College Football Bowl Betting Guide: Wednesday, December 28th
Before we get into Wednesday’s slate of bowl games, let’s recap yesterday’s results.
✕ Georgia Southern -5 (loss 23-21)
✓ Memphis -7.5 (won 38-10)
✓ UNDER 45 Wisco/OkSt (Wisco wins 24-17)
Not a bad start to the week. If it weren’t for the floundering Georgia Southern offense, even the Lottery Ticket Parlay would have cashed for +366. We’re not going to dwell on missed opportunities, though, with tons of college football action on a Wednesday afternoon.
Make sure you’re signing up and taking advantage of all the free bets and risk-free offers this week as we get into some (responsible) degenerate bowl action.
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Military Bowl Presented by Peraton (Annapolis, MD)
Duke (-3.5) vs. UCF | O/U 62.0
This matchup features two teams ending their season in opposite trajectories. Both wield dual-threat signal callers and explosive weapons, but the Golden Knights come limping into Annapolis. Starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee completed 63% of his passes while totaling 100+ rushing yards in five games this year. However, he’s failed to play or even get through a full four quarters in five of UCF’s last six games.
Plumlee’s health will remain in question even if he does start, after suffering a concussion, shoulder injury, and most recently, the hamstring issue that “is truly not responding to treatment, and he needs to go into the dreaded ‘do not do anything mode.'” On top of their QB1’s health, UCF’s top pass catcher, WR Ryan O’Keefe, and defensive standouts, LB Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste and CB Davonte Brown, have hit the transfer portal.
Duke’s dual-threat sophomore quarterback, Riley Leonard, threw for 20 touchdowns to six interceptions and led the Blue Devils in rushing with 636 yards plus 11 touchdowns. Leonard is the type of player that can take over a bowl game like this and has a tremendous security blanket in the slot. Senior Jalon Calhoun is a crisp route runner who averages 14.5 yards per reception on his 56 catches this season.
The Blue Devil’s secondary worries me a little, ranking 109th in the country and allowing over 260 yards per game. However, UCF’s offensive coordinator, Chip Lindsey, took the same position at UNC, and even their backup quarterback, Mikey Keene, has hit the transfer portal.
The Pick: Duke Adjusted Line -6.5 (+125)
Autozone Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN)
Arkansas (-2.5) vs. Kansas | O/U 69
No matter the result of the Autozone Liberty Bowl, the Kansas Jayhawks can chalk this season up as a victory. Second-year head coach Lance Leipold has this upstart program in its first bowl game since 2008. Revamped by a dynamic wide-zone offense, this year’s team ranked 27th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 34.2 points per game.
Junior quarterback Jalon Daniels shocked the country with his play, throwing 13 touchdowns to just two interceptions while adding six more scores on the ground. He led Kansas to a 5-0 start before suffering a shoulder injury that hampered his play for the rest of the year. However, his backup, Jason Bean, is a baller when called upon in relief.
For the Arkansas Razorbacks, KJ Jefferson announced his return for 2023 after passing for over 2,000 yards, rushing for over 500 yards, and totaling 29 touchdowns. However, the Razorbacks opt-out list is lengthy. Two of Jefferson’s favorite targets, WR Jadon Hasselwood and TE Trey Knox, are prepping for the draft or entered the transfer portal.
On defense, leading tacklers Drew Sanders and Bumper Pool are out as they train for the upcoming NFL Draft. Even with a large amount of starting players not traveling to Memphis, KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders could be enough to topple the Jayhawks 114th ranked run defense.
Sanders finished 2nd in the SEC in rushing yards with 1,426 and 12 total touchdowns, but Kansas has a dynamic back of their own. Devin Neal averaged 6.2 yards per carry in 2022 and can take it the distance on any given touch against Arkansas’ 103rd-ranked run defense.
There’s just something about this Kansas turnaround that should add some extra motivation to cap off one of their best campaigns in over a decade.
The Pick: Kansas Moneyline (+120)
San Diego Credit Union Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA)
Oregon (-13) vs. North Carolina | O/U 75
As we all saw coming, it looks like the San Diego Credit Union Holiday Bowl will be an instant classic. Oregon wins the “opt-out battle,” with more returning starters heading to San Diego. The Tar Heels’ primary offensive weapon, WR Josh Downs, has opted out after leading the team with 94 receptions for 1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns.
More UNC players not wanting to risk injury before April’s draft include both starting cornerbacks Tony Grimes and Storm Duck, PFF’s CB18 and CB19 on their big board. Lastly, after four seasons of molding Sam Howell and Drake Maye into his air raid scheme, offensive coordinator Phil Longo joined Luke Fickell’s staff at Wisconsin.
Despite trying to find new players to step up in crucial roles, QB Drake Maye remains one of the most electrifying dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. His 4,115 passing yards rank 3rd in the country with a 67.2 completion percentage and a 35 to 7 touchdown to interception ratio. Maye also leads the team in rushing yards with 653 and scored in four of UNC’s last five games.
In addition to Drake Maye’s rushing ability, sophomore RB Elijah Green totaled 508 yards and eight touchdowns on 4.5 yards per carry, with freshman RB Omarion Hampton recording six touchdowns and 4.6 yards per rush. It’s going to take all three of them, and more, to combat Oregon’s 33rd-ranked run defense allowing only 125.5 yards per contest.
The Ducks’ offense, led by Auburn transfer Bo Nix, is firing on all cylinders. They rank third in total offense, averaging over 500 yards per game, 14th in rushing (216.3), and 15th in passing (291.5). Dan Lanning’s first year as head coach could have ended better down the stretch, but his offense is a certified juggernaut. They are one of four FBS teams to score 40+ points in at least eight games this season and scored 34 or more in 10 of their last 11.
Bo Nix is having a criminally underrated season for Oregon, with a 71.5 completion percentage and 42 total touchdowns, both third-most in the country, and his 14 rushing scores are the most amongst all quarterbacks. Despite Oregon’s offensive numbers and UNC’s opt-out list, 13.5 is a lot of points to lay in a bowl game. I think Oregon’s offense is too much for a UNC defense missing their top cornerbacks, so I will stick with two, point totals in this one.
Oregon 1st Half Spread -7
UNC 2nd Half Team Total OVER 14.5 (-105)
Lucky Lucciano Lottery Ticket: +520
- Duke -2.5
- Kansas Moneyline
- Oregon 1H -5.5