Bowl dogs went a perfect 2-0 on Thursday as Louisiana Tech upset Miami-Florida 14-0 as a 6.5-point dog and Eastern Michigan fell to Pittsburgh 34-30 but covered as a 12.5-point dog. Dogs are now 8-5 ATS (61.5%) this bowl season.
Now it's on to the biggest Friday Night Lights of the season. We have five bowl games on tap today, with the all-day sweat starting at noon ET and going through midnight.
For an updated breakdown of all of today's Bowl Games, in addition to today's 6 NBA games, 11 NHL games and 2 College Basketball games, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Now let's discuss where the action is flowing for all five of today's bowl games.
12 p.m. ET: North Carolina (6-6) at Temple (8-4)
The Military Bowl takes place at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. North Carolina hails from the ACC and had to win their final two games to qualify for a bowl game, beating Mercer 56-7 as 38.5-point favorites and NC State 41-10 as 11-point favorites. The Tar Heels went 6-5-1 ATS, averaging 31.25 PPG on offense and giving up 24.58 PPG on defense. Temple hails from the American Athletic Conference and won three of their last four games, beating Connecticut 49-17 as 27-point favorites. The Owls went 8-4 ATS, averaging 27.42 PPG on offense and giving up 23.5 PPG on defense.
The line opened with North Carolina listed as a 6-point favorite. Despite two-thirds of bets backing North Carolina, the line has fallen to 5.5. It has even reached 4.5 at times during the week. This sharp reverse line movement signals pro action on the dog with liability on the Owls. Bowl dogs against teams who missed Bowl Games the previous year have gone 75-53 ATS (59%) since 2003 according to Bet Labs Sports. Temple would qualify for this system as UNC missed the postseason last year. The total opened at 52.5 and has risen to 53.5, signaling some sharp action to the over. The forecast calls for high 40s and 5 MPH winds. Both teams are 6-6 to the over this season.
3:20 p.m. ET: Michigan State (6-6) vs Wake Forest (8-4)
The Pinstripe Bowl takes place in Yankee Stadium. Michigan State started the season 4-1 and then lost lost 5 straight before bouncing back to win their final two games and qualify for a bowl game. The Spartans went a putrid 3-9 ATS, averaging 22 PPG on offense and allowing 22.67 PPG on defense. Wake Forest started the year 7-1 but stumbled down the stretch, going 1-3 in their final four games. The Demon Deacons went 5-6-1 ATS, averaging 32.75 PPG on offense and allowing 29.25 PPG on defense.
The line opened with Michigan State listed as a 3-point favorite. The public doesn't know which way to go and spread bets are split right down the middle. However, the line has risen to MSU -4, signaling sharp action on the Spartans. In a vacuum, a line shouldn't move at all if the tickets are even. Two thirds of bets are taking the under, yet sharp money has pushed the total up from 49 to 50. The forecast calls for high 40s and 7-8 MPH winds. Both teams are 7-5 to the under.
6:45 p.m. ET: Oklahoma State (8-4, ranked 25) at Texas A&M (7-5)
The Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl pits a ranked Big 12 opponent against an unranked SEC challenger. Oklahoma State lost to Oklahoma 34-16 as 14-point dogs in their season finale, snapping a 4-game winning streak. The Cowboys were kind to bettors this season going 9-3 ATS, averaging 33.42 PPG on offense and allowing 27 PPG on defense. Texas A&M had a disappointing year and ended the season on on a two-game losing skid, falling to Georgia 19-13 (but covering as 12-point dogs) and then losing to LSU 50-7 (failing to cover as 17.5-point dogs). The Aggies went 7-5 ATS, averaging 30 PPG on offense and allowing 22.67 PPG on defense.
This line opened with Texas A&M listed as a 4.5-point favorite. The public can't believe the ranked team is getting points against an unranked team and a majority of bets are backing Oklahoma State. However, in a classic Pros vs Joes matchup, wiseguys are laying the points and backing the Aggies, pushing the line all the way up to -5.5. The line even reached 7 before some Oklahoma State buyback hit the market. Unranked teams vs ranked teams have been a profitable bet in bowl games due to increased public bias, going 52-42 ATS (55.3%) since 2005. The total opened is 53.5 and has ticked up slightly to 54. The forecast calls for low 70s, high 60s and 7-8 MPH winds. Both teams have been profitable to the under, with Oklahoma State 7-5 and Texas A&M 7-4-1.
8 p.m. ET: USC (8-4, ranked 22) vs Iowa (9-3, ranked 16)
The Holiday Bowl takes place at SDCC stadium, formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium, the old home of the San Diego Chargers. It features two ranked teams and takes place in primetime on Saturday night, which means it will be the most heavily bet game of the day and a prime betting against the public opportunity. USC hails from the Pac-12 and finished the season strong, winning their final three games including a 52-35 victory over UCLA as 13.5-point favorites. The Trojans went 7-5 ATS, averaging 33.17 PPG on offense and allowing 27.75 PPG on defense. Iowa finished third in the Big Ten west, also winning their final three games including a 27-24 win over Nebraska but failing to cover as 4-point favorites. The Hawkeyes went 5-7 ATS, averaging 23.83 PPG on offense and only allowing 13.17 PPG on defense. This is a classic case of a good offense (USC) against a good defense (Iowa).
This line opened with Iowa listed as a short 1.5-point favorite. Some books opened closer to a pick'em or Iowa -1. The betting public is split down the middle but sharps have sided with the Hawkeyes, pushing the line up to -2. When two ranked teams go head-to-head in a Bowl Game the dog has gone 69-57 ATS (54.8%). The total opened at 51.5 and has risen to 52.5. The forecast is clear: mid 50s with 3-5 MPH winds. The over is 7-4-1 in USC games but the under is 8-3-1 in Iowa games.
10:15 p.m. ET: Washington State (6-6) vs Air Force (10-2)
The Cheez-It Bowl takes place at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Washington State had an up-and-down year, starting 3-0, then going 1-5 before ending the season 2-1. The Cougars went just 4-8 ATS, averaging 39.17 PPG on offense and giving up 31.42 PPG on defense. Air Force went 7-5 ATS and won their final seven games of the season, averaging 34.33 PPG on offense and giving up only 19.75 PPG on defense.
The line opened with Air Force listed as a 2.5-point favorite. The public is leaning slightly to Air Force and the line has touched 3 and fallen back to 2.5. This signals all liability on the Falcons. The Cougars have the benefit of experience as they're appearing in their 5th straight bowl game. Pros and Joes are both hammering the over, pushing the total up from 67 to 69. The over is 7-5 in Washington State games and 6-6 in Air Force games.