It's the most wonderful time of the year ... bowl season! With plenty of betting opportunities among college football bowl games, our experts -- Adam Burke, Bruce Marshall, Tim Murray, Wes Reynolds, Danny Burke and Matt Youmans -- are here to tell you which games they like.
Here is our 2021-22 running college football bowl best bets guide. We'll update this file often, including adding games as they get close to kick, and adjusting picks for injuries, line movement, opt-outs and everything else that comes with handicapping a game in 2021.
Bowl record ATS: 20-24-3
NOTE: Odds listed at time picks were posted. For updated bowl game odds, click here.
Tuesday, Jan. 4
Texas Bowl: LSU vs. Kansas State (-7, 47.5)
9 p.m. ET
A. Burke: One of the recurring themes this bowl season has been not having enough bodies available to play because of COVID. For LSU, it may be because of opt-outs. The QB position is an enormous question for the Tigers going into the bowl game. Max Johnson is now at Texas A&M and the Tigers don’t want to have to burn the redshirt of freshman Garrett Nussmeier. Myles Brennan withdrew from the transfer portal, but he is not expected to start, as he has not played all season.
Offensive line coach and interim head coach Brad Davis has a tough call to make. The QB position isn’t the only one of concern. Multiple players across multiple positions have either opted out or will transfer, including linebacker Damone Clark and defensive lineman Neil Farrell Jr. LSU is also missing some assistant coaches.
We’ve seen the SEC no-show in a few bowl games already and this could be another one. Kansas State actually boasts a big yards per play advantage, having gained 6.22 yards per play and having allowed 5.31 YPP. LSU. meanwhile, has a negative yards per play differential, albeit at just -0.05. With the opt-outs, that may magnify some of their concerns.
Even with the players that won’t be there for the Tigers, they should still be the faster, more athletic team. However, they are unlikely to be as prepared or as focused as Kansas State. The Wildcats ran for almost five yards per carry. Motivation typically shows up as effort in the trenches. Kansas State may very well win the line of scrimmage here.
LSU is rumored to be down more than half of their scholarship players for a variety of reasons. The line obviously reflects that. This could very well be the biggest no-show of the season.
After putting so much into the losses to Alabama and Arkansas, and then rallying for that win over Texas A&M, I don’t think this game means anything to the Tigers and it will show. Not to mention, they don't even really have a quarterback.
Pick: Kansas State -7