Happy New Year's Eve! Today we have a loaded slate with three bowl games, seven NBA games and 20-plus college hoops matchups. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, including a breakdown of the 14-game college hoops slate, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the smart money is flowing for today's three bowl games...
12 p.m. ET: Mississippi State vs Tulsa
This is the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl and it will be played outdoors at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. On paper, this looks like a massive mismatch. Mississippi State is just 3-7, although they finished the regular season on a high note, beating Missouri 51-32 as 1.5-point home dogs. On the flip side, Tulsa is 6-2 and ranked 24th overall. The Golden Hurricane hung tough with Cincinnati in the AAC championship game, losing 27-24 but covering as 13.5-point dogs. This line opened with Tulsa listed as a short 3-point favorite. The public is all over Tulsa, yet we've seen this line fall to 1.5 or even 1 at some shops. This signals sharp reverse line movement on Mississippi State. Tulsa will miss star linebacker and Nagurski award winner Zaven Collins, who opted out and has declared for the draft. Weather could play a factor in this game. The forecast calls for rain and 15-20 MPH winds. Sharps have hit the under, dropping the total from 50 to 45.
2 p.m. ET: Ball State vs San Jose State
This is the Offerpad Arizona Bowl and will be played outdoors at Arizona Stadium. Ball State (6-1) is riding high after upsetting Buffalo 38-28 as 12.5-point dogs to win the MAC championship. Now they face their toughest test yet. San Jose State (7-0) is undefeated and ranked 22nd overall. The Spartans beat Boise State 34-20 to win the Mountain West championship, winning outright as 6.5-point dogs. This line opened with San Jose State listed as a 7-point favorite. Pros and Joes are both siding with the Spartans, which has pushed this line up to -9.5. The public is hammering the over, yet this total has remained frozen at 64 or even dipped slightly to 63.5. This signals some liability on the under. The under is 6-1 in San Jose State games this season. The under is 4-3 in Ball State games.
4 p.m. ET: West Virginia vs Army
This is the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and it will be played outdoors at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. West Virginia (5-4) started the season 3-1 but went just 2-3 the rest of the way, including a 42-6 loss to Iowa State their last time out, failing to cover as 6-point road dogs. Meanwhile, Army (9-2) finished the regular season on a three-game win streak, most recently beating Air Force 10-7 and winning outright as 2.5-point home dogs. This line opened with West Virginia listed as a 7.5-point favorite. Bets are split down the middle and the public doesn't know who to take. However, we've seen this line fall to 7 or even 6.5 at some shops, signaling pro money grabbing the points with the Black Knights. We've also seen respected money hit this under, dropping the total from 43 to 41. The forecast calls for rain and 10-15 MPH winds.