Hello all and welcome to the third edition of Tyler’s Bowl Bonanza. Firstly, I ranked each bowl game from worst to first to let you know which ones you should be watching and then followed up with my bets for up until Christmas Eve. Part two included games from Dec. 26th to the 28th, which included the College Football Playoff.
Now we turn to part 3. The playoff has come and gone, but there’s still plenty of games to make some coin, or dig yourself out of the hole that you might be in (points at self). Follow along as I continue on betting each and every bowl game in this bowl season!
Over the course of the last three season I’ve made a total of 297 bets on college football for a record of 168-120-9. That hits at 58.3% for a grand total of +38.58 units which hopefully shows I’m a decent sharp at least in the college football realm. If that sentence was overwhelming to try and understand, read up on my how to bet on college football column before diving further. So, without further ado lets get into part three!
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan, Monday, Dec. 30, 11:30 A.M.
My bet: Western Kentucky (-3)*
Quite honestly, I haven’t got a clue about where to go in this game and that seems to be the consensus as the money coming in is dead even at 50/50 according to the Action Network. Western Michigan has been a team that has been wildly inconsistent this season, but they have all the potential to come out on fire with their offense. However, Western Kentucky’s defense should be one of the best they’ve faced all season, at least on paper.
*I will be playing this but my plan is to wait and see how this game starts. If WKU struggles to start, I may wait to get a better number live betting, but my initial thought is to take the consistent offense and strong defense of WKU.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Mississippi State vs. Louisville, Monday, Dec. 30th, 3:00 P.M.
My bet: Louisville (+4)
This game has some interesting parallels to it. In 2018, the Louisville Cardinals were the biggest disaster in college football. They had no discipline, the coaching staff had no focus and the team completely quit on the season. Fast forward to 2019 and Louisville is back on the straight and narrow under Scott Satterfield and Mississippi State seems to have taken over the dysfunction role. So much so that starting QB Garrett Shrader will be out of the game because he broke a facial bone during a fight at practice this past week. Clearly this Bulldog team has other focuses. Louisville all day, they’re one of my favorite plays of the bowl season.
Illinois vs. California, Monday, Dec. 30th 3:00 P.M.
My bet: Under 43
The Justin Wilcox led Cal Bears do one thing well: defense. On the other side, Lovie Smith and company don’t do anything particularly great, but the Cal offensive line is putrid which should help level out a defense that has had some weak moments for the Illini. If this game is anything like what last years Cheez-It Bowl was, we’re in for a treat. Overall the spread of 6.5 is just too scary to touch knowing what both of these teams have been. I think this one is going to be ugly and veryyyyy Big Tenish so i’ll take the under in a could be slop-fest.
Capital One Orange Bowl
Florida vs. Virginia, Monday, Dec. 30th 7:00 P.M.
My bet: Florida (-14)
If Florida wants to be here, they’ll roll in this game. If not, they’ll probably still win this game. The spread is a lot but I feel like Dan Mullen will have his guys ready to go and he is usually pretty solid with bowl game efforts. At the end of the day this game comes down to Virginia’s offensive line against Florida’s pass rush. They’re fourth in the nation in team sacks and ninth in overall team defense. I just don’t think Virginia will have enough on the offensive line to keep the Gators off Bryce Perkins, and in turn they cover the spread similar to the way Notre Dame did against the Cavs earlier this season.
Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech, Tuesday, Dec. 31st, 11:00 A.M.
My bet: Kentucky (+3)
What Kentucky has done this season has been a pretty incredible story. After a 2-3 start, the Wildcats converted wideout Lynn Bowden into their starting quarterback. The Kentucky offense has essentially become a “Wildcat” offense with Bowden attempting just 62 passes over the final seven games. Opposing defenses know whats coming, the trouble is stopping it. The run heavy and often offense of Kentucky really slows the game down, but so does the stout Wildcat defense. If they can continue to play the way they have down for must of the season, they should have a fairly easy time slowing down Virginia Tech when needed. To me this game will be messy and close all the way, which makes me take the run heavy dog.
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
Florida State vs. Arizona State, Tuesday, Dec. 31st, 1:00 P.M.
My bet: Under 54
The wind is going to be kicking up in El Paso. Additionally, Florida State’s Cam Akers and Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin are skipping this game to prepare for the NFL draft, as is FSU QB Alex Hornibrook (LOLOLOL). That essentially means we’ve got 15 MPH winds plus the two best offensive players on the field and Hornibrook sitting this one out. That sounds like an under to me.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Navy vs. Kansas State, Tuesday, Dec. 31st 2:45 P.M.
My bet: Under 52
Kansas State is third in the nation in time of possession, and Navy is 11th. Both teams love to keep the ball and chew clock, and Kansas State will look to do so even more than normal given Navy’s option attack. The Wildcats have been great at doing just that. Additionally, they are able to get off the field on third down defensively. If they can come up with stops a few times, the clock should melt away and hit the under.
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Georgia State vs. Wyoming, Tuesday, Dec. 31st, 3:30 P.M.
My bet: Under 48
Both of these teams average over 220 yard rushing and have been under plays for me a lot this season. I’ve taken the under in six Georgia State or Wyoming games and have came out with a 5-1 record. Wyoming loves to control the clock and hang onto the football, and defensively they are able to get stops often. Georgia State has an explosive offensive in terms of yards per play, but they still rely heavily on the run. Similar to the last game, if Wyoming can get a couple stops, this should go under.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Utah vs. Texas, Tuesday, Dec 31st, 6:30 P.M.
My bet: Utah (-7)
The Utes have the top rushing defense in the country, and an explosive offense to work off of that. Outside of the Pac-12 Title game and USC, this Utah team has dominated teams on both sides of the football. Additionally, the Utes had playoff aspirations taken right from them in prime time and now have to go play a 7-5 Texas team who essentially gets a home game in the Alamo. Most teams would roll over in this spot, but Kyle Whittingham will have his guys ready to go and play the ‘Disrespected Card’ in this one. Whittingham is 8-4 ATS in bowl games, and one of the best coaches in America. I’ll take the Utes to win by a few scores.
VRBO Citrus Bowl
Alabama vs. Michigan, Wednesday, Jan. 1st 12:00 P.M.
My bet: Alabama (-7)
In bowl season there’s always a lot of talk about whether a team will be motivated or not. Alabama seems to be the biggest one in question this time around. However, I don’t think Nick Saban will allow guys who aren’t giving 100% on the field. Even Alabama’s B roster can hang with and probably beat Michigan. The Tide have too many weapons on offense and I don’t think Michigan has an answer for it.
Auburn vs. Minnesota, Wednesday, Jan. 1st, 12:00 P.M.
Tanner Morgan has to be scared for his life in this game. We saw what Wisconsin was able to do to the Gopher offensive line last time they played, and now they have the task of trying to slow down Derrick Brown and company. Simply put, I don’t think the Gophers have an answer for the Tiger front seven. On the other side, Bo Nix and company should be able to move efficiently enough to make this game get out of reach. I would consider the under here as well.
Oregon vs. Wisconsin, Wednesday, Jan. 1st, 3:00 P.M.
Check out my full betting preview later in the week here on Bucky’s 5th Quarter.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Georgia vs. Baylor, Wednesday, Jan. 1st, 7:45 P.M.
My bet: Georgia (-5.5)
This time last year Georgia threw in the towel after the SEC Championship game loss and got manhandled by Texas in the Sugar Bowl. This game has a similar feel to it, but I think the Bulldogs will be aware and more motivated in this one. If they are, the rushing attack of Deandre Swift will be a lot for the Bears to try and handle. The Big 12 doesn’t have a running game anywhere close to Georgia’s which should cause the Bears some problems. On the other side Baylor QB Charlie Brewer is banged up but expected to play against a stingy Georgia defense. Sure they got picked apart by LSU, but before that they had been exceptional. I have to stick with them here.
Boston College vs. Cincinnati, Thursday, Jan. 2nd, 2:00 P.M.
My bet: Cincinnati (-7)
Boston College is under an interim coach and their star tailback AJ Dillon has left the team to focus on the NFL Draft. Surely motivation on the other side can’t be high either as they aspired for the Cotton Bowl, but a bowl win would be big for Luke Fickell and company. Additionally, the Cincy defense has been stout all season and without Dillon going at them they should have a much easier time stopping the Eagles.
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
Tennessee vs. Indiana, Thursday, January 2nd 6:00 P.M.
My bet: Under 50
Everyone and their mother loves Tennessee in this game which concerns me as I liked the small underdog of Indiana. Due to that, I will play the under in this game knowing the Tennessee defense has had weeks to prepare for an Indiana offense that can be explosive at times. Additionally, Indiana OC Kalen DeBoer accepted the head coaching job at Fresno State but will still call the plays for the Hoosiers in this one. That concerns me as well because I cant imagine a random Gator Bowl took precedence over recruiting and national signing day for DeBoer. With two top-50 defenses, and both offenses having questions, I like the under here.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio vs. Nevada, Friday, Jan. 3rd, 2:30 P.M.
My bet: Over 58
This game features two defense ranked in the 70’s for total defense. Each team has given up a lot of points, and a lot of yards all season long. Nevada has been incredibly dysfunctional, but they should still score some points against a Bobcat defense that has struggled to get stops against poor competition. Additionally, Nathan Rourke and Ohio should be able to score at will against this Wolfpack defense. I’ll take the over in what I thought would be a higher total.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Tulane vs. Southern Miss, Saturday, Jan. 4th, 10:30 A.M.
My bet: Southern Miss (+7.5)
The Southern Miss defense is solid, especially in the front seven. They rank 16th in rushing yards allowed, which should help slow down a Tulane offense that is dedicated to the run. The Eagles have NFL caliber talent on the defensive line and I expect them to be hungry to show their skills against a run heavy offense like Tulane. Additionally, this just feels like too many points for teams that appear evenly matched to me. Lets ride Eagles.
Mobile Alabama Bowl
Louisiana vs. Miami (OH), Monday, Jan. 6th, 6:30 P.M.
My bet: Louisiana (-13.5)
This matchup is interesting as both teams come in with sour tastes in their mouth after their conference championship loss. However, I think this is a total mismatch for the underdog. Kevin Dotson has been opening holes for running back Elijah Mitchell all season, and I don’t know if the Redhawks will have an answer for it. Additionally, the defense is as great as any for the Cajuns. This to me feels like a game that could get ugly.