Last week we went 2-0 in bowl game bets, cashing easy winners with Buffalo and Kent State in an outright win as an underdog. Today brings back a really nice slate of games to bet.
I have some other spots as bowl season goes on that I feel stronger about, but there are four games that I think I have a pretty decent feel for on Friday. Here are the spots that jump out, and most importantly, some reasoning behind the plays.
12:00 p.m. ET: North Carolina vs. Temple: UNC -6
Temple is a very solid 8-4 straight up and against the spread, but has experienced all of its major success at home. The Owls went 6-1 both SU and ATS at home, but just 2-3 SU and ATS in all other games. Many of those letdown spots Temple was way off from covering, even as a favorite.
Although UNC is 6-6 SU and 6-5-1 ATS, we’re playing the Tar Heels more on their ceiling here. UNC’s losses were all one-possession game to quality opponents. I’m putting a lot of stock in their one-point loss to Clemson, which shows it gets up for big games. Mack Brown coaching UNC gives the Tar Heels a better feel going into a big game.
6:45 p.m. ET: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M: OK ST +6
Texas A&M was 7-5 SU and ATS, which is very respectable in the SEC. The Aggies showed the ability to hang with the likes of Georgia and Auburn, losing both games by one possession, but they’re coming off a 43-point loss at LSU.
This is more about how good Oklahoma State has been, finishing the regular season 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS. The Cowboys are on a 4-1 SU and ATS streak entering this game, with the failed cover and loss against Oklahoma — in a game the Sooners essentially needed to show up in to potentially make the College Football Playoff. QB Spencer Sanders and RB Chuba Hubbard will both be back and available to play in this one, although Oklahoma State could play two QBs. The Cowboys won and covered their only neutral site games this season. While the Aggies won twice on a neutral field, they failed to cover either game and Arkansas was one of those foes.
8:00 p.m. ET: USC vs. Iowa: USC +120 ML
Iowa has been an awesome defensive team all season, but I’m not sure it has seen an NFL-style offense that USC will throw at it. QB Kedon Slovis has been spectacular for the Trojans, and they have a handful of NFL-caliber WRs that he targets in the passing game. This offense might not be as high-flying as it was in the PAC-12, but I expect it to put up points in this game. I don’t expect Iowa to be able to keep up offensively. The Hawkeyes failed to cover their last two games against poor competition (Nebraska and Illinois), and averaged 23 points in those games. USC has scored a combined 93 points in its last two games, winning and covering both.
10:15 p.m. ET: Washington State vs Air Force: Air Force -2.5
Washington State is coming off a really disappointing year, and getting too much respect in this spot. The Cougars are fortunate to be in a bowl game after a decent start to the season, but they finished going 3-6 SU and ATS in their last nine games. Air Force was solid all year, going 10-2, and winning its last seven. It’s 5-2 ATS during the seven-game win streak. Per Spread Investor, the Falcons averaged 293 yards per game on the ground this season, which should be a huge problem for a Washington State defense that got gashed for 170 rushing yards per game (4.9 YPC).