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    Default Complete 2016-17 college football bowl schedule and odds

    Complete 2016-17 college football bowl schedule and odds

    There is a whopping 41 bowl games on the schedule this season. We have where and when to find them and the odds for each and every one.

    The College Football Playoff field has been set and all of the bowl bids have been accepted, so now we just have to wait until bowl season gets underway later this month. Here is the complete schedule and odds for the 2016-17 college football bowl season:

    Saturday, Dec. 17

    Gildan New Mexico Bowl

    New Mexico Lobos vs. Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (+7, OFF)


    Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
    TV: 2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
    New Mexico: 8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS, 10-2 O/U
    Texas-San Antonio: 6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS, 6-6 O/U

    Las Vegas Bowl

    Houston Cougars vs. San Diego State Aztecs (+3, OFF)


    Where: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
    TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
    Houston: 9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS, 5-7 O/U
    San Diego State: 10-3 SU, 6-6-1 ATS, 8-5 O/U

    Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

    Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Toledo Rockets (-1, OFF)


    Where: Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama
    TV: 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
    Appalachian State: 9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS, 5-7 O/U
    Toledo: 9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS, 5-6-1 O/U

    Autonation Cure Bowl

    UCF Knights vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (+5.5, OFF)


    Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
    TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
    Central Florida: 6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-8 O/U
    Arkansas State: 7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS, 2-9-1 O/U

    R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (+3.5, OFF)


    Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
    TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Southern Mississippi: 6-6 SU, 3-8-1 ATS, 6-5-1 O/U
    UL Lafayette: 6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-7-1 O/U


    Monday, Dec. 19

    Miami Beach Bowl

    Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-11.5, OFF)


    Where: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
    TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Central Michigan: 6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS, 6-6 O/U
    Tulsa: 9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS, 8-4 O/U


    Tuesday, Dec. 20

    Marmot Boca Raton Bowl

    Memphis Tigers vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-4.5, OFF)


    Where: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
    TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Memphis: 8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS, 7-5 O/U
    Western Kentucky: 10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS, 7-6 O/U


    Wednesday, Dec. 21

    San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

    BYU Cougars vs. Wyoming Cowboys (+8.5, OFF)


    Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
    TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
    BYU: 8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS, 3-9 O/U
    Wyoming: 8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS, 9-4 O/U


    Thursday, Dec. 22

    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

    Idaho Vandals vs. Colorado State Rams (-13.5, OFF)


    Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
    TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Idaho: 8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS, 6-6 O/U
    Colorado State: 7-5 SU, 10-2 ATS, 6-6 O/U


    Friday, Dec. 23

    Popeyes Bahamas Bowl

    Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Old Dominion Monarchs (-3, OFF)


    Where: Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
    TV: 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Eastern Michigan: 7-5 SU, 9-3 ATS, 4-8 O/U
    Old Dominion: 9-3 SU, 8-3-1 ATS, 8-4 O/U

    Lockhead Martin Armed Forces Bowl

    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. Navy Midshipman (-2, OFF)


    Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
    TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Louisiana Tech: 8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS, 10-3 O/U
    Navy: 9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS, 8-4 O/U

    Dollar General Bowl

    Ohio Bobcats vs. Troy Trojans (-3.5, OFF)


    Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
    TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Ohio: 8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS, 1-11-1 O/U
    Troy: 9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS, 4-7-1 O/U


    Saturday, Dec. 24

    Hawai'i Bowl

    Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (OFF)


    Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
    TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Hawaii: 6-7 SU, 5-7 ATS, 8-4 O/U
    Middle Tennessee: 8-4 SU, 6-5-1 ATS, 8-4 O/U


    Monday, Dec. 26

    St. Petersburg Bowl

    Miami (OH) Redhawks vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (-12, OFF)


    Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
    TV: 11 a.m. ET, ESPN
    Miami (OH): 6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-8 O/U
    Mississippi State: 5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS, 7-5 O/U

    Quick Lane Bowl

    Maryland Terrapins vs. Boston College Eagles (+2, OFF)


    Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
    TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Maryland: 6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS, 4-8 O/U
    Boston College: 6-6 SU, 5-6-1 ATS, 4-8 O/U

    Camping World Independence Bowl

    North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (+4, OFF)


    Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
    TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
    North Carolina State: 6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-7-1 O/U
    Vanderbilt: 6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS, 5-6-1 O/U


    Tuesday, Dec. 27

    Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl

    Army Black Knights vs. North Texas Mean Texas (+8.5, OFF)


    Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
    TV: 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Army: 6-5 SU, 6-5 ATS, 4-7 O/U
    North Texas: 5-7 SU, 6-5-1 ATS, 5-7 O/U

    Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman

    Temple Owls vs. Wake Forest (+13, OFF)


    Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
    TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Temple: 10-3 SU, 12-1 ATS, 5-8 O/U
    Wake Forest: 6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS, 5-7 O/U

    Holiday Bowl

    Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Washington State Cougars (-6.5, OFF)


    Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
    TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Minnesota: 8-4 SU, 4-5-3 ATS, 6-6 O/U
    Washington State: 8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS, 7-4-1 O/U

    Cactus Bowl

    Boise State Broncos vs. Baylor Bears (+7.5, OFF)


    Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
    TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Boise State: 10-2 SU, 3-9 ATS, 5-7 O/U
    Baylor: 6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS, 4-8 O/U


    Wednesday, Dec. 28

    New Era Pinstripe Bowl

    Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Northwestern Wildcats (+5, OFF)


    Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
    TV: 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Pittsburgh: 8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS, 11-1 O/U
    Northwestern: 6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS, 4-8 O/U

    Russell Athletic Bowl

    West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Miami Hurricanes (-3, OFF)


    Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
    TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    West Virginia: 10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS, 5-7 O/U
    Miami: 8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS, 6-6 O/U

    Foster Farms Bowl

    Indiana Hooisers vs. Utah Utes (-8, OFF)


    Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
    TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox
    Indiana: 6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS, 4-8 O/U
    Utah: 8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-6 O/U

    AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl

    Texas A&M Aggies vs. Kansas State Wildcats (+2, OFF)


    Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
    TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Texas A&M: 8-4 SU, 4-8 ATS, 4-7-1 O/U
    Kansas State: 8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS, 6-6 O/U


    Thursday, Dec. 29

    Birmingham Bowl

    South Florida Bulls vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (+10.5, OFF)


    Where: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
    TV: 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
    South Florida: 10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS, 9-3 O/U
    South Carolina: 6-6 SU, 5-6-1 ATS, 4-8 O/U

    Belk Bowl

    Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (-7, OFF)


    Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
    TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Arkansas: 7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS, 6-6 O/U
    Virginia Tech: 9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS, 8-5 O/U

    Valero Alamo Bowl

    Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Colorado Buffaloes (-3, OFF)


    Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
    TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Oklahoma State: 9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS, 7-5 O/U
    Colorado: 10-3 SU, 10-3 ATS, 5-8 O/U


    Friday, Dec. 30

    AutoZone Liberty Bowl

    Georgia Bulldogs vs. TCU Horned Frogs (+1, OFF)


    Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee
    TV: 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Georgia: 7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS, 5-7 O/U
    TCU: 6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS, 5-7 O/U

    Hyundai Sun Bowl

    Stanford Cardinal vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (+3.5, OFF)


    Where: Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas
    TV: 2 p.m. ET, CBS
    Stanford: 9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS, 5-7 O/U
    North Carolina: 8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS, 4-8 O/U

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

    Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Tennessee Volunteers (-3, OFF)


    Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
    TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Nebraska: 9-3 SU, 6-4-2 ATS, 3-9 O/U
    Tennessee: 8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS, 8-4 O/U

    Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl

    South Alabama Jaguars vs. Air Force Falcons (-12.5, OFF)


    Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona
    TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, Campus Insiders
    South Alabama: 6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS, 5-6-1 O/U
    Air Force: 9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS, 7-5 O/U

    Capital One Orange Bowl

    Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida State Seminoles (+7, OFF)


    Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
    TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Michigan: 10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS, 8-4 O/U
    Florida State: 9-3 SU, 7-4 ATS, 5-6 O/U


    Saturday, Dec. 31

    TaxSlayer Bowl

    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Kentucky Wildcats (+3.5, OFF)


    Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
    TV: 11 a.m. ET, ESPN
    Georgia Tech: 8-4 SU, 6-4-1 ATS, 6-4-1 O/U
    Kentucky: 7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS, 7-5 O/U

    Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

    LSU Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals (+3.5, OFF)


    Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
    TV: 11 a.m. ET, ABC
    LSU: 7-4 SU, 5-6 ATS, 2-7-2 O/U
    Louisville: 9-3 SU, 5-6-1 ATS, 8-4 O/U

    Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

    College Football Playoff semifinal

    Washington Huskies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (-16.5, OFF)


    Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
    TV: 3 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Washington: 12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS, 8-4-1 O/U
    Alabama: 13-0 SU, 9-4 ATS, 6-7 O/U

    PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

    College Football Playoff semifinal

    Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers (+3.5, OFF)


    Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
    TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Ohio State: 11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS, 6-6 O/U
    Clemson: 12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS, 7-6 O/U


    Monday, Jan. 2

    Outback Bowl

    Florida Gators vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (+2.5, OFF)


    Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
    TV: 1 p.m. ET, ABC
    Florida: 8-4 SU, 4-7-1 ATS, 4-8 O/U
    Iowa: 8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS, 5-7 O/U

    Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

    Western Michigan Mustangs vs. Wisconsin Badgers (-7.5, OFF)


    Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
    TV: 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Western Michigan: 13-0 SU, 9-4 ATS, 7-6 O/U
    Wisconsin: 10-3 SU, 9-3-1 ATS, 6-7 O/U

    Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual

    USC Trojans vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (+7, OFF)


    Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
    TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN
    USC: 9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS, 3-9 O/U
    Penn State: 11-2 SU, 9-3-1 ATS, 10-3 O/U

    Allstate Sugar Bowl

    Auburn Tigers vs. Oklahoma Sooners (-4.5, OFF)


    Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
    TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Auburn: 8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS, 4-8 O/U
    Oklahoma: 10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS, 6-6 O/U

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    College Football Bowl Betting Bible: Book I - Capping Thy Coaches

    South Florida is among a handful of college football teams losing their head coach just before bowl games.

    Each college football bowl season, select teams pack their bags and head off for their postseason matchup, giving sports bettors a fresh set of intriguing non-conference competitions. While there is an aura of the unknown when it comes to bowl teams – these programs don’t know much about each other – football bettors can find familiarity – and value – looking for teams in these certain situations.

    We break down some of the important factors to figure into your bowl betting this December with our Bowl Betting Bible.

    BOOK I: CAPPING THY COACHES


    One of the biggest differences between wagering on college and professional sports is the impact of the coaching. In the college ranks, these coaches are the molders of young men and build a program from the bottom up, having a bigger influence on how the game is played. Oddsmakers factor coaching into the lines in college sports more than any other option.

    That’s why it’s such a big deal when coaches are swapped out just before bowl season. Whether it be a coach taking a new job and leaving his former team in the hands of his assistants or a team firing its coach just before the postseason and pretty much hoping for the best in the bowl game. Bettors can find added value when handicapping the turnover on the sidelines.

    “Teams and players often rally behind a new coach or departing coach, while other times players and teams are disappointed and provide a weak effort,” says Covers Expert Steve Merril.

    Western Kentucky bid farewell to head coach Jeff Brohm ahead of the Hilltoppers’ appearance versus Memphis in the Boca Raton Bowl on December 20. Brohm took over as head coach at Purdue, forcing WKU to hand the keys to interim Nick Holt, who has been very vocal about his intentions of moving up from defensive coordinator to head coach. A victory against the Tigers would only strengthen his case.

    The AAC has been a hot bed of coaching changes this month, most notably Tom Herman leaving Houston to coach the Texas Longhorns. The Cougars will have interim coach and defensive coordinators Todd Orlando manning the clipboard versus San Jose State in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 17. Orlando and his coaching staff are probably more concerned about getting their resumes polished than winning that game since reports leaked that Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was in line to take the vacant head coaching role in Houston.

    The Temple Owls head into the Military Bowl versus Wake Forest minus head coach Matt Rhule, who was hired to put out the dumpster fire that is Baylor’s shamed football program. That leaves the Owls under the wing of interim head coach Ed Foley. While Foley has been through coaching swaps before, the question of which assistants would be joining Rhule in Waco is hanging over the program’s head right now.

    Another AAC team losing its head coach to a Power 5 program is South Florida, which will be without head coach Willie Taggart for the Bulls’ date with South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl on December 29. Taggart takes over the vacant spot at Oregon, leaving either offensive coordinator T.J. Weist or defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie to coach USF in the finale.

    One team that may be looking forward to the offseason, and not to its upcoming bowl game, are the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana cut ties with head coach Kevin Wilson citing "philosophical differences" and immediately promoted defensive coordinator Tom Allen into the big job.

    Not only is Allen having to prepare for the Hoosiers’ upcoming matchup with Utah in the Foster Farms Bowl, but he’s frantically trying to keep IU’s incoming recruiting class together while making sure his current crop of players aren’t thinking about transferring under the new regime. His coaching staff is also walking on egg shells, not knowing their job security under Allen.

    Another good angle to take when capping coaches is which ones really need a big bowl win to douse the flames under their office chairs? Heading into bowl season, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is under fire from Aggies faithful after finishing with an 8-4 record, including a 2-4 stumble to finish the season. While the school has come out in support of Sumlin following this disappointing season, a loss to Kansas State in the Texas Bowl would be more red in his ledger.

    That fear of losing a job as a motivator runs alongside the prospect of a better one during bowl season, when coaches in consideration for a step up look to impress their potential employers. One coach that is on the short list for some alluring locations is Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck. He’s led the Broncos to an undefeated season and a spot versus Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl.

    Fleck didn’t go to Purdue or Oregon and reports are he’s not interested in the open Cincinnati position, but that doesn’t mean he’s off the table. And a win over Wisconsin would make him the most sought after young coach in college football, opening up plenty of opportunity in 2017.

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    College Football Bowl Betting Bible: Book II - Make money from motivation

    Eastern Michigan snaps a 29-year bowl drought in style with a trip to the Bahamas. Will the Eagles be "just happy to be there" against Old Dominion on Dec. 23?

    The names are different but the situations stay the same.

    Each college football bowl season, select teams pack their bags and head off for their postseason matchup, giving sports bettors a fresh set of intriguing non-conference competitions. While there is an aura of the unknown when it comes to bowl teams – these programs don’t know much about each other – football bettors can find familiarity – and value – looking for teams in these certain situations.

    We break down some of the important factors to figure into your bowl betting this December with our Bowl Betting Bible.

    BOOK 2: DO NOT PLACE MONEY WITHOUT KNOWING MOTIVATION

    Bowl season is many things to many teams.

    To some, it’s the culmination of a hard-fought season. To others, it’s a relief from years of losing. And to a few programs, it’s a reminder of missed opportunities and wasted potential. Understanding the mindset of a bowl team is paramount before placing any bets.

    Which programs are just happy to be invited to a bowl game and which ones are actually serious about winning? The first step college football bettors should take when looking at potential plays, is to call out any teams disappointed with the bowl they’ve drawn. While some could lack motivation, this situation usually serves as motivation with a chip on the team’s shoulder.

    With the implementation of the College Football Playoffs, there has been a new factor thrown into the bowl betting mix with teams sitting just outside the Final Four feeling the sting of the playoff snub heading into their respective bowl game. This time around, Big Ten powers Penn State and Michigan were left out of the playoffs, leaving football bettors to question how their players will react to this letdown.

    The Wolverines, who suffered a season-ending defeat to rival Ohio State that pretty much sealed their playoff fate, are 6.5-point favorites versus Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The Nittany Lions, on the other hand, take on Southern California as touchdown underdogs in the Rose Bowl, after having won the Big Ten title and boasting a victory over Ohio State – the No. 3 seed in the final CFP rankings.

    Other teams feeling disrespected this bowl season could be Temple and Boise State. The Owls, who finished 10-3 and won the AAC Championship, were dealt a 6-6 Wake Forest squad as an opponent in the Military Bowl on December 27. Temple is giving almost two touchdowns to its ACC foe.

    As for the Broncos, they finished 10-2 and claimed the top spot in the Mountain Division of the MWC, setting up a date with a 6-6 Baylor program that has bigger issues off the field than on it heading into bowl season. Boise State is a 7.5-point favorite over BU in the Cactus Bowl on December 27.

    Motivation just isn’t reserved for the big boys, though. Programs that barely qualified for bowl eligibility and still earned a berth in a postseason game can often times feel a sense of accomplishment. Covers Expert Art Aronson of AAA Sports calls these “Just glad to be there” teams.

    “This might take some digging, but there are teams which are just happy to be aboard the gravy train,” says Aronson. “Coaches get a little more job security and players get to brag when they go home for semester break. With dozens of games, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

    There are actually two teams with 5-7 records – one win short of the standard six wins to qualify for bowl eligibility – bowling this season: Mississippi State and North Texas. The Bulldogs are 12.5-point chalk facing Miami (Ohio) in the St. Petersburg Bowl while the Mean Green are getting nine points in their matchup with Army in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

    Littering the bowl season landscape are a number of six-win squads, that just barely qualified for postseason consideration. Texas Christian, South Carolina, Indiana, Northwestern, Baylor, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State, Boston College, Maryland, Miami (Ohio), Hawaii, Central Michigan, UL Lafayette, Southern Mississippi, and Central Florida all made the bowl grade by the skin of their teeth. Football bettors should do a deep dive into how coaches, players, and even fan bases feel about their respective postseason contests.

    Bettors must also measure the motivation of teams that are ending an extended bowl drought, and determine whether they're feeling a false sense of accomplishment – bound for a letdown – or using that big stage to push the program even further up the food chain.

    Eastern Michigan puts to bed a lengthy bowl drought when it faces Old Dominion in the Bahamas Bowl, the first bowl game for the program since 1987. Add to that a tropical setting in Nassau, and it’s hard not to see the Eagles being a bit content with their place on December 23. The Monarchs, on the other hand, are also playing in their first bowl game since making the jump to the BCS. There could be contrasting motivation in the eyes of bettors, which could be why ODU has moved from -1.5 to -3.5.

    Other teams snapping bowl droughts this month are Wyoming (2011), Idaho (2009), Troy (2010), and Miami (Ohio) (2010). Texas-San Antonio joins Old Dominion, making its bowl debut as touchdown underdogs versus New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl on December 17.

    One of the most underlying motivational capping tools is finding a team playing in the same bowl as it did last season. The 2014-15 bowl schedule found Arkansas State back in the GoDaddy Bowl for the fourth straight season, losing to Toledo 63-44 as a 3.5-point underdog in Mobile, Alabama.

    “Teams returning to the same minor bowl game they played in last year tend to become disinterested,” notes Covers Expert Marc Lawrence.

    This bowl season features three return teams. As mentioned above, New Mexico stays home for the second straight appearance in the New Mexico Bowl, after losing to Arizona last December.

    Appalachian State made its bowl debut with a win over Ohio in the Camellia Bowl last year and is once again playing in Montgomery, this time getting a point from Toldeo.

    And finally, UL Lafayette is featured in the New Orleans Bowl for the fourth time in the past five seasons. The Ragin’ Cajuns won three straight inside the Superdome and are back in the Big Easy, set as 3.5-point home underdogs versus Southern Mississippi on December 17.

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    Betting action is heating up early for college football bowl season

    The Ohio State Buckeyes will battle the Clemson Tigers in CFP semifinal No. 2 on New Year's Eve.

    The College Football Playoff and the other four bowl games comprising the New Year’s Six are getting a lot of attention, and rightly so. But some of the lesser lights in bowl season have certainly gotten early attention from bettors, as well. Patrick Everson talks with John Lester, senior lines manager for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu., and Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology in Las Vegas, about where the bowl season action has been hot.

    Russell Athletic Bowl

    No. 16 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Miami Hurricanes – Open: -1.5; Move: -3; Move: -3.5; Move: -3


    Miami rebounded from a four-game midseason SU and ATS slide to reach this intriguing Dec. 28 contest in Orlando. The Hurricanes (8-4 SU and ATS) won and cashed in their last four games, all double-digit SU victories, including 40-21 over Duke on Nov. 26 as a 16-point home favorite.

    West Virginia was in the hunt for the Big 12 title much of the season, but a 56-28 home blowout loss to Oklahoma halted those hopes. Still, the Mountaineers finished 10-2 SU (5-7 ATS), edging Baylor 24-21 as a hefty 17-point home chalk in the Dec. 3 regular-season finale.

    “We've taken twice as many wagers on the Mountaineers, but the money count favors Miami at almost 2/1, and that's the side on which the sharps currently reside,” Lester said. “This jumped to as high as -3.5, but we're currently back to a field goal.”

    Holiday Bowl

    Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. No. 23 Washington State Cougars – Open: -5.5; Move: -7; Move: -6.5; Move: -7


    Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, Washington State was still in contention for the Pac-12 Championship Game, but double-digit losses at Colorado and at home to Washington doused those hopes. The Cougars (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS) finished with a 45-17 loss to the Huskies as a 6-point home ‘dog in the Apple Cup.

    Minnesota (8-4 SU, 4-5-3 ATS) used its 7-2 SU start to guide the way into this Dec. 27 postseason game, as it lost two of its final three games. That included a 31-17 loss at Wisconsin to push as a 14-point pup on Nov. 26.

    “This one has fluctuated between the opener of -5.5 and -7,” Lester said of the matchup in San Diego. “We have smart guys on both sides, but right now, the money handle is around 70 percent on Washington State, so the bigger bets have been with the chalk.”

    Pinstripe Bowl

    No. 23 Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Northwestern Wildcats – Open: +4; Move: +5; Move: +4.5; Move: +5.5


    Two teams used to colder conditions late in the season shouldn’t have too much trouble adapting to Yankee Stadium for this Dec. 28 matchup. Pitt (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) won its last three games, including a stunning 43-42 upset at Clemson as a massive 21.5-point underdog on Nov. 12. The Panthers capped the regular season with a basketball-like 76-61 home win over Syracuse laying 24.5 points.

    Northwestern barely made the bowl cutoff with a 6-6 SU mark (7-5 ATS), getting into this game by routing Illinois 42-21 giving 16.5 points in the regular-season finale.

    “Pitt has been an interesting team all year, having beaten Penn State and Clemson, with the only really ugly loss being at Miami,” Lester said. “Bettors recognize that and have moved this bowl's number from -4 to -5.5, and I suspect it will close closer to -7. Currently, 85 percent of the tickets are on the Panthers.”

    Citrus Bowl

    No. 20 Louisiana State Tigers vs. No. 13 Louisville Cardinals – Open: +2.5; Move: +3.5; Move: +3


    Leonard Fournette announced that he is taking his talents to the NFL, but not before taking the field for LSU in this New Year’s Eve game in Orlando. The Tigers (7-4 SU, 5-6 ATS) got through a bumpy season in which Les Miles was fired and replaced by Ed Orgeron. LSU finished up on Nov. 24 with a 54-39 road victory over Texas A&M giving 6.5 points.

    Louisville was in the CFP conversation throughout the season, but limped to the finish line with two stunning upset losses. The Cardinals (9-3 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) got blasted at Houston 36-10 as a 17-point chalk, then tumbled at home to Kentucky 41-38 as a huge 28.5-point favorite.

    “This game opened at (LSU) -2.5. You saw then what happened was the announcement of Leonard Fournette entering the draft. But he did say he’s gonna play in this game, so obviously, that’s a big difference,” Simbal said. “You have the defense of LSU against the high-powered offense of Louisville, and so far, the smart bettors are backing the defense.”

    Orange Bowl

    No. 11 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 6 Michigan Wolverines – Open: -8; Move: -7.5; Move: -7


    Michigan ended up one of the bridesmaids in the College Football Playoff decisions and will head to Miami on Dec. 30 for one of the four non-CFP New Year’s Six contests. The Wolverines (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) finished the season with one of the most riveting performances of the year – but they lost. Jim Harbaugh’s troops came up just short in double overtime at Ohio State, falling 30-27 as a 4.5-point ‘dog.

    Florida State (9-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) won its final four games after a 37-34 home loss to Clemson as a 4.5-point pup. The Seminoles capped the season with a 31-13 victory over Florida as a 9-point home fave.

    “This game is really interesting because people on our oddsmaking team made this game all the way from Michigan -6.5 to Michigan -8.5,” Simbal said of the opening-line debate for CG’s books, including The Cosmopolitan, M and the Venetian. “We actually settled at an opening line of Michigan -8, mainly because of how much public action Michigan gets. That number proved to be too high. We saw some sharp action immediately on Florida State as a ‘dog at +8, which is why that number’s now down to +7.”

    Peach Bowl

    No. 4 Washington Huskies vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide – Open: -11; Move: 13.5; Move: -14; Move: -15; Move: -16; Move: -15.5; Move: -15


    Alabama (13-0 SU, 9-4 ATS), winner of 25 in a row SU and the defending national champion, belted Florida in the SEC Championship Game 54-16 as a 24-point neutral-site chalk Dec. 3. Washington (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS) crushed Colorado 41-10 laying 8.5 points on a neutral field in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

    In just the past week, this New Year’s Eve College Football Playoff opener has seen significant action and movement, but that only begins to tell the story. CG books had potential CFP matchups on their betting boards weeks ago, and in those, Alabama was a 10.5-point chalk. Many bettors got on board with ‘Bama at that number.

    “We had potential matchups of playoffs up for quite a while, and Alabama was -10.5 in all of these scenarios,” Simbal said. “So of course, when this matchup got finalized, we opened it at -11, not even close to being where the market was. Some other folks went up with 13.5 at that time, and we ended up going from 11 to 13.5 right away. Still didn’t stop them. This number got bet all the way up to 15.5, 16.

    “So if you had the foresight to think that this match was gonna happen, you could have laid 10.5 with Alabama and taken 16 with Washington. But unfortunately now, you’re stuck having to lay the big number if you want to lay on Alabama.”

    Simbal noted that primarily sharp money drove Alabama’s price up for this contest in Atlanta, though he doesn’t see the game going much higher and could envision a scenario in which it comes down a bit.

    “A lot of people are gonna bet the ‘dog on the moneyline, I feel, come game day, and that’ll bring the price down a little bit,” Simbal said.

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    Good Info Thanks Rance!
    Common sense is not so common.
    “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” Zig Ziglar
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    “a soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1)


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    Quote Originally Posted by BettorsChat View Post
    Good Info Thanks Rance!
    NP, Monte! It's coming out kinda slow this time but here's a little more.....

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    Let's go bowling: College football ATS trends (part one)

    The bowl team whose second half stats (from Game 7 out) improved the most was Idaho, whose +116 net yards per game improvement tops the pack.

    For the longest time College Bowl games played before New Year’s Day were deemed minor bowls. Those played from January 1st out were the main or major bowl games.

    That all changed when cable television entered the fray. Today, in order to fill a need for cable television broadcasting rights, there are no less than a whopping 40 bowl games, only to conclude with the College Football Playoff championship game on January 9th.

    Hence, a handful of bowl games on the docket prior to New Year’s Day are considered of the heavyweight variety. Nonetheless, the bowl games are still primarily populated by two classes of teams: those who suffered disturbing late losses and fell out of major bowl consideration, and those who scraped and clawed and earned a bowl bid thanks to a strong second-half effort.

    Let take a look this year’s bowl card shapes up. All stats are from the 2016 PLAYBOOK Bowl Stat Report. I’ll return next week and an in-depth look at the New Year’s Six and College Football Playoff games.

    Conference Call

    Like teams and coaches, conferences too develop bowl personalities.

    Our database dug deep and found these noteworthy ‘best and worst’ conference trends. All results are ATS dating back as far as 1980, unless noted otherwise.

    ACC – Best: 9-1 ATS dog of more than 4 points versus opponents off a SU win: Memphis... Worst: 2-10 ATS versus opponents off a SU favorite loss (Temple and Tulsa).

    Big Ten – Best: 7-1 ATS off double-digit ATS win (Iowa)... Worst: 3-9 ATS versus opponent off SU favorite loss (Nebraska).

    Big 12 - Best: 5-1 ATS off SU underdog win (Kansas State)... Worst: 2-17 ATS as favorites of less than 8 points if scored 35 or more points last game (Oklahoma).

    CUSA – Best: 16-4 ATS off double-digit loss (North Texas) ... Worst: 1-11 ATS as dogs versus opponent off SU underdog win (Texas San Antonio).

    Independent – Best: 7-1 ATS versus opponent off SUATS loss (Army) ... Worst: 5-13 ATS versus opponent off SUATS win (BYU).

    MAC – Best: 4-0 ATS off SU underdog win versus opponent off SU win (Eastern Michigan) ... Worst: 3-13 ATS off double-digit loss (Toledo).

    MWC – Best: 9-2 ATS as underdog versus opponent off SU loss (San Diego State) ... Worst: 1-7 ATS as favorites of more the 3 points versus opponents off ATS win (Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico).

    PAC 12 – Best: 9-1 ATS as underdogs off consecutive wins (Washington) ... Worst: 1-6 ATS versus opponents off SU underdog win (USC).

    SEC – Best: 16-4 ATS as underdogs of more than 4 points off a SU loss (Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina) ... Worst: 2-8 ATS as double-digit favorites off a double-digit SU win (Alabama, Mississippi State).

    Sun Belt – Best: 8-1 ATS as underdogs of 8 or less points versus .500 or greater opponents (Appalachian State, Arkansas State, La Lafayette) ... Worst: 1-6 ATS as favorites of more than 3 points (Troy).

    Second-Half Ups and Downs

    The bowl team whose second half overall stats (from Game 7 out as opposed to the first six games of the season) improved the most was Idaho (surprise), whose +116 net yards per game improvement tops the pack.

    Right on their heels was Appalachian State at +92 net yards per contest over the 2nd half of the season.

    The bowl team whose overall team stats regressed the most from Game 7 out was Florida, who slipped a whopping -137 net YPG during the 2nd half of the campaign.

    Nipping right on the Gators’ heels was Baylor as the Bears went backwards -135 net yards per game during their dramatic 0-6 SUATS season ending collapse.

    In The Stats

    Speaking of stat performances this season, the best teams overall ITS (In The Stats) in games against fellow bowl teams was (no surprise) Alabama, who was 10-0 ITS.

    Other perfect ITS performers include Toledo (6-0), along with Houston and Miami Ohio (5-0 each).

    Bowl teams that were beat up ITS against other bowl teams were Maryland (0-7), along with Hawaii and Memphis (each 0-5).

    Tale Of The Tape

    Another interesting slant is weighing teams and their performance in games against other fellow bowl teams this season.

    The best bowl spread beaters against other bowl foes were Eastern Michigan and Temple, both going 5-1 ATS.

    The biggest bowl spread money loser was Maryland at 0-7 ATS.

    In games “In The Stats” (net overall yards versus opponent’s net overall yards), the biggest bowler Yards Per Game stat winner was Alabama (+247 net yards per game, with both Clemons and Louisville earning runner-up honors at +160 net YPG each.

    Pre-New Year’s Day bowlers that got trounced on the field, or the biggest Yards Per Game stat loser was Maryland at -199 net YPG, with Boston College and Wake Forest in the neighborhood at -162 and -156 net YPG respectively.

    You Gotta Be Kidding

    Our well-oiled machine notes that if you were to simply pick the winner of a bowl game and you will likely beat the spread as well.

    That’s confirmed by the fact that straight up bowl winners are 737-117-12 ATS in all bowl games since 1980. Now go find a winner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    NP, Monte! It's coming out kinda slow this time but here's a little more.....
    Rance, better late than never! Thanks!
    Common sense is not so common.
    “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” Zig Ziglar
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    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
    ― Dr. Seuss


    Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid. John Wayne


    “a soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1)


    We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.


    E-mail: BettorsChat@comcast.net


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    College Football Bowl Betting Bible: Book III - The Waiting Game

    Texas A&M is hoping the downtime between the end of the season and their spot in the Texas Bowl allows QB Trevor Knight to heal his injured knee.

    The names are different but the situations stay the same.

    Each college football bowl season, select teams pack their bags and head off for their postseason matchup, giving sports bettors a fresh set of intriguing non-conference competitions. While there is an aura of the unknown when it comes to bowl teams – these programs don’t know much about each other – football bettors can find familiarity – and value – looking for teams in these certain situations.

    We break down some of the important factors to figure into your bowl betting this December with our Bowl Betting Bible.

    BOOK III: TIME BETWEEN BOWLS GIVETH AND TAKETH AWAY

    The Ravages of time. Idle hands do the Devil’s work. Time, time time… is my on my side - yes it is!

    All three phrases have everything to do with the time between a college football team’s final game of the regular season and its postseason bowl appearance.

    Some programs are thrust right into the bowl schedule with a small break between the finale, finals and the bowl game. Other teams are collecting dust for almost a month while they prepare for their year-end showcase.

    “The long layoff - several weeks - before the game is played can often lead to bizarre over or under-performance by teams involved,” says Covers Expert Steve Merril.

    A team that gained momentum late in the year may not have that same mojo working for them in bowl season, thanks to the extended hiatus. Depending on the break between games, programs could be completely different come game day and that opens up a lot of value to go against with oddsmakers setting these lines based on their past accomplishments.

    The gap between the end of the regular season to the bowl game can be more than a month, so what difference does it make if a team won its last six in a row?” asks Covers Expert Art Aronson of AAA Sports.

    A good example are the Old Dominion Monarchs, who go bowling for the first time ever thanks to a five-game winning streak to finish the season. The Monarchs scored a total of 135 points in their final three games and head to the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl with a 9-5 record, testing their mettle against the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Old Dominion, which opened at -1.5 and is now -4, hasn’t played since November 26 and won’t take the field until December 23 – almost a month to cool off any momentum the program had riding into the postseason.

    The gap between season finale and bowl game, however, can also work in a team’s favor. A late-season swoon or a rash of injuries toward the end of the year can be remedied by a few weeks off.

    The Auburn Tigers suffered multiple injuries to key players down the stretch but could return those bodies for their matchup with Oklahoma (opened -5.5, moved to -3.5) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 2. Auburn, which hasn’t played since the Iron Bowl on November 26 is expected to have quarterback Sean White back as well as top defensive backs Joshua Holsey (leads team with three INTs) and Johnathan Ford (third in tackles).

    The Tigers were in a similar spot last December with a laundry list of ailments, including White, heading into their meeting with Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl. Auburn got healthy in time and squashed the other Tigers 31-10 as 3-point chalk.

    Middle Tennessee State is holding out hope that at least one of its quarterbacks will be ready to take on Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on December 24. Top passer Brent Stockstill is rehabbing a broken collarbone suffered on November 5 and backup John Urzau is dealing with a concussion, leaving MTSU to go with WR-turned-QB Richie James primarily in a wildcat formation. The line for the Hawaii Bowl is currently off the board.

    Tommy Armstrong Jr. is nursing a hamstring injury and has yet to practice for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in preparation for their meeting with Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. Armstrong initially injured his leg on November 19 but aggravated the hamstring in the finale versus Iowa on November 25. Huskers head coach told the media Nebraska is preparing as if backup Ryker Fyfe will start the December 30 bowl game.

    Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight is a big question mark for the Texas Bowl, where the Aggies are 2-point favorites facing Kansas State. Knight is dealing with a knee injury suffered in a November 24 loss to LSU, and prior to that was nursing a sore shoulder. Texas A&M is optimistic Knight will play, hoping that the December 28 bowl date gives him plenty of time to recover.

    Alex Hornibrook missed the Big Ten title game versus Penn State due to a concussion but is hoping the extended break between that loss and the Wisconsin Badgers’ meeting with Western Michigan (+7.5) in the Cotton Bowl will be enough to clear the cobwebs. The Badgers started Bart Houston at quarterback against the Nittany Lions.

    Air Force could get quarterback Nate Romine, who missed the last month with an ankle injury, back for its showdown with South Alabama in the Arizona Bowl on December 30. The Falcons have done well with Arion Worthman under center in their triple option but Romine is a better passer, when Air Force does decide to throw the ball.

    Colorado QB Sefo Liufau is expected to play in the Alamo Bowl versus Oklahoma State after hurting his ankle in the Pac-12 Championship against Washington. He left that game in the first quarter but did return in the third, but limited in the loss to the Huskies. He’ll have plenty of time to heal up before that December 29 bowl game.

    The Michigan Wolverines will have QB Wilton Speight much healthier when they face Florida State in the Orange Bowl on January 2. The Wolverines passer suffered a broken collarbone on November 12 but did play in the season finale versus Ohio State, passing for 219 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on November 26. He’ll have more than a month to heal up.

    While the bowl break has allowed those teams – and many others – to heal up, other programs are wishing the postseason game would just get here already. Every bowl season is plagued with news of player suspensions, from either academics or off-field issues, as well as player injuries suffered in the limited practices allowed during bowl prep.

    The Minnesota Golden Gophers suspended 10 players ahead of their date with Washington State in the Holiday Bowl on December 27, including two starters an two reserves in the secondary. Minnesota dropped from +6.5 to +8.5, facing a Cougars attack that averages 370.8 passing yards per game - second most in the country.

    With finals over and classes done, as well as practices limited by NCAA rules, players don’t have the same structured schedule to keep them busy and out of trouble. And trips home over the holidays have been the catalyst for many suspensions with players getting into fights and violating team rules while visiting with friends and family.

    Local media are usually the first sources to report on these issues, so keeping a close ear to the ground and anticipating either injury or disciplinary news is the best way to stay ahead of the bookmakers during the bowl break.

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    Non-playoff college football bowl game betting mismatches

    Back-to-back 30-point performances early in the season had the Wake Forest offense flying high, but the season went off the rails following a 28-9 win over Syracuse.

    Boca Raton Bowl

    Memphis vs. Western Kentucky (-5, 79)


    Tigers' terrible pass defence vs. Hilltoppers' high-octane attack

    This game could very well be one of the highest-scoring contests on this year's bowl schedule. Both teams boast elite offenses, though it's the Hilltoppers that appear to have the upper hand, with quarterback Mike White guiding an offense that ranks in the top five nationally at better than 336 passing yards per game. White was at his best in the latter stages of the season, racking up 10 touchdown passes over the Hilltoppers' final three games - all victories.

    The Tigers are no strangers to offense - averaging nearly 40 points per game during the regular season - but had a dreadful time preventing opposing teams from racking up the points. Memphis allowed 40 or more points in four of its final six games, and ranked outside the top-80 nationally in both total yards against (5,312) and passing yards allowed (2,910). Both teams can air it out, but it appears that Western Kentucky has a sizeable advantage in defensive prowess.


    Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

    Louisiana Tech vs. Navy (+3.5, 66)


    Ryan Higgins and friends vs. Midshipmen's wonky secondary

    The Bulldogs and Midshipmen took vastly different paths to get here, with Louisiana Tech leaning heavily on senior quarterback and Conference USA MVP Ryan Higgins and Navy succeeding via its trademark relentlessness in the running game. But while the Midshipmen are certainly expected to dazzle on the ground, it's the Bulldogs' advantage in the pass attack that could mean the difference in what is expected to be a tightly contested affair.

    Higgins finished third in the nation in passing yards with 4,208, and racked up 37 touchdowns against just eight interceptions. Twin receiving threats Trent Taylor (124 receptions, 1,570 yards, 10 TDs) and Carlos Henderson (72 receptions, 1,406 yards, 17 TDs) are expected to make life miserable for a Navy secondary that allowed the 39th-most passing yards in Division I. Look for Higgins to attack the Midshipmen early and often, which could mean a long night for Navy.


    Hawai'i Bowl

    Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee (OFF)


    I'Tavius Mathers vs. Rainbow Warriors' putrid run D

    Middle Tennessee senior running back I'Tavius Mathers has been one of the most pleasant surprises in the nation; coming into the year with just over 1,000 rushing yards in three seasons, Mathers has rumbled for a school-record 1,502 heading into the final game of his collegiate career. And he's a great bet to add to that total with emphasis as he and the Blue Raiders face off against a Hawai'i defense that was gashed on the ground for most of the season.

    Mathers opened the campaign with a pair of so-so efforts but caught fire after that, reeling off six consecutive 100-yard efforts highlighted by a 28-carry, 215-yard performance in a wild road victory over Missouri. The Hawai'i Bowl matchup is one of the easier ones Mathers will have all season, as the Rainbow Warriors allowed the fourth-most rushing yards in the nation (3,161) and were one of only 24 teams to allow 30 or more scores on the ground. Look for Mathers to eat in this one.


    Military Bowl

    Temple vs. Wake Forest (+13, 40.5)


    Owls' outstanding defense vs. Demon Deacons' declining offense

    There's no debating how the Owls reached the Military Bowl: they did it with defense. Despite dealing with the distraction of head coach Matt Rhule departing for Baylor - and the assertion that the team deserved to be placed in a more high-profile game - Temple is heavily favored to post its first 11-win season in program history. The Demon Deacons will look to put up a fight, but might be overmatched given their recent offensive doldrums.

    Back-to-back 30-point performances early in the season had the Wake Forest offense flying high, but the season went off the rails following a 28-9 win over Syracuse. The Demon Deacons dropped five of their last six games, scoring more than 14 points just once over that stretch. And with Temple allowing the third-fewest yards in the nation during the regular season, there's a good chance the Demon Deacons' offensive struggles will continue into their final game of 2016.


    Russell Athletic Bowl

    West Virginia vs. Miami (Fla.) (-3, 55.5)


    Mountaineers' middling kicking game vs. Hurricanes' elite P/PK units

    Few bettors spend much time focusing on special teams during bowl season - and even fewer preoccupy themselves with each team's kicking units. But this game is expected to be a tight one, which means that one or two kicking events - either positive or negative - could decide it. That bodes poorly for the Mountaineers, who could see a sensational season end with a thud against a Miami team that is among the best in the kicking department.

    The mismatch here is an obvious one; the Hurricanes rank ninth in the nation in net yards per punt (40.5) and are tied for 11th in field goal success rate among teams with 20 or more attempts (81.8 percent). The Mountaineers, by contrast, rank 66th in net yards per punt (37.5) while converting just 16 of 24 field-goal opportunities. Look for Miami to dominate the kicking game, making it even tougher for West Virginia to pull off the upset.


    Capital One Orange Bowl

    Michigan vs. Florida State (+7, 54)


    Wolverines' disciplined play vs. Seminoles' penalty parade

    To say the Wolverines are a well-oiled machine may be an understatement. Led by mercurial head coach Jim Harbaugh, Michigan has evolved into one of the NCAA's most well-rounded teams, rolling to a 10-2 overall record with its two losses coming by a combined four points. It's also one of the most disciplined rosters in the nation, which could prove ti be a significant benefit against a Florida State team that racked up an alarming number of flags.

    The Seminoles gave opponents plenty of free territory, ranking ninth in the country in total penalties (93) and sixth in penalty yards (883). And despite putting together a five-game winning streak going into one of the marquee bowl games of the season, they can ill afford to give away chunks of yards to a Michigan side that finished with just 59 penalties for 556 yards. Look for Harbaugh and the Wolverines to keep their heads about them - something you just can't expect out of the Seminoles.

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    Sharps are closely monitoring these early college football bowl games

    If you like Donnel Pumphrey and San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl, sharps say act quickly.

    Each week during the college football season, Steve Merril looks at the NCAAF odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out. This week he takes a look at some of the season's early bowl games.

    Spread to bet now

    Las Vegas Bowl - San Diego State (+3) vs. Houston


    Houston had a strong 9-3 SU season, but they were just 5-7 ATS, including 1-6 ATS in their final seven games. They did have big wins versus Oklahoma and Louisville this year, but they have lost head coach Tom Herman who took the Texas head coaching job. Houston will now be led by former assistant and new head coach Major Applewhite in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Cougars might not be fully focused for this game with the sudden coaching change.

    San Diego State had a strong 10-3 SU season (7-6 ATS) and won the Mountain West championship game. The Aztecs are solid on offense, averaging 6.5 yards per play (versus opponents that allow just 6.2 yppl). They also have a strong defense that permits only 21.0 points per game on 4.9 yards per play (versus opponents that average 27.0 ppg and 5.6 yppl). San Diego State will now face a Houston offense that averaged just 5.5 yards per play this season (versus opponents that allowed 5.6 yppl).

    Spread to bet now

    Birmingham Bowl - South Carolina (+10.5) vs. South Florida


    South Florida was 10-2 SU (8-4 ATS) this season, but they now have distractions in this bowl game as head coach Willie Taggart has left to take the head coaching job at Oregon. This means co-offensive coordinator T.J. Wiest will be the interim coach for South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl. The Bulls will face a solid South Carolina defense that allowed just 24.8 points per game on 5.6 yards per play this season (versus opponents that averaged 28.8 ppg and 5.9 yppl).

    South Carolina was just 6-6 SU (5-6-1 ATS) this season, but they faced a tough SEC schedule of opponents. The Gamecocks will now be taking a step down in class and should have more offensive success against a weak South Florida defense that permitted 31.0 points per game on 5.8 yards per play this season (versus opponents that averaged just 28.5 ppg and 5.5 yppl).

    Total to watch

    Boca Raton Bowl - Memphis vs. Western Kentucky (77.5)


    This Boca Raton Bowl Over/Under line opened at 77 and has already been bet higher. It should be a shootout with two excellent offensive teams in this game. Memphis has averaged 39.5 points per game on 6.3 yards per play this season (versus opponents that allowed just 30.7 ppg and 5.7 yppl). The Tigers finished the season scoring at least 42 points or more in three of their final four games.

    Western Kentucky has averaged 45.1 points per game on 7.6 yards per play this season (versus opponents that allowed 31.7 ppg and 6.1 yppl) and the Hilltoppers averaged 52.1 points during their final nine games of the season. Western Kentucky should have plenty of success against a mediocre Memphis defense that allowed 5.6 yards per play this year (versus opponents that averaged 5.6 yppl). The Tigers allowed at least 42 points or more in four of their final six games this year.

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    Don't place a wager without knowing these college football bowl betting stats
    Marc Lawrence

    The bowl team whose second half stats (from Game 7 out) improved the most was Idaho, whose +116 net yards per game improvement tops the pack.

    For the longest time college bowl games played before New Year’s Day were deemed minor bowls. Those played from January 1 out were the main or major bowl games.

    That all changed when cable television entered the fray. Today, in order to fill a need for cable television broadcasting rights, there are no less than a whopping 40 bowl games, only to conclude with the College Football Playoff championship game on January 9.

    Hence, a handful of bowl games on the docket prior to New Year’s Day are considered of the heavyweight variety. Nonetheless, the bowl games are still primarily populated by two classes of teams: those who suffered disturbing late losses and fell out of major bowl consideration, and those who scraped and clawed and earned a bowl bid thanks to a strong second half effort.

    Let take a look this year’s bowl card shapes up. I’ll return next week and an in-depth look at the New Year’s Six and College Football Playoff games.

    Conference call

    Like teams and coaches, conferences too develop bowl personalities.

    Our database dug deep and found these noteworthy ‘best and worst’ conference trends. All results are ATS dating back as far as 1980, unless noted otherwise.

    ACC – Best: 9-1 ATS dog of more than 4 points versus opponents off a SU win: Memphis... Worst: 2-10 ATS versus opponents off a SU favorite loss (Temple and Tulsa).

    Big Ten – Best: 7-1 ATS off double-digit ATS win (Iowa)... Worst: 3-9 ATS versus opponent off SU favorite loss (Nebraska).

    Big 12 - Best: 5-1 ATS off SU underdog win (Kansas State)... Worst: 2-17 ATS as favorites of less than 8 points if scored 35 or more points last game (Oklahoma).

    CUSA – Best: 16-4 ATS off double-digit loss (North Texas) ... Worst: 1-11 ATS as dogs versus opponent off SU underdog win (Texas San Antonio).

    Independent – Best: 7-1 ATS versus opponent off SUATS loss (Army) ... Worst: 5-13 ATS versus opponent off SUATS win (BYU).

    MAC – Best: 4-0 ATS off SU underdog win versus opponent off SU win (Eastern Michigan) ... Worst: 3-13 ATS off double-digit loss (Toledo).

    MWC – Best: 9-2 ATS as underdog versus opponent off SU loss (San Diego State) ... Worst: 1-7 ATS as favorites of more the 3 points versus opponents off ATS win (Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico).

    PAC 12 – Best: 9-1 ATS as underdogs off consecutive wins (Washington) ... Worst: 1-6 ATS versus opponents off SU underdog win (USC).

    SEC – Best: 16-4 ATS as underdogs of more than 4 points off a SU loss (Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina) ... Worst: 2-8 ATS as double-digit favorites off a double-digit SU win (Alabama, Mississippi State).

    Sun Belt – Best: 8-1 ATS as underdogs of 8 or less points versus .500 or greater opponents (Appalachian State, Arkansas State, La Lafayette) ... Worst: 1-6 ATS as favorites of more than 3 points (Troy).

    Second half ups and downs

    The bowl team whose second half overall stats (from Game 7 out as opposed to the first six games of the season) improved the most was Idaho (surprise), whose +116 net yards per game improvement tops the pack.

    Right on their heels was Appalachian State at +92 net yards per contest over the 2nd half of the season.

    The bowl team whose overall team stats regressed the most from Game 7 out was Florida, who slipped a whopping -137 net YPG during the 2nd half of the campaign.

    Nipping right on the Gators’ heels was Baylor as the Bears went backwards -135 net yards per game during their dramatic 0-6 SUATS season ending collapse.

    In the stats

    Speaking of stat performances this season, the best teams overall ITS (In The Stats) in games against fellow bowl teams was (no surprise) Alabama, who was 10-0 ITS.

    Other perfect ITS performers include Toledo (6-0), along with Houston and Miami Ohio (5-0 each).

    Bowl teams that were beat up ITS against other bowl teams were Maryland (0-7), along with Hawaii and Memphis (each 0-5).

    Tale of the tape

    Another interesting slant is weighing teams and their performance in games against other fellow bowl teams this season.

    The best bowl spread beaters against other bowl foes were Eastern Michigan and Temple, both going 5-1 ATS.

    The biggest bowl spread money loser was Maryland at 0-7 ATS.

    In games “In The Stats” (net overall yards versus opponent’s net overall yards), the biggest bowler Yards Per Game stat winner was Alabama (+247 net yards per game, with both Clemons and Louisville earning runner-up honors at +160 net YPG each.

    Pre-New Year’s Day bowlers that got trounced on the field, or the biggest Yards Per Game stat loser was Maryland at -199 net YPG, with Boston College and Wake Forest in the neighborhood at -162 and -156 net YPG respectively.

    You gotta be kidding

    Our well-oiled machine notes that if you were to simply pick the winner of a bowl game and you will likely beat the spread as well.

    That’s confirmed by the fact that straight up bowl winners are 737-117-12 ATS in all bowl games since 1980. Now go find a winner.

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    Heisman Trophy winners have led college football bettors to bowl riches

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson became just the 3rd college QB to pass for 30+ touchdowns and rush for 20+ scores in the same season, on his way to winning the Heisman.

    Having the best player in college football on your side is always a good thing, especially when betting bowl games.

    The bowl team claiming that season’s Heisman winner has won in eight of the last nine bowl games and covered in six of those games. (The Heisman winner has played two bowl games the last two years due to the College Football Playoff). That impressive run has not always been the case for the Heisman winners' team. While Heisman Trophy holders are 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS since 2009, their teams were a dismal 2-6 SU and ATS in the eight years previous.

    This season, Louisville's quarterback Lamar Miller took home the prize in impressive fashion and his Cardinals are presently 3.5-point underdogs versus the LSU Tigers in their Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl matchup. The total is presently 60.

    Here’s a look at Heisman winners since 2001 and how their teams made out in that season’s bowl game:

    2015 - Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (won 38-0 over Michigan State +10 in CFP semifinal, won 45-40 over Clemson +6 in CFP final)
    - Henry had a ho hum, 75 yards and two touchdowns in 'Bama's semi final throttling of Sparty, scoring the first and last scores of the game. He followed that up with a massive 158 yard three touchdown performance in last year's epic national title game versus Clemson, but the Tide were unable to cover the spread by a mere one point.

    2014 - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (won 59-20 over FSU +7.5 in CFP semifinal, lost 42-20 to Ohio State +6 in CFP final)
    - Mariota took reigning Heisman winner, Jameis Winson and Florida State to task in the first-ever College Football Playoff semi final game, throwing for 338 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 62 yards and a score on the ground in a rout of the Seminoles. However, the table were turned in the national title game, when they were thumped by Ezekiel Elliott and Ohio State rush offense that milked the clock for more than 37 minutes and rack up 284 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

    2013 - Jameis Winston, QB, FSU (won 34-31 over Auburn +8.5)
    - The Seminoles can thank Winston for this win as he led an incredible fourth quarter comeback to win the National title. The Heisman winner threw for two touchdown passes in the final 11 minutes to cap off a day where he went 20/35 with 237 yards, those two touchdowns and no interceptions.

    2012 – Jonny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (won 41-13 over Oklahoma -3)
    – “Johnny Football” lived up to being the first freshman to win the Heisman with a legendary performance in the Cotton Bowl. Manziel passed for 287 yards and two TDs while adding another 229 yards and two scores on the ground, giving the Aggies a one-sided victory over Oklahoma.

    2011 - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (won 67-56 over Washington -9.5)
    – The total of 80 points didn’t stand a chance in this game. Griffin threw for 295 yards with one rushing and one passing TD but Terrance Gannaway stole the show with five rushing TDs.

    2010 - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn (won 22-19 over Oregon -1)
    - Newton won himself and his Tigers a National Championship as time expired – and covered the spread. Newton completed 20-of-34 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and ran 22 times for 64 yards.

    2009 - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama (won 37-21 over Texas -3.5)
    – Ingram had 116 yards rushing on just 22 carries with two touchdowns. He was named offensive MVP of the game.

    2008 - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma (lost 24-14 to Florida +4.5)
    - Bradford was only mediocre, completing 26-of-41 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also picked off twice. The lackluster effort from the star was a big reason why the Sooners lost that national champ game.

    2007 - Tim Tebow, QB, Florida (lost 41-35 to Michigan -10)
    – The Gators went just 9-3 in ’07 and Tebow capped it a great effort in a losing bid in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan in Lloyd Carr’s last game on the sidelines. Tebow completed 17-of-33 for 154 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 57 more and another score.

    2006 -Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State (lost 41-14 to Florida -7)
    – This was a complete disaster for Smith. He completed just 4-of-14 passes for a pathetic 35 yards and he added both an interception and a fumble.

    2005 - Reggie Bush, RB, USC (lost 41-38 to Texas -7)
    – Bush has given back his Heisman now, as everyone knows, but he had 279 all-purpose yards in this game - 82 on the ground, 95 through the air, and 102 on kicks, and he scored once.

    2004 - Matt Leinart, QB, USC (won 55-19 over Oklahoma -1)
    - Leinart was brilliant in this national title game. He only completed 18-of-35 passes, but he made them count — he threw for 332 yards and five touchdowns.

    2003 - Jason White, QB, Oklahoma White (lost 21-14 to LSU -6.5)
    - The blame for this loss fell on White, who went just 13-of-37 for 102 yards and he threw two interceptions. He was also sacked seven times.

    2002 - Carson Palmer, QB, USC (won 38-17 over Iowa -4.5)
    - Palmer was solid in the win, with 303 passing yards on 21-of-31 passing with a touchdown in this Rose Bowl game.

    2001 - Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska (lost 37-14 to Miami +8.5)
    - Crouch ran 22 times for 114 yards, but completed just 5-of-16 passes for 62 yards.

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    Covers' College Football Bowl Betting Bible: Book IV - Tackling Travels

    The USC Trojans make a short trip down the street for the Rose Bowl while Penn State is crossing the entire country.

    The names are different but the situations stay the same.

    Each college football bowl season, select teams pack their bags and head off for their postseason matchup, giving sports bettors a fresh set of intriguing non-conference competitions. While there is an aura of the unknown when it comes to bowl teams – these programs don’t know much about each other – football bettors can find familiarity – and value – looking for teams in these certain situations.

    We break down some of the important factors to figure into your bowl betting this December with our Bowl Betting Bible.

    BOOK IV: BE MINDFUL OF MILES BURNED DURING BOWL SEASON

    Earning a spot on the college football bowl calendar is not only rewarding for the money poured into the program or the chance to play in a nationally showcased game.

    For many players, a bowl games means a chance to get outside of the norm – to get off campus and travel to far-off exotic places. For some teams, though, bowl season can often mean a two-hour bus trip down the highway, which has its positives and negatives.

    Some programs and their fan bases have the benefit of staying near campus for their bowl game, which means good ticket sales and a home-field advantage. However, sometimes not getting to travel for a bowl game is disappointing to players and can hurt their motivation heading in.

    There are a number of programs staying close to home this bowl season, none more than New Mexico and Hawaii – both hosting its respective bowl game in its home stadium.

    The Lobos take on Texas-San Antonio as 7.5-point favorites in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque – their second straight stint in that particular bowl. Last season, New Mexico lost 45-37 to Arizona but covered as 9-point underdogs at home in the New Mexico Bowl.

    The Warriors, meanwhile, face Middle Tennessee State, with that line off the board until the Blue Raiders iron out their QB issues. Middle Tennessee State is also covering the most miles this month, traveling 4,366 miles for the December 24 game in paradise.

    Another bowl competitor making a short trip this postseason is Central Florida, which could pretty much hold a half marathon and be at its bowl game at Camping World Stadium – a mere 18 miles (24-minute drive) from campus. In fact, that seems like a brilliant conditioning/bonding exercise for the Knights (Oh, how’d you guys get here? We ran…). Books have UCF sitting as a 5.5-point favorite versus Arkansas State in the Autonation Cure Bowl.

    The USC Trojans are only 11 miles from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, pegged as 6.5-point chalk versus Penn State, which is making one of the farthest hikes from home this bowl season. The Nittany Lions are traveling 2,559 miles from State College, PA for the 5 p.m. ET kickoff on January 2.

    Other teams putting some miles on the frequent-flyer card in the next month are Indiana (2,322-mile trip to Santa Clara, California to face Utah -7.5 in the Foster Farms Bowl), Minnesota (1,987-mile trip to San Diego to play Washington State -9 in the Holiday Bowl), and North Carolina (1,796-mile trip El Paso, Texas to take on Stanford -3.5 in the Sun Bowl).

    Measuring how much of a home-field edge teams will have for the true neutral-site games is tough. Looking back at road records is a good indicator of how a program performs out of its element but if you want to gauge how the percentage of school colors in the stands you should keep a close eye on ticket sales.

    Every bowl team is allotted a certain number of tickets to sell to its faithful. Often times, location (is it a vacation destination like Florida or California?), opponent (is it even worth going to see?), and time of the month (close to Christmas or New Year’s?) have a huge impact on whether fans will travel to the game or not.

    Heading into the first weekend of bowl action, Boise State has reported poor sales for its showcase against Baylor in the Cactus Bowl, which is being held in Phoenix, Arizona on December 27 – two days after Christmas. The school bought up 8,000 tickets, gave away roughly 2,000 and is having trouble selling off the remaining 6,000.

    Some friendly faces can go a long way when these programs hit the highway for their bowl games. That home-field feel may just be the difference when spreads get tight this postseason.

    Top 5 biggest travel differences

    1. MTSU will travel 4,366 miles more than Hawaii for the Hawaii Bowl
    2. Penn State will travel 2,548 miles more than USC for the Rose Bowl
    3. Indiana will travel 1,556 miles more than Utah for the Foster Farms Bowl
    4. Army will travel 1,544 more miles than North Texas for the Heart of Dallas Bowl
    5. Iowa will travel 1,138 more miles than Florida for the Outback Bowl.

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    80 need-to-know betting notes for 80 college football bowl teams

    Indulge me for a moment as I impart one piece of advice upon you before we dive into this year’s 80 need-to-know betting notes for each of the 80 college football bowl teams: above all else, put an increased emphasis on the motivation factor when handicapping each of these 40 matchups.

    Why? Because there’s some easy money to be made during bowl season. Every year we are blessed with at least a handful of matchups that feature one team experiencing unbridled enthusiasm to play in its respective game against an opponent that has virtually no interest whatsoever in trying to win the showdown in question.

    Case in point: Alabama’s 45-31 loss to Oklahoma in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. The Crimson Tide couldn’t have cared less about that game after watching an 11-0 season go up in smoke thanks to a 34-28 upset loss at Auburn which prevented the Tide from advancing to the SEC Championship Game.

    Let’s go to work. Happy holidays to all!

    Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Saturday, December 17 (2 p.m. ET)

    Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS): After six years of existence, UTSA is finally going bowling for the first time in school history. Motivation, dedication and focus will not be an issue. And it doesn’t hurt that the Roadrunners went 4-1 ATS over their final five games of the season.

    New Mexico Lobos (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS): The Lobos concluded the 2016 regular season with six wins over the program’s final seven contests, winning by an average of 14.5 points per game. However, be advised that New Mexico is just 2-6 ATS over its last eight games against C-USA opposition.

    Las Vegas Bowl: Saturday, December 17 (3:30 p.m. ET)

    Houston Cougars (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS): The Cougars covered the number just once over their final seven games and will play the Las Vegas Bowl without highly-regarded head coach Tom Herman, who jumped ship to Texas at the conclusion of the regular season. The upside? New head coach Major Applewhite was already on-staff serving as Houston’s offensive coordinator.

    San Diego State Aztecs (10-3 SU, 6-6 ATS): The Aztecs have one of the nation’s most explosive running backs in Donnel Pumphrey (2,018 rushing yards, 16 TDs), but be advised that head coach Rocky Long is just 3-7 both SU and ATS in bowl games. In addition, the Aztecs are just 2-9-1 ATS over their last 12 non-conference matchups.

    Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Saturday, December 17 (5:30 p.m. ET)

    Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS): The Mountaineers return to the site of their first ever bowl victory, which came in the form of a 31-29 thriller over Ohio last winter. Appalachian State enters the Camellia Bowl in white-hot fashion having won eight of its final nine contests by an average of 20.8 points per game.

    Toledo Rockets (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS): Toledo is making its sixth bowl appearance over the last seven years, with a 3-2 record during that span, which includes back-to-back straight victories. The Rockets are 8-0-1 ATS over their last nine non-conference matchups.

    AutoNation Cure Bowl: Saturday, December 17 (5:30 p.m. ET)

    UCF Knights (6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS): After a one-year hiatus, rookie head coach Scott Frost has Central Florida back in the postseason. Central Florida is 7-3 ATS over its last 10 games overall, but enters December having dropped each of its final two contests (35-20 vs. Tulsa, 48-31 at South Florida).

    Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS): A dreadful 0-4 start to the season (both SU and ATS) gave way to a 7-1 record down the stretch (6-2 ATS) as Arkansas State is going bowling for the sixth straight season. However, note that the Red Wolves are an abysmal 0-6 ATS over their last six non-conference matchups.

    R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Saturday, December 17 (9 p.m. ET)

    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (6-6 SU, 3-8 ATS): The Golden Eagles went 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS over their final seven games of the season, but produced a shocking 39-24 upset win over Louisiana Tech as 14.5-point underdogs in the season finale to get bowl eligible. Southern Mississippi has failed to cover the point spread in each of its last four bowl games.

    Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS): The Cajuns defeated Arkansas State (24-19, +5) and Louisiana-Monroe (30-3, -5.5) over the final two weeks of the season to earn the six victories necessary for bowl eligibility. Unlike Southern Mississippi, however, UL Lafayette is a perfect 4-0 ATS over its last four bowl appearances.

    Miami Beach Bowl: Monday, December 19 (2:30 p.m. ET)

    Central Michigan Chippewas (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS): The Chippewas dropped four of their final five regular season matchups and are 1-4 ATS over their last five games against teams with a winning record. But be advised that this Central Michigan program is 8-2 ATS over its last 10 non-conference showdowns and is looking to notch only the program’s fourth bowl victory since 1990.

    Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS): Tulsa covered the spread in six of its final seven regular season games thanks, in large part, to an offense that hung 40 or more points on the opposition in nine of 12 contests this past year. Additionally, the Golden Hurricane are 5-1 ATS over their last six bowl games.

    Marmot Boca Raton Bowl: Tuesday, December 20 (7 p.m. ET)

    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS): Head coach Jeff Brohm, who went 2-0 SU in bowl games at Western Kentucky with wins over Central Michigan and South Florida, has departed for Purdue, leaving the Hilltoppers in a tricky spot as new head coach and former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Sanford will be watching and evaluating from a distance. Western Kentucky concluded the season in spectacular fashion with a 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS mark over the program’s final seven outings, but note that the Hilltoppers are 0-4 ATS over their last four non-conference matchups.

    Memphis Tigers (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS): This is the fourth consecutive postseason appearance for the Tigers, who are a perfect 6-0 ATS over their last six showdowns with Conference USA opposition.

    San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Wednesday, December 21 (9 p.m. ET)

    BYU Cougars (8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS): This year’s Poinsettia Bowl will mark BYU’s 12th straight trip to the postseason. However, the Cougars have dropped each of their last three bowl games. The upside for BYU backers is the fact that this program is 4-0 ATS over its last four showdowns with Mountain West opposition.

    Wyoming Cowboys (8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS): This is Wyoming’s first bowl appearance since 2011, so you can expect a Cowboys roster full of first-time postseason participants to be highly motivated entering their matchup with BYU. The Cowboys covered in seven of their final nine regular season games, but are just 3-7 ATS over their last 10 non-conference matchups.

    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Thursday, December 22 (7 p.m. ET)

    Idaho Vandals (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS): Idaho enters bowl season on a four-game winning streak with seven consecutive point spread covers. And while this is the program’s first postseason appearance since 2009 and only third postseason appearance in school history, you have to wonder how excited these kids are to play in a bowl game that resides within state borders.

    Colorado State Rams (7-5, SU, 10-2 ATS): This game marks the fourth consecutive postseason appearance for the Rams, who lost to Nevada in last year’s Arizona Bowl by a final score of 28-23. However, be advised that Colorado State is 14-3-1 ATS over its last 18 non-conference matchups and 34-16-1 ATS over its last 51 games overall.

    Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Friday, December 23 (1 p.m. ET)

    Eastern Michigan Eagles (7-5 SU, 9-3 ATS): This is Eastern Michigan’s first bowl appearance since the 1987 California Bowl, which also happens to be the only other time the Eagles qualified for a bowl berth. Be advised that Eastern Michigan is 8-2 ATS over its last 10 games overall and 4-1 ATS over its last five non-conference matchups.

    Old Dominion Monarchs (9-3 SU, 8-3 ATS): These two teams have some recent history we can work with, as Old Dominion defeated Eastern Michigan during both the 2015 (38-34) and 2014 (17-3) regular seasons. The Monarchs’ motivation level should be through the roof for this game, as the 2016 Bahamas Bowl marks the first time in program history that Old Dominion will play in a bowl game.

    Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Friday, December 23 (4:30 p.m. ET)

    Navy Midshipmen (9-4 SU, 7-5-1 ATS): The early action is moving against Navy (from +3 to +4.5), which will once again be without quarterback Will Worth (foot) and running back Toneo Gulley (foot) thanks to injuries sustained against Temple in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. Take account of the fact that the Midshipmen are 0-4 ATS over their last four games against teams with a winning record.

    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS): The Bulldogs saw a seven-game winning streak turn into a two-game losing streak to conclude the season as Louisiana Tech was upset 39-24 by Southern Mississippi as 14.5-point favorites one week before falling 58-44 to Western Kentucky as 12-point underdogs. Despite the poor finish, however, the Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS over their last four bowl games.

    Dollar General Bowl: Friday, December 23 (8 p.m. ET)

    Troy Trojans (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS): Troy returns to postseason play for the first time since 2010 and first time under second-year head coach Neal Brown, who took a 4-8 squad from a year ago and transformed it into a 9-3 club this season. However, the Trojans dropped two of their final three games of the season, as 10-point favorites and 7-point favorites, respectively, and went just 2-5 ATS over their last seven contests overall.

    Ohio Bobcats (8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS): The Bobcats gave undefeated Western Michigan all it could handle in a 29-23 defeat in the MAC Championship game, but came through big time for backers who took the 16.5-point line. Ohio is 5-1 ATS over its last six neutral site games and 4-1 ATS over its last five showdowns with Sun Belt opposition. However, the key to remember for this matchup is the fact that the under has cashed in 12 straight Ohio games.

    Hawai’i Bowl: Saturday, December 24 (8 p.m. ET)

    Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (6-7 SU, 5-7 ATS): Hawaii’s last two trips to the Hawai’i Bowl (2008 and 2010) both resulted in losses, to Notre Dame and Tulsa, respectively. The good news for the Rainbow Warriors, however, is that this game marks the program’s first postseason bid since 2010, so we should be able to assume that motivation will not be an issue. Hawaii finished the regular season by failing to cover the spread in five straight games.

    Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-4 SU, 6-5-1 ATS): Middle Tennessee has notched just one bowl victory since 1960, which came in the form of a 42-32 win over Southern Mississippi in the 2009 New Orleans Bowl. The Blue Raiders are just 4-11-1 ATS over their last 16 games played on an artificial surface.

    St. Petersburg Bowl: Monday, December 26 (11 a.m. ET)

    Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS): One of the biggest mismatches on the board, Mississippi State owns 2016 victories over Texas A&M and Mississippi as well as close defeats against LSU and BYU. The big question here, however, is whether or not the Bulldogs even bother to show up for a December 26 bowl game against a MAC opponent. If the answer to that question is, “Yes,” watch out.

    Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS): The Redhawks turned a 0-6 start into a 6-0 finish that featured five pointspread covers. In addition, Miami (Ohio) is an impressive 7-3 ATS over its last 10 non-conference matchups.

    Quick Lane Bowl: Monday, December 26 (2:30 p.m. ET)

    Maryland Terrapins (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS): Neither one of these programs notched a victory over an FBS opponent that finished the season with a winning record. Maryland covered the number just once over its final five games and is 3-15 ATS over its last 18 games following a victory.

    Boston College Eagles (6-6 SU, 5-6-1 ATS): Boston College rides a two-game winning streak into the postseason, but is a horrific 1-6 ATS over its last seven bowl games.

    Camping World Independence Bowl: Monday, December 26 (5 p.m. ET)

    North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS): This is the third consecutive postseason appearance from the Wolfpack in four years under head coach Dave Doeren, who unfortunately saw his program drop five of its final seven contests this year. The upside? North Carolina State covered in three of its final four outings and is 10-2 ATS over its last 12 non-conference matchups.

    Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS): This is Vanderbilt’s first bowl game appearance since 2013 and first postseason bid under head coach Derek Mason. Take note that Vanderbilt notched huge upset wins over both Mississippi and Tennessee in the final two weeks of the regular season to get bowl eligible. This team has something cooking right now.

    Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Tuesday, December 27 (12 p.m. ET)

    Army Black Knights (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS): Between Army’s first win over Navy in 15 years coupled with the fact that the Black Knights are bowling for the first time since 2010 and third time since 1996, expect the motivation factor to be in overdrive for this one. Army is 4-1 ATS over its last five neutral site games and 9-4-1 ATS over its last 14 showdowns with C-USA opposition.

    North Texas Mean Green (5-7 SU, 6-5-1 ATS): The Mean Green are bowling for just the second time since 2004, but dropped four of their final five games to conclude the 2016 regular season. However, North Texas is 4-1 ATS over its last five non-conference games. North Texas defeated Army 35-18 as 17.5-point road underdogs on October 22. They played Over the 48-point total.

    Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman: Tuesday, December 27 (3:30 p.m. ET)

    Temple Owls (10-3 SU, 12-1 ATS): Temple may be the trickiest team to handicap this bowl season. On one hand, the Owls covered 12 consecutive pointspreads after falling to Army in the season opener. On the other hand, stud head coach Matt Rhule bounced after the AAC Championship game to take the top job at Baylor. We advise you exercise caution here.

    Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS): Wake Forest enters postseason play riding a three-game losing streak and is just 2-5 ATS over its last seven non-conference matchups. On the flip side, this is the Demon Deacon’s first bowl appearance since 2011.

    National Funding Holiday Bowl: Tuesday, December 27 (7 p.m. ET)

    Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4 SU, 4-5-3 ATS): If you’re wondering why this pointspread has already moved from Minnesota +5.5 to Minnesota +9, here’s your answer: 10 Gophers have been suspended for the Holiday Bowl, including starting defensive backs KiAnte Hardin and Antoine Winfield, Jr. That’s a dangerous recipe when you’re tasked with facing an opponent that ranked third in the country in passing this season (370.8 yds/gm).

    Washington Cougars (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS): The high-flying Cougars went just 2-5 ATS down the stretch and are a disappointing 1-4 ATS over their last five matchups with Big Ten opposition. The real concern here, however, is the fact that quarterback Luke Falk and the Washington offense scored only 17 or fewer points in two of their last three outings.

    Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Tuesday, December 27 (10:15 p.m. ET)

    Baylor Bears (6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS): Baylor was an atrocious 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS over the program’s final six games of the season, with four of those defeats coming by 19 or more points. However, bettors should expect a motivated roster for the Cactus Bowl thanks to the arrival of new head coach Matt Rhule (Temple), who will no doubt be evaluating which players he wants to utilize next season. Jobs are at stake here.

    Boise State Broncos (10-2 SU, 3-9 ATS): Boise State failed to cover the spread in six of its last seven games, but the Broncos are 6-2 ATS over their last eight bowl games and 18-8 ATS over their last 26 games played on a grass surface.

    New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Wednesday, December 28 (2 p.m. ET)

    Pittsburgh Panthers (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS): The Panthers stormed through the final stages of their 2016 regular season, covering the number in four of their last six outings while ripping off a three-game win streak that included victories over Clemson, Duke and Syracuse. However, it’s worth noting that Pittsburgh is just 1-4 ATS over its last five bowl games.

    Northwestern Wildcats (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS): Don’t let the 6-6 record fool you because Northwestern hung tough in several of those defeats, which includes a 24-20 loss at Ohio State. The Wildcats covered the spread in six of their final eight games and are 5-0 ATS over their last five showdowns against programs from the ACC.

    Russell Athletic Bowl: Wednesday, December 28 (5:30 p.m. ET)

    Miami Hurricanes (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS): This line has moved from Miami -1 to Miami -3 for a real good reason, as head coach Mark Richt is a career 9-5 in postseason play, with high-profile victories over Florida State (2003 Sugar Bowl), Virginia Tech (2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl) and Michigan State (2009 Capital One Bowl). Additionally, Miami closed out the 2016 regular season on a 4-0 ATS run.

    West Virginia Mountaineers (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS): West Virginia is a suspicious 1-6 ATS over its last seven bowl games and 6-14 ATS over its last 20 showdowns with ACC opposition.

    Foster Farms Bowl: Wednesday, December 28 (8:30 p.m. ET)

    Indiana Hoosiers (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS): The Hoosiers played a very competitive brand of football this year and are returning to the postseason for just the third time since 1993. However, note that Indiana is 0-4 ATS over its last four neutral-site games and covered the number just twice over its final seven contests of the season.

    Utah Utes (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS): The early action for the Foster Farms Bowl supported Indiana, but that doesn’t change the fact that Utah is 5-1 ATS over its last five bowl games and 6-0 ATS over its last six matchups with Big Ten opponents. Additionally, the Utes covered the number in four of their final five contests this season.

    AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: Wednesday, December 28 (9 p.m. ET)

    Texas A&M Aggies (8-4 SU, 4-8 ATS): The wheels came off the bus for the Aggies down the stretch, as Texas A&M turned a 6-0 start into a 2-4 finish that included eight straight point spread defeats. Additionally, the Aggies are just 3-7 ATS over their last 10 bowl games.

    Kansas State Wildcats (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS): Since returning to the Kansas State sidelines as head coach in 2009, Bill Snyder is just 1-5 in postseason play. As if that fact wasn’t already daunting enough, the Wildcats are an abysmal 1-7 ATS over their last eight bowl games.

    Birmingham Bowl: Thursday, December 29 (2 p.m. ET)

    South Carolina Gamecocks (6-6 SU, 5-6 ATS): Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks have a bad taste in their respective mouths after falling 56-7 to in-state rival Clemson in the season finale. Is there any gas left in the tank, or will South Carolina pack up shop and start looking ahead to 2017?

    South Florida Bulls (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS): The Bulls are 15-6-1 ATS over their last 22 games overall, but bettors should exercise caution in their handicapping here. Head coach Willie Taggart bolted for the Oregon job, so the possibility exists that his former players mail this one in. On the other hand, new head coach Charlie Strong (Texas) will be keeping a close eye on which players show up and make a strong case for playing time next season.

    Belk Bowl: Thursday, December 29 (5:30 p.m. ET)

    Arkansas Razorbacks (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS): Which Arkansas team will show up for the Belk Bowl: the one that defeated Florida and TCU or the version that got smoked by Auburn and LSU? Note that the Razorbacks are just 3-8 ATS over their last 11 neutral site showdowns.

    Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS): The Hokies concluded their 2016 campaign with a 2-1 SU and perfect 3-0 ATS record, with that lone defeat coming by way of a 42-35 loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship game. Take note that Virginia Tech is 7-3 ATS over its last 10 games played in the month of December.

    Valero Alamo Bowl: Thursday, December 29 (9 p.m. ET)

    Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS): Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has won four of his last six bowl games and has guided the Cowboys to a 4-1 ATS mark over his last five matchups against teams with a winning record.

    Colorado Buffaloes (10-3 SU, 10-3 ATS): After covering the number in 10 of their first 11 games this season, the Buffaloes failed to beat the spread in each of their final two contests. Whether or not the bookmakers have caught up to this squad is a good question. Another good question would be asking whether or not this team was crushed by missing out on the Rose Bowl after getting shellacked by Washington 41-20 in the Pac-12 title game.

    AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Friday, December 30 (12 p.m. ET)

    Georgia Bulldogs (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS): The Bulldogs brought down the curtain on the 2016 regular season with three wins over the team’s last four outings, including a 13-7 upset of Auburn as 10-point underdogs. Former Georgia head coach Mark Richt was a beast in bowl games (7-3 ATS over his last 10), but will new boss Kirby Smart be able to keep the tradition alive in his first career postseason appearance as a head coach?

    TCU Horned Frogs (6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS): With this line currently residing at a pick ‘em at most shops, it’s worth noting here that head coach Gary Patterson is 8-2 in his last ten bowl games.

    Hyundai Sun Bowl: Friday, December 30 (1 p.m. ET)

    Stanford Cardinal (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS): After a brutal 41-38 overtime loss to Oklahoma State in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, Stanford head coach David Shaw has guided the Cardinal to victories in three of the program’s last four postseason appearances, which includes two Rose Bowl wins. Additionally, note that Stanford is 20-9 ATS over its last 29 games overall and 6-1 ATS over its last seven bowl games.

    North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS): The Tar Heels are 0-5 ATS over their last five neutral site games and dropped two of their final three matchups down the stretch (28-27 at Duke, 28-21 vs. N.C. State) as double-digit favorites, which prevented North Carolina from landing a much more coveted bowl game. Will the Tar Heels be ready to play considering the way the team came unglued at the end of the year?

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Friday, December 30 (3:30 p.m. ET)

    Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3 SU, 6-4 ATS): In 12 years on the job at Oregon State, head coach Mike Riley went an impressive 6-2 in postseason play, which carried over into his first year at Nebraska in 2015 when the Cornhuskers defeated UCLA 37-29 in the Foster Farms Bowl. Combine a high-level postseason coach with a motivated program that is 9-3 ATS over its last 12 games played in the month of December and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success.

    Tennessee Volunteers (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS): Tennessee’s miraculous 5-0 start went south in a hurry as the Volunteers dropped four of their final seven games, which includes losses against South Carolina and Vanderbilt, while failing to cover the point spread in four of the program’s last six contests. Whispers are beginning to intensify in Knoxville as to head coach Butch Jones’ future and the team’s season-finale upset loss to in-state rival Vanderbilt didn’t help matters. This is a fade pure and simple.

    Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Friday, December 30 (5:30 p.m. ET)

    Air Force Falcons (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS): Total bummer of a situation for an Air Force program that won nine games, which included a five-game winning streak to conclude a season that culminated with a 27-20 upset win over Boise State as 7.5-point underdogs. The Air Force roster is not happy with how this all shook down and it’s tough to blame them. So the big question that remains is whether or not the Falcons even bother to show up here.

    South Alabama Jaguars (6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS): The Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl marks just the second postseason berth in school history for the Jaguars, who have never tasted bowl game success. However, you can’t help but consider the fact that South Alabama is just 8-24 ATS over its last 32 games overall.

    Capital One Orange Bowl: Friday, December 30 (8 p.m. ET)

    Michigan Wolverines (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS): Don’t expect a letdown from Michigan following that much-debated Ohio State loss, as the Wolverines are guided by the country’s top motivator in Jim Harbaugh, who is 2-1 lifetime in postseason play (1-1 at Stanford, 1-0 at Michigan). However, the public absolutely loves to wager on Harbaugh and company, so don’t expect any value when it comes to the point spread, as evidenced by the fact that the Wolverines are 2-4 ATS over their last six games overall and 3-8 ATS over their last 11 contests played on a grass surface.

    Florida State Seminoles (9-3 SU, 7-4 ATS): The Seminoles absolutely love bowl season, as Florida State is 8-2-1 ATS over its last 11 postseason matchups. In addition, the Noles are 5-1 ATS over their last six non-conference games and 4-1 ATS over their last five contests overall.

    Taxslayer Bowl: Saturday, December 31 (11 a.m. ET)

    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-4 SU, 6-4-1 ATS): Give any defense a month to prepare for Georgia Tech’s triple option attack and suddenly the Yellow Jackets don’t look so formidable. However, this program is still 4-1 ATS over its last five matchups with SEC opposition, 4-1 ATS over their last five games played in the month of December and 4-1-1 ATS over the team’s last six neutral site games. However, the Yellow Jackets are just 2-6 ATS over their last eight bowl games.

    Kentucky Wildcats (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS): The Taxslayer Bowl marks Kentucky’s first postseason appearance since the 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl (27-10 loss vs. Pittsburgh), so expect Mark Stoops’ troops to be riding high with both emotion and motivation for this one. The Wildcats covered the number in seven of their last nine outings this season.

    Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Saturday, December 31 (11 a.m. ET)

    LSU Tigers (7-4 SU, 5-6 ATS): Coach O is safe and his players are happy, so there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever for LSU to come out flat in this one. After a slow start under former head coach Les Miles, the Tigers picked up the pace during the latter part of the season with five point spread covers over the program’s final seven contests.

    Louisville Cardinals (9-3 SU, 5-6-1 ATS): Louisville’s ultra-impressive 9-1 start went flying off the tracks during the final two weeks of the season as the Cardinals were blasted 36-10 at Houston nine days before falling 41-38 at Kentucky as 28.5-point favorites. So with a potential playoff berth giving way to a December 31 bowl game, do the Cardinals have any desire whatsoever to show up for this contest? Be advised that Louisville is just 1-4 ATS over its last five games against teams with a winning record.

    Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Saturday, December 31 (3 p.m. ET)

    Washington Huskies (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS): The Huskies opened as 14.5-point underdogs and it’s been nothing but Alabama money since, with the line sitting at Crimson Tide -15 as of this article’s publication. Washington head coach Chris Petersen is the real deal due, in part, to a 6-3 lifetime bowl record (5-2 at Boise State, 1-1 at Washington). The Huskies are 6-1 ATS over their last seven non-conference games, but does Washington have the beef in the trenches to hang tight with the Tide?

    Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0 SU, 9-4 ATS): Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide are 6-2 ATS over their last eight games overall and 13-6 ATS over their last 19 non-conference showdowns. In addition, Saban is 7-3 in postseason play since taking over at Alabama, but you can eliminate the 2009 Sugar Bowl (31-17 loss vs. Utah) and 2014 Sugar Bowl (45-31 loss vs. Oklahoma) from the equation, as Alabama couldn’t have cared less about those games after missing out on a chance to play for the national championship.

    PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: Saturday, December 31 (7 p.m. ET)

    Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS): How do you bet against Urban Meyer in this spot, who is 10-2 lifetime in postseason play (2-0 at Utah, 5-1 at Florida, 3-1 at Ohio State)? Additionally, the Buckeyes are 5-0 ATS over their last five neutral-site games and 4-0 ATS over their last four non-conference showdowns.

    Clemson Tigers (12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS): Clemson may have concluded the 2016 campaign with just two pointspread covers over the program’s final seven contests, but take note that the Tigers are a perfect 5-0 ATS over their last five bowl games.

    Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Monday, January 2 (1 p.m. ET)

    Western Michigan Broncos (13-0 SU, 9-4 ATS): This is the biggest bowl game in the history of Western Michigan football, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not head coach P.J. Fleck will have his team ready to play. What you may need to worry about, however, is the size and strength advantage Wisconsin will possess in the trenches. Still, Western Michigan is a perfect 4-0 ATS over its last four games against Big Ten opposition.

    Wisconsin Badgers (10-3 SU, 9-3-1 ATS): The Badgers are a ridiculously profitable 11-3-1 ATS over their last 15 games overall and a picture-perfect 5-0 ATS over their last five encounters with MAC opponents. But after watching a six-game winning streak evaporate in the Big Ten Championship game against Penn State after leading 28-7 late in the first half, you can’t help but wonder whether or not the Badgers are properly motivated for this matchup.

    Outback Bowl: Monday, January 2 (1 p.m. ET)

    Florida Gators (8-4 SU, 4-7-1 ATS): Florida’s final two games of the 2016 season featured a step up in competition that the Gators handled rather poorly courtesy of a 31-13 defeat at Florida State one week before a 54-16 slaughtering at the hands of Alabama. However, despite the fact that Florida is an abysmal 0-7 ATS over its last seven non-conference matchups, the Gators are 5-2 ATS over their last seven bowl games and 6-2 ATS over their last eight neutral site showdowns.

    Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS): The Hawkeyes concluded the 2016 campaign with a three-game winning and covering streak that came against Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska, so it’s safe to say that Iowa is feeling the mojo right about now. However, be advised that head coach Kirk Ferentz is on a four-game bowl losing streak, not to mention the fact that Iowa is just 1-4-1 ATS over its last six neutral site matchups.

    Rose Bowl: Monday, January 2 (5 p.m. ET)

    USC Trojans (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS): Talk about a couple of teams that caught fire at the right time. As it pertains to the Men of Troy, USC is riding an eight-game winning streak in which the Trojans have defeated the opposition by an average of 19.8 points per contest. Additionally, the Trojans are 6-0 ATS over their last six games overall, but 1-4 ATS over their last five matchups with Big Ten opposition.

    Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2 SU, 9-3-1 ATS): A 49-10 loss at Michigan on September 24 was the last time this Penn State program tasted defeat, as the Nittany Lions enter the Rose Bowl on a nine-game winning streak that featured eight point spread covers. But does James Franklin’s squad have both the manpower and firepower to hang with the white-hot Trojans? This should be a good one.

    Allstate Sugar Bowl: Monday, January 2 (8:30 p.m. ET)

    Auburn Tigers (8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS): This game features one of the bigger line moves of bowl season to date, as Auburn has already been adjusted from +6 to +3. The good news for the Tigers is the fact that quarterback Sean White (shoulder) and defensive backs Joshua Holsey (ankle) and Johnathan Ford (ankle) are listed as probable for the Sugar Bowl. In addition, Auburn is 4-1 ATS over its last four bowl games and 5-0 ATS over its last five non-conference matchups.

    Oklahoma Sooners (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS): In classic Bob Stoops fashion, the Sooners turned a rocky start (1-2) into a tremendous finish (9-0) that featured three consecutive point spread covers to close out the season. However, bettors must take into account the fact that Oklahoma is 0-6 ATS over its last six neutral site games, 0-5 ATS over its last five non-conference games and 3-7 ATS over its last 10 bowl games.

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