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  #101  
Old 12-21-2018, 08:43 AM
Steeler82 Steeler82 is offline
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Bump/ Sure hope some of this info starts working. The public can't keep winning and today the public has both dogs.
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  #102  
Old 12-21-2018, 08:58 AM
goldengreek goldengreek is offline
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Originally Posted by Steeler82 View Post
Bump/ Sure hope some of this info starts working. The public can't keep winning and today the public has both dogs.
Just because the favs are covering it dosent mean the public is winning


I have the public at 4-5 on the side plays


65 % Fresno - win
60 % UAB - win
60 % Marshall - win
55 % Ohio U - win


65 % N. Texas - Loss
65 % NC A & T ...Loss
60% G. Southern - Loss
55 % Mid Tenn st ....loss
55 % Laffayette .,...loss
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  #103  
Old 12-21-2018, 09:10 AM
goldengreek goldengreek is offline
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BYU-Western Michigan Betting Guide: Should Cougars Be Favored By This Much in Potato Bowl?


2018 Potato Bowl Betting Odds: BYU-Western Michigan
Odds: BYU -12
Over/Under: 50.5
Date: Friday, Dec. 21
Time: 4 p.m. ET


Raise your hand if you expected BYU and Western Michigan to play in a bowl game this season. No one?

The Cougars are a 12-point favorite in the Quick Lane Bowl, which is the largest point spread in a non-New Yearís Six game.

Will BYUís superior strength of schedule help it win out, or can Western Michigan hit enough big plays on offense to keep it close? Letís dive in.

Market Moves for BYU-Western Michigan
By Danny Donahue

Minus the playoff matchups, this game trails only the Sugar Bowl as the highest spread this bowl season. Thatís drawn bettors ó at least a slight majority of them ó to the underdog. After opening at +11, 55% of bets and 54% of dollars are behind Western Michigan, which has reached as high as +13 and come all the way back to +11 before settling at the current number of +12.

As for the total, both public bettors and a light dose of sharp action have hit this over, which has moved this number from 48 to 50 (see live betting data here).




Trends to Know for Potato Bowl
By John Ewing

BYU is one of four double-digit favorites this bowl season. Teams favored by 10 or more points are 45-17 (73%) straight up in bowl games since 2005. A 73% win rate might sound impressive, but in the regular season, double-digit favorites win outright 88% of the time.

The difference in win rate has created value betting on the moneyline underdog. The underdog is only 17-45 straight up in these games but a $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $2,473 betting on the upset in each game.

By Evan Abrams

Did you know? BYU is 6-6 straight up this season and a double-digit favorite against Western Michigan, which enters the game 7-5. The last team to have a worse win percentage, but be favored by double-digits in bowl season, was the Auburn Tigers against Central Florida in the 2018 Peach Bowl ó UCF won outright, 34-27.



The Nationís Worst Special Teams Unit
By Stuckey

While BYU doesnít have great special teams, every team in the country has the edge against WMUís NCAA-worst unit. The Broncos rank 130th out of 130 teams in Special Teams S&P+ and donít do anything well in the often-slept on third phase of the game.

Freshman kicker Gavin Peddie, who took over after the second game, is only 9 of 12 on field goals and also missed three extra points. The punting has been even worse, as their 33.04 net yards per punt average ranks in the bottom five in the country.

Still not convinced? WMU is one of 19 teams to allow at least four blocked kicks and one of only five teams to allow three punt blocks.




The only thing WMU does well on special teams is return punts (No. 2 in average with two touchdowns), but this is still one of the worst overall special teams units Iíve ever seen and this weakness should get even more exposed outside of a conference filled with horrid special teams units due to lack of depth.



BYU Should Limit Big Plays
By Stuckey

Itís an interesting matchup in explosiveness here. BYUís defense ranks No. 1 in IsoPPP+ and top 3 against the pass. Thatís an important against a WMU offense that finished in the top 25 in passing explosiveness ó even though freshman Kaleb Eleby took over at quarterback, itís still a part of the offense.

And while the BYU offense defends explosiveness as well as any team in the country, its offense has almost zero (114th overall). As a result, the Cougars might not be equipped to take advantage of one of WMUís biggest areas of weakness of defending explosiveness (121st in IsoPPP+)


Sacks Everywhere
By Stuckey

Two freshman quarterbacks that didnít start the year as the starter for their respective teams will face each other in this bowl game. And as you might expect from first-year quarterbacks, both have held onto the ball way too long way too often.

Zach Wilson has been sacked on 10.9% of his drop backs, while Eleby has gone down on 10.5%. For context, Tulsa ranks 125th in the country at 10.8%.


With that said, the WMU defensive front is actually more capable of pressuring the quarterback, ranking in the top 25 in Adjusted Sack Rate and DL Havoc Rate.

In comparison, BYU ranks 94th in Adjusted Sack Rate and 124th in Overall Havoc Rate despite having a better defense overall.



Whoís More Motivated?
By Stuckey

Neither team played in a bowl last year, so youíd think both would be excited for this one.

However, considering how each team ended its respective season, I think WMU will be a little more excited for this bowl game. BYU might still be emotionally hungover and come out flat after blowing that huge lead against rival Utah in the Holy War, which extended its losing streak in the series.

Conversely, WMU pulled off an upset win in the final week against NIU to get to seven wins and ensure their bowl eligibility, as they lost their finale last year and didnít get invited to a bowl with six wins.



Bet to Watch
By Stuckey

I think this is just a few too many points to pass up on the MAC dog, which I think could also have a slight motivational edge. BYU simply doesnít have the explosiveness or passing offense to exploit Western Michiganís two primary weaknesses. BYUís subpar special teams play this year also makes me worry a little less about WMUís tragic special teams.

I think Eleby can ultimately move the ball efficiently through the air against BYU and the WMU defensive front is poised to make a few more game-changing plays.

Remember this is a BYU team that hasnít beaten anybody with a pulse since its upset win over Wisconsin three months ago. Over that span, it has gone 4-5 with wins over McNese State, Hawaii, New Mexico State and UMass, while going 0-5 vs. the five bowl teams it faced ó including one at home vs. another MAC team in NIU.

Stuckeyís Pick: Western Michigan +12



By Collin Wilson

The number is spot on, with The Action Network power ratings making this game BYU -13. The Cougars are returning to Albertsons Stadium after a 21-16 loss to Boise State in Week 10. Quarterback Zach Wilson was sacked at the Boise State 4-yard line as time ran off the clock in the loss to the Broncos.

The Western Michigan offense went into a tailspin following the injury to quarterback Jon Wassink. After three straight losses, the Broncos rebounded against an unmotivated Northern Illinois team to end the season. The Huskies had already qualified for the MAC Championship the following week, and new Western Michigan quarterback Kaleb Eleby had his best game with a passing success rate just over the national average at 41%.

As pointed out by Stuckey above, there are plenty of mismatches between these two teams. BYU has a strength of schedule S&P+ rank of 47th to Western Michiganís 88th. The Broncos are dead last in special teams S&P+ resulting in a rank of 116th in field position on defense. BYU should have great starting field position throughout this game. That bodes well against a Western Michigan team that ranks 119th defensively in finishing drives. Any trip by the Cougars past the Western Michigan 40 should result in points.

I will go with BYU -12 for most of the reasons above, but also because of the time off to prepare for Western Michigan. BYU coach Kalani Sitake has mentioned in several interviews that heís had to change the offensive scheme because of injuries throughout the season, but the Cougars are getting healthier. With a plethora of players that have only played three games this season, Sitake plans to use plenty of players on the roster with a scheme on both sides of the ball that gets 15 practices in preparation.

Collinís Pick: BYU -12
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  #104  
Old 12-21-2018, 09:18 AM
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2018 Bahamas Bowl Betting Guide: Where Does FIU Turn Without Its QB vs. Toledo?



2018 Bahamas Bowl Betting Odds: Florida International-Toledo
Odds: Toledo -7
Over/Under: 56
Date: Friday, Dec. 21
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET

The Bahamas Bowl spread took a sharp turn less than 24 hours before the game, when news broke that FIU quarterback James Morgan wouldnít play because of an injury to his throwing arm.

That sent the line flying up in Toledoís favor, and also dropped the total.

Market Moves for Toledo-FIU
By Danny Donahue

Since opening, 64% of bets and 69% of dollars have taken the points with FIU, which initially dropped this line to FIU +5, and even +4.5 at a few books. Then, on Thursday afternoon with the announcement that Morgan wouldnít play, the line went to Toledo -7.

The total has been of interest for any weather-based bettors. With high wind speeds expected throughout the game, 71% of bets accounting for 98% of dollars have hit the under, moving this total down from 66.5 to 58.5. On Thursday, it dropped another 2.5 points to 56 with the injury news (see live betting data here).




Trends to Know for Bahamas Bowl
By Evan Abrams

In the fifth edition of the Bahamas Bowl at Thomas Robinson Stadium, weather is supposed to be beautiful and 80 degrees, but wind is projected to be about 20 MPH.

Since 2005, only six bowl games have been played with wind above 15 mph, and those games are 5-1 to the over, going over the total by 9.4 points per game. During the regular season, games with at least 15 mph winds go under about 57% of the time.

What Does FIU Do Without Morgan?
By Steve Petrella

FIU quarterback James Morgan was named Conference USAís newcomer of the year, and he was the catalyst behind a revitalized FIU offense. Without him, where do the Panthers turn?

Morganís backup is redshirt junior Christian Alexander, who has thrown 68 passes in four years with the program. Heís more adept as a runner, gaining 91 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns this season.

There were rumblings that Morgan would miss the Bahamas Bowl, so itís quite possible Alexander has been running with the first team through all of FIUís bowl practices. Expect the Panthers to rely heavily on the run.

FIU Will Need its Run Game
By Stuckey

FIU has a really inefficient offense, but it is fully capable of hitting explosive plays (12th in IsoPPP+), particularly in the run game. Thatís good news against a really poor Toledo run defense that ranks 119th overall (S&P) and 111th against rushing explosiveness.

And while its run offense can break one at any time, FIU will also give up plenty on the ground. The Golden Panthers allow 5.0 yards per rush, which ranks outside of the top 100. Toledo ranks in the top 20 in yards per rush (5.3) and has the 12th best S&P+ rushing offense.




The Rockets should dominate the trenches on offense and move the chains with ease against FIU. Toledoís offense ranks fourth and 17th in Opportunity Rate and Stuff Rate, respectively. It will face a defense that ranks 115th in both categories.

Donít expect many punts in this one, but FIU should be much more worried if they do as Toledoís Diontae Johnson is one of the best punt (and kick) returners in the game.

FIU Ainít Played Nobody
By Stuckey

FIU, which has played nobody all year (127th strength of schedule) has also been one of the luckiest teams in the nation (benefiting from 3.9 points per turnover luck per game). FIUís best win came against MTSU at home by three points in a game it had a post-game win expectancy of 22%. It other wins came against:

Old Dominion
UMass
Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Rice
Western Kentucky
UTSA
Charlotte
Gross.



Whoís More Motivated?
By Stuckey

Both teams got smoked last year in their respective bowls so I donít see a big motivational discrepancy here. FIU is only 1-2 in bowls in program history with its only win ironically enough coming against Toledo in 2010.

The Rockets have much better bowl pedigree and should be happy to see any other team but App State, which it lost to in each of the past two bowls in 2016 and 2017.




Bet to Watch
By Collin Wilson

Toledo has some explosiveness of their own, specifically in the ground game. The Rockets not only have a rushing explosiveness rank of 31st, but are complimented with an efficiency rank of No. 8 on the ground. With an opportunity and stuff rate within the top 20, Toledo is able to gain yards on the ground in any down and distance.

This should be a problem for the Florida International defense that ranks 114th in rushing S&P+, with ratings outside the top 100 in opportunity rate, stuff rate, average third-down distance, and third down success rate.

Florida International ended the season with a -1.1 Second Order Win Total, which illustrates how much good fortune the Panthers had. They are +9 in net turnovers but have a havoc ranking of 90th overall. Some credit should go to the offensive line, as Florida International ranks fifth overall in sack rate. Toledo will combat with a successful defensive line that ranks 21st in team sacks.



Plenty of signs point to each team being able to score at will, with Florida International through the air and Toledo on the ground. But the Action Network total is projected at 55.5, under the current total.

As for the side, I will go with Toledo in this spot up to -8 ó The Action Network power ratings have this at Toledo -5, and Morgan is worth at least three points.

The projected winds will have an affect on the passing attack of FIU, which now could be non-existent without Morgan. Although both teams struggle to contain explosive plays, itís the Rockets who have an overall efficiency rating of 40th on offense (compared to the Golden Panthers rank of 89th) that should be the difference in this ball game.

Collinís Pick: Toledo up to -8 and under 58.5
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  #105  
Old 12-21-2018, 10:19 AM
skyz skyz is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengreek View Post
Just because the favs are covering it dosent mean the public is winning


I have the public at 4-5 on the side plays


65 % Fresno - win
60 % UAB - win
60 % Marshall - win
55 % Ohio U - win


65 % N. Texas - Loss
65 % NC A & T ...Loss
60% G. Southern - Loss
55 % Mid Tenn st ....loss
55 % Laffayette .,...loss
Hi gg, dont you have a system for college bowls that play dogs that is 7+ and fav thats less than 3?
Thanks
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  #106  
Old 12-21-2018, 02:22 PM
Steeler82 Steeler82 is offline
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Public has won about 5 in a row with W. Mich next on a shitty line
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  #107  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:07 AM
goldengreek goldengreek is offline
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College Football Sharp Report: How Pros Are Betting Saturdayís Bowl Games

Danny Donahue
Dec 21, 2018 2:15 PM EST

NCAAF
AMP-fbAMP-twitterAMP-fb-messageAMP-emailAMP-sms
Before placing your bets for Saturday's 4-game slate of college football bowl games, you might want to know how sharps are betting these games.
Sharps are bettors with long track records of consistent success.
Their favorite plays on Saturday include bets on Wake Forest-Memphis (12 p.m. ET, ESPN) and Buffalo-Troy (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The second Saturday of bowl season is upon us, and while four games isnít quite what weíve become accustomed to on Saturdays over the past few months, there should still be action aplenty throughout the day.



2018-19 College Football Bowl Games: Odds, Schedule, and Previews
Read now
For experienced gamblers, one advantage is the rush of casual bettors who will come out of the woodwork to bet on college football.

And while that tends to create value in betting against the public this time of year, a couple of Saturdayís sharpest spots look to be in agreement with the masses.

Letís take a look.

Birmingham Bowl: Wake Forest @ Memphis
12 p.m. ET | ESPN | Birmingham, AL

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 75 to 73)

If you were to view this game through The Action Networkís app or Sports Insightsí Live Odds page, youíd notice that the opening and current total are the same ó 73. But that doesnít quite tell the whole story of how this line has moved over the past couple weeks.

Until about midweek, the line movement on this total had been trending upward. After opening at 73, it was up to 75.5 at a few books behind almost 90% of bets. But as game day approached, sportsbooks began to up their limits, allowing sharps to reveal their opinion on the game.



Wake Forest-Memphis Betting Guide: Tigers Missing Key Weapon For 2018 Birmingham Bowl
Read now
Since Tuesday, this total has fallen back to its opening number as wiseguys have been all over the under.

Per Sports Insightsí Bet Signals, theyíve hit the under four times over the past four days. So while the over is still the more popular play ó getting 65% of bets ó oddsmakers have had no choice but to follow what their sharper customers are telling them.

Much of the reason for that is because sharps tend to bet more than squares. In this case, the 35% of bets on the under have accounted for 52% of actual money.

Dollar General Bowl: Buffalo vs. Troy
7 p.m. ET | ESPN | Mobile, AL

Sharp angles: Troy (moved from +3 to +1), Under (moved from 53.5 to 49.5)

In a heavily bet game ó such as a bowl game ó itís often the case that sharps land on the opposite side of the public. This one, however, is example of when that wouldnít quite be true.

Although the majority isnít extremely heavy, Troy is still getting 57% of the bets in this game. And while that makes the Trojans the public bettorsí side, sharps seem to be along for the ride as well.



Buffalo-Troy Betting Guide: Can Trojans Best Bullsí Elite Passing Offense in Dollar General Bowl?
Read now
The 57% of bettors behind Troy have made up for 81% of money wagered, meaning bigger, probably sharper bettors are among that majority.

Troy has also triggered four Sports Insights Bet Signals.

Speaking of signals, the under in this game has drawn five of its own. Combined with 74% of dollars on 49% of bets, the sharp backing of the under has forced oddsmakers to drop this total four points from its opening number.

Hawaii Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii
9:30 p.m. ET | ESPN | Honolulu, HI

Sharp angle: Over (moved from 57.5 to 61)

Two public and sharp agreements in one day? What a treat.

Seventy-two percent of bets on the total in this game have hit the over, but theyíve accounted for 77% of bets. Though the line has moved up 3.5 points, such a small percentage discrepancy wouldnít be enough to confirm sharp action on its own.

Thankfully, Sports Insightsí Bet Signals lit up three times on this over, at totals of 58.5, 59 and 60.
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  #108  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:13 AM
goldengreek goldengreek is offline
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Wake Forest-Memphis Betting Guide: Each Team Missing Key Weapon For 2018 Birmingham Bowl


2018 Birmingham Bowl Betting Odds: Wake Forest-Memphis
Odds: Memphis -3
Over/Under: 73


Memphis and Wake Forest have the third-highest over/under of bowl season, but might each be without their best offensive weapons.

Memphis running back Darrell Henderson is gone to prep for the NFL Draft, while Wake wide receiver Greg Dortch is out with a finger injury suffered in the Demon Deaconsí season finale.

Will the Tigersí running game remain its biggest strength, or will Wakeís end-of-season run propel it to bowl victory?

Odds Movement for Wake Forest-Memphis
By Danny Donahue

Early action on Memphis moved this line up from -4 up to -6. Since then, more money has come in on Wake Forest to bring the line down. While both sides have seen close to 50% of bets, the 62% of dollars behind the Deacons have been enough to move their line back to +3.

A similar back-and-forth has taken place with the total. While early action raised the number up as high as 74.5, sharp bettors have stepped in and pushed it down to 73. Only 36% of bets are on the under, but theyíve accounted for 52% of dollars wagered.




Trends to Know for Birmingham Bowl
By John Ewing

Wake Forest finished the season 6-6. Teams with a .500 or worse record have gone 80-60-2 (57%) against the spread in bowl games since 2005 according to our data from Bet Labs.

By Evan Abrams

Weíve finally made it. The first bowl game this season with an over/under in the 70ís.

Since 2005, the over is 20-16 (55.6%) in bowl games with a total of 70 or more, going over the total by 2.7 points per game. When two teams meet in that spot both scored 40 points or more in their last game entering the bowl, the over is hitting by 6.8 points per game.

Can Wake Get a Red Zone Stop?
By Stuckey

The Wake Forest defense was absolutely atrocious in the red zone all season long, allowing teams to score on a shocking 94.6% of trips (only ECU allowed a higher clip). Teams punched it in the end zone 30-of-37 times. Memphis is tied for 16th in red zone offense at 90%, including a near 75% clip at finding pay dirt.


How much will that red zone efficiency go down without Henderson, the programís first ever unanimous All-American? The importance of Hendersonís loss can not be understated.

The future NFL back finished second in the nation in rushing yards, third in average at a silly 8.9 yards, tied for first in touchdowns (22) and led the nation in scrimmage yards per game.

Without him, will Memphis see a drop off in its rushing attack that finished No. 1 overall in explosiveness. Wake certainly hopes so as it ranked 99th defending rush explosiveness.

What Does Memphis Have Behind Henderson?
By Steve Petrella

Itís impossible to replace a back like Henderson right away. But Memphis has a solid offensive line that should still help move the ball on Wake.

Patrick Taylor Jr. had 1,012 yards (5.7 per carry), 15 touchdowns and a better efficiency rating than Henderson, albeit much less explosiveness. Tony Pollard had 443 yards (7.3 per carry) and better efficiency metrics than both.

Pace, Pace, Pace
By Stuckey

These are two of the fastest teams in the country in terms of pace.

Wake ranks third in plays per minute; Memphis is 25th. Both teams rank in the top eight in possessions per game. Thatís a big reason why this total is so high.



Whoís More Motivated?
By Stuckey

I give the edge to Wake.

Even though Wake has won bowl games each of the past two seasons, while Memphis has lost both under current head coach Mike Norvell, I think the Demon Deacons will be more up for this game after how each of the two respective seasons ended.

Memphis suffered a fourth loss in two seasons to UCF and its second straight conference championship loss, even with a huge lead and no McKenzie Milton playing for the Knights.

Meanwhile, Wake Forestís bowl hopes looked dead in the water before they pulled out two huge road upsets over the final three games to get to six wins. I think Dave Clawson will have this group ready to play.

And while Wake won two of its final three games on the road against bowl teams (and one earlier in the year against a Tulane), Memphis only defeated one bowl team all season: Houston in its regular season finale in a game it blew up late against a Cougar team playing its backup quarterback.

Bet to Watch
By Collin Wilson

The loss of Henderson cannot be understated. The Memphis workhorse averaged 8.9 yards per carry with a highlight yards per opportunity of 12.15. That is one of the best in the nation in a stat that looks at how often Henderson generated big plays on the ground.

Even with backup Patrick Taylor Jr. having more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns, the explosiveness factor will be missing from the Memphis ground attack. With an adjustment for Henderson, The Action Network power ratings make this game Memphis -3.5, around where the spread is now.



It has been an up and down season for Wake Forest, starting with the three game suspension of 2017 quarterback Kendall Hinton. Freshman Sam Hartman was steady in holding the position most of the season with a 16-8 touchdown to interception ratio.

After an injury to Hartman, Wake Forest played the majority of November under Jamie Newton, who posted a better completion rate in 101 attempts. Newtonís best performance came in the bowl-clinching victory over Duke, when he went 18-of-23 for 177 yards with four touchdowns.

I will take the Demon Deacons in what should be a shootout. Memphisí track record against competent passing offenses has led to their losses this season. Those games include Central Florida (twice), Missouri and Tulane.

Collinís Pick: Wake Forest +3.5
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Old 12-22-2018, 11:50 AM
goldengreek goldengreek is offline
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Army-Houston Betting Guide: CFBís Tortoise vs. Hare in 2018 Armed Forces Bowl

Action Network Staff
Dec 22, 2018 10:30 PM EST

NCAAF
2018 Armed Forces Bowl Betting Odds: Army-Houston
Odds: Army -5
Over/Under: 60
Date: Saturday, Dec. 22
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN


If the NFL is a copycat league, college football is its free-spirited counterpart.

Thereís plenty of copying that goes on, sure. But there are different ways to cultivate dynamic offenses and win games ó Houston and Army are the antithesis of each other and still each put up points.

The Cougars run the most plays per minute of any team in the country, and play at one of the 10 fastest paces of any team in the last 15 years. Army is the opposite ó the Knights rank second-to-last in plays per minute thanks to a triple-option offense that drives opposing defenses to madness.

They average nearly two fewer possessions per game (9.83) than the second-slowest team in that regard, Washington (11.46).

Which will win out here ó tortoise or hare?

Odds Movement for Army-Houston
By Danny Donahue

Within a day of this line opening, Army had moved from -5 to -3. Since then, however, 76% of bets and 68% of dollars behind Army have brought the line back to its opening number of -5.

The total has seen some significant movement as well, falling by more than a touchdown from its opener at some books. After being released at 67.5, itís now listed at 60 thanks to 80% of bets and 71% of dollars on the under.




Trends to Know for Armed Forces Bowl
By John Ewing

Service academies are 16-8 (against the spread) ATS in bowl games since 2005 and 6-1 ATS when favored.

By Evan Abrams

Service academies have won nine consecutive bowl games straight up when listed as favorites dating back to 1990. In that span, they are 8-1 ATS, but Army has only one of these nine games, facing North Texas in the 2016 First Responder Bowl, where the Black Knights needed overtime to survive.


Talent Gap
By Steve Petrella

Talent is paramount in college football. And recruiting rankings matter. Donít let anyone tell you otherwise. But do they in this game?

Houston has the 51st-most talented roster in the country, per 247Sportsí team talent composite. Army comes in at 126th. Itís the biggest gap in this bowl season.

The trouble for Houston is talent doesnít always win out when youíre playing Army. The triple option is designed precisely to neutralize the talent gap the bigger schools will always have over service academies that canít recruit the best athletes and will always be undersized at the line of scrimmage.

But if you believe in talent winning out (i.e. no team in the recruiting ranking era, since 2002, has won a national title without averaging a top-15 class over the previous four years) Houston has a major edge.

Houston Without Two Stars
By Steve Petrella

Houston will be without defensive lineman Ed Oliver, who is prepping for the NFL Draft. Heíll be a top-10 pick in all likelihood.

But the more important loss is probably star quarterback DíEriq King, who injured his knee in November and gave way to Clayton Tune for the season finale.




Tune played one full game for the Cougars ó he went 18 of 43 for 256 yards and three scores. But he only ran for 12 yards on 13 carries; a dynamic quarterback has been essential to Houstonís offense for years now.

Tune, a true freshman, is nowhere near the athlete King is, but heís gotten all the snaps with the first team during bowl practice.

Third Downs Will Be the Difference
By Stuckey

Army finished No. 1 in the nation in third-down conversion rate. And believe it or not, its defense also finished in the top 3 in that same category. And while Houston has an excellent third-down offense (top 20), its defense ranked 110th.

Expect Army to convert without much resistance on all of its third-and-short situations against a Houston defense that ranks 100th in third-and-short success rate.

The Cougs will really miss Ed Oliver and their other two starters on the defensive line. Just look at what Navyís triple option attack did against Houston without Oliver: 67 rush attempts for 349 yards. (5.2 per carry).

In the last five games of the season, Houston had one of the worst run defenses in the country, allowing 6.1 yards per carry. For context, only four FBS teams allowed more than 6.0 yards per carry this year.

And not only does Armyís defense rank No. 1 in that same category, Army actually also ranks No. 1 in the nation in average third down distance on both offense and defense.

And if for whatever reason the Black Knights donít convert on third and short, they should have no issues going for it on fourth down. Army also led the nation in fourth-down conversion percentage at a stunning 86.1% on 36 attempts (tied third nationally).

Whoís More Motivated?
By Stuckey

Even though Army won this same bowl last season, itís a service academy. I personally never worry about motivation with the Black Knights, who have won their bowl game in each of the past two seasons under head coach Jeff Monken.




Conversely, Houston has lost each of its past two bowl games in 2016 and 2017 under Major Applewhite, who Iím sure will want to get his first bowl win as a head coach. On the surface, you would think Houston would be motivated.

However, given all their injuries and the Oliver situation, Iím not sure this team will be that excited to face the Army triple-option attack ó even in Texas ó especially considering how the run defense looked in the latter part of the season.



A Case for the Under
By Stuckey

I know the total has dropped, but I still donít think itís low enough. Given its unique style, oddsmakers really struggle to set both spreads and totals for Army.

We know it will control the clock and dominate time of possession. The Black Knights averaged 20 more plays per game than their opponents, which I expect them to do against Houston.

Just look at what that ball control did to the most explosive offense in the country in Oklahoma in Norman ó held the Sooners to 21 points in regulation because they only touched the ball seven times.

The clock will be speeding throughout this one, as it does with most Army games ó and it will keep the sticks moving to keep this under 60.

Stuckeyís Pick: Under 60

Bet to Watch
By Collin Wilson

In terms of stability, these two teams are heading in opposite directions. Army has put together another fantastic campaign at 10-2, winning the Commander-in-Chiefís Trophy, and almost notching the upset of the season over Oklahoma.

Houston has had its share of negative news on and off the field. Ed Oliver will not play in this game after Coat-Gate and the decision to sit out for the NFL Draft.

The Cougars lost three of their last four games with an injury to quarterback DíEriq King against Tulane. King had 50 total touchdowns before the injury, leaving large shoes for backup Clayton Tune.



After a season-ending loss to Memphis, 52-31, Cougars head coach Major Applewhite fired his defensive coordinator. The defensive staff is now in preparation to take on a triple-option attack of Army.

When handicapping an Army game, you always start with the defensive line of the opponent. Houston ranked 42nd in opportunity rate and 73rd in stuff rate for the season, with a large portion of those statistics coming with Oliver in the lineup.

The defensive line was just 72nd in havoc on the season, all of which translate to not plugging gaps against the rush or causing disruption in the backfield.

Iím backing Army in this spot, as there are plenty of statistical advantages in third down, havoc, passing downs defense. The Black Knights are first in the nation in third-down conversions at 55.6%, compared to the Cougars who are bottom 20 in third-down defense at 44.7%.

This could cause a serious issue with time of possession, where Army ranks first in the nation to Houston ranking dead last. Houston will need to make each possession count, as it could be limited similar to what happened to Oklahoma earlier this year.

Tune has his work cut out for him as Army ranks 28th against passing downs explosiveness and is third in the nation at defensive back havoc. Expect Army to impose its will on both sides of the ball and win a third straight bowl.

Collinís Pick: Army -5
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Old 12-22-2018, 11:51 AM
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2018 Hawaii Bowl Betting Guide: Can Hawaiiís Offensive Line Hold Up vs. Louisiana Tech?

Action Network Staff
Dec 21, 2018 3:42 PM EST

NCAAF

2018 Hawaii Bowl Betting Odds: Louisiana Tech-Hawaii
Odds: Hawaii -1
Over/Under: 61
Date: Saturday, Dec. 22
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN


The 2018 Hawaii Bowl wonít be played on Christmas Eve this year. Instead, Hawaii will meet Louisiana Tech to wrap up an action-packed Saturday before a three-day lull in the bowl schedule.

Hawaii will bring its air-raid offense and porous defense to this game against a Louisiana Tech team with an opportunistic defense and offense that really sputtered down the stretch.

Odds Movement for Hawaii Bowl
By Danny Donahue

The public hasnít made a clear play on this matchup, with each side seeing 50% of tickets. Sharper bettors, however, may be leaning toward Louisiana Tech, as the Bulldogs have drawn 70% of money and moved from +2 to +1.

As for the total, itís jumped from 57.5 to 61 behind 76% of bets and 63% of dollars on the over.


Trends to Know for Hawaii-Louisiana Tech

By John Ewing

This is the fifth time since 2005 that Hawaii has played in the Hawaii Bowl. The Rainbow Warriors should enjoy home-field advantage, right? But in the previous four games, Hawaii went 2-2 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS).

By Stuckey

ó Hawaii is 4-3 all-time in bowl games in Hawaii.

ó Skip Holtz has won four straight bowls in the past four seasons.

ó Teams playing a bowl in their home stadium are 39-28 ATS since 1980.

Hawaii O-Line Faces Tough Task
By Stuckey

Louisiana Techís Jaylon Ferguson should absolutely dominate the Hawaii tackles. Ferguson leads FBS in sacks (15) and is second in tackles for loss (23.5).

Ferguson has 42.5 career sacks, which is only 1.5 behind the all-time record held by Terrell Suggs (Arizona State) and JaíVon Rolland-Jones (Arkansas State). The future NFL defensive end decided he would not sit out the Hawaii Bowl, and I expect an absolutely dominant effort as he chases the all-time NCAA sacks record.

Louisiana Tech is one of 15 teams to average at least three sacks per game. Hawaiiís subpar offensive line gave up an average of 2.85 sacks per game, which ranked 110th in the country.

Louisiana Tech Defense Has the Edge
By Stuckey

These are two offenses that love to throw the ball. Louisiana Tech ranks 110th in standard downs run rate and Hawaii ranks 128th.

But itís Tech that should create a few disruptive plays on the defensive end. Not only does it rank in the top 10 in Adjusted Sack Rate, its secondary ranks in the top 10 in Havoc Rate. I anticipate a few turnovers created on the front and back ends of the La Tech defense against the pass-happy Hawaii offense.

On the flip side, while Hawaii does rank a respectable 39th in Adjusted Sack Rate, its secondary ranks 118th in Havoc Rate. I like Louisiana Tech, as I think its defense is built to make more game-changing plays in this battle of pass-happy offenses.



Good Defenses Owned Hawaii
By Steve Petrella

When Hawaii got off to its roaring start, we didnít know just how bad the defenses it played were. The Rainbow Warriors averaged 7.75 yards per play in their first three games, all against teams that finished the year ranked 115th or worse in S&P+ defense.

But when the defenses started to get better, Hawaii struggled. It averaged 5.24 yards per play and didnít top 23 points once in five straight midseason games against top-70 defenses, and lost four of those games. Those 5.24 ypp compared to 7.75 is the difference between Kansas Stateís and Alabamaís offenses.

Louisiana Techís defense ranks 47th.

Bet to Watch
By Collin Wilson

Hawaii was the hot storyline coming into the season, with an upset victory in Week 0 and Cole McDonald getting whispers of a Heisman campaign. The Rainbow Warriors rode that wave as long as possible until it finally played a team ranked in the top 75 in S&P+ and started to fall apart, as Steve mentioned.

Hawaii snapped a four-game losing streak to end the season with one-possession victories over UNLV and San Diego State. Louisiana Tech has had its fair share of bad results, losing three of four heading into the Hawaii Bowl.

Although both teams prefer to pass with standard and passing downs run rate outside the top 100, both teams tend to move the ball at a slower clip. Hawaii is 105th in adjusted pace while Louisiana Tech is 94th.



Iíll be backing Louisiana Tech for a few key reasons. The Bulldogs are one of the least penalized teams in the nation and have protected the ball better than Hawaii on the season. Expect McDonald to get pressured and take some sacks as the Warriors offensive line is 81st in passing downs sack rate.

Louisiana Techís defensive front is 15th in sack rate with a defensive line havoc rate of 22nd. If McDonald can escape pressure, the Bulldogs are 11th in defensive back havoc.

Louisiana Tech has the better defense with a coach who knows how to prepare his players for a trip to the island. Hawaiiís terrible splits in field position should give the Bulldogs the extra edge needed for a victory.

Shop for the best number in the last college game before Christmas as the number floats around pk to Hawaii -1.

Collinís Pick: Louisiana Tech +1

Last edited by goldengreek; 12-22-2018 at 11:54 AM.
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Buffalo-Troy Betting Guide: Can Trojans Best Bullsí Elite Passing Offense in Dollar General Bowl?

Action Network Staff
Dec 21, 2018 10:10 AM EST

NCAAF

2018 Dollar General Bowl Betting Odds: Buffalo-Troy
Odds: Buffalo -1
Over/Under: 49.5
Date: Saturday, Dec. 22
Location: Mobile, Ala.
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN


The 2018 Dollar General Bowl will pit two of the most improved Group of 5 teams in the country when Troy and Buffalo meet in the Trojansí home state.

Buffalo came up just short of the MAC title behind future NFL quarterback Tyree Jackson, while Troyís offense struggled mightily in its last two games.

Odds Movement for Buffalo-Troy
By Danny Donahue

Troy seems to have attracted both sharp and square bettors alike, as itís drawing 59% of bets accounting for 78% of money. That backing has dropped this line from +3 to +1.

The betting action on the under has been awfully similar, as itís fallen from 53.5 to 49.5 behind 56% of bets and 88% of dollars.




Trends to Know for Dollar General Bowl
By John Ewing

Buffalo went 9-4 (against the spread) ATS in the regular season. Bettors shouldnít expect the Bulls to cover just because they have recently.

Since 2005, teams with a 60% or better ATS win rate have gone 141-166-5 (45.9%) ATS in bowl games.


What Happened to Troyís Offense?
By Steve Petrella

The Trojans lost quarterback Kaleb Barker in Week 6, paving the way for Sawyer Smith. Their offense averaged at least 6.3 yards per play in three of his first four games as the starter, and Troyís ground game remained strong.

But in Troyís final two games ó albeit against two of the Sun Beltís best defenses in Texas State and Appalachian State ó the Trojans scored 22 total points and had 443 total yards. In two games!

Special Teams Could Be the Difference
By Stuckey

The MAC had some really bad special teams play this season across the board, including Buffalo ó which struggled on the often-forgotten about third unit.

Itís easier to hide those issues in a conference filled with teams dealing with similar issues, but those deficiencies get magnified against teams with elite special teams. And Troy certainly fits that mold.

Just take a look at some of the differences between these two teams:

Troy ranks fifth in net punting (41.83 yards); Buffalo ranks 85th.
Troy ranks ninth overall in average kick return yardage (25.06 yards); Buffalo ranks 114th.
Buffalo kicker Adam Mitcheson is just eight of 12 on field goals this year and has missed SEVEN extra points, including a costly one in the MAC Championship. Tyler Sumpter hasnít been spectacular for Troy, but heís been solid, connecting on 18 of 24 field-goal attempts and all 39 extra points.
Buffalo has had an NCAA-worst SEVEN kicks blocked this year; Troy has had zero.
Amazingly, Buffalo has also had an NCAA-worst three punts blocked; Troy has had zero.
From an S&P+ perspective, Buffalo ranks 124th in the country on special teams. And Troy ranks 11th. Thatís a staggering discrepancy, which could ultimately decide which team will win (and cover) in the 2018 Dollar General Bowl.

Whoís More Motivated?
By Stuckey

I think both teams are motivated here, so I donít see an edge. Buffalo is looking for its first ever bowl win (0-2 all-time). The question becomes how well do the Bulls respond to that devastating blown lead in the MAC Championship Game?




While Troy has a much richer bowl pedigree, including wins in each of the past two seasons in bowls (including one at this very bowl), I think the Trojans will be motivated to get to 10 wins in front of a crowd that should be heavily in their favor.

Bet to Watch
By Stuckey

Iím keeping this simple here and rolling with the small dog playing in its home state with the better defense and special teams units.

I also think Troy can move the ball through the air against a vulnerable Buffalo pass defense that ranks 119th defending pass explosiveness, especially now that it will have a very healthy receiving unit.

Stuckeyís Pick: Troy +1

By Collin Wilson

Neal Brown is still the coach at Troy as he returns to the Dollar General Bowl after a victory in this spot over another MAC team in 2016. The Trojans packed Ladd-Peoples with 32,000 two years ago and expect to have the support of the crowd in this game, as well.

Troy is very familiar in this venue, highlighted by a 38-17 victory over South Alabama in Week 9.

Statistically both teams defensively cancel out the strength of their opponent offensively. Troy is fourth in rushing explosiveness, but Buffalo ranks 28th against explosiveness on the ground.

Buffalo, led by quarterback Tyree Jackson, is first in the nation in passing downs explosiveness. Troy will be able to contain the air explosiveness of Jackson with a defense that ranks 19th against pass explosiveness.



There are a couple of differences that will have us backing the Trojans in this game. Troy is 11th overall in havoc, and those numbers will be needed against Buffalo, which relies more on the pass than the rush.

Speaking of the rush, Troy is 15th in S&P+ rush defense giving the Trojans an advantage no matter the Buffalo scheme.

We look to back Troy with defensive and special teams advantages, but also take a look at the under. The total has dropped below The Action Network projection of 53 because of how often both teams run the ball.

In passing downs run rate, Buffalo is 17th compared to Troy at sixth, translating to plenty of ground game and clock churning in this contest.

Collinís Pick: Troy +1
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A little lookahead to Saturday's bowl slate: Per @MGMRaceSports @scottatmirage, one big house player has $55K on Troy +2 vs. Buffalo, and $55K on Louisiana Tech +1.5 vs. Hawaii.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:00 PM
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Per @MGMRaceSports @scottatmirage on TROY-BUF #DollarGeneralBowl: Buffalo opens -3, down to -1. "There’s actually been a lot of money on this game. We need the favorite Buffalo. It’s a mid-five-figure decision, and ticket count is 2/1 on the ‘dog as well.


Per @MGMRaceSports @scottatmirage on LATECH-HAW #HawaiiBowl: Hawaii opens -2, line jumps fence to Louisiana Tech -1, now pick. "We’ve taken a couple big bets on LaTech. The sharp play is on Louisiana Tech too. We’re going to need Hawaii.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:02 PM
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Per @SuperBookUSA's Derek Wilkinson on MEM-WAKE #BirminghamBowl: Memphis opens -3.5, gets to -5, now back to -3. "It looks like all of our liability is on Memphis. Got a $15K wager on Memphis -3. We'll be rooting for Wake Forest.




Per @MGMRaceSports @scottatmirage on MEM-WAKE #BirminghamBowl: “Pointspread ticket count is 2/1 on Memphis, but money is pretty close. We’ll need Wake, but not a big decision. They’re also playing the Under, so we might need Over.” Tigers open -4, hit -4.5, now -3.5.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:03 PM
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Per @MGMRaceSports @scottatmirage on HOU-ARMY #ArmedForcesBowl. Army opens -3, bet up to -6. “They’re playing Army and the Over, and there’s sharp play on both. We need Houston. That could be our biggest decision of the day in bowl games


Per @SuperBookUSA's Derek Wilkinson on HOU-ARMY #ArmedForcesBowl: Army opens -3, up to 6.5. "Not really any sharp action. A lot of the move is us staying on pace with the market. We did have on large wager on Houston +5.5 from a house player



Per @SuperBookUSA's Derek Wilkinson on HOU-ARMY #ArmedForcesBowl: "I like the favorite, but we'll be rooting for Houston.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:04 PM
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Per @SuperBookUSA's Derek Wilkinson on BUF-TROY #DollarGeneralBowl: "All our liability is on Troy, the underdog. Buffalo's at -1, down from -3. We had a couple sharp bets on Troy +2.5. We'll need Buffalo pretty good."


Per @SuperBookUSA's Derek Wilkinson on LATECH-HAW #HawaiiBowl: Hawaii opens -2, down to pick, then to -1. "We've had decent action on both sides, 5-figure bets on both sides, but sharp guys on LaTech. Right now, we need Hawaii."
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:05 PM
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The Greek Sportsbook


@BetTheGreek


CFB Sharp Action

Army
HOU-ARM under
Troy
BUF-TROY under
Louisiana Tech
LT-HAW over
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:46 AM
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Boise State-Boston College Betting Guide: Wind Plummets Total in First Responder Bowl

Action Network Staff

Dec 26, 2018 9:29 PM EST

NCAAF

2018 First Responder Bowl Betting Odds: Boise State-Boston CollegeOdds: Boise State -2.5Over/Under: 50.5Date: Wednesday, Dec. 26Location: Dallas, TexasTime: 1:30 p.m. ETTV: ESPN

Boise State fell just short of the Mountain West title and gets a post-Christmas date against Boston College.

The Eagles have missed star running back AJ Dillon for much of the second half of this season, and hope to welcome him back against the Broncos’ stout run defense.

Odds Movement for Boise State-Boston College

By Steve Petrella

Pinnacle opened Boise State -3.5 in early-December and bettors immediately moved that line down to -3. It continued to -2.5 in middle of the month and even fell as far as -2, but has since settled back to -2.5.

The total plummeted on Christmas Eve due to poor impending weather, dropping all the way from 56.5 to 50.5 at most books across the market.

Weather Playing a Role in Line Moves

By Steve Petrella

This game is expected to have 20+ mph winds and rain throughout the afternoon. That’s dropped the total five points in the last two days.

Games with wind of at least 20 mph are 66-39-3 (62.9%) to the under since 2005.

Dillon Injury Looms Large

By Steve Petrella

AJ Dillon is one of the nation’s best running backs. He ran for 1,108 yards and 10 scores and fuels BC’s rushing attack.

Dillon has been playing with an ankle injury since early October, and hasn’t been the same since. The Eagles are hopeful he’ll both play and be at 100% Wednesday, which could be a game changer. They’ll also have quarterback Anthony Brown back to full health after he suffered an abdominal injury against Clemson in mid-November.

Boise State is missing several depth pieces to injury and academic issues, including its fourth-leading receiver and third-leading running back.

Trends to Know for First Responder Bowl

By John Ewing

No. 25 Boise State is the favorite. Since 2005, Top 25 teams favored in bowl games have gone 84-103-2 (44.9%) against the spread (ATS).

By Evan Abrams

Boston College is the lone team this bowl season to enter its game losing at least three consecutive games both straight-up (SU) and ATS.

Since 2005, teams that enter bowl season on at least a 3-game SU and ATS losing streak are 8-5-1 ATS, but they’ve covered the spread by 5.9 points per game.

Third Downs Will Make the Difference

By Stuckey

Boise could win this game on third downs, where it ranks top 10 nationally in conversion percentage on both offense and defense. In fact, only Alabama and Army had a higher conversion rate on offense than the Broncos.

That could doom a Boston College team that finished middle of the road on defense and a very troubling 114th in the nation on third downs on offense (33.9%).

Who’s More Motivated?

By Stuckey

Boise will play in an impressive 17th straight bowl. Only Virginia Tech, LSU, Oklahoma and Georgia have longer active streaks.

But while Boise hinted it wanted to play outside of its stadium and against a Power 5 team, which it will, I do worry about the Broncos’ motivation after the way their season ended. It ended in similar fashion in 2016 and they laid an egg in the Cactus Bowl (also right after Christmas) against a pretty average Baylor team. They also are dealing with a number of injuries and a few ineligible players at receiver.

College Football Expert Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 10 Favorite Bowl BetsRead now

BC doesn’t have as impressive of a streak, but the Eagles have made bowls in each of the past two seasons (and four of the last five). I’m a big believer in Steve Adazzio in these spots and think we will get the best effort from an Eagles team that’s as healthy as it has been all season.

This should provide a good refocus spot to end the year on a high note after ending the regular season on a three-game skid.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

Although it is a very undesirable time slot, being the first game on the day after Christmas, this is a good spot for Boise State. The Broncos had made it known that they had two needs for bowl season: a non-Potato Bowl matchup and a Power 5 opponent. Although this game is billed as being played in Dallas, do not be fooled as the venue is the old Cotton Bowl where they will struggle to draw more than a handful of fans.

The Action Network power ratingsmake this game a pick’em with a total of 57, while S&P+ projects Boise State -9. The early time slot and post-Christmas date may be conducive to a slow start, as the Broncos and Eagles have combined to go 9-1 to the under in their last five respective games.

There are plenty of similarities between the two teams statistically. Boston College is 40th in strength of schedule S&P+ to Boise’s 49th, while each have a special teams S&P+ rank below 115th overall.

The differences start in success rate and third downs, which lead us to a play on Boise State. The Broncos rank 15th in overall offensive success rate compared to the Eagles at 110. A potentially injury-slowed AJ Dillon at running back could make things even more tough for Boston College, which is 115th in third down conversion percentage compared to Boise at third in the nation.

Throw in some stout rush defense by Boise State, ranking 21st in opportunity rate and 27th in stuff rate, and we will look to action down on the Broncos.

Collin’s Pick: Boise State -2.5

By Stuckey

I actually disagree with Collin on the side here. None of the BC offensive stats will wow you, but the Eagles also dealt with injuries to their starting quarterback and running back all season. This is as healthy as they have been all year.

And I think the defense actually matches up well with Boise. Look out for stud defensive ends Zach Allen and Wyatt Ray off the edge. I think they can exploit a vulnerable Boise offensive line, similar to what Oklahoma State did in the only other game the Broncos played a Power 5 opponent. BC also features a very solid secondary (led by two stout safeties) that can contain Brett Rypien and the Boise passing attack.

I think the Eagles will win this game in the trenches and out-physical Boise in what should be a low-scoring affair, which is where I do agree with Collin. While BC is a hare, ranking in the top 5 in Adjusted Pace, it does run the ball a ton (top 25 in run rate on standard and passing downs).

And Boise is a snail, ranking 87th in Adjusted Pace. The Broncos allowed an average of only 17.4 points per game over their final five games, four of which came against bowl teams, and none scored more than 24.

Stuckey’s Pick: Boston College +2.5
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:47 AM
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Quick Lane Bowl 2018 Betting Guide: One Key Weakness For Both Georgia Tech, Minnesota

Action Network Staff

Dec 26, 2018 10:23 PM EST

NCAAF

2018 Quick Lane Bowl Betting Odds: Georgia Tech-MinnesotaOdds: Georgia Tech -5.5Over/Under: 56.5Date: Wednesday, Dec. 26Location: Detroit, Mich.Time: 5:15 p.m. ETTV: ESPN

Georgia Tech is looking to send coach Paul Johnson to retirement on a high note when it meets Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl.

The Gophers earned their bowl eligibility in the final game of the season by beating rival Wisconsin, so P.J. Fleck’s team should be motivated in Detroit.

Odds Movement for Georgia Tech-Minnesota

By Danny Donahue

Georgia Tech has been among the more popular picks this bowl season. After opening at -3.5, the Jackets are now listed as a 5.5-point favoritebehind 78% of bets. That movement doesn’t quite tell the whole story, though.

Georgia Tech had moved to as much as -6.5 due to some Minnesota suspensions before bettors — perhaps sharper ones — decided that the line had gotten out of hand, and returned it inside the key number of -6. The 22% of bets behind Minnesota have accounted for 33% of dollars wagered.

The total has also seen some interesting line movement. Despite only 59% of bets on the over, the number has fallen from 61 to 56.5 thanks to 57% of dollars on the under.

Trends to Know for Quick Lane Bowl

By John Ewing

Minnesota is an unpopular underdog, getting just 23% of bets. In bowl games, dogs getting 35% or less of bets have gone 89-58-2 (61%) against the spread (ATS) since 2005.

By Evan Abrams

Minnesota faces a Georgia Tech team that is averaging 335 yards per game on the ground and is the top rushing team in the country. Since 2005, when a non-service academy team rushes for at least 300 yards per game and is listed as a favorite in bowl season, that team is 4-6 straight up (SU), but 1-9 ATS, failing to cover the spread by 8.6 points per game. Georgia Tech has accounted for two of those ten occurrences, and is 0-2 SU and ATS in this spot.

Georgia Tech Should Run All Day

By Stuckey

Minnesota allows 5.2 yards per rush attempt, which ranks 118th in the country. Only Virginia Tech allows more among teams that qualified for a bowl this season.

That’s not ideal against a Georgia Tech triple-option attack that runs the ball at the third-highest rate in FBS. And Georgia Tech doesn’t just run it frequently — it runs it very effectively. The Yellow Jackets average 5.7 yards per carry, which ranks in the top 10 nationally.

You won’t find anything different if you glance at the advanced metrics. Georgia Tech ranks in the top 20 in rushing S&P+ offense — and also sits in the top five in rushing efficiency, opportunity rate and stuff rate.

How to Bet on College Football: Using Advanced Stats to Handicap GamesRead now

If you’re looking for reasons for optimism on the Minnesota side, the Gophers closed the season in dominant fashion on the road against Wisconsin’s elite rushing attack, holding the Badgers to only 15 points. They also held an explosive Purdue offense to only 10 points two weeks prior, both pointing to the success that’s come since firing their defensive coordinator.

6 Big Ten games with Robb Smith as DC: Allowed 43 points per game3 Big Ten games since he was fired: 16.3

And those last three games came against three bowl teams, while four of the first six came against teams that didn’t qualify for bowls in 2018. So maybe the mismatch isn’t as great as it appears on paper, especially since Minnesota ranked top 10 in stuff rate on defense.

That’s important against a Georgia Tech offense that predictably ranks in the top five in the same category, and could lead to a few stuffs on 3rd- or 4th-and-short that might swing the game.

It’s also worth noting that Minnesota ranks in the top five in stuff rate on offense, while Georgia Tech’s defense ranks a horrid 110th. The Gophers should have a much easier time converting on those critical short yardage situations.

The extra preparation for the triple option certainly won’t hurt their cause, either, although Fleck recently hinted at completely transforming the entire defense. That could introduce a lot of variance when trying to project this matchup.

Can Minnesota Offensive Exploit GT Passing Defense?

By Stuckey

Minnesota received inconsistent play from the quarterback position all year, but still ultimately posted respectable numbers (7.8 yards per attempt; 47th in nation). Those numbers came despite an offensive line that struggled mightily in pass protection (91st in adjusted sack rate).

Well, Georgia Tech gets almost no pressure on the quarterback, ranking 128th in the country in that same category, including 127th on passing downs, per S&P+. Overall, the Yellow Jackets allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 65.1% of passes — that’s 123rd in the nation.

Minnesota star wide receiver Tyler Johnson, who finished with 74 catches and over 1,100 yards this season, could have a big day against one of the most inefficient pass defenses in the country.

Who’s More Motivated?

By Stuckey

I don’t see a motivational edge for either of these teams that failed to qualify for a bowl in 2017. I think both will ultimately want to be in Detroit.

While Georgia Tech did have some gripes about going to this bowl, this is the final game for legendary coach Paul Johnson, who began his coaching career in the North Carolina high school ranks back in the 1970s. The Yellow Jackets should have some extra motivation to send off their coach on top.

On the other side, P.J. Fleck is one of the best motivators in all of college football, and Minnesota should be happy to be here after it took a huge road upset over Wisconsin in its season finale to simply become bowl eligible.

College Football Expert Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 10 Favorite Bowl BetsRead now

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

If you are looking for a bowl with plenty of moving pieces, look no further.

While Johnson’s send off should provide motivation, the Georgia Tech players felt slightly disrespected by being placed in a bowl below some other ACC teams with worse records. As for the coaching staff, Geoff Collins is taking over the roster immediately after this game, and Collins has made it clear that the current staff of Georgia Tech assistants will not be retained.

The handicap from the statistical side favors Minnesota. Specifically, the Gophers fired their defensive coordinator and promoted Joe Rossi as interim, which has made a huge difference. Minnesota is ninth in stuff rate and 39th in opportunity rate, indicating it can cause some disruption in that Georgia Tech triple option offense.

On the flip side of the ball, the Yellow Jackets are 125th in opponent third down conversion percentage, and with a sack rate of 119th on defense, Minnesota freshman quarterback Tanner Morgan could have plenty of time to make plays. Take the Gophers to cover, but keep an eye on the floating news of potential player suspensions.

Collin’s Pick: Minnesota +5.5
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2018 Cheez-It Bowl Betting Guide: TCU, Cal Bring Elite Defenses, Lowest Total of Bowl Season

Action Network Staff

Dec 26, 2018 11:56 PM EST

NCAAF

2018 Cheez-It Bowl Betting Odds: TCU-CalOdds: Cal -1Over/Under: 38.5Date: Wednesday, Dec. 26Location: Phoenix, Ariz.Time: 9 p.m. ETTV: ESPN

Looking for a rock fight on Wednesday night? Look no further than TCU-Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl, which features the lowest total of this bowl season.

Both teams bring elite defenses and poor offenses to this game, so which one will win out?

Odds Movement for Cal-TCU

By Danny Donahue

Cal was one of the early movers of bowl season. Within a couple days of opening as 2-point dogs, the Bears jumped to a pick’em despite receiving the minority of bets. They’ve since become a bit more popular, but they’re still picking up just 49% of tickets and that line movement has continued to -1. As you may have expected, those bets have accounted for 59% of actual money being wagered.

At just 41, this was already the lowest total of bowl season when it opened. Since then, however, it’s gotten even lower. It’s down to 38.5 behind 50% of bets and 60% of money landing on the under.

Trends to Know for Cheez-It Bowl

By John Ewing

TCU went 4-8 against the spread (ATS) in the regular season. Since 2005, teams that covered 33% of less of their regular season games have gone 35-24-1 ATS in bowl games.

By Evan Abrams

As mentioned, Cal and TCU are playing the lowest-totaled bowl game of the 2018 season, which is currently hovering around 38.5. In the past 20 years, only four bowl games have had an over/under below 40 and the over is 4-0 in those games, going over the total by an average of 19 points.

Good Defense vs. Bad Offense

By Stuckey

Here’s a classic battle of two bad offenses vs. two elite defenses. TCU ranks 90th in the country on offense at 5.5 yards per play. Cal is even further down the list at 118th (5.0 YPP), but both are among the 24 teams in the country that allowed fewer than 5.0 yards per play on defense.

Big Plays? Not Here

By Stuckey

Cal has one of the least explosive offenses in the country, ranking 126th in IsoPPP+. That makes the Bears incapable of exploiting the one general weakness of Gary Patterson’s fast and aggressive 4-2-5 defense.

TCU has also struggled on defense once teams cross the 50, as it ranks 95th in finishing drives per S&P+, but once again, Cal’s offense is not built to exploit that deficiency. The Bears rank a horrendous 128th in the nation in finishing drives.

Cal Should Generate Turnovers

By Stuckey

Cal’s offense scored only 64 offensive points in the final five games of the season, including a garbage time touchdown.

It’s defense scored 22 over that span on three pick-sixes and a safety.

This is an opportunistic Cal defense that took the ball away 24 times in the regular season (top 15 nationally). It should feast on a TCU offense that turned it over 22 times (bottom 30).

Who’s More Motivated?

By Stuckey

I don’t see a material motivational edge here, but this game certainly means more to Cal’s program, which hasn’t appeared in a Bowl since 2015. TCU is a perennial bowl participant, and while they have recently played in many bigger bowls, the Horned Frogs did rally to win their final two games of the season to get to six wins. I expect Gary Patterson will have his troops ready to roll.

College Football Expert Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 10 Favorite Bowl BetsRead now

Bet to Watch

By Stuckey

I’m not sure I can bet an under 38.5 in a bowl game — where scoring is generally accelerated — but I could never recommend this over.

We are talking about a Cal team that averaged fewer than 13 offensive points during its final five games, including a meaningless touchdown in the final seconds against Stanford. An under of 38.5 would have hit in four of those five games.

I mean, Cal averaged 22.7 points per game (110th nationally) in a conference not known for defense, and with a defense of its own that accounted for plenty of those points.

The same could be said for TCU, which only averaged 24.7 (98th) in a similarly offensive conference. And those averages drop to 20.6 and 22.0 if you remove each team’s respective big games against FCS opponents. All of this goes without even mentioning that these are also two below average pace offenses.

As for the side, I’d lean Cal as a result of their edge in special teams and more opportunistic defense that I mentioned before. Turnovers have haunted TCU all year (126th in Expected Turnover Margin) and it might just bite the Horned Frogs one more time in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Stuckey’s Lean: Cal -1

By Collin Wilson

Branding this game as a defensive effort would be an understatement as the total has fallen below 40. Both Cal and TCU rank in the top 25 in S&P+ defense, while the Horned Frogs are 99th in offense with Cal ranked 121st.

Neither side will have an advantage offensively in success rate or explosiveness, and the red zone numbers for each team are even more unimpressive. Cal and TCU are the bottom two teams in all of FBS in red zone points per attempt.

The only advantage in this game falls in special teams, where Cal has an S&P+ ranking of 20th thanks to fantastic punt and kickoff efficiency.

The Action Network power ratingsmake the Cheez-It Bowl Cal -3 with a projected total of 46.5. Neither team ranks in the top half in adjusted pace, which will limit possessions and put a premium on any points scored.

TCU has had a revolving door of quarterbacks due to injuries, but looks to start Grayson Muehlstein. The senior had a decent 38% passing success rate in the season finale, but was substituted out for skill position players to run the read option.

Cal has covered games when it does not turn the ball over on offense. When Cal has ball protection, it’s beaten Washington and USC. TCU ranks middle of FBS in havoc rate.

Despite the two programs having never met, both coaches know each other well. Wilcox and Patterson met one another in both the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl and 2010 Fiesta Bowl — Boise State played TCU on both occasions. Patterson has never lost to a Pac-12 team and is 6-0 against the conference as a head coach.

As for the play, we go under the total even with the projection higher. Neither team will play tempo, and both teams have had issues with turnovers. Considering they also both excel in third-down defense and rank last offensively in red zone categories, the under is the only way to look.

Collin’s Pick: Under 38.5
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:46 AM
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Temple-Duke Betting Guide: Blue Devils Reeling Entering 2018 Independence Bowl

Action Network Staff

11 hours ago

NCAAF

2018 Independence Bowl Betting Odds: Temple-DukeOdds: Temple -3.5Over/Under: 54.5Date: Thursday, Dec. 27Location: Shreveport, La.Time: 1:30 p.m. ETTV: ESPN

Is there a team entering bowl season on a worse note than Duke? The Blue Devils lost their last two games by a combined score of 94-13, including a 59-7 home loss to Wake Forest to end the season.

Temple lost coach Geoff Collins to Georgia Tech after an excellent second half of the year. The Owls lost only one game in October or November ó a 52-40 loss to UCF despite outgaining the Knights.

Here is each teamís S&P+ rating by week. Should you stick with the riser, or is there value in the faller?

Odds Movement for Temple-Duke

By Danny Donahue

Temple is one of only a few favorites this bowl season to be seeing fewer than 50% of bets on its side. The Owls have generated 38% of both bets and dollars, but have still moved from -3 to -3.5.

As for the total, big money is hitting the under in this game. Although it has attracted just 37% of bettors, those bettors have accounted for 83% of money being wagered on the total, dropping the number from 56.5 to 54.

Did You Know?

By John Ewing

Duke lost its last game, 59-7, to Wake Forest, while Temple rolled UConn, 57-7, in its season finale. This is just the third bowl game since 2005 to feature a team that lost by 30 or more points playing a team that won by 30 or more points the last time out.

In the previous two instances, the team coming off the blowout loss went 2-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS).

By Evan Abrams

Duke enters its bowl game against Temple coming off two extremely poor offensive performances, scoring just six and seven points in its last two games.

Since 2005, teams entering their bowl game off consecutive bad offensive games have performed well ATS:

Fewer than 14 points: 7-2 ATS (+3.4 ATS diff.)17 points or fewer: 26-14 ATS (+4.3 ATS diff.)Temple Has Elite Pass Defense

By Stuckey

Believe it or not, Templeís defense finished with the lowest pass yards per attempt in the country at 5.1. And per S&P+, the Owls finished with the No. 1 overall pass defense in the nation.

Yards per attempt allowed:

Temple 5.1Notre Dame 5.4Miss State 5.4Michigan 5.5Miami 5.5

This is a Temple defense that simply doesnít allow explosive plays either, ranking sixth in IsoPPP. The Owls should shut down a really inefficient Duke offense.

Cutcliffe Money in Bowls

By Steve Petrella

Duke coach David Cutcliffe is 8-2 ATS in bowl games, with one of those losses being the infamous 2012 Belk Bowl that the Blue Devils should have covered.

Since coming to Duke, Cutcliffe is 4-1 ATS in bowls and 5-0 to the over, eclipsing the total by 12.6 points per game. His offenses have scored at least 31 points in each of those bowl games.

Duke Wonít Pressure the QB

By Stuckey

Duke had only 21 sacks on the season for an average of 1.75 per game, which ranks 95th in the country. Donít expect the Blue Devils to get many against a stellar Temple offensive line that only allowed 15 in 12 games this year ó good enough for a top-20 clip.

The advanced metrics tell the same story. The Owlsí offensive line ranks 13th overall in Adjusted Sack Rate, while Dukeís defensive line ranks 96th overall in that same category. And even more alarming, the Blue Devils rank 129th in Adjusted Sack Rate on Passing Downs.

Assuming he can go, Temple quarterback Anthony Russo (who missed the season finale) should have all day to throw in the Independence Bowl against a reeling Duke team that ended the season with two losses by a combined score of 94-13.

Russo Expected to Play

By Steve Petrella

Templeís offense improved when Anthony Russo took over at quarterback and hit its stride late in the season. The Owls had at least 6.0 yards per play in five of their final seven games.

Russo missed the season finale against UConn with a hand injury, but is expected to play against Duke.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

Is there anyone more motivated for this game than Ed Foley? The Owls interim head coach will coach his second bowl since 2016 and has been a coach under four different Temple head coaches in his time with the program. Although nothing has been made official, Foley expects to be coaching under new head coach Manny Diaz after the Independence Bowl.

This is a different interim situation, as Geoff Collins instructed assistants to stay with the Owls for practices in lieu of hitting the recruiting trail for Georgia Tech. Collins and Foley both have a deep bond with this senior class as they prepare for their fourth straight bowl.

The Blue Devils ended the season on a sour note. Duke should continue to have issues stopping Temple in this bowl, as it only created three interceptions on the season and has an overall havoc rate of 122nd.

That will be an issue against a Temple team that is 15th overall in passing downs offensively and has been much better since Russo took over. On the flip side of the ball, the Owls have the number one overall S&P+ pass defense.

The total currently sits at The Action Network projection of 54, leaving value only in the side. I will back a Temple roster with 19 seniors with high motivation to close out their fourth straight bowl with a victory for interim coach Ed Foley.

Collinís Pick: Temple -3.5
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:47 AM
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Miami-Wisconsin Betting Guide: Canes Least-Popular Favorite in Recent Bowl History

Action Network Staff

11 hours ago

NCAAF

2018 Pinstripe Bowl Betting Odds: Miami-WisconsinOdds: Miami -3Over/Under: 47.5Date: Thursday, Dec. 27Location: New York, N.Y.Time: 5:15 p.m. ETTV: ESPN

Two teams that fell well short of expectations will meet in the Pinstripe Bowl just a year after facing off the Orange Bowl.

Wisconsin’s defense fall apart in 2018, while Miami could never figure out its quarterback troubles and lost four of its last six.

Odds Movement for Pinstripe Bowl

By Danny Donahue

With just 26% of bets at the time of writing, Miami would be the least popular bowl game favorite in our Bet Labs database (going back to 2005) if it doesn’t attract a few more bettors. Just 16% of actual dollars are behind the Hurricanes as well, whose spread is back to -3 after being listed at -3.5 for much of the month.

As if a contrarian favorite wasn’t unusual enough, this game also features a significantly contrarian over. Only 30% of bettors accounting for just 5% of dollars are backing the over, but this total is listed at its opening number at most books.

Trends to Know for Miami-Wisconsin

By John Ewing

Miami ranks seventh in S&P+ defense and has allowed 18.2 points per game. Since 2005, bowl teams allowing 20 or fewer points have gone 141-128-4 (52.4%) against the spread, but there is a sharp split between favorites and underdogs.

Good defenses that are expected to win, like the Canes, have gone 75-83-3 ATS, while underdogs with strong defenses are 66-45-1 ATS.

By Evan Abrams

Duke-Temple and Wisconsin-Miami play bowl games in back-to-back time slots and are the only college football teams coming off their last game where they lost the turnover battle by at least a margin of four. Since 2005, teams coming off games where they lost the turnover margin by at least 4, are 20-9 ATS (69%), covering the spread by 2.5 points per game.

Under Paul Chryst, Wisconsin has only played one previous game even off a -3 turnover margin before and that was back in 2015 and the Badgers won the next game by 10 points. Wisconsin is 7-2 ATS after losing the turnover margin by two or more under Chryst, covering the spread by 7.3 PPG.

Rosier Starting at QB For Miami

By Steve Petrella

Miami’s quarterback play has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. The Canes ranked 112th in S&P+ passing and never found an answer.

Malik Rosier retained his starting job to begin 2018 despite inefficiency to end last season. He didn’t improve, averaging 7.0 yards per attempt and completing 53.5% of his passes with a 6/5 TD/INT ratio. He was replaced by N’Kosi Perry in late September, but Rosier will start the Pinstripe Bowl.

College Football Expert Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 10 Favorite Bowl BetsRead now

Perry wasn’t any better. He averaged 5.9 yards per attempt and completed 51.9% of his passes. He only completed more than 15 passes in two contests.

Is Miami Prepared for Bad Weather?

By Stuckey

Keep an eye on the weather, as the cold conditions (it’s expected to be in the high 30s in New York) could really favor Wisconsin. This is a warm weather Miami team that would have much rather played in Florida or Texas… or even the Bahamas.

Just take a look at the two games Miami played in the 30s/low 40s this season: at Georgia Tech and at Boston College. It lost both. And the last two bowl games it played in the cold: 2015 vs Washington State and 2010 vs. Notre Dame… also two losses.

Strength vs. Strength in Run Game

By Stuckey

Wisconsin might have the best rushing offense in the country. The Badgers average 6.3 yards per carry, which ranks fourth in the nation. And S&P+ actually ranks them No. 2 overall and in efficiency.

Why are they so successful? Well, they have one of the nation’s best backs in Jonathan Taylor, who leads the FBS with 1,989 rushing yards. They also have a dominant run blocking offensive line. Look no further than their ranks in both Opportunity Rate (No. 1) and Stuff Rate (No. 1), per S&P+.

Well, Miami — LB U — has the personnel to contain the Wisconsin rushing attack. The Hurricanes rank in the top 10 in both Opportunity Rate (No. 8) and Stuff Rate (No. 2) on the defensive side of the ball.

The Canes only allowed a minuscule 3.3 yards per rush this season, which ranks 11th in the country. Take a look at the results of Miami’s games this season against the two offenses it faced this season that ranked in the top 15 in yards per attempt:

GT season average 5.7 ypr: Miami held it to 4.3Pitt averages 5.6: Miami held it to 1.8

Miami can limit the Wisconsin rushing attack and force the Badgers into third and long passing situations, which spells disaster for the Badgers, especially without quarterback Alex Hornibrook.

Miami’s elite pass defense, which ranks No. 5 in pass yards per attempt (5.5) and in the top 10 of almost every basic and advanced metric, should thrive in those situations. It also will allow its elite defensive front to get all kinds of pressure on the quarterback (No. 2 in Adjusted Sack Rate).

As a result, the Miami defense should be able to force a few key turnovers. There’s a reason they are No. 1 in overall Havoc Rate, including No. 2 along the defensive front. Disaster looms for a Wisconsin offense that surprisingly ranks outside the top 90 in Adjusted Sack Rate.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

Stuckey may already have our biggest question answered in this contest — can the Miami run defense stop Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor? According to last year’s Orange Bowl, that answer is yes. Although Taylor went for over 100 yards, the Wisconsin offense was held to 142 yards on 3.2 yards per carry.

Those numbers were pedestrian for the Badgers and Taylor, who went for almost 2,000 yards. Wisconsin was held without a touchdown on the ground, relying on quarterback Alex Hornibrook to throw for four touchdowns.

The biggest difference with Wisconsin over the past 12 months is inefficiency on defense. The defensive backs were fourth in overall havoc in 2017 compared to 83rd in 2018. This should give Miami quarterback Malik Rosier plenty of opportunity to make throws, particularly against a Wisconsin defensive line that is 116th in passing downs sack rate.

Miami is just as good on defense as it was in 2017, but a passing S&P+ rank of ninth and a defensive back unit that ranks 17th in havoc should help the Hurricanes extract revenge against a new quarterback in Jack Coan after Hornibrook went down with an injury.

Collin’s Pick: Miami -3.5

By Stuckey

I agree with Collin. Not only do I think Miami can contain Taylor, which will allow its defensive line to pressure the quarterback, but I also think Miami can actually have some success of its own in the rushing attack.

I think this game will be decided on third downs. These are two slightly above average third down offenses. Miami’s conversion rate sits at 41.6% (48th), which is slightly better than Wisconsin’s 40.8% (52nd). However, Miami has a significantly better third down defense.

Miami’s defense ranks No. 1 in the nation in third down conversion rate, allowing teams to convert on only 23.7% of attempts. Wisconsin’s defense ranks 60th at 38.3%.

Miami also won’t be at a huge disadvantage in the special teams department, which has hurt it this year at times. Wisconsin has been even more dreadful.

In regards to the total, I’d look at the under. Each team is below average when it comes to Adjusted Pace.

Stuckey’s Pick: Miami -3.5
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Baylor-Vanderbilt Betting Guide: Will Underrated Offenses Rule 2018 Texas Bowl?

Action Network Staff

Dec 26, 2018 5:00 PM EST

NCAAF

2018 Texas Bowl Betting Odds: Baylor-VanderbiltOdds: Vanderbilt -4Over/Under: 55.5Date: Thursday, Dec. 27Location: Houston, TexasTime: 9 p.m. ETTV: ESPN

Baylor and Vanderbilt both became bowl eligible in the final week of the season and are looking for their first postseason victories under their respective coaches.

Both teams have above average quarterbacks and defensive flaws. But which should you back on Wednesday night?

Odds Movement for Texas Bowl

By Danny Donahue

After opening at -6, Vanderbilt is down to just a 4-point favorite across the market. That’s not due to a public backing of the dog, either. Baylor has attracted only 30% of bettors, but has seemingly been on the sharper side as evidenced by the 45% of money it has received (see live betting data here).

This game also features the most popular over of bowl season, drawing 93% of bets. Despite that, the total still sits around its opening number of 55 at a number of sportsbooks.

Trends to Know for Baylor-Vanderbilt

By John Ewing

Vandy and Baylor finished the season with identical 6-6 records. When two teams with .500 or worse records meet in a bowl game the favorite has gone 13-7 ATS since 2005.

By Evan Abrams

Since 2005, the SEC is the most profitable conference against the spread in bowl games at 74-53-1 ATS (58.3%). In that span, the SEC’s most profitable opponent is the Big 12, going 19-8 ATS (70.4%). The SEC and Big 12 face off four times this bowl season:

Baylor/VanderbiltOklahoma/AlabamaOklahoma State/MissouriTexas/Georgia

College Football Expert Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 10 Favorite Bowl BetsRead now

Who’s More Motivated?

By Stuckey

We should get two extremely motivated teams, as both teams got here in similar fashion.

Baylor pulled off an upset in its regular season finale over Texas Tech in order to get to six wins. Vanderbilt did the same thing against Tennessee.

Neither team played in a bowl last season. And while Vanderbilt should be fired up to get its first winning season and bowl victory under Derek Mason, the same can be said for Baylor, which is looking to win a bowl just one season after going 1-11, which would be a remarkable achievement.

Vandy’s Offense Is Better Than You Think

By Steve Petrella

Vanderbilt’s offense ranks 45th in S&P+ and 46th in yards per play. The Commodores are balanced, ranking top 50th in both passing and rushing offense.

Against good defenses, Vandy really struggled.

at Notre Dame: 17 pointsSouth Carolina: 14at Georgia: 13at Kentucky: 7

But against everyone else, the ‘Dores were much better. They scored at least 27 points in every game and averaged at least 6.0 yards per play in all but one. I expect Vandy to move the ball and score against a Baylor defense that ranks 90th in S&P+, though it did improve late in the season.

Two Bad Third-Down Defenses

By Stuckey

Vanderbilt’s defense ranks 118th in third down conversions (46.1%). Baylor is 104th at 43.3%. However, But Baylor is more likely to take advantage.

The Bears offense is actually tied with Washington State and Clemson at 43.8%, which ranks in the top 30th nationally. Meanwhile, Vandy’s offense has struggled converting third downs all season, ranking 107th (35.3%). In a game that should be close, Baylor should keep the sticks moving with much greater efficiency.

Bad in the Red Zone

By Stuckey

Baylor had one of the worst red zone defenses in the entire country, as teams scored at over a 90% clip inside the 20. However, I’m not sure Vandy can exploit this clear weakness.

This game will feature two of the worst red zone offenses in the entire country. Baylor only scored on 75.5% of its red zone trips, while Vanderbilt was even worse at 74.5%. Both those rank in the bottom 10 in college football.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

Both 6-6 teams are happy to be in a bowl after missing out last season. As for the close of 2018, these two teams come in on different trajectories. Baylor lost four of their last six games and will have star wide receiver Jalen Hurd out with a knee injury.

Like Hurd, Vanderbilt’s quarterback, Kyle Shurmur, will be playing on Sundays in 2019 but he will be playing in this one and led the Commodores to three wins in their last four games to make it to a bowl.

Vanderbilt played a strength of schedule ranked 12th by S&P+ due to tough conference opponents, similar to Baylor’s reasoning for having a schedule rank of 48th.

The Commodores have impressive advanced stats, including explosiveness ranks of 19th in rushing and fourth in passing downs. The Bears defense ranks outside the top 100 in both of those categories, which should make for a big night from Shurmur in his showcase game for NFL scouts.

There is a big difference in net turnovers between the two teams, as well. The Bears have a -9 differential to the Commodores +8, as Baylor has had a number of games this season with a flurry of turnovers.

It doesn’t matter that the crowd will be dominated by Baylor fans, I am backing Vanderbilt as the more explosive team with a better defense that isn’t missing its best weapon.

Collin’s Pick: Vanderbilt -4

By Stuckey

I actually completely disagree with Collin here. I think Baylor will be able to efficiently move the ball on the ground against a weak Vanderbilt run defense that allows 4.8 yards per rush (95th in the country). And when Charlie Brewer needs to throw, he will have time to make plays through the air (or with his legs).

Pass protection has been a major issue for Baylor all season, as the Bears rank 98th in Adjusted Sack Rate on Passing Downs. However, Vanderbilt gets almost no pressure on opposing quarterbacks, ranking 114th in that same category.

I just trust in Rhule here and the matchup advantages in a quasi-home game for the Bears.

Stuckey’s Pick: Baylor -4
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:27 AM
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College Football Sharp Report: Pros Betting Auburn-Purdue, Iowa State-Washington State

Danny Donahue

53 minutes ago

NCAAF

Before placing your bowl game bets for Friday, you might want to know which bets sharps are making.Sharps are bettors with long track records of consistent success.Their favorite Friday plays include a bet on the Alamo Bowl between Iowa State and Washington State.

Continuing an interesting pattern that’s sprung up over the past two days, sharp bettors have made their opinions clear on two of the three bowl games on Friday’s slate — specifically, the first and last kickoffs of the day.

Once again, the middle game on the slate has seen its share of wiseguy activity, but unlike the other two games today, it has not been one-sided action.

Syracuse-West Virginia Betting Guide: So Many Unknowns in 2018 Camping World BowlRead now

Plus, with other factors like Will Grier’s absence having such an impact on the line, sharp line moves are a tad harder to identify.

Nonetheless, below are the two bowl game plays generating the most agreement among wiseguys on Friday.

Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Purdue

1:30 p.m. ET | ESPN | Nashville, TN

Sharp angle: Purdue (moved from +5 to +3.5)

Purdue was one of the early movers of bowl season. After opening as 5-point dogs, sharps got behind the Boilermakers to drive the line down to +4 within a day. One week later they were down to +3.5, and they’ve even made a few brief appearances at +3.

Auburn-Purdue Betting Guide: Will Tigers Show Up For 2018 Music City Bowl?Read now

All of that movement has come with 50-50 betting percentages on this game. The difference is that Purdue’s 50% backing has accounted for 72% of actual money being wagered.

On top of that, Sports Insights’ Bet Signals have revealed five instances of sharp action hitting the Boilermakers, helping drive this line down.

Alamo Bowl: Iowa State vs. Washington State

9 p.m. ET | ESPN | San Antonio, TX

Sharp angle: Iowa State (moved from +6 to +2.5)

Another one of bowl season’s earliest lines to move, Iowa State opened at around a 6-point dog across most of the market — a few books even had the Cyclones at +6.5.

It took only a couple days for the line to fall to +3.5, and many sportsbooks were able to settle at that number for more than two weeks.

Iowa State-Washington State Betting Guide: Will Air Raid Fall Flat in 2018 Alamo Bowl?Read now

Early this week, however, the line started falling again, moving the Cyclones to just 3-point underdogs, and in the past few days, they’ve moved through the key number of +3 to +2.5.

Only one SI Bet Signal has been triggered on Iowa State, but the betting market percentages paired with the drastic line movement give away the sharp side.

Similar to Purdue, Iowa State’s 52% of bettors are accounting for 76% of dollars wagered, meaning bigger bettors — the ones more likely to be sharps — are playing the Cyclones.
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Syracuse-West Virginia Betting Guide: So Many Unknowns in 2018 Camping World Bowl

Action Network Staff

Dec 27, 2018 12:36 PM EST

NCAAF

2018 Camping World Bowl Betting Odds: Syracuse-West VirginiaOdds: Syracuse -2Over/Under: 66Date: Friday, Dec. 28Location: Orlando, Fla.Time: 5:15 p.m. ETTV: ESPN

Syracuse has seen the biggest line move of bowl season after West Virginia star quarterback Will Grier announced he’ll sit out to prep for the NFL Draft.

While Syracuse has its starting quarterback, it may use two, plus a flood of freshmen across the board who haven’t played much.

Is there still value in backing Syracuse, or has the line moved too far?

Odds Moves for Syracuse-West Virginia

By Danny Donahue

Following Grier’s decision to sit, this line dropped from WVU -7.5 to -1.5, but even that wasn’t enough in the eyes of bettors.

Seventy-eight percent of bets and 91% of dollars have backed Syracuse at the time of writing, causing this line to move from +1.5 to -2.

A similar line move has taken place on the total. Following Grier’s announcement, the total fell six points from 74 to 68, and has since continued down to 66. While 59% of bettors are backing the over, 81% of dollars have landed on the under.

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

West Virginia averages 42.3 points per game (ninth). Since 2005, teams scoring at least 40 points per game have gone just 54-67 (45%) ATS in bowl games, per our Bet Labs data.

By Evan Abrams

Over the past five years, one quick way to lose money betting in bowl season is to back a team after the line move, when the public is also wagering on that team.

Since 2014, when a team has at least 60% of the tickets and sees the point spread move against them (-4.5 to -6, for example), it has been a recipe for a betting disaster in bowl season.

This is exactly the scenario in which Syracuse finds itself on Friday.

WVU Down 3 Key Pieces

By Steve Petrella

West Virginia is missing three of its biggest offensive assets — starting quarterback Will Grier, starting left tackle Yodny Cajuste and wide receiver Gary Jennings.

Jack Allison is expected to start at quarterback — he’s played sparingly in two seasons, and was a 4-star prospect out of the top level of Florida high school football in 2016. But Trey Lowe, a true freshman dual-threat, is also expected to play, according to coach Dana Holgorsen.

This could be a problem against Syracuse’s strong pass rush, which ranks 28th in adjusted sack rate on defense.

Who’s More Motivated?

By Stuckey

Considering this is the first bowl appearance for Syracuse since 2013, you can count on Dino Babers having his kids ready to play.

On the other hand, I’m not sure WVU will really care. And while it may be smart for the aforementioned players to sit out a bowl game, it doesn’t help build the motivation case for the Mountaineers.

It’s tough to see them really wanting to win this game after coming up just short in the season finale against Oklahoma. Just think how different the entire college football picture would look like if West Virginia had won that game.

For starters, OU wouldn’t be in the College Football Playoff. Maybe WVU is thinking about those what if’s. Regardless, playing without three key offensive starters won’t help the Mountaineers’ cause.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

This is a tough game to gauge from a point-spread perspective. Before quarterback Will Grier and left tackle Yodny Cajuste announced intentions to sit out the bowl for preparation of the NFL draft, The Action Network power ratings lined this game at West Virginia -9.

This point spread has fallen in waves with the news, to -3.5 after the Grier news then to -1 with further announcements of the offensive game plan for the Mountaineers.

The latest wave of money has pushed Syracuse as 2-point favorites, giving this bowl the chance to be biggest swing on a spread from open to close.

I will have no play on the side, as we do not know exactly what Holgerson has in mind for the West Virginia offense. It could be possible the first three drives are scripted and the offense is adjusted for the remainder of the game.

I lean to a first-half under in this game. Everything needed to make a total, including pace and standard/passing downs run rate, is out the door with a Will Grier-less attack from the Mountaineers.

I expect fewer possessions and a slower tempo for the West Virginia offense. The first few offensive series should be low risk and low pressure, meaning there’s a high high probability we’ll see low efficiency and explosiveness.

Collin’s Lean: 1H Under 34
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