Best College Bowls Ranked – Betting Preview | Odds & More
Valero Alamo Bowl – Iowa St. Cyclones vs. Washington St. Cougars
If you like fireworks with your football, the Valero Alamo Bowl sure promises plenty. Two offensive machines like Iowa State Cyclones and the Washington State Cougars are set to end their 2018 College Football season on Friday, December 28th. It’s the perfect appetizer before the big boys take on the field for the College Football playoffs the next day. The Cougars currently 3.5 point favorites for this game at MyBookie.ag. The betting line opened with Washington State as 6.5 point favorites, but 68% of betting public quickly jumped on the Cyclones. The line dropped three points which is more than the usual. By the time of the kickoff, I expect it to be less than a field goal. The game total is at 55 points. It opened at 54.5.
If you have been following my College Football picks all season you know we have been on the Washington State Cougars bandwagon during 2018. More often than not crazy uncle Mike Leach and mustache savant Gardner Minshew made us money. A lot of money. The Cougars covered the spread for us 10 of the 12 games they play this season. No other team in the entire College Football landscape reached double-digit wins against the spread this year. Their secret was an interesting playcalling under Leach. They are heavily leaned towards the passing game, and it’s beautiful.
Washington averaged 379.8 passing yards per game, more than all teams in the entire FBS. And senior Gardner Minshew was a stud all year, posting 4477 yards, 36 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. Minshew became a social media sensation with what some call a goofy mustache. I just call it beautiful. He will be on his last game dressed as a Cougar, and I’m sure he would love to end his College career putting on a show.
Iowa State closed the season eight wins in their last nine games inside the Big 12. The only loss they had during that span was against Texas. They even took down West Virginia, who was ranked sixth in the nation by the time they met. The Cyclones I’m sure are not impressed with Washington State’s attack. They live in the Big 12 where absurd passing numbers are recorded every weekend. Iowa State was an underdog six times this season, and they covered the spread in four of those six games.
The difference with what Iowa State will go against at the Alamo Bowl, and what they face in their conference is that Washington State doesn’t care about a balanced attack. They will throw it on every down if they have to and that’s very difficult to stop. This will be a high scoring showdown, and in those games, I can’t go against the Cougars. What’s the play? Washington -3.5.
Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl – Florida Gators vs. Michigan Wolverines
Before the College Football playoffs, it’s not a bad way to start the day with the excellent matchup between the Florida Gators and the Michigan State Wolverines at the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Jim Harbaugh hasn’t been able to lead the Wolverines to the final four. A bowl win could close out what is perhaps his best season since he took over the program. MyBookie.ag listed Michigan as a 7.5-point favorite for this meeting against Florida. The betting line opened at 6-points, but 58% of the betting public took the Wolverines. This made the line to move up. The game total is at 51 points after it opened at 50.5 points.
A win over Florida won’t heal the broken hearts of the thousands of Michigan fans. They saw their team get their butt whooped by Ohio State the regular season finale. The scenario was too familiar for the Wolverines. There was a lot of expectation before the game and a bigger disappointment after it. What a win over the Gators would do is give Michigan fans a little to embrace the season. The Wolverines only lost two games in the entire regular season.
First, it was the season opener against Notre Dame and the second, the season finale against the Buckeyes. The Irish made it to the College Football playoffs, and Ohio State was just right there. Those are not entirely bad losses for Michigan. Their defenses especially will have something to prove after allowing 62 points against their hated rival in a big showdown. I’m thinking many of their veterans players would love to leave with a better showing in the last game of the season. Those 60 points they gave up doesn’t define a defensive unit that allowed only 17.6 points per game as an average in 2018.
I’m not a huge fan of Florida this season. They had mixed results the entire year. There were those impressive wins against LSU and Mississippi State. And then, there were disappointing performances against Kentucky, Georgia, and Missouri. When betting a game involving Michigan, I feel like I know who they are. They might lose or win, but I know what they bring to the table. I can’t say the same about Florida. The Gators can play a game for the ages any given weekend and then look utterly inept the following weekend.
I just can’t trust them. Let’s swallow the points and bet the team that has been the better of the two the entire year. Remember, Michigan’s loss against Ohio State was horrible for the program. Unlike Florida, the Wolverines have something to prove at the Peach Bowl. What’s the play? Michigan -7.5.
Playstation Fiesta Bowl – LSU Tigers vs. UCF Knights
The UCF Knights have been undefeated for the last two seasons in a row, but they don’t get any respect. It’s time to go get it when they clash against the LSU Tigers at the Fiesta Bowl. The oddsmakers at MyBookie.ad don’t even give the Knights any respect either. Let’s think about this, UCF is the team with the better-ranked position; yet they are a 7.5-point dog in this one. LSU opened as an 8-point favorite. Right now 55% of the betting public has sided with the Tigers. The game total opened at 54.5 points now is at 55.5.
The fans of Central Florida had a Championship parade last season. They were the unbeaten team that was not selected for the College Football playoffs in 2017. A year later the situation repeats itself. The Knights’ social media accounts all posted “National Champs” when they finished the 2018 regular season as undefeated. The rest of the nation thinks it is cute. But here’s where they really make a case for themselves.
Beating LSU will actually say out loud that they actually deserve a shot at playoffs. Last season they beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl, but repeating against LSU looks like a harder task. I’m convinced despite the last two seasons UCF ended undefeated, the last year’s team had a lot more talent. LSU doesn’t care about the Knights storyline. They will look to finish the 2018 season with a win. Their last regular season game was an insane 74-72 loss to Texas A&M in a game that needed seven overtimes to find a winner. For the entire season, we believed LSU had a good to excellent defense. Allowing 72 points from the Aggies say otherwise. It’s not actually about the 72 points per se, but the fact that they were not able to stop Texas A&M.
UCF averages 44.2 points per game this season, but they only faced one ranked team all season. That’s actually the case the committee had against them whenever people talked about the Knights not getting a shot at the playoffs. I still think their offense is good enough to stay in the game against LSU. The Tigers average 34.6 points per game, but they don’t have a player that stands up from the rest. It’s more of a team effort based on a solid running game and a defense that has a lot to prove after allowing an insane number against Texas A&M.
This game should be fun to watch. The 7.5-point-spread looks a little too high for my taste. That half a point over the touchdown is valuable. A team like UCF is not used to losing. I’m sure many have forgotten how it feels to lose a game. LSU wins this one, but it will be closer than a touchdown difference. What’s the play? UCF +7.5.
Rose Bowl – Washington Huskies vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
After missing the cut of the College Football playoffs, the Ohio State Buckeyes will try to remind the committee they made a mistake when selecting the best teams in the nation. A win over the Washington Huskies at the Rose Bowl would do just that. Ohio State opened as a 5-point favorite for this game, but the betting line felt a little too low. MyBookie.ag currently has the Buckeyes as a touchdown favorite, and I can see the odds going up before the kickoff. 69% of the public loved what Ohio State did to Wolverines and are taking the favorites Buckeyes to cover the spread. The game total is at 58 points. It opened at 58.5.
Let’s be clear about something, although the Buckeyes posted a 12-1 record this season, it didn’t feel anywhere near dominant as other years. Yet, it’s pretty easy to fall in love with Ohio State again after they destroyed the Michigan Wolverines in the Big Ten regular-season finale. It’s not only about beating a hated rival but putting 62 on them is the sweet part. For Ohio State is also about giving a grand farewell to their head coach Urban Meyer.
He will be leading the team for the last time before hitting retirement. This matters because despite the rest of the College Football nation hates Meyer and the way he handled their off the field issues. They love him at Columbus. The Buckeyes have a lot to prove. Sophomore QB Dwayne Haskins was not close of winning the Heisman Trophy despite his insane numbers this season. Haskins threw for more than 4580 yards, 47 touchdowns, and only eight picks this season. He is baller waiting for his time to shine at a big stage. This is it.
Washington was out of the College playoffs conversation early in the season after losing the opener against Auburn. They also dropped games as favorites against Oregon and Cal this season. They were pretty much a team that had some really off nights before earning their best win of the year in the regular season finale against Washington State. That night the snow helped their way. The Huskies followed it with a win against Utah in a low scoring Pac-12 title game.
What bothers me about betting on Washington is they don’t have the team to stay on pace Ohio State if the game starts going in the high scoring direction. The Huskies can only win with a good defense, and the Buckeyes have seen all type of defenses this season. Purdue was the only one who slowed down Dwayne Haskins. I’m taking the Buckeyes to win by double-digits while sending Urban Meyer to retirement with a victory. What’s the play? Ohio State -7.
Allstate Sugar Bowl – Texas Longhorns vs. Georgia Bulldogs
I’m here to tell you Georgia is one of the best four teams in the nation and Texas is about to find out why. Not having the Bulldogs in the College playoffs is a travesty, and they are looking for some sort of payback with the next team in line. The bad news for the Longhorns is they are that team. MyBookie.ag has Georgia as an 11.5-point favorite for the Sugar Bowl. The game opened at 11 points, and it has moved half a point. I won’t be surprised if this line keeps moving up by the start of the game. The total is currently 58 points. It hasn’t moved.
Look I love watching Big 12 football. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and for those of us who love points, it has fireworks all over the place. But these Big 12 schools are no match for the SEC teams. Oklahoma will quickly realize that when they meet Alabama in the College Football playoffs. And so will Texas. The Big 12 conference is not used to playing against so many playmakers on defense. Georgia has NFL talent on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense. The Bulldogs defense is the reason Alabama’s QB Tua Tagovailoa didn’t win the Heisman Trophy. Tua was such an overwhelming favorite to win it before he hit a wall facing Georgia in the SEC Championship game.
Now, Texas is nowhere near as talented as Bama on offense. In fact, for a Big 12 school, the Longhorns are pretty weak on offense. They only scored 27 points over Oklahoma’s porous defense in the Conference Championship game. In their last three outings, they failed to reach the 30 points. Georgia is a school that averages 39.5 points per game this season inside a conference that actually makes an effort to play defense. Sophomore QB Jake Fromm is no longer a game manager. He has thrown seven touchdowns without an interception in his last two games. One of those opponents was the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide.
For the Bulldogs was a massive disappointment to let the SEC championship game slip away, and someone has to pay the consequences. After facing Alabama’s talented defense, they will soon realize Texas is no match for their power. I feel sorry for Texas’ fans who want the program to be back on top. The Longhorns are making progress under coach Tom Herman, but they are still far away. This game shouldn’t be close. What’s the play? Georgia -11.5.