbert is a good quarterback, he may even be great. Will Wisconsin be prepared? The teams they have faced are ranked 116, 48, 46, 127, 73, 52, 110, 64 and 81 in passing. The best passing team they faced is Ohio State (twice) and they lost both times, giving up 167 passing yards in the first game but 320 in the second and a combined five passing touchdowns. 

I interpret this as both teams having solid offenses and facing defenses that are more susceptible than appears on paper. And for that reason, I think an OVER is a possibility but it could be tight. Both have solid pass rushes and similar offensive lines, average 29 and 33 points per game, are solid in red-zone scoring, and can convert fairly well on third down. 

I have two separate conclusions for this game. 

One: A potential key difference could be in sacks and turnovers. Wisconsin has just eight more sacks than Oregon but for an additional 110 yards for a loss and has an additional seven forced fumbles to their name. If it comes down to the wire, I like the Badgers to have the slight edge against an Oregon team that’s given up 23 sacks on the season.

Two: This line is close for a reason but I’ll lean to the team that has momentum to build from, that is, winning their final game of the regular season, and has an additional eight interceptions against a quarterback who has given up an interception to each of the best defenses he’s played outside of Ohio State in Iowa and Northwestern.

Lean: I’ll watch as a fan. Weird stuff always happens in the Rose Bowl and I’d hate to be on the wrong side of randomness.

Belk Bowl: Kentucky vs Virginia Tech -2.5, 46.5

Virginia Tech’s run defense stats look stout! Except they haven’t played a top-40 rushing team since losing their season opener 35-28 to Boston College (fifth in rushing yards per game). I had to use eyedrops just to make sure I was seeing clearly. In Kentucky’s game against Louisville, they dominated 45-13 and the Wildcats did this with just four passing yards – FOUR! Kentucky instead produced 517 rushing yards with quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. accounting for four touchdowns and 284 of those yards. 

Aside from its game against Georgia, Kentucky has put up at least 300 rushing yards in each of its contests with Bowden behind center. Has it translated to wins? As with the game against Tennessee, not always, but Virginia Tech may not be prepared. Tie that in with the fact that the Hokies are bottom 10 in turnovers and I foresee a disaster. 

In each of their last five games, Kentucky has averaged 35 points and Virginia Tech 32. I think neither side will be able to stop the run and points will be scored. 

Lean: Kentucky +2.5, Kentucky ML +120, OVER 46.5

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: Florida State vs Arizona State -4.5, 54

Florida State will be without running back Cam Akers as he’ll be sitting out for the NFL draft. He accounts for 1,144 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. However, these two teams don’t rely on their run game, ranking 106th and 102nd in rushing yards per game. Instead, I look to the quarterbacks, and the two are pretty comparable – 62/64 percent completion rate, 8.9/7.9 passing yards per attempt, 17/16 touchdowns – with Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels having the edge on limiting his interceptions with just two vs James Blackman giving up seven. 

Defensively, neither can defend the pass as both are near the bottom for opponent passing yards allowed. Neither has a pass rush to fear and both have a bottom-30 offensive line. The third-down conversion rate is similar, but one difference could be takeaways. The Sun Devils are 21st in takeaways and that could play a role here. But I see too many similarities between the two to pick the favorite.

Lean: Florida State +4.5

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Kansas State vs Navy -2.5, 52.5

Right off the bat, the first thing I notice is the matchup of the No. 6 vs No. 11 teams in time of possession. Neither pass, both only run, and clearly they love to hold on to the ball. So now it’s a matter of who does it better. 

In looking at away stats, Navy averages 40 points per game compared to K-State’s 27. The Midshipmen have more red-zone scores, yards per game (456 vs 332), yards per play (6.7 vs 5.4) and gain over 200 more yards of rushing at 363 yards per game compared to K-State’s 158. Navy is also averaging two yards better with 6.2 rushing yards per attempt, while the Wildcats are at just 4.2. It’s one of those “anything you can do, I can do better” scenarios. Another thing Navy is great at is takeaways. They are 24th-best in the country at forcing turnovers, while K-State is 101st. 

The Wildcats gave up 373 rushing yards to Oklahoma State, of which 296 came from Chuba Hubbard. Although against Baylor the Bears only had 158 rushing yards, they were highly efficient at 5.1 yards per rush. The Midshipmen are averaging 6.2. K-State even gave up 214 yards to Texas and 5.9 yards per rush. 

I just don’t see K-State keeping the Midshipmen in check. I can’t even say I like the UNDER in this game because if Navy pulls away, they could have the potential to score 40-plus on their own.

Lean: Navy -2.5

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Georgia State vs Wyoming -7, 48

I expect Wyoming running back Xazavian Valladay to have a day. He has over 1,000 rushing yards this season with five touchdowns and averages 4.8 yards per carry. Georgia State is one of the worst at defending the run, ranked 111th in opponent rushing yards per game while giving up 200 or more rushing yards in multiple games this season, and 114th in opponent yards per carry, giving up 5.1 on average. 

Offensively, Georgia State running back Tra Barnett has racked up 1,389 yards and 12 touchdowns, with six 100-yard games this season. However, Wyoming’s run defense is stout, sixth-best in the nation in allowing just 100 yards per game. The Cowboys limited Air Force to just 162 yards on the ground and just one rushing touchdown. In a tight game against Boise, the Cowboys held the Broncos to under 300 yards of total offense. 

I’m not overthinking this. Wyoming has the better pass rush, the better offensive line, is good at limiting giveaways, and is better at forcing turnovers. 

Lean: Wyoming -7

Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas vs Utah -7, 55

It’s my blog and I can say what I want to – Texas BY A MILLION! Longhorns are my team. I bleed Burnt Orange and to be honest, I’ve never once studied a Texas game because I know for a fact I cannot look at them objectively. Every year I think we’re going to the national championship. The Rose Bowl was one of the most glorious events I’ve ever experienced and every year I want us to get back to that moment. 

But OK, OK, in all seriousness – TEXAS BY A MILLION! Hook ‘Em!

OK for real – all I see is Utah was crushed on a stage they were not at all prepared for. The Valero Bowl isn’t exactly dreamy but Texas will have the home crowd and down here in Texas, we like to get rowdy. The Longhorns will fight and play all four quarters of football till the clock says zero. That’s all you could ever ask for from an underdog. 

Lean: Texas +7, ML +225

SERVRO First Responder Bowl: Western Michigan vs Western Kentucky -3, 54

Just when I thought I was done with the MACtion, it pulls me right back in. Another matchup featuring a team of offense vs a team of defense. The Broncos are coming into this off a loss to Northern Illinois that kept them from playing the MAC title game, while the Hilltoppers are coming off a win to close out their regular season. Sure, they are 1-5 ATS away but two of those games were against Michigan State and Syracuse. The Broncos also have something that Western Kentucky doesn’t have: LeVante Bellamy, and it’s the last game of his college career. The running back has rushed for over 1,400 yards and has 23 touchdowns to show for it along with a MAC player of the year title.

Where does Western Kentucky happen to be most susceptible on defense? That run game. They gave up 171 rushing yards to Marshall, 189 yards to Florida Atlantic and 175 to Middle Tennessee. The Broncos aren’t a one-dimensional team on offense, though, unlike Western Kentucky. Quarterback Jon Wassink can contend with the Hilltoppers’ Ty Storey. Wassink has the slight edge, though, as he’s passing for 7.2 yards per attempt compared to Storey’s 6.6 when on the road and has seven more touchdowns.

Western Kentucky isn’t an offense to fear and is susceptible to giveways and will face a Western Michigan team that is 34th-best in pass rush and top 20 in takeaways. I like their chances to not just keep it close but to possibly come out with a win and finish their season strong.

Lean: Western Michigan +3

Redbox Bowl: Illinois vs Cal -6.5, 43.5

Two teams almost as bad as the name of the bowl they’ll be playing in – is Redbox even still around? Illinois is like that gnat that keeps coming back no matter how many times you swat it away. One of the most surprising games of the season came when Illinois rallied to beat Michigan State 37-34 after trailing 28-3.

The team name couldn’t be more spot on, the Fighting Illini are just that, fighters. Their season win total was projected at 4 and here they are in a bowl game after closing out a 6-6 season. So where does that leave them in this matchup? Neither team has much of an offense. Both rank in the 100s for passing yards per game and passing yards per attempt. Illinois has the slight edge (though it’s not much of an edge) on the run, rank 83rd in rushing yards per game compared to Cal, which ranks 113th. Neither side has much of a defense either, ranking 77th and 65th in total defense. So why is Cal getting nearly a touchdown? 

One strength Illinois does have is in takeaways, ranking third-best, in fact. This team has 12 interceptions and 18 forced fumbles. Neither team has an offensive line worth much but perhaps this Illinois turnover strength can be the key. 

Lean: Illinois +6.5

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Louisville vs Mississippi State -4.5, 63

I see points. These teams average 31 and 33 points per game and allow an average of 35 and 38 points per game, ranking them 75th (Mississippi State) and 120th (Louisville) in the country. Both also struggle with red-zone scoring, yet the Bulldogs put up 54 against Arkansas, 45 on Abilene Christian and even 30 against Texas A&M. Louisville, on the other hand, put up 62 on Wake Forest and 56 on Syracuse and allowed 45 against Kentucky. 

Louisville quarterback Macale Cunningham has been pretty good this season, with a 62 percent completion rate, 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions, and has averaged 11.4 passing yards per attempt. The Mississippi State passing defense should have difficulty containing him as they’ve allowed an average of 9.0 passing yards per attempt, making them bottom 10 in passing defenses. Being 27th-best in the country for rushing yards, the Bulldogs have also shown to be susceptible there, allowing an average of five yards per carry. 

Mississippi State’s offensive strength is also in their run game, 21st-best in rushing yards per game and now facing a bottom-15 team in defending the run. 

I don’t think either side will contain the other but I do think Mississippi State, being an SEC team, has faced the tougher competition overall and should be able to pull away in the end. 

Lean: OVER 63, Mississippi State -4.5

Capital One Orange Bowl: Virginia vs Florida -14.5, 54.5

The level of competition doesn’t even compare. The toughest team the Cavaliers faced was Notre Dame and they lost by 15 points. The Gators went up against Auburn, LSU and Georgia, all within a four-game period. Tough streak of matchups so they let it all out against Vanderbilt, crushing their souls 56-0. 

You could argue that besides LSU, the Gators haven’t faced passing teams. But then they went on to crush Florida State 40-17 in their regular-season closer. Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins definitely is a solid player – 64 percent completion rate and 18 touchdowns, but he does have 11 interceptions to go along with that and averages only 7.1 yards per pass. Florida’s quarterback, Kyle Trask, is better in nearly every way – 68 percent completion rate, 24 touchdowns to only six interceptions and averaging 8.4 yards per pass, all that against a tougher slate of opponents. 

This is a step down and Trask and company should have their way. Expect the Florida defense to feast, as well, with the sixth-best pass rush facing a bottom-10 offensive line. I predict sacks, lots of sacks, and Virginia being unable to get much going.

Lean: Florida -14.5

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: North Carolina -6 vs Temple, 53

The star of this game will be UNC quarterback Sam Howell. This freshman QB has thrown for 3,347 yards, 35 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. The Tar Heels are 18th in passing yards per game averaging 320 yards away and a solid 8.6 yards per attempt good to break the top 25 in the country. One thing I look at is pass rush versus offensive line. The Owls possess an 11th best pass rush which sounds threatening but although UNC is one of the worst teams in QB protection, they are 13th best in limiting giveaways. That tells me that Howell does a great job in his ability to protect the ball. So now that pass rush doesn’t really hold as much weight.

Although Temple’s strength stems from the defense, they are susceptible. The Owls got torched by SMU allowing Shane Buechele to throw for 457 yards and rush for 200 and then got torched again the following game by UCF giving up 230 passing yards but an ugly 385 yards on the ground.

Is UNC either of these teams? Not quite but they definitely are capable nearly beating Clemson losing by just one point in September and putting up over 300 passing yards in five games and 400 against NC State.

And because I know some folks love trends, Temple is 0-6 ATS in bowl games.

Lean: North Carolina -6

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Michigan State -3.5 vs Wake Forest, 50

A matchup between two opposites offensively. The Spartans rank 102nd in points per game averaging just 22 points and an even worse 15 on the road. This is a team that does not have much of a run game (111th in rushing yards per game) and relies heavily on its defense and passing game. Quarterback Brian Lewerke has been underwhelming passing for 2,700 yards with just a 58.6 completion percentage, 16 touchdowns but that comes with 12 interceptions. This is also a team that ranks 110th in giveaways and will now face a Demon Deacons team that comes with a top 35 pass rush and 4th in takeaways. Large part of that comes from Defensive end Carlos "Boogie" Basham Jr. He has 10 sacks, 24 tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles making him a reckoning on defense.

The big question mark comes from Wake – who will be starting at quarterback? Jamie Newman was injured in the last game against Syracuse. If he plays, I love for Wake to have a shot at an upset. If Newman sits, then it would be Sam Hartman who is able but I believe does not pose the same threat. Regardless of who plays behind center, I think this could be more of a defensive battle, a game of QB pressure from Wake against a solid total defense from Michigan State.

Lean: UNDER 50, Wake Forest +3.5

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs Texas A&M -5.5, 54

This will be short and simple: Will Chuba Hubbard play? The Oklahoma State running back leads the nation with 1,936 rushing yards this season on 309 carries at 6.8 yards per carry. That comes with 21 touchdowns, tied for third-most in the FBS. I have not seen info on whether he plans to play or not. Take him out of the equation and what do the Cowboys have on offense? This is a team that relies heavily on its run game. Even if Hubbard does play, the Aggies are a tough team to go up against on the run. They’ve allowed just 130 rushing yards on average this season giving up just 4 yards per attempt or less.

Quarterback Spencer Sanders will be out (still) after getting injured in an early November game. Dru Brown has been pretty good completing 44 of 61 of his passes since taking over. The Aggies will be without defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, who will be sitting out for the NFL draft.

Lean: Texas A&M -5.5

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: USC vs Iowa -2, 51.5

Iowa may not possess the threat on offense but damn they sure do on defense. The Hawkeyes are 4th best in the country in opponent scores per game limiting opponents to just 13 points on average. They are also 4th best in opponent red zone scores, and 10th in opponent yards per game allowing just 300 yards on total offense. The two games they “slipped” was against Wisconsin but it was against the run, giving up over 300 yards on the ground and lost by two points. They also gave up 368 passing yards to Minnesota as 2-point favorites but won by 4.

Through nine full games, USC quarterback Kedon Slovis has thrown for 3,168 yards, averaging 350 yards per game, with 28 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. But Iowa has a defense that will contend with Slovis’ ability. He’s already faced strong defenses in Utah and won by 7, Notre Dame and lost by three, but did lose by two scores to Washington.

I think this will be a great game to watch. It has the parts to make it an entertaining matchup but great games to watch don’t always lend to great games to put money on. This will be the best passing offense Iowa has faced but it will also be the best total defense USC has faced. Which wins? I’ll always lean to the defense, especially if they are facing a team that is susceptible to giveaways (117th).

Lean: Iowa -2

Cheez-It Bowl: Washington State vs Air Force -2.5, 68.5

The Cougars lost to UCLA in a 67-63 shootout. That was probably the most “WTF” games all season. Surely, I thought they would bounce back because the great Mike Leach just couldn’t lose two in a row. Instead, they went on to lose the next two and finished the season 6-6. I think this will be a game of whose weakness is exploited more. It’s no surprise to see Washington State lead in passing yards per game and top five in red zone scores – they are a high-powered offense who puts up points, we know this. But Air Force has already faced passing offenses and this matchup won’t be a surprise but it will be the most potent.

On the flip, the Cougars have not faced a rushing attack like Air Force. So, which defense will crack first? Considering Washington State is 104th in opponent points per play versus Air Force who is 37th, I’ll say the Cougars. One thing that military teams win at is time of possession, and Air Force is 5th in that area. If they can keep the ball out of Anthony Gordon’s hands, they have a solid chance of not just winning but pulling away.

Lean: Air Force -2.5

Camping World Bowl: Iowa State vs Notre Dame -3.5, 54

This is a bit of a tricky one. The Cyclones are one of the worst teams in the country (107th) in converting on third downs, yet three of their fives losses were by 2 points or less and one was by 7 points. It was only in their closing game against Kansas State did they lose by more than a touchdown, 27-17. It was also in that game where their lack of converting really was detrimental. Against the Wildcats, Iowa State was 1-13 on 3rddown efficiency with zero interceptions and zero turnovers. Let me say that again, the Cyclones only had a single 3rd down conversion in 60 minutes of football.

What will happen now against the Fighting Irish? Iowa State already struggles as it is and Notre Dame is a top 35 team in limiting these conversions. During bowl games, the number one thing people talk about is motivation. The Fighting Irish is a 10-2 team that had a shot at something better than the Camping World Bowl. Tie that with the fact that offensive coordinator Chip Long left the program will make things interesting. Will the loss of Long affect Ian Book and the offense? Do they have the motivation to be there? Based off how they closed their season, I think so.

But here's how I interpret Iowa State’s losses: they struggled most against a one-dimensional run-first team. Kansas State had the ball for 9 minutes longer and produced only 57 passing yards but 231 rushing yards. Three of Iowa State’s four losses were against teams that were pass-heavy and ran for 100 yards or less. This game is a matter of which plays will be called for Notre Dame. If they stick to the pass or keep to a balanced-offense I like Iowa State’s chances of keeping this close.

Lean: Iowa State +3.5

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Memphis vs Penn State -7, 60

I’m looking at this game with the expectation that Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford will play after missing the regular season closer due to injury. What I like about Memphis: quarterback Brady White – yeah, he’s pretty good. 64 percent completion on 369 attempts, over 3,500 yards, 33 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. Memphis is 29th in passing yards per game and a solid 10th in passing yards per attempt averaging 9.5 yards on the road. This is a perfect matchup for him as Penn State has shown its vulnerability against the pass. The Nittany Lions gave up 339 yards to Minnesota and 371 yards to Indiana. If Memphis can limit their turnovers, then I think they have a shot at staying within this number.

What I don’t like: Penn State has been on a stage this big before. In fact, this will be Penn State’s third New Year’s Six Bowl in four seasons. Meanwhile, Memphis’ Ryan Silverfield is making his head coaching debut in this game after Mike Norvell left for Florida State.

Lean: Memphis +7

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Oklahoma vs LSU -13.5, 76

Ugh, can I not talk about this game? There are games you bet on and games you leave your wallet in your pocket and just watch. For me, this is one of those games. Statistically, this is too many points. Though Oklahoma has struggled to cover spreads this season, they still do have the offensive weapons in dual threat quarterback Jalen Hurts and CeeDee Lamb. What I see is the potential for this game to get out of hand and turn out to be a shootout just like Iowa State/Oklahoma (42-41). LSU has put up big points against some of the better defenses in the country like A&M, Georgia, and even Florida. Though on paper, Oklahoma passing stats are top 30, they did allow 48 points from Kansas State, 41 points from Iowa State and I’ll throw in the 31 from Baylor.

Now they’re going up against the number one team in total yards per game, 2nd best passing yards per game, and third in yards per play. I kn76 is a lot but it’s also really tough to see Oklahoma containing a team this powerful on offense. LSU is susceptible on that secondary allowing nearly 300 passing yards on defense. They allowed over 200 passing yards from Vanderbilt and Ole Miss (113th and 99th in passing yards per game), and 418 yards from Alabama, resulting in a 46-41 game. This team is not exactly strong in limiting the pass.

Pick: OVER 76, Lean: Oklahoma +13.5. Another option you could consider is LSU +130 to win the Championship. Potentially, this might be the final opportunity to get them at plus money.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs Clemson -2, 63

If Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields is healthy, I like Ohio State’s chances to win. I think he is the better quarterback who has faced much tougher opponents, and has been tested and ready to face Clemson. Fields has 67.5 percent completion and what I love, 9.6 passing yards per attempt compared to Trevor Lawrence throwing for 8.8 yards away. Yes, it’s just one yard but in matchups like these, every bit of yardage matters.

We all know the narrative – who have they faced? No one, the answer is no one. Since this is a blog, I can be a bit informal. I’m not entirely sure I’m looking at this game objectively and for that, it is a stay away. Trevor Lawrence is still a stud. This Clemson team is still experienced and talented and both teams have been here before. It’ll be a good one to watch.

Lean: Ohio State +2

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl: LA Tech vs Miami -6, 50

This is a bit of a tricky one. The Cyclones are one of the worst teams in the country (107th) in converting on third downs, yet three of their fives losses were by 2 points or less and one was by 7 points. It was only in their closing game against Kansas State did they lose by more than a touchdown, 27-17. It was also in that game where their lack of converting really was detrimental. Against the Wildcats, Iowa State was 1-13 on 3rddown efficiency with zero interceptions and zero turnovers. Let me say that again, the Cyclones only had a single 3rd down conversion in 60 minutes of football. What will happen now against the Fighting Irish? Iowa State already struggles as it is and Notre Dame is a top 35 team in limiting these conversions. During bowl games, the number one thing people talk about is motivation. The Fighting Irish is a 10-2 team that had a shot at something better than the Camping World Bowl. Tie that with the fact that offensive coordinator Chip Long left the program will make things interesting. Will the loss of Long affect Ian Book and the offense? Do they have the motivation to be there? Based off how they closed their season, I think so. But here's how I interpret Iowa State’s losses: they struggled most against a one-dimensional run-first team. Kansas State had the ball for 9 minutes longer and produced only 57 passing yards but 231 rushing yards. Three of Iowa State’s four losses were against teams that were pass-heavy and ran for 100 yards or less. This game is a matter of which plays will be called for Notre Dame. If they stick to the pass or keep to a balanced-offense I like Iowa State’s chances of keeping this close. Lean: Iowa State +3.5

The LA Tech Bulldogs have won a bowl game in each of the last five seasons. If they win this matchup against the Hurricanes, however, it would give them their first 10-win season at the FBS level.  That being said, I love LA Tech to do some damage here. Offensively, this team has the weapons and the stats to back it up. The Bulldogs are not only better than Miami but they are better by a lot averaging nearly 200 more yards per game, 2 yards more yards per play, converting third downs three times more, nearly two yards more passing yards per attempt, and two yards more rushing yards per attempt.

Their biggest strength, QB J’Mar Smith with nearly 3,000 yards, 17 TDs, 4 INT. He sure can make big plays, averaging 8.9 passing yards per attempt at home and since this is in Louisiana, I’m definitely considering this home-field advantage.

Miami will be missing some players: defensive ends Jonathan Garvin and Trevon Hill, wide receiver Jeff Thomas, and linebacker Michael Pinckney will all sit out to prep for the NFL draft. These three starters combined for 31 tackles for a loss, plus 14.5 sacks. Miami defense will certainly be tested.

I won’t guess motivation here but LA Tech has won their last five bowl games, while Miami is 1-4 SU and now enter this game after losing their final two games of the season, including that 30-24 loss against FIU as 12-point favorites.

Lean: LA Tech +6, ML + 185

Quick Lane Bowl: Pitt -11.5 vs Eastern Michigan, 48.5

I like to take dogs only if I think they can win. I’ll be honest, I don’t really see the Eagles winning this game. But it’s more of a homefield advantage?! OK, that’s one thing. Here’s how I see it. Eastern Michigan has faced a much easier set of opponents. They put a stomping on Akron and Northern Illinois, but got stomped on when they actually faced some defense against Buffalo and Central Michigan. What I don’t like is that EMU is 103rd in converting on third downs. If you’re going up against a pretty solid defense, then what is your edge offensively? Not being able to move the chains will hurt. Another thing I don’t like: Pitt, although not the strongest offensively, is top 25 in converting on third, while EMU is 112th in defending.

But Pitt looks terrible on offense?! Yes, they got wrecked 28-0 against Virginia Tech, and I remember because I took Pitt but if you look back, it was played in ugly weather with wind, rain, the works. Surely that affected them. Now what I don’t like from Pitt is QB Kenny Pickett has thrown as many TDs as INT (10/9) and now facing an EMU team that is top 30 in takeaways. He’s also been highly ineffective when passing, averaging 251 passing yards but only 6.1 passing yards per attempt, 109th in the country.

How I see it, one of two things can happen in this game. 1: EMU’s offense can hang and stay within the number and if Pitt slips even a bit, can find themselves in an upset spot. 2: This is an opportunity for Pitt to get back on track offensively versus a team that on paper looks good but has faced inferior opponents.

I do think Pitt’s defense, mainly that pass rush, can cause some havoc.

Pick: Pass, pass, pass. This line has jumped from 10.5 to 11.5. If you like EMU, I’d wait a bit to see if this can maybe hit 12.

Lean: UNDER. Both teams are 98th and 86th in red zone scores and with Pitt’s defense plus EMU’s inability to convert on third, I’d like this to stay low-scoring.

Hawai’i Bowl: BYU -2 vs Hawaii, 64

I want to find reasons to take Hawaii but if you have to search hard, then that should be an answer. I respect the Rainbow Warriors as they are looking for their first 10-win season since 2010 but for me, it’s pretty simple – I can’t take a team that possesses zero defense.

They are 100th in opponent points per game, 110th in opponent yards per play, 120th in opponent rushing yards per attempt, and offensively are near last in giveaways down at the bottom with a -0.8 turnover margin facing a Cougars team ranked 22nd in takeaways. That could definitely play a big factor here as QB Cole McDonald has 14 interceptions this season.

BYU hasn’t exactly been impressive but I think they can do enough defensively to keep Hawaii in check. 

Lean: BYU ML -125

New Mexico Bowl: Central Michigan vs San Diego State -3.5, O/U 41

One reason I love college football is because I love to watch high-scoring, no-defense, just pure offensive games. This will not be one of those games, so I will not be watching. San Diego State did not make it this far with its offense. It got here by playing a mean defense. The Aztecs have allowed just one team to score 23 points on them and that was Utah State back in Week 2. They allowed 22 to Wyoming and still won. In every other game, they have allowed 17 points or less. There’s a reason they are 1-11 (91.7 percent) this season on the UNDER, the only team in the country with this O/U record.

One reason for that is linebacker Kyahva Tezino, who leads the team with 96 total tackles (42 solo tackles), three sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. He will give the Chippewas hell and we just saw how Central Michigan handles a good defense (spoiler: not well) in losing the MAC championship to Miami (Ohio) after previously losing 43-20 to the best defense in the MAC in Buffalo.

You have to give credit where credit is due and what first-year CMU coach Jim McElwain has done is outstanding, turning the Chippewas program around from 1-11 last season to now potentially closing out a 9-5 campaign.

What to watch for: Which quarterback will get the start for the Aztecs? Ryan Agnew sat in the regular-season closer against BYU due to injury and saw Carson Baker close out a big win. Regardless of who plays behind center, one thing for certain is this will be a game of defense and San Diego State is fifth in opponent yards per game, 10th in opponent yards per play and first in opponent rushing yards per attempt, allowing just 2.7 yards.

Pick: UNDER 41, Lean: San Diego State -3.5

Cure Bowl: Liberty vs Georgia Southern -4.5, O/U 58

There’s really only one reason to watch this game and it’s the pass-catch combo of Liberty quarterback Stephen Calvert and wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden. Yes, that’s really his name and it’s magnificent. Standing six-foot-four, this 220-pound stud is ranked third in the country with 1,333 receiving yards and is 47 receiving yards away from setting a school record. Calvert has thrown for 26 TDs this season to just five interceptions for 3,300 yards. The Georgia Southern defensive weakness? Passing attacks. The Eagles allowed at least 270 passing yards in each of their five games prior to their matchup with Georgia State. Calvert has a 59 percent completion rate and Georgia Southern has given up a 60 percent completion rate in each of its five losses.

The Eagles’ offensive strength lies in the run game. Is it as dominant as last season? No, but they are still averaging nearly five yards per attempt and facing a team that is ranked 105th in opponent rushing yards per attempt. Aside from a one-score loss to BYU and a thrashing from Virginia, Liberty hasn’t really played anyone worth noting after winning the season opener vs Buffalo. Then, of course, they lost to Rutgers, so there’s that. But this is their first bowl game appearance and, offensively, they have the talent. Georgia Southern may run the ball but is a bottom-five team in converting third downs. I’ll take a strong passing team with a susceptible defense vs a mediocre run team with a susceptible defense.

Lean: Liberty +4.5

Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl: SMU -3 vs FAU, O/U 70.5

SMU is absolutely my favorite team of 2019. Before the season started, I mentioned Shane Buechele and his potential as a “high-ceiling QB.” That turned out to be an understatement: 63 percent completion rate on 443 attempts, over 3,600 yards, 33 TDs to 9 INTs. This SMU team was fun to watch. They may have one of the best pass rushes in the country but what good is that if you’re allowing opponents to score 35 points per game? The Mustangs gave up 50-plus to Memphis and East Carolina. There’s a reason they went 9-3 to the OVER this season.

However, I do think the Owls are a step down in competition. Sure, they’ve allowed an average of just 13 points per game in their last six but look at their competition — UAB (100th in total offense), Southern Miss (whose QB Jack Abraham was coming off injury), UTSA (110th in TO), FIU (94th in TO), Western Kentucky (88th in TO) and Old Dominion (128th in TO). One thing FAU does have going for them, they did put up 21 points against Ohio State in their season opener but then got pummeled by UCF the week after and haven’t really played anyone since. The level of competition has just not been the same.

They are first in takeaways and that stat will be put to the test against a team that ranked 12th in passing yards per game. The key here will be if FAU can stop the run. In SMU’s two losses, to Memphis and Navy, the Mustangs had less than 100 yards rushing.

One thing to remember, head coach Lane Kiffin is moving on to Ole Miss. Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer will act as interim head coach for this game. A different coach is reason enough for me to stay away.

Lean: SMU -3

Florida International vs Arkansas State -2.5, 62.5

I have no clue what to do with this game. I think it’s a fair line. On one hand, you have an Arkansas State team that has zero defense, ranking 117th in opponent rushing yards per game, 100th in opponent passing yards per game, 112th in opponent points per game and 114th in opponent red-zone scores. FIU QB James Morgan isn’t a beast by any means but he’s done well, passing for over 2,200 yards with 13 TDs to just three INTs this season. This will be his first bowl game after missing last year’s due to injury. On the other hand, the Panthers are not that much more impressive. They went 3-3 in their last six games, a stretch that included getting crushed by Middle Tennessee, beating Old Dominion by one score, getting crushed by FAU and pulling a surprise 21-point dog upset over Miami.

This is also a team whose stats I believe are skewed — they’re sixth-best in passing defense but faced only LA Tech, FAU and Miami in top-75 passing opponents. I don’t think Arkansas State can defend worth a lick, and FIU has given up an average of 40 points when on the road. It is worth noting that FIU head coach Butch Davis is 8-1 ATS in bowl games. Do with that what you will.

Lean: OVER

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: Marshall vs UCF -17.5, O/U 61.5

I’m not one for trends but damn – Marshall head coach Doc Holliday is 6-0 ATS in bowl games. And that fits perfectly into my initial thoughts for this game – it’s too many points. Is Marshall an offensive powerhouse that will keep the Knights on their toes? Certainly not but they do have a defense that can do just enough to not let things get out of hand. Marshall has allowed opponents to score an average of just 20 points per game on the road but certainly this will be their biggest offensive test. They did manage to pull off an upset win over Florida Atlantic, holding the Owls to just 57 total rushing yards, and that was in large part due to the success of their pass rush, sacking FAU QB Chris Robison seven times for a total loss of 47 yards.

UCF is susceptible to turnovers. In three losses this season, the Knights were a -7 in turnover margin with a total of nine giveaways. If Marshall can get the run game going (averaging 167 yards on the road) against the Knights, who have allowed an average of 155 rushing yards per game, then I like their chances of keeping this within the number.

Things to Watch: Earlier this month UCF WR Gabriel Davis announced that he’d be forgoing his senior year to declare for the NFL draft. Although he said he would play, you never know.

Lean: Marshall +17.5, ML +600 (value too good to not sprinkle a little)

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl: Washington -3.5 vs Boise State, O/U 50

The Broncos joined the Mountain West Conference in 2011. Since then, they have yet to win 13 games in a season. This is an opportunity to break that streak. Meanwhile, Huskies head coach Chris Petersen announced that he would be stepping down from his role after the season. This will be his final game as the man in charge.

Two Washington players, junior tight end Hunter Bryant (825 receiving yards) and left tackle Trey Adams, have already announced that they will be sitting out this matchup. That being said, I think this is a case of the wrong team being favored. Boise has one loss, a tight three-point loss on the road against BYU right in the middle of the team running through a parade of quarterbacks. Washington just couldn’t find its identity this season. The Huskies lost to Stanford, a team that has been plagued with injuries, and lost to Colorado as 14-point favorites. Comparing stats, the Broncos are better on nearly every front, the biggest difference coming on third-down conversions. Boise is ninth-best in converting on third downs and Washington is eighth-worst. I don’t even care that this is Petersen’s last game, you can’t always have a happy ending.

Pick: Boise +3.5, ML +145

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: UAB vs Appalachian State -16.5, O/U 48

Hey Blazers, good luck! UAB has been good to me this season. There was a point early on when you could take them as favorites and they’d cover. But that ATS streak came against Rice, UTSA and Old Dominion. Once they finally faced some real competition, they just couldn’t hang, putting up just two points (yes, 2) against Southern Miss, seven against Tennessee and six against Florida Atlantic. They may have the defensive stats but the opponents they have faced make this team look a tad bit better on paper than they really are. Now they’re facing an App State team that’s averaging 39 points per game, is 11th-best in red-zone scores, 13th-best in third-down conversions (mind you, UAB is 117th) and top 20 in both rushing yards per game and rushing yards per attempt.

The Blazers are also a bottom-20 team in giveaways, while App State is third-best at protecting the ball. It’s pretty simple – Mountaineers QB Zac Thomas and RB Darrynton Evans are just too strong a force to go up against. For Thomas: nearly 2,600 yards, 26 TDs, 6 INTs; for Evans: 17 TDs on over 1,300 yards. Sure, the Blazers are statistically top 10 in defending the run but they gave up 286 rushing yards to FAU, controlled the time of possession against Southern Miss but somehow put up only two points, and scored a touchdown on the Volunteers but only in the final two minutes of the game. My question here is will UAB put up more than seven points? I wouldn’t put money on it.

Things to know: App State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz left the program last week to take a HC spot with Missouri.

Pick: Appalachian State -16.5

Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl: Kent State vs Utah State -7, O/U 65

This is Kent State’s third bowl trip in program history, with one being in 2012 and the other way back in 1972. You know I love me some MACtion and the Golden Flashes have been one of my favorite teams to watch, in large part because of quarterback Dustin Crum. He’s a dual-threat QB who has passed for over 2,300 yards and rushed for over 500 this season with 18 TDs and only two INT. Utah State’s Jordan Love hasn’t quite had the same shine as he did in his outstanding sophomore year and you just don’t know what you’ll get with him as he’s thrown 17 TDs this season but that comes with 16 interceptions.

For Kent State, passing is not their primary weapon of choice, ranking 80th in passing yards per game, but they are effective, ranking 47th in passing yards per attempt (7.1 y/a). On the flip, passing is Utah State’s primary offensive weapon, ranked 32nd in the country, but the team struggles with gaining yardage, ranking 89th in passing yards per attempt.

Key in this game: defenses and how effective either will be. Neither team is strong defensively, allowing an average of 31-plus points per game and ranking 94th and 95th in opponent red-zone scores. Both are solid top-30 teams in converting on third down but both rank bottom 25 in defending. Plus, they are bottom teams in opponent passing yards per attempt, and opponent rushing yards per game and per attempt.

Utah State ranks dead last in time of possession, so I see this game being played with a fast tempo, little defense, lots of scoring, and if Crum plays even just a bit like he did against Ball State (369 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, 101 rushing yards), then I see a chance at an upset in a game in which the Aggies may have no interest.

*Update: On Tuesday, QB Jordan Love was among three Utah State players cited for possession of marijuana. It is not yet known how this will impact his participation in the bowl game.

Pick: Kent State +7, Sprinkle: ML +225, Lean: OVER 65

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo -6.5 vs Charlotte, O/U 57

This is Charlotte’s first bowl game in program history and what a bowl to grab, set in the Bahamas. Fun fact: in “program history” only means the last few years as Charlotte didn’t introduce a football program until 2013 after it was voted in back in 2008. The Bulls have had three bowl trips, losing all three, including last year’s Dollar General to Troy, 42-32. This will be a game where the winner will take its first-ever bowl victory. Both sides will care.

Charlotte has been a solid team at home. They went 4-2 ATS when playing in their stadium but were 2-4 ATS on the road. Offensively, both teams predominantly run the ball and both run the ball well, with the Bulls ranking eighth in rushing yards per game and the 49ers 31st, with both averaging over 200 yards per game.

The difference is on defense. Buffalo has established itself as one of the top defenses in the country. They are ranked fourth in rushing yards per game and eighth in rushing yards per attempt. Charlotte’s weakness is in defending the run, allowing about 200 rushing yards per game (98th) and 5 rushing yards per attempt (108th). They’ll need to run the ball effectively to gain traction and won’t be able to do that against a stout Bulls defense and will need to stop the run in order to have a chance at a win. I think Buffalo breaks its bowl losing streak and snags its first bowl win.

Lean: Buffalo -6.5

Army-Navy Game: Navy -10.5, O/U 44

Not a bowl game per se but I spent about half an hour looking at this one. I jotted down all the stats I typically use and after those 30 minutes, I crumpled up the paper and thought, “Wow, that was unnecessary.” In a game like this, between two military teams, I think stats go out the window. Navy still has a bowl game in sight but they have one goal: beat Army. The Black Knights do not have a bowl game in sight but even if they did, they have one goal: beat Navy. Sure, Army has been mediocre all season but looking back through their schedule, what was the one game they went all out for? Air Force. And if you remember, the Knights were 17-point underdogs and they lost 17-13.

This matchup has had 13 consecutive UNDERS with an average line of 50. This time, the line opened at 40 and has been bet up because of Navy’s strong offense but I think the UNDER has hit in the last 13 Army-Navy games for a reason. These military games are a battle and whatever you believe of these two teams, throw it out the window and remember that this is the final rivalry game of the season. Navy is the better team but Army has nothing to lose and every bit of pride to fight for. A perfect game to watch as a fan.

Lean: Army +10.5, UNDER