Youmans: Four bowl game CFB bets I like

December 27, 2021 09:54 PM
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Alamo Bowl, Wednesday

Opting out of bowl games has become a trend for players and teams, either because of COVID or NFL Draft reasons. Bob Stoops is jumping back into college football this month for the right reasons.

Stoops, the winningest coach in Oklahoma history, has come out of retirement to lead the Sooners against Oregon on Wednesday in the Alamo Bowl. After former coach Lincoln Riley left for the USC job, Stoops immediately showed his loyalty to a program in need of a shot of positive vibes.

When handicapping this chaotic bowl season, personnel matchups and statistical analysis take a back seat to emphasizing the importance of motivation and location. This will be a special game for Stoops and the Sooners’ players, who want to win for their legendary coach. The San Antonio setting will mean a pro-Oklahoma crowd.

The motivation for Oregon might be lacking. Three days after the Ducks were blown out by Utah in the Pac-12 title game, coach Mario Cristobal took his talents to South Beach for the Miami job. Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux declared for the NFL Draft and could be the No. 1 pick.

The best player on the field should be Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, who won the starting job in October and accounted for 24 touchdowns (18 passing, six rushing). Williams and Stoops will likely lift the Sooners to victory against a lame-Duck team.

Pick: Oklahoma -4.5

First Responder Bowl, Tuesday

Air Force (%plussigh% 1.5) over Louisville: The triple-option offense is always difficult to defend and no team runs it more effectively than Air Force. The Falcons’ 341 rushing yards per game led the nation in the regular season. The Cardinals are favored due mostly to Malik Cunningham, one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks, but it seems the wrong team is favored.

Holiday Bowl, Tuesday

North Carolina State-UCLA (Over 59.5): The Padres showcased an explosive offense during the MLB season, and these teams should put on another show at Petco Park in San Diego. The Bruins follow the lead of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the most experienced starting quarterback in the Pac-12. Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet helped UCLA average 49.3 points in its last three games. Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary has 35 touchdown passes this season and packs the firepower to light up the Bruins’ soft defense.

Music City Bowl, Thursday

Tennessee (-5) over Purdue: The Boilermakers won eight games and opened as the favorites in this bowl, but that was before their top two players — defensive end George Karlaftis and wide receiver David Bell — declared for the draft and opted to sit this one out. The motivation and location edges go to first-year coach Josh Heupel and his Volunteers in Nashville.

Last week: 2-1

Western Kentucky (W), Utah State (W), San Diego State-UTSA Under (L), Memphis -7 (game canceled)

Season: 31-23-1

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Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

NFL Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

CFB Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

View more CFB tools for Pro subscribers

View more NFL tools for Pro subscribers

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Follow The Money: Consider schedules before betting on a team. What happened before and what is coming up can impact if a team is worth backing. Like SEA hosting CAR (off their bye) with SF in Week 15.  View more tips.

The Greg Peterson Experience: Have a value in mind for a dropoff to a backup quarterback from the starter, as many QBs are injured at this time of the season. View more tips.

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Dave Tuley: Saints +3.5. ​​​View more picks.

Greg Peterson: Troy +16 vs San Diego St. ​​​View more picks

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Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

NFL Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

CFB Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

View more CFB tools for Pro subscribers

View more NFL tools for Pro subscribers

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VSiN PrimeTime: Be aware of injuries on the offensive line, skill positions get the most publicity, but if an elite tackle is out it could have a huge impact on the game. View more tips.

A Numbers Game: If you’re just getting into soccer betting, make sure you know exactly what you’re betting. i.e. Double chance, to win, to advance, etc. View more tips.
 
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Chuck Edel: Kansas State +2.5 vs TCU. View more picks.

Kenny White: Fresno State +3 vs Boise St. View more picks.
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