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Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl Odds

After missing out on bowl season a year ago the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will both make their return to the postseason this year when they meet up in the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl.

Illinois’ last trip to a bowl game was the 2011 Fight Hunger Bowl, when they edged UCLA 20-14 as a 3-point favorite on the betting lines at the sportsbooks. Louisiana Tech’s last bowl invite was the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl, when they lost to TCU 31-24 as a 9.5-point underdog. The Bulldogs are the Heart of Dallas Bowl betting favorite.

For updated lines and totals on all of this year's bowl games head over to the college football betting boards at 5Dimes and Bovada today.

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Wednesday, December 26 @ 12:00pm ET
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

Team: Illinois Fighting Illini
Conference: Big Ten
Records: 6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS, 7-5 OU

Team: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Conference: C-USA
Records:  8-5 SU, 10-3 ATS, 7-5-1 OU

Opening Spread / Total (from 5Dimes)
Louisiana Tech -6 / 61.5 Points

[ Heart of Dallas Bowl Matchup Stats | Illinois vs Louisiana Tech Betting Preview ]

Heart of Dallas Bowl Betting Trends: Louisiana Tech 10-3 ATS this season . . . OVER and UNDER results have alternated all four editions of game, OVER is due if trend continues.

The Fighting Illini inched their way into a bowl game by winning their last two games of the regular season. Illinois booked their bowl tickets with a 47-33 upset win over Northwestern as a 7-point road underdog in their regular season finale. With that win Illinois improved to 3-5 SU and 4-4 ATS as the underdog on the season.

While the Illini picked it up down the stretch the Bulldogs stumbled a bit, losing two of their final three games. Louisiana Tech was still a solid 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight games, however. Four of the Bulldogs' five losses came on the road this season, but they were 3-1 ATS in those four losses.

The Bulldogs and Fighting Illini last met up in September 2012 in Illinois. The Illini were a 3-point favorite in that matchup, but didn’t come close to covering the spread in a 52-24 Louisiana Tech upset victory.

Heart of Dallas Bowl History
YearBowlTeamScoreTeamScoreSpreadATS WinnerSU Winner
2010Ticket City BowlNorthwestern38Texas Tech45-7.5NWESTNTXTECH
2011Ticket City BowlPenn State14Houston30-6.5HOUSTOHOUSTO
2012Heart of Dallas BowlOklahoma State58Purdue14+17OKLA STOKLA ST
2013Heart of Dallas BowlUNLV14North Texas36-6.5NO TEXNO TEX
2014Heart of Dallas BowlIllinois18Louisiana Tech35-7Louisiana TechLouisiana Tech


After long bowl droughts the North Texas Mean Green and UNLV Runnin' Rebels will square off on New Year’s Day in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

The Mean Green feature a top-10 defense and are close to a touchdown favorite over a UNLV team that overcame defensive issues to reach its first bowl since 2000.

For updated lines and totals on all of this year's bowl games head over to the college football betting boards at 5Dimes and Bovada today.

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Wednesday, January 1 @ 12:00pm ET
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

Team: UNLV Rebels
Conference: Mountain West
Records: 7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS, 6-5-1 OU

Team: North Texas Mean Green
Conference: Conference USA
Records: 8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS, 4-8 OU

Opening Spread / Total (from 5Dimes)
North Texas -6.5 / 54.5 Points

[Heart of Dallas Bowl Matchup Stats | UNLV vs. North Texas Betting Preview]

Heart of Dallas Bowl Betting Trends: North Texas is 1-3 ATS in bowl games . . . This is the first UNLV bowl game since they won the Las Vegas Bowl in 2000.

North Texas won six of its last seven games to earn its first bowl berth since 2004. Coach Dan McCarney, a respected defensive mind, led the Eagles to an 8-4 mark in his third season and North Texas’ first in Conference USA. The Mean Green allowed only 18.1 points per game and have an impressive win over bowl-bound Ball State.

After back-to-back two-win seasons, UNLV coach Bobby Hauck led the Rebels to a 7-5 mark. UNLV rallied behind quarterback Caleb Herring to win their last two games against Air Force and San Diego State and earn a bowl berth. Herring threw 22 touchdowns with only four interceptions to lead an offense that averaged 31.3 points.

UNLV went 6-3 against the spread as an underdog this season. North Texas went 7-2 against the spread as a favorite.


The Oklahoma State Cowboys will have a large spread to cover on January 1 as they meet the Purdue Boilermakers in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and their supporters have seen them go just 7-5 ATS through their 12 games this season.

For updated lines and totals on all of this year's bowl games head over to the college football betting boards at 5Dimes, Bovada, and BetOnline today.

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Tuesday, January 1 @ 12:00pm ET
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

Team: Purdue Boilermakers
Conference: Big Ten
Records: 6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS, 7-4 OU

Team: Oklahoma State Cowboys
Conference: Big 12
Records: 7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS, 7-4 OU

Opening Spread / Total (from BetOnline)
Oklahoma State -18 / 69 Points

[Heart of Dallas Bowl Matchup Stats]

Heart of Dallas Bowl Betting Trends: Favored team has won both prior games (formerly the TicketCity Bowl) . . . Oklahoma State has scored at least 33 points in nine of past 10 bowl games . . . Purdue is 2-6 ATS in past eight bowl games.


The Houston Cougars enter the TicketCity Bowl against the Penn State Nittany Lions at just 1-9 SU in their last 10 bowl appearances.

For lines and totals on all of this year's bowl games head over to the college football betting board at 5Dimes today.

TicketCity Bowl
Monday, January 2 @ 12:00pm ET
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

Team: Houston Cougars
Conference: Conference USA
Records: 12-1 SU, 10-3 ATS, 8-5 OU

Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
Conference: Big Ten
Records: 9-3 SU, 3-8-1 ATS, 2-8-1 OU

Spread / Total (from 5Dimes)
Houston -5.5 / 56.5 Points

[TicketCity Bowl Matchup Stats]

After falling one win shy of an undefeated regular season and an automatic BCS Bowl bid, the Houston Cougars find themselves in the TicketCity Bowl going up against the Penn State Nittany Lions.

These two teams were polar opposites ATS this season as Houston covered the spread in all but three games (10-3 ATS) and Penn State only covered the spread in three games (3-8-1 ATS).

Penn State finished the regular season 1-2 SU (1-1-1 ATS) after a 9-1 SU start amidst a major scandal that resulted in Joe Paterno being fired. In Houston’s 12 games against Division One opponents, the OVER was 8-4, and a game’s score failed to reach 56 points only once.

Case Keenum will end a record-setting career in the TicketCity Bowl. Keenum put up incredible passing stats again this year, throwing for 5,099 yards and 45 touchdowns with just five interceptions.


Northwestern has lost seven straight bowl games and will be without some key players against the offensive-minded and 9.5-point favorite Texas Tech Red Raiders in college football betting for the inaugural TicketCity Bowl.

TicketCity Bowl
Saturday, January 1 @ 12:00pm ET
Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, Texas.

Team: Northwestern Wildcats
Conference: Big Ten Conference
Records: 7-5 SU, 2-9 ATS, 7-4 OU

Team: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Conference: Big 12 Conference
Records: 7-5 SU, 4-6-1 ATS, 5-6 OU

Spread / Total (from Sportsbook.ag)
Texas Tech -9.5 / 60.5 Points

[TicketCity Bowl Matchup Stats]

Taylor Potts is a big reason for the Red Raiders' 11th straight bowl appearance. He threw for 3,357 yards and 31 touchdowns this season, and his record-setting Alamo Bowl last year should make college football betting lines popular for Texas Tech in this game.

Potts has the second-best receiver in the entire FBS in Lyle Leong, who caught 17 TD passes for 808 yards. Senior Detron Lewis is also a threat, netting 803 yards with six scores this season.

Texas Tech must have its offense firing on all cylinders with its struggling defense, which gives up 30.3 points and 463.1 yards per game.

ADVERTISEMENT: This game is in the -10 range where underdogs have won outright half the time since 2000! As of Dec. 29, the best Northwestern odds was at Bovada at +=10.

Things should open up offensively with the poor defense of both teams, and that could play into the hands of OVER bettors.

Northwestern started the year 5-0 before losing five of its final seven games, and  going into the bowl game without All-Big Ten quarterback Dan Persa makes the NCAAF odds stack up against the Wildcats even more. He was the eighth-best passer in the nation.

Redshirt freshman QB Evan Watkins had four interceptions with a single TD in two games - and without depth at that position it could be bad news for the Wildcats. They also surrendered 10 touchdowns over their final two games.

Combine the offensive weapons missing for Northwestern with a defense that allows among the most sacks in the nation at 3.3 per game and its chances at covering against the TicketCity Bowl odds look even tougher.