Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State odds
Dec. 27, 2019
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The Best Texas Bowl Odds: Texas A&M is Favored Over Oklahoma State
After finishing ranked inside the top 25 in four of the last five seasons, head coach Mike Gundy would love for his Oklahoma State Cowboys to finish this season ranked. As of the end of the regular season, they are the No. 25 team in the country. To remain, they are going to have to beat a talented and tough team from the SEC, the Texas A&M Aggies.
As for the Aggies, getting into the top 25 is not going to happen, which will be a disappointment for the Aggies after finishing No. 16 last season. But what will be more important to Texas A&M going forward is ending the season on a high note.
Jimbo Fisher will need something to keep the team, fans, and boosters happy until next season starts. But getting a win over the Cowboys is not going to be easy even though Fisher’s Aggies are a seven-point favorite (via DraftKings) in the game.
Texas Bowl Odds: Why the Texas Bowl Over/Under Is a No Brainer
When you think of Big 12 teams, you typically think of high-flying passing attacks. In year’s past, that is exactly what Gundy’s Cowboys gave you—but not this year. That could be in part because they were starting a freshman quarterback this year in Spencer Sanders.
But it is probably due more to having one of the best running backs in the nation in the backfield in Chuba Hubbard. During the regular season, he rushed for 200+ yards four times (high of 296 against Kansas State) and over 100+ yards in every game but one.
That one happened to be a cupcake opponent where Hubbard’s services were not needed.
The Cowboys will likely look to control the game by running the ball since their passing game is not that great. Freshman Spencer Sanders is not bad, but he is nothing special, either. Oklahoma State has some good receivers, but no one that is going to strike fear into the hearts of defensive backs.
Not only will the Cowboys try to protect their passing game by running the ball, but they will be hoping to mask their defensive deficiencies as well. The Cowboys defense is not strong against the pass (No. 113; 267.1 yards/game allowed) or run (No. 59; 151.0 yards/game allowed).
This could play right into the hands of the Texas A&M offense, which is good in the passing game and running game. But it is far from great in either. However, if Kellen Mond can exploit the weaknesses in the Oklahoma State defense, the Aggies can get out to an early lead.
If they can do that, then they may be able to force Oklahoma State to abandon its strength (the run game) and force them to throw.
Texas A&M Odds to Hold Tough Against the Cowboys Run Offense
Of course, it will help if the A&M defense can live up to its reputation as tough against the run. They rank No. 30 in the country this year, allowing an average of 129.1 yards a game. While that may notseem overly impressive, the Aggies defense did a great job against some of the toughest running backs in the country this season.
They held Travis Etienne to just 53 yards on 16 carries, and they held the Georgia rushing attack to only 97 yards.
So, can the Aggies defense could shut down or at least control the Cowboys’ primary offensive weapon, Hubbard? If they can’t do it on defense, they will likely try to do so on offense by controlling the clock (No. 12 in time of possession; 33:00 per game).
Hubbard can’t churn out yards if he is not on the field. But that also means the likelihood of the over (53.5) getting covered is slim.
It’s going to be a battle between two former conference foes and the 28th meeting between the two schools. Texas A&M leads the series, 17-10, but lost the last meeting back in 2011, 30-29. Can they avenge that loss with a win this weekend?
Since they are the favorite, Texas A&M fans are going to hope so. But even though they are the underdog, Oklahoma State fans know they have a shot.
- Texas A&M is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games when their opponent scored less than 24 points in their last game
- Texas A&M is 7-5 ATS this season
- Oklahoma State is 5-1 ATS on the road this season
- Oklahoma State is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games when opponent’s winning percentage is less than .800
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. Miami Hurricanes odds
Dec. 26, 2019
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Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Preview
It already has been a superb season for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, who will be trying to reach 10 victories for the first time in the school’s FBS history while winning their sixth bowl game in as many seasons, all under coach Skip Holtz. This team is led on offense by quarterback J’Mar Smith, who has completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,814 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Tech lost back-to-back games at Marshall and UAB in November when Smith was out with an injury. The Bulldogs won’t have second-team AP All-America cornerback Amik Robertson, a junior sitting out to prepare for the draft.
Miami Hurricanes Preview
Seems reasonable to question the motivation of the Miami Hurricanes, who lost their final two games (at Florida International and Duke) to fall to 6-6 in a disappointing first season under coach Manny Diaz.
The players say they’re determined to avoid ending on a three-game losing streak for the second time in the past three years, but Miami will have to get it done with a thin roster, as several key players are either out due to injury or preparing for the NFL Draft, including defensive ends Trevon Hill and Jonathan Garvin, linebacker Michael Pinckney, receiver Jeff Thomas and running backDeeJay Dallas. The quarterback job was wide open between Jarren Williams, N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell in bowl preparations.
- Louisiana Tech is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games when their opponent is averaging more than 250 pass yards per game
- Louisiana Tech is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games when their opponent averages more than 22 points per game
- Miami is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when their opponent is averaging more than 250 pass yards per game
- Miami is 3-3 ATS at home this season
- The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 Miami games when their opponent is averaging more than 160 rush yards per game
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles odds
Dec. 26, 2019
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Pittsburgh Panthers Preview
The Pitt Panthers seemed destined for a bigger bowl after winning six of seven games during one stretch, but they dropped down the postseason pecking order after losing to Virginia Tech and Boston College to end the regular season.
As expected under coach Pat Narduzzi, the Panthers are a physical bunch on defense, ranking 11th nationally in total defense and rushing defense, led by the breakout season of sophomore defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman, a second-team All-American with 10 1/2 sacks. Unexpectedly under Narduzzi, Pitt is not a great running team, relying on quarterback Kenny Pickett — 2,737 passing yards — to direct a conservative, low-mistake passing game.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Preview
The Eastern Michigan Eagles are playing about 36 miles from their home and hope to have fan support in Detroit as they make consecutive bowl appearances for the first time in school history.
EMU’s 3-5 record in the Mid-American Conference isn’t inspiring, but the program has defeated a Big Ten team in each of the past three seasons — 2017 Rutgers, 2018 Purdue and 2019 Illinois — and will be looking to add an ACC notch to its victory belt. Quarterback Mike Glass III, who threw for 316 yards and three scores vs. the Illini, is completing 67.8 percent of his passes, with 22 TDs and 10 interceptions.
- Eastern Michigan is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games when they are spread underdogs by more than 3. Eastern Michigan are +10.5 underdogs
- Eastern Michigan is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when they have a winning percentage of less than .500 on the season
- Pittsburgh is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games when their opponent scored more than 24 points in their last game
- Pittsburgh is 7-5 ATS this season
- The Under is 5-0 in the last 5 Pittsburgh games when their opponent is averaging less than 140 rush yards per game
USC vs. Iowa odds
Dec. 28, 2019
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Iowa is a Slight Favorite in San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl Odds
Fans of the USC Trojans had high hopes coming into the 2019 season only to see them dashed when quarterback JT Daniels was injured in the season opening win over Fresno State. But then luck smiled down on the Trojans in the form of Kedon Slovis and Matt Fink.
Between the two of them, the Trojans finished the regular season with the fifth best passing attack in college football and an 8-4 record. For most schools, that kind of season would be considered a win, but not for many USC fans.
They wanted and expected more, so when they didn’t get it, they called for head coach Clay Helton’s job—but the university is bringing him back. A poor recruiting class already has fans calling for blood yet again.
So, a big win over a quality opponent in Iowa would go a long way towards getting a disgruntled fan base off his back for a little while.
Iowa is just a two-point favorite over the underdog Trojans (via DraftKings), so the oddsmakers can see USC walking away with a win. But can Clay Helton guide his team to victory?
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl Over/Under: Why the Over Could Be a Struggle
This is the kind of matchup you like to see in a bowl game—two opponent that rarely see each other (this will be their tenth meeting; USC leads series, 7-2) and play vastly different styles of football.
The Trojans play a wide-open, air-raid style of offense that looks to dictate the flow of the game by outscoring opponents. They certainly have no problem generating yards (No. 17 in the country with 463.7 total yards a game), most of it in the passing game (No. 5; 335.9 yards/game).
But for a team that moves the ball so well, they don’t get it into the endzone nearly enough. They rank just 35th in scoring with an average of 33.2 points/game and are tied for 63rd in red zone offense (.840).
This along with their defensive rankings (No. 84 total yards allowed, No. 76 against the run, No. 99 against the pass, and tied for No. 65 in points allowed) go a long way towards explaining why they lot four games.
So, USC looks outscore you on offense while playing just enough defense. Iowa take the opposite approach. They don’t let you score (No. 5 in the country in points allowed/game) while scoring just enough themselves to win.
That approach didn’t quite work for them against Michigan (3-10), Penn State (12-17), or Wisconsin (22-24). But it did help them hand Minnesota their first loss of the season (23-19) and helped them close the regular season with a win over Nebraska (27-24).
All three losses are by a touchdown or less, so clearly the approach is not foolproof. If an opponent has enough talent on offense, they can score some points—and the Trojans certainly have some playmakers on that side of the ball.
But they also won four games by a touchdown or less, so clearly the approach can work. However, it is one that requires a mistake-free game by Iowa’s defense while hoping that the offense can put some points on the board.
Can Iowa Cover the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl Odds and Over/Under?
During the regular season, the Hawkeyes were not very good at doing so (No. 99; 23.8 points/game). When they played teams with lesser defenses like Middle Tennessee State and Rutgers, though, the offense was able to score some points (48 and 30).
So—what is going to win the day in the end? Will it be the high-powered passing attack of the underdog Trojans? Or will the Iowa defense own the day and show fans why the Hawkeyes deserved to be the favorite in this game?
How you answer either question will likely depend on what you value more, offense or defense. In a game such as this, it is also hard to say whether the over/under (51.5 points) will be covered. Combined, the two averaged 56 points a game. But will USC score as much against a very good defense? Will Iowa score more against a mediocre USC defense?
Fans will find out the answers on Friday.
- Iowa is 2-3 ATS on the road this season
- Iowa is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games when they are averaging less than 150 rush yards per game
- USC is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when their opponent has more than 4 wins
- USC is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when the points total is less than 55. The points total is 54.0
- The Over is 6-1 in the last 7 USC games when their opponent averages less than 30 points per game
Notre Dame vs. Iowa State odds
Dec. 28, 2019
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Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish reached double-digit wins for the third consecutive season, although they never made a serious run at returning to the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Ian Book is the engine of the offense, passing for 2,787 yards and 33 touchdowns, rushing for 516 yards and being intercepted only six times.
Chase Claypool is a 6-foot-4, NFL prototype receiver who has 59 catches for 891 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. The offense might have new wrinkles after coordinator Chip Long was dismissed in advance of the bowl. The defense is strong against the pass, allowing just 163.7 yards per game and posting 30 sacks in 12 games.
Iowa State Cyclones Preview
There might be a feeling of “what if?” for the Iowa State Cyclones, who lost games by one, two, seven, one and 10 points this season. Coach Matt Campbell, in his fourth season, has turned Iowa State into a tough out, and the school recognized that in December by giving the 40-year-old a contract extension through 2025.
He has a star-level quarterback in sophomore Brock Purdy (3,760 passing yards, eight rushing TDs this season). True freshman running back Breece Hall came on at about midseason and posted four 100-yard rushing efforts in the last seven games, with another game of 97 yards in that span.
- Iowa State is 3-4 ATS at home this season
- Iowa State is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games when their opponent scored more than 28 points in their last game
- Notre Dame is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games when their opponent ran for less than 100 yards last game
- Notre Dame is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games when they scored more than 35 points last game
- The Under is 5-1 in the last 6 Notre Dame games when Notre Dame passed for more than 250 yards in their last game
Memphis Tigers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions odds
Dec. 28, 2019
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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Memphis Tigers Cotton Bowl Odds
The holiday season was already a very merry one for Penn State head coach James Franklin before it started. His team had wrapped up a 10-2 regular season, it was ranked No. 10 in the nation, and they were invited to the Cotton Bowl.
Life was certainly good—and then it got a little better in the form of a six-year contract extension guaranteeing him $34.7 million through 2022. But now comes the hard part—showing the university it did not make a mistake.
Franklin will look to take a giant step in that direction with a convincing win over a talented Memphis Tigers team Saturday. Oddsmakers have installed them as seven-point favorites (via DraftKings). With a win, the university will be able to go into the offseason feeling good about committing so much money to Franklin.
However, should they lose, the wait for next season to begin will feel like it takes forever.
Some Big Ten fans will look at Memphis and scoff as they tell whoever will listen that a group of five teams is going to be no match for one of the best FBS teams in the country. But it would be foolish to overlook the Tigers and dismiss them too quickly.
Auburn thought they could overlook UCF in the 2018 Peach Bowl–and we all know how that turned out.
Cotton Bowl Odds and Cotton Bowl Over/Under: The O/U is a Bit Ambitious
Judging how a Power 5 team will do against a Group of 5 teams is never an easy thing to do. You can look at the stats and draw an image of what the team looks like. But when the competition level has been so starkly different, drawing connections between past performance and potential performance can be tricky.
Memphis appears to have a great offense. They can generate some yards (tenth in the country with 480.7/yards a game), and they were also good at doing what matters most—scoring points (No. 8; 40.5 points/game). But they never really faced any tough defenses; they faced some good ones, but the best was Cincinnati (No. 30 in points allowed; 21.7 points a game).
Penn State is a top ten defense (scoring; No. 7 with 14.1 points/game allowed); something they earned while facing some of the better offensive teams in the country like Ohio State (No. 1), Minnesota (No. 22) and Michigan (No. 36).
While Penn State’s offense may not seem overly impressive (No. 22; 34.3 points a game), their production came against three top-20 defenses, including two inside the top-ten.
Penn State has developed its record against some of the best teams in the nation. Memphis has done so against some of the better teams in the country. But not against anything close to the caliber Penn State has faced.
With two teams that have averaged a combined 74 points a game, it would seem like covering an over/under of 60 would be a piece of cake. But again, it comes back to the quality of the teams that each club is accustomed to seeing.
When the competition level isn’t super high, it is easy for an offense and/or defense to look a lot better on paper than they really are. Both teams certainly face some soft competition at times this year. But each has also faced a few ranked teams.
Memphis faced two– Cincinnati and SMU; three if you want to count facing Cincinnati twice as two. Penn State faced four (Iowa, Michigan Minnesota, and Ohio State) but lost to two of them.
How Cotton Bowl Odds Might Swing on the Coaching Matchup
Coaching could play a factor with Memphis head coach Mike Norvell taking the job at Florida State. Penn State lost its offensive coordinator, Ricky Rahne, to Old Dominion. But if they were good enough for other schools to poach, they probably did a good enough job throughout the season for their teams to be just fine without them for one game.
But that could be where Penn State has an advantage with James Franklin still in charge.
So—who’s going to win?
Will it be the favorite Penn State? Will the Nittany Lions defense and efficient offense be able to take care of the underdog Memphis Tigers? Or will the upstart underdog from the Group of Five stun the world (and oddsmakers) with a big win?
The seven-point line makes it easy to side with the Nittany Lions. But Group of Five teams have been known to shock the world in bowl games in the past.
It wouldn’t be that surprising if it were to happen again.
- Memphis is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games when their opponent is averaging less than 250 pass yards per game
- Memphis is 4-2 ATS on the road this season
- Penn State is 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games when their opponent is averaging more than 160 rush yards per game
- Penn State is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games when they are spread favorites by less than 12. Penn State are -7.0 favorites
- The Over is 6-2 in the last 8 Penn State games when Penn State ran for more than 200 yards in their last game
Peach Bowl Odds: Oklahoma Sooners vs. LSU Tigers odds
Dec. 28, 2019
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Looking at the Peach Bowl Odds: LSU is a Heavy Favorite
Heading into Championship Weekend, certain things were already considered a given. One such thing was LSU’s place in the College Football Playoffs this year. It was unclear what seed they would be, but they were going to be in, win or lose against Georgia in the SEC title game.
The story was a little different for Oklahoma, though. They were on the outside looking in and needed some help to get in even if they did beat Baylor in the Big 12 title game (which they did, in OT). As luck would have it, they got the help they needed making it possible for them to slide into the No. 4 seed.
But despite being the second-best offense in the country (No. 2 in total yards; 554.2 total yards/game), they have received no respect. Being the underdog is no big deal, but a 13.5-point underdog? When the favorite is that much of one, oddsmakers are basically telling fans they think the game is going to be a blowout.
Oklahoma was supposed to get blown out of the water last year as well. They were 13.5-point underdogs to Alabama in the Capital One Orange Bowl. While they ultimately lost by 11 (45-34), they put up an incredible fight.
Can they win the fight this year?
Peach Bowl Over/Under: If There’s One Over That Will Cover…
Expectations for the total points in whatever game LSU played in were going to be sky high because the Tigers offense is one of the best in the nation (No. 1 in total yards with 554.4 yards/game; No. 3 in scoring with 47.8 points/game) and is run by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
The Tigers offense has been productive despite their competition. While the Oklahoma defense has been improving in recent weeks, it will be without its best pass rusher, Ronnie Perkins, who has been suspended.
Running back Rhamondre Stevenson and wide receiver Trejan Bridges have also been suspended for the game.
So, with the Oklahoma defense not at full strength, the outlook is good for the LSU offense—but far from picture-perfect. There is a very good chance that the Tigers may have to do without the services of their star running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He has yet to practice in preparation for the Peach Bowl, leaving his availability in doubt.
But with how Joe Burrow and that offense have looked this year, it would be shocking if LSU didn’t score early and often. They may have to with how capable Oklahoma is at putting points on the board. LSU may be one of the best offenses in the country, but so is Oklahoma’s.
Under Jalen Hurts, the Sooners have the second most productive offense in total yards and the No. 6 unit when it comes to putting points on the board (43.2 points/game). Hurts was a Heisman finalist, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb was a candidate at one point.
The talent is there, as is the coaching in head coach and offensive guru Lincoln Riley. But the real question in the game is going to be how well the Oklahoma offense can operate against LSU’s defense (which was not one of the best in the country but was still pretty good).
The key is going to be Jalen Hurts. The LSU front seven struggled to a degree whenever they faced a mobile quarterback, and Hurts is definitely a mobile QB. If they can’t contain him, they may be forced to play their safety closer to the line to keep Hurts from breaking loose on the ground. However, in the process, they could leave themselves vulnerable to the deep ball—which Hurts loves to throw to CeeDee Lamb.
So—who’s going to win? Will it be the heavy favorite, LSU? Or the underdog, Oklahoma?
That question is not an easy one to answer, but with two stellar offenses facing off with defenses best described as simply ‘good’ to stop them—yeah, we are getting some points in this game. Will there be enough to cover the over (76 points via Draft Kings)? It wouldn’t be shocking.
As for the winner, don’t be shocked if it ends up being whoever has the ball last. But if that ends up being the case, that will mean LSU fails to cover the 13.5-point spread.
- LSU is 4-1 ATS on the road this season
- LSU is 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games when their opponent is averaging more than 200 pass yards per game
- Oklahoma is 4-3 ATS at home this season
- Oklahoma is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games when they have more than 10 wins
- The Over is 6-2 in the last 8 Oklahoma games when their opponent is averaging more than 275 pass yards per game
Fiesta Bowl Odds: National Semifinal No. 2 Odds
Dec. 28, 2019
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The Fiesta Bowl Odds Have Clemson as a Slight Favorite
Dabo Swiney was right when he said that no one wanted to see Clemson in the College Football Playoffs this year. But he failed to recognize the reason—they didn’t earn it. Yes, they destroyed almost everyone they played, but they didn’t play anyone of note.
Their marquee win during the regular season came early in the year against a then-No. 12 Texas A&M team, a team that finished the regular season just 7-5. But after running the table and destroying No. 23 Virginia in the ACC title game, they were named the No. 3 seed.
While many have questioned whether the Tigers deserve to be in the playoffs this year, they are also the team no one wanted to play. No one wants to be the team Clemson ‘proves’ itself against. However, Ohio State will love to be the team that shuts down the Tigers and proves the critics right (if they can).
Much like last season, Clemson appeared to play better and better with each passing week. Can they continue their upward trajectory against a team many thought should be the No. 1 seed?
The oddsmakers at DraftKings seem to think, so they made Clemson the favorite to win with a two-point spread. If there was ever an underdog that topple the favored Tigers, it could very well be the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Fiesta Bowl Over/Under: Can an Ambitious Over be Covered?
It has been easy to overlook Clemson throughout the season because of their easy schedule, but now that the CFP semifinals are here, they can’t be ignored anymore. But we can question whether they are as good as they appear to be on paper or not.
They are that rare offense that is good at running the ball (No. 9 with 252.9 yards/game) and throwing it (No. 20 with 294.8 yards/game). Between the two, they have generated the third most yards/game on average this season (547.7). They aren’t too shabby at scoring either with 46.5 points/game this year (No. 4).
On the defensive side, they appear almost unstoppable. They rank No. 1 in the country in total defense, passing yards allowed, passing efficiency, and scoring. How does anyone expect an offense to compete with that?
You don’t until you examine the body of work for Clemson and realize that they have not faced a top ten offense all year but have feasted on offenses ranked in the bottom half of the country (seven of 12 opponents had offenses ranked higher than No. 64).
Their opponents were even less impressive on defense, with eight of 12 ranked in the bottom half of the country. When you play mediocre competition like Clemson has, you should look as good as Clemson does.
But the competition they will face in the Fiesta Bowl is far from mediocre.
Ohio State is one of the best in the country in almost every facet of the game. Heisman Finalist Justin Fields leads the No. 1 scoring offense in the country (48.7 points/game). They have another Heisman finalists in Chase Young leading the No. 2 defense in the country (total yards allowed/game at 247.6; they were also third in scoring with 12.5 points/game allowed).
While Ohio State’s schedule wasn’t exactly daunting, the Buckeyes did have five games against ranked opponents, including their last three—all wins.
Clemson could catch a break if Justin Fields were to suffer a setback to his knee. An old injury was aggravated a few weeks ago against Penn State then again against Michigan. In the first half of the Big Ten title game, Fields definitely didn’t look like himself.
He has described his knee as being just 80-85 percent in recent interviews—which could also mean he is one good hit from being knocked out of the game. “My knee’s probably not where I want it to be right now,” Fields said, via ESPN. “But I think with treatment every day and just resting it every day, hopefully, it will be better by the game.”
So—who’s going to win?
Will it be the defending champs, the favored Clemson Tigers? Will they vent their frustrations at being disrespected all season long on the underdog Buckeyes? Or will the Buckeyes prove the critics right and expose Clemson as a team that was just good at beating up mediocre teams this year?
One thing is for sure—with these offenses, there is a very good chance we see a whole lot of points scored in this game. Enough to cover the over (63)? Perhaps. Fans will find out in just a few more days.
- Clemson is 4-1 ATS on the road this season
- Clemson is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games when their opponent has a home winning streak of more than 2 games
- Ohio State is 5-1 ATS on the road this season
- Ohio State is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games when their opponent scored more than 35 points in their last game
Air Force Falcons vs. Washington State Cougars odds
Dec. 27, 2019[table id=1277 /]
Air Force Falcons Preview
The Air Force Falcons are in the postseason for the first time since 2016, riding their option-based rushing attack to a seven-game winning streak, their longest in-season run since 1998. They have also reached the AP poll for the first time since 2010.
Directed by quarterback Donald Hammond III, Air Force is third nationally with 292.5 rushing yards per game, although one of its three 700-yard rushers, Timothy Jackson, might have to sit out because of a lower-body injury. Hammond is hitting only 52.5 percent of his 99 passes, but in true option fashion, those completions often go for a long way — 24.7 yards on average.
Washington State Cougars Preview
The Washington State Cougars enter the Military Bowl coming off their seventh consecutive loss in their Apple Cup rivalry against Washington, which has held the antidote to coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. Most opponents have a tough time with that, however, with WSU leading the nation in passing (444.3 yards per game) and having attempted 80 more passes than the second-most prolific team.
This year’s gunslinger is Anthony Gordon, who might not have wide receiver Brandon Arconado (team-high 942 yards), who has been battling a wrist injury. Leach questioned his team’s toughness at various points this season, and the 6-6 Cougars won’t reach eight wins for the first time since 2014.
- Air Force is 3-3 ATS on the road this season
- Air Force is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when they recorded less than 350 yards in their last game
- Washington State is 1-5 ATS on the road this season
- Washington State is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games when they passed for less than 400 yards in their last game
- The Under is 4-1 in the last 5 Air Force games when their opponent has a home winning streak of more than 3 games
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Temple Owls odds
Dec. 27, 2019[table id=1274 /]
North Carolina Tar Heels Preview
The future looks bright for the North Carolina Tar Heels, who showed progress in the return of coach Mack Brown, giving Clemson its biggest scare (a one-point loss when a late UNC two-point conversion failed) and winning its final two games to qualify for their first bowl since 2016.
The Tar Heels will keep moving forward behind true freshman quarterback Sam Howell, who led the ACC with 3,347 passing yards, to go with 35 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Given the bounce-back season and the promise of Howell in 2020, getting a win here would be a big deal for North Carolina, which hasn’t won a bowl since 2013.
Temple Owls Preview
First-year coach Rod Carey has kept the Temple Owls on the right path, with the program reaching its fifth consecutive bowl and its fifth-year seniors having seen 43 victories. Temple’s defense was gashed in a couple of losses (45 points to SMU; 63 to UCF), but they didn’t allow more than 21 while winning three of their past four games.
A strong defensive line led by end Quincy Roche (the American Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year with 13 sacks) will test UNC’s Sam Howell. The Owls are 10th nationally with 3.25 sacks per game. Junior quarterback Anthony Russo can be prone to mistakes — 25 interceptions in two seasons as the starter.
- North Carolina is 4-2-1 ATS at home this season
- North Carolina is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when their opponent averages less than 28 points per game
- Temple is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games when they are spread underdogs by less than 8. Temple are +6.5 underdogs
- Temple is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games when their opponent recorded more than 450 yards last game
- The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 Temple games when their opponent passed for more than 250 yards last game
Michigan State Spartans vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons odds
Dec. 27, 2019[table id=1271 /]
Michigan State Spartans Preview
The Michigan State Spartans started the season at No. 18 in the AP poll but only treaded water for most of the season, beating lightweights Maryland and Rutgers in their final two games to achieve bowl eligibility with six victories. The offense, despite being directed by fifth-year senior Brian Lewerke, never came around, with the Spartans posting five games with 10 points or fewer.
The lack of production often put a stout defense in bad positions, but it’s a potential shut-down unit, led by senior end Kenny Willekes, a second-team All-American who has a school-record 49.5 tackles for loss in his career. Senior tackle Raequan Williams is another standout.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Preview
Coach Dave Clawson has directed the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season, in reach of nine victories for the first time since 2007. They built momentum by winning four games by six points or fewer over the first half of the season, although losing star receiver Sage Surratt to a season-ending shoulder injury on Nov. 9 was a blow.
Quarterback Jamie Newman has battled injuries to complete 208 of 334 passes for 2,693 yards, with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the nation’s 12th-ranked attack (473.4 yards per game). Good news: Defensive end Boogie Basham (10 sacks, 17 tackles for loss) announced he’s coming back for his senior year.
- Michigan State is 1-6 ATS at home this season
- Michigan State is 2-3 ATS on the road this season
- Wake Forest is 0-4-1 ATS on the road this season
- Wake Forest is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games when their opponent ran for less than 125 yards last game
- The Under is 4-1 in the last 5 Wake Forest games when Wake Forest passed for more than 300 yards in their last game