SportsGrid College Football Bowl Game Best Bets
Santa Claus is coming, soon we’ll be singing “Auld Lang Syne” and toasting to forget 2020, and college football is going into, in my opinion, the best season: Bowl Season! Fanduel luckily has some odds posted on matchups for the college football madness that I’ve highlighted below. It is time for BOWL MATCHUPS!
The Cotton Bowl: University of Oklahoma Sooners (+3.5) vs. University of Florida Gators, O/U 71.5
If you like offense, this is the one you’ll be watching: with a projected total score of 71.5, a Heisman front-runner in Gators quarterback Kyle Trask throwing to a myriad of weapons, including the most NFL-ready tight end in recent memory in Kyle Pitts, and a Big-12 team in the Sooners that eschews defense, the game may top 100 points, especially being in “Jerryworld,” AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Gators have the offensive weaponry, a seasoned head coach in Dan Mullen, and were a bone-headed Marco Wilson shoe-throwing 15-yard penalty away from possibly being the fourth team in the College Football Playoff. On the other side, we get the head coach, Lincoln Reilly, that has given the world both Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield lighting up the NFL on Sundays. Reilly’s team this year hasn’t been playoff-worthy, but they’ve still been in their role that they typically play, that of a top-15 team. Quarterback Spencer Rattler has had an up-and-down season, but the team is still topping 35+ points on average, and it should continue here.
The Pick: Florida should cover laying the 3.5: The team won’t have the playoff, but the defense played valiantly against an Alabama offensive juggernaut and should continue here. Trask and Pitts should pick apart a porous Sooners defense.
The Peach Bowl: University of Cincinnati Bears (+6.5) vs. University of Georgia Bulldogs, O/U 49.5
The undefeated No. 8 Bearcats will travel to Atlanta to face the No. 9 Bulldogs in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta on New Year’s Day. Cincinnati and coach Luke Fickell have made a significant amount of noise as a non-Power 5 conference team and will have is coming off an American Athletic Conference championship game over Tulsa last week. They’ve also beaten other top-25 teams in Army and SMU this year: they are serious contenders not to be taken lightly, led by dual-threat quarterback Desmond Ridder and a defense that is ranked seventh in the country in points allowed.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will have his work cut out for him motivating his team: this is the first year in the past four years that the team hasn’t made the College Football Playoff, and a letdown spot could happen. They start redshirt sophomore JT Daniels at quarterback, and pass catchers Greg Pickens and Darnell Washington provide ample offensive threats for Daniels to target.
The Pick: The Bearcats should cover taking the 6.5: This looks to be a mismatch of motivations, and Fickell will have his guys fired up to face a Power-5 team and show the country that they can hang with the biggest schools in college football. Georgia may win the game, but 6.5 points is a lot to lay in a game with a 49.5 total and a large motivation difference.
The Mercari Texas Bowl: Arkansas (+5.5) vs. TCU, O/U 57.5
The Razorbacks come to the Lone Star state to face Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs team, who are always dangerous but somehow almost always get lost in the shuffle with Texas A&M, Texas, and Texas Tech in terms of Texan collegiate supremacy. The game will take place at 7:00 p.m. ET at NRG Stadium in Houston on New Year’s Eve.
Arkansas isn’t in the same area code as Alabama or Florida yet, but first-year coach Sam Pittman has had the ‘backs snap a 20-game losing streak in the SEC this season (Arkansas won 3 games in the SEC this year) and has them back to a bowl game. The team’s strength is in their defense: they average over an interception a game, which is top-10 in the BCS, but they also have a solid offense led by quarterback Felipe Franks, with pass catchers Treylon Burks and Mike Woods and dangerous running back Trelon Smith.
TCU will be challenging the Arkansas defense with dual-threat quarterback Max Duggan, but their strength also lies in their defense: senior linebacker Garrett Wallow and junior safety Trevon Moehring are both All- Big 12 defensive picks. Their secondary is equally as challenging for opposing offenses: only a sophomore, Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, has made a case to be the best player in the secondary as an All Big-12 selection himself with 14 recorded pass breakups so far this year.
The Pick: The Horned Frogs should cover laying the 5.5. Gary Patterson has been doing this for a long time for TCU, and while it’s been a nice season beating expectations for Arkansas, TCU should win this by a touchdown or so. Arkansas will look to build on this promising year in the coming years under Pittman.