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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Colorado Buffaloes Bowl Game Pick: December 29th 2016

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Colorado Buffaloes
Bowl Game Pick: Colorado -3 (December 29th 2016)
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Certainly both teams are coming off deflating losses with conference championships at stake. So you have to try and figure out which team will be more motivated to be playing in this ‘lesser’ bowl game. And I think it’s pretty clear to see that Colorado will be the more motivated team.

The Buffaloes will be going to their first bowl game since 2007. It’s been nearly a decade since their last bowl game, so they will be excited to be here either way. In fact, if you would have given them a No. 10 ranking and 10 wins coming into the season, they would have taken it. So I don’t think they are disappointed at all that they’re not going to the Rose Bowl, which is where they would have been if they beat Washington.

Conversely, Oklahoma State is used to going to bowl games. It will be thoroughly disappointed that it fell just short of winning the Big 12 with a loss to Oklahoma in the season finale. The Cowboys would much rather be playing in the Sugar Bowl like Oklahoma is. They will be less motivated than Colorado as a result.

And just strictly from a matchup standpoint, I like Colorado as well. They have the better defense and it’s not really even close. The Buffaloes only allow 20.5 points, 327 yards per game and 4.7 yards per play this season. The Cowboys give up 28.1 points, 457 yards per game and 6.0 yards per play on the year.

One thing that is getting overlooked here is Colorado senior quarterback Sefo Liufau. The Buffaloes went 10-3 this season, but in all three of their losses, Liufau was injured and didn’t play the whole game. Those losses came to Michigan, USC and Washington, which are three of the top teams in the country. And the Buffaloes gave both USC and Michigan runs for their money. The loss to Washington was a bit fluky because the Buffaloes just gave that game away with turnovers.

Oklahoma State relies heavily on its passing attack, which averages 322 yards per game. Well, Colorado has one of the best pass defenses in the country. The Buffaloes only allow 47.9% completions, 181 passing yards per game and 5.4 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks. They also rank 7th nationally with 26 takeaways. There is NFL talent all over this secondary, and they have the goods to stop Mason Rudolph.

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While these teams have similar records, the one thing that can’t be argued is that Colorado played the much tougher schedule.  The Buffaloes faced the 8th-toughest schedule in the country, while the Cowboys faced the 61st.  I think the Cowboys get exposed here just as they did last year in their 20-48 loss to Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.

The Buffaloes are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall. Colorado is 7-2 ATS in its last nine vs. a team with a winning record. I think the Buffaloes come into the bowl season still undervalued because they didn’t look good in that loss to Washington, which was the only game they didn’t look good all season. They will get back on track with a big effort against the Cowboys here.  Bet Colorado Thursday.

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Minnesota vs. Washington State Holiday Bowl Over-Under & Point Spread Pick: December 27th 2016

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Washington State Cougars – 7:00pm ET December 27th 2016

Point Spread: Washington State is an 8.5 point favorite against Minnesota in the 2016 National Funding Holiday Bowl. The over/under for this game is 61 points. (Note: Line opened at WSU -5.5)

Public Perception: 65% of the wagering public is betting that Washington State will cover the point spread against Minnesota. 66% believe that this game will go over the total of 61 points.

Recent Performance: Minnesota finished their season out 5-2 with a loss in their last game against the Wisconsin Badgers by a score of 31-17 as a 14 point underdog. The week prior to that, they beat Northwestern by a score of 29-12 as a pick. Washington State finished out their year on an 8-2 winning streak, losing their last two games which were against Washington and Colorado by respective scores of 17-45 and 24-38.

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Side Betting Trends: Washington State is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. Washington State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten. Minnesota is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Minnesota is 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following a straight up loss.

Over/Under Betting Trends: Under is 4-0-1 in Cougars last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home. Under is 4-0 in Cougars last 4 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. Under is 4-0-1 in Cougars last 5 games following a straight up loss. Under is 6-2 in Golden Gophers last 8 non-conference games. Under is 9-3 in Golden Gophers last 12 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Under is 12-5 in Golden Gophers last 17 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. Under is 7-3 in Golden Gophers last 10 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.

Head-to-Head Betting Trends: No Trends Available

The Cougars look to finish the year with a win as they face Minnesota in the National Funding Holiday Bowl in California on December 27th. The Cougars bounced back from two early losses to be a contender in their conference before finishing with back-to-back losses to CU and WASH, while the Golden Gophers will play in a bowl for a fifth straight year. On paper, Minnesota should have a tough time slowing down Washington’s pass offense, which led the Pac-12, but we feel this game will have slower tempo than expected, giving the Gophers a chance for a late point spread cover.

Betting Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers +8.5
Over-Under Pick: Under 61 points

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Baylor vs. Boise State Point Spread Pick: December 27th 2016

Baylor Bears vs. Boise State Broncos
Bowl Game Betting Pick: Baylor +7.5 points (December 27th 2016)
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The betting public wants nothing to do with the Baylor Bears right now. They have lost six straight games coming into the postseason. Jim Grobe is coaching his last game here as he is a lame duck. It will be Matt Rhule coming in from Temple to try and turn the program around next year. I think this awful public perception of this team is providing us some line value with this 7.5-point spread.

Player for player, Baylor is the more talented team in this matchup. And while they lost their final six games, the schedule was extremely tough, and they weren’t overwhelmed aside from the loss to TCU. They also lost to the likes of West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas during that six-game skid with four of the losses coming on the road.

But Baylor actually outgained two of those six opponents, and they were outgained by only 32 yards by Texas Tech, by 46 yards by Kansas State and by 49 yards by Oklahoma. That game against Oklahoma was much closer than the 24-45 final score, and it showed they could play with a top team. The 14-17 loss to WVU as 17-point road dogs in the finale also showed that the Bears have not quit.

Star wide receiver KD Cannon, who has 73 receptions for 989 yards and 11 touchdowns this year, has actually guaranteed a victory in this game. I like that mindset, and it shows that they care. Freshman QB Zach Smith was put into a tough spot but has held up well with 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns against six interceptions down the stretch against that tough schedule.

“I’m very excited for our players to have an opportunity to play in the Cactus Bowl against a great football team in Boise State,” Grobe told reporters. “I think our guys are looking forward to coaching these kids and getting them ready for a bowl game. So I feel good about playing in a bowl game. This is going to be it for me, so I’d like to win it for sure.”

Boise State’s 10-2 record is certainly inflated due to playing such a soft schedule. They lost to both Wyoming and Air Force. Their best win was a 31-28 victory over Washington State as 13-point favorites. They had so many shaky efforts in victory, including a 5-point win over Colorado State as 28-point favorites and a 1-point win over BYU as 7-point favorites. The Broncos went just 3-9 ATS in their 12 games this year, time and time again being overvalued.

The Broncos have been susceptible to the run this season, giving up 180 yards per game and 4.4 per carry. Boise State is 3-12 ATS versus good rushing teams who average 4.75 or more yards per carry over the last three seasons. Baylor averages 250 rushing yards per game and 5.1 per carry.  The Bears rank 5th nationally in total offense at 523.3 yards per game as well. They have a three-headed attack at running back, led by Terence Williams (945 yards, 11 TD, 5.9/carry).

The general public thought Baylor didn’t want to be in the bowl last year against North Carolina. But that was far from the case as the Bears racked up 756 total yards in a 49-38 win as 3-point dogs against the Tar Heels. They rushed for 645 yards in that game alone, and they should have plenty of success on the ground against Boise State in this one as well.  Bet Baylor in the Cactus Bowl Tuesday.

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Ohio vs. Troy Dollar General Bowl Over-Under & Point Spread Pick: December 23rd 2016

Ohio Bobcats vs. Troy Trojans – 8:00pm ET December 23rd 2016

Point Spread: The Troy Trojans are a 6.5 point favorite over the Ohio Bobcats in the 2016 Dollar General Bowl. The over/under for this game is 49.5 points. (Note: Troy opened up as a 4.5 point favorite)

Public Perception: 56% of the wagering public are betting that the Trojans will cover the point spread against the Bobcats. 55% believe that this game will go over the posted total of 49.5 points.

Past Performance: The last time these two teams took to the field was in 2010. Troy was installed as a 2 point chalk and the over/under for this game was 56.5 points. The Trojans won the game by a score of 48-21.

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Side Betting Trends: Troy is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. Troy is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. Troy is 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. MAC. Ohio is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games. Ohio is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. S-Belt. Ohio is 24-9 ATS in their last 33 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.

Over/Under Betting Trends:
Under is 6-2-1 in Trojans last 9 games overall. Under is 8-2-1 in Bobcats last 11 neutral site games. Under is 19-7 in Bobcats last 26 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. Under is 18-7-1 in Bobcats last 26 games following a ATS win. Under is 35-16-2 in Bobcats last 53 games overall.

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Head-to-Head Betting Trends: None Available

  • Quick Fact: Since giving up 56 points to Texas State in a 3 overtime game in the first game of their season, Ohio has held every opponent to fewer than 30 points on defense.

Betting Pick: Ohio Bobcats +6.5
Over-Under Pick: Under 49.5 points

BYU vs. Wyoming Poinsettia Bowl Game Point Spread Pick from Jack Jones: December 21st 2016

BYU Cougars vs. Wyoming Cowboys
Poinsettia Bowl Game Pick: BYU -10.5 points (December 21st 2016)
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There is really a massive gap in talent here as the BYU Cougars should be better than the Wyoming Cowboys at almost every position in this game. That’s why I’m willing to lay 10.5 points here. And the Cougars won eight games this season against a ridiculously tough schedule.

Indeed, the Cougars had to play the likes of Arizona, Utah, UCLA, West Virginia, Michigan State, Toledo, Mississippi State, Boise State and Cincinnati in their first nine games to open the season. Amazingly, the Cougars were oh so close to being a 12-0 team as their four losses came by a combined eight points. They came to Utah (by 1), UCLA (by 3), WVU (by 3) and Boise State (by 1).

I have to give credit to Wyoming because it did have a great turnaround season, but I’m pretty sure that BYU will now be the best team that the Cowboys have faced this season. This is a Wyoming team that lost to Nebraska by 35 and New Mexico by 21. They also had bad losses to both Eastern Michigan and UNLV this season.

I realize that BYU will have to go with its backup quarterback here after Taysom Hill went down in the last game with a season-ending injury for the fourth time in five years. Fortunately, the Cougars have one of the most experienced backups in the country in sophomore Tanner Mangum.

Mangum completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 3,377 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a freshman while replacing Hill last year. Mangum also saw action in the team’s final three games of the season, completing 14-of-18 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, so he comes in with plenty of experience.

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This game will come down to which team stops the run better. Wyoming’s Brian Hill rushed for 1,767 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. But BYU has a rush defense that ranks 8th in the country, allowing just 108.4 yards per game and 3.4 yards per carry. The Cougars also only allow 19.4 points per game and 364 total yards per game.

BYU senior Jamaal Williams rushed for 1,165 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing three of the last five games with an ankle injury. Now he’s in line for a huge game against a Wyoming defense that gives up 34.8 points per game, 464 yards per game and 6.6 yards per play. The Cowboys also give up 203 rushing yards per game and 5.3 per carry. Look for the Cougars to score at will in this one.

BYU is 6-0 ATS in non-conference road games this season. The Cougars are 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games after allowing 125 or fewer rushing yards in four straight games. BYU is 4-0 ATS in its last four vs. MWC opponents. The Cougars have gone 7-0 SU & 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Cowboys are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.  Bet BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl.

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Memphis vs. Western Kentucky Boca Raton Bowl Over-Under & Spread Pick: December 20th 2016

Memphis Tigers vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers – 7:00pm ET December 20th 2016

Point Spread: Western Kentucky is a 7 point favorite against Memphis in tonights Boca Raton Bowl. The over/under betting total for this game is set at 80 points. (Note: total opened at 77)

Public Perception: 55% of the wagering public is betting that the Hilltoppers will cover the point spread against the Tigers. 57% believe that this game will be a high scoring affair and go over the posted total of 80 points.

Recent Performance: Memphis finished out the season with wins over Houston and Cincinnati. The Tigers were a six point underdog against Houston and won by a score of 48-44. Prior to that, they came off the field with an easy win against Cincinnati by a score of 34-7 as a 7 point favorite. Western Kentucky played LT in their last game of the season and won by a score of 58-44 as a 12 point favorite, this was one week after a decisive victory over Marshall by a score of 60-6 as a 28 point chalk.

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Side Betting Trends: Western Kentucky is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win. Western Kentucky is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. Western Kentucky is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Western Kentucky is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Memphis is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win. Memphis is 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. Memphis is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.

Over/Under Betting Trends: Over is 12-3-1 in Hilltoppers last 16 vs. a team with a winning record. Over is 7-2 in Hilltoppers last 9 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. Over is 7-2 in Hilltoppers last 9 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. Over is 6-2 in Hilltoppers last 8 games overall. Over is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Over is 12-4 in Tigers last 16 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. Under is 8-3 in Tigers last 11 games on grass.

Head-to-Head Betting Trends: None Available

Betting Pick: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -7
Over-Under Pick: Over 80 points