College Football Bowl Betting Guide: Barstool’s first bowl game, a Mayo Bowl bath celebration, and more previews for Friday 12/30
As we always do we at this time, let’s go over yesterday’s action in what started with another heartbreaking beat for the kid.
Yesterday’s College Football Results
✕ UNDER 44 in Minn/Syracuse (MINN 28, CUSE 20)
✕ Minnesota -2.5 & UNDER 42.5 (W 28-20)
✓ OVER 65.0 in FSU/OU (FSU 35, OU 32)
✕ Florida State OVER 40.5 TT (35 points)
✓ Washington Moneyline (W 27-20)
✕ OVER 66.5 in Wash/Texas (WASH 27, TEXAS 20)
Not Syracuse scoring a touchdown with 2:30 left after an interception got called back in the redzone to push the over and lose both of my bets to start the day!? I must have accidentally stolen some Aztec gold or something before this week because I am straight up cursed! 2-4 on a Wednesday, brings me to a 5-8 record for the week. But as the big games approach, to quote the great Tim Tebow:
“You have never seen any bettor in the entire country handicap as hard as I will the rest of this bowl season, and you’ll never see someone push the rest of the lines as hard as I will push them the rest of this bowl season. You’ll never see a guy lab harder than I will for the rest of these bowl games. God bless.”–Tim Tebow/Lucky Lucciano
Let’s roll on with today’s slate of games.
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Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, NC)
NC State (-2) vs. Maryland | O/U 45.5
The battle to see which coach gets the privilege of a tub full of mayonnaise dumped on them goes down in Charlotte. I still can’t believe that’s a real thing, but it’s why college football is the best. Wisconsin and Wake Forest failed to uphold that tradition in 2020, and both programs went into a tailspin. Be wary of dishonoring traditions.
Now to the actual game. This one has all the makings of a stinker. The initial spread started with the Terps favored by 2.5 points but has moved passed the pick’em mark to the Wolfpack -1. That might be due to the plethora of Terrapin opt-outs, particularly at the wide receiver position. Dontay Demus Jr, Jacob Copeland, and Rakim Jarrett are all NFL talents and will miss the Mayo Bowl. Their best target, senior Jeshaun Jones, will play and led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.
QB Taulia Tagovailoa has been stellar when healthy this season, but the Terps are ranked 116th in college football in sacks allowed with 246. His backup, Billy Edwards Jr, is questionable with an ankle injury, so if Taulia becomes hobbled, it could be a dire situation for Maryland.
It’s another dire situation for the Wolfpack as freshman Ben Finley took over for Devin Leary and left much to be desired in terms of explosive plays. His long completion in two starts was 52 yards and he’s averaged 236.0 yards per game with a 57.3 completion percentage.
Defensively, North Carolina State struggles in the redzone, allowing scores on 87.9% of opponent’s trips. Meanwhile, Maryland brings the 13th ranked redzone offense in college football to the Mayo Bowl, scoring on nearly 91% of their trips inside the 20.
It’s going to be an ugly one, but I am leaning toward Maryland’s defense against a questionable NC State offense and their RB Roman Hemby to control the tempo of this game.
Maryland Moneyline (+105)
UNDER 45.5 (-110)
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, FL)
Notre Dame (-3.5) vs. South Carolina | O/U 50.5
One of the hottest teams to finish the season is getting a field goal and a half in a bowl game where their fan base will travel by the dozens? Let’s make sense of this absolutely suspect spread by first looking at the betting numbers.
As of this morning, Notre Dame is getting 51% of the ticket, but 66% of the cash is on South Carolina. That discrepancy screams a pros versus joes split.
For the Irish, TE Michael Mayer and EDGE Isaiah Foskey opting out is huge as Mayer poses an instant mismatch. He led the team with 67 receptions, 809 yards, and nine touchdowns despite constant double teams as Notre Dame’s only viable receiving threat. Foskey is another Day One or Two pick in the NFL Draft and led the team with 12 sacks, his second straight season of 11 or more.
The Gamecocks come in winning three of their last four, including a 63-38 mauling of #5 Tennessee and a 31-30 victory over #9 Clemson. QB Spencer Rattler is playing the best ball of his collegiate career, throwing for over 360 yards in each of South Carolina’s last two games with eight touchdowns to two interceptions.
However, Rattler will be without RB Marshawn Lloyd, an NFL talent who entered the transfer portal, and both superstar tight ends Jaheim Bell, who moved to Florida State, and Austin Stogner, who went back to Oklahoma. Speaking of the transfer portal, Notre Dame’s QB1 defected to Arizona State, meaning sophomore Tyler Buchner, their Week One starter, will operate the offense in Jacksonville.
Despite the Irish missing several key players, Tyler Buchner is a gamer and can make plays with his legs. South Carolina offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield left for Nebraska, and head coach Shane Beamer has not announced an offensive play caller, but Spencer Rattler is playing at an elite level right now.
I’m going to back the difference in the amount of money coming in on South Carolina compared to the higher ticket percentage on Notre Dame. More tickets but less money mean average bettors are taking the Irish, and I’d rather be on the side of the sharps here.
South Carolina Moneyline (+150)
OVER 50.5 (-110)
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl (Tucson, AZ)
Ohio (-2.5) vs. Wyoming | O/U 41.5
A MAC versus Mountain West matchup does not sound too appealing but with Barstool Sports hosting its first ever Bowl game, the broadcast hopefully will make up for a lackluster contest.
And by lackluster, I mean two teams riddled with injuries and opt-outs to crucial players. Starting with Wyoming, the run-heavy Cowboys find themselves in a mess regarding who will even carry the ball in Arizona.
Star RB Titus Swen rushed for 1,039 yards and eight scores before being dismissed from the team after Wyoming’s last game against Fresno State. After initially entering the transfer portal, Swen declared for April’s Draft. Their leading receiver, WR Joshua Cobbs, is transferring, and starting QB Andrew Peasley is averaging 5.7 yards per completion with eight touchdowns to nine interceptions for their passing attack.
On top of missing their bellcow back (144 more carries than his backup), Joey Brasch will transfer, and Dawaian McNeely and D.Q. James will be unavailable due to injuries. That leaves freshmen Jordon Vaughn and L.J. Richardson to carry the load against Ohio’s 56th ranked run defense.
The Bobcats come in with some serious ailments of their own. Junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke suffered a torn ACL and meniscus against Ball State in late November. He won the MAC Offensive Player of the Year, and PFF gave him their highest quarterback grade in college football this season (92.0).
His backup, CJ Harris, threw for over 150 yards in his two starts but had just one passing touchdown to one interception and a 59.0 PFF grade comparatively. But the Bobcats might have an ace up their sleeve in freshman RB Sieh Bangura, who topped 95 rushing yards in three of his last four games and scored 12 touchdowns on the year.
Despite the uncertainty in the backfield, I think Wyoming can still dominate the trenches against the Bobcats, no matter which freshman is getting the majority of the carries. Ohio is just not the same team without their fearless leader Kurtis Rourke, so I expect a slow-tempo, low scoring affair as well.
Wyoming Moneyline (+120)
Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, FL)
Clemson (-6) vs. Tennessee | O/U 61.0
Despite the losses to star QB Hendon Hooker and certified first-round draft pick Jalin Hyatt, second-year head coach Josh Heupel will use this opportunity to cap off one of the best turnarounds in college football. Backup QB Joe Milton III is still going to air it out and has over 100 yards in every game in which he’s thrown at three passes. Oh, and he has seven touchdowns to zero interceptions in that limited action with 10.3 yards per carry in his brief stints as the Volunteer’s signal caller.
Clemson fans have been clamoring for freshman QB Cade Klubnik since D.J. Uiagalelei’s struggles dating back to last season. D.J. is at Oregon State, so the Klubnik era can officially begin. The five-star recruit out of Texas went 20-for-24 for 279 yards, a touchdown plus 30 rushing yards, and another score on the ground in the ACC Championship against UNC. Turns out, Clemson fans might have been right about wanting that QB change.
Defensively, EDGE Myles Murphy (PFF’s 7th ranked draft prospect) and LB Trenton Simpson both opted out. Murphy turned into a truly game-changer pass rusher and Simpson led the ACC in completion rating when targeted (18.8%) and pressure rate (14%). Luckily DT Bryan Breese (PFF’s 5th draft prospect), EDGE K.J. Henry, EDGE Justin Mascoll, and DT Tyler Davis all plan to play in the Orange Bowl.
Yes, Joe Milton can sling the rock, as he initially won the starting job in spring ball before being ousted by Hendon Hooker early in the season. Both coaches want to show their programs are trending upwards in Tennessee’s case, or that they’re revamping a dynasty at Clemson. For me, this comes down to trust in Dabo Swinney’s recruiting skills and that defensive front to wreak havoc on the Volunteers.
Clemson -6 (-110)
Lucky Lucciano Lottery Ticket = +1129
- Maryland Moneyline (+105)
- UCLA -6 (-150)
- South Carolina +3.5 (-130)
- Clemson -6 (-105)