College Football Picks: NCAA Bowl Team Props Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 12/22/2010
There is kind of a cool prop that a few books are running is odds on right now: which team will score the most points in a bowl game during a certain stretch of games. There are no games on Christmas and then things really get going on New Year’s Eve, so let’s take a look at the Dec. 26-30 stretch and which school might be your best value bet with some college football picks and predictions. These college football odds are courtesy of BetUS.
I’m a bit surprised the favorite is Maryland at +300 against East Carolina in the Military Bowl on Dec. 29. Yes, it is a de facto home game for Maryland as it’s being played at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., which is about 10 miles from the Terps’ campus. And, yes, the East Carolina defense is atrocious, as it is allowing averages of 43.4 points and 478.8 yards this season. And the Pirates allowed an average of 54.8 points per game in their final five. Overall ECU ranked third from last in the NCAA this season in scoring defense.
But how focused can Maryland be after losing offensive coordinator James Franklin (and some other assistants) to Vanderbilt and the fact that head coach Ralph Friedgen is out after this bowl game? Maybe they will play loose and with nothing to lose for Friedgen. The Terps did score 62 points twice this season but ranked just 42nd overall in scoring at 30.7 ppg.
The second-favorite makes more sense to me: Oklahoma State at +350 against Arizona in the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. The Cowboys ranked first in the nation in total offense, second in passing and third in scoring at nearly 50 points per game. And you know that QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon want to have big games to improve their draft stock – both reportedly are on the fence about declaring for the NFL Draft. Blackmon seems a lock to declare. Plus this game is in the dome so you don’t have to worry about weather. And offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen also might want to go out with a bang, as he will call the plays on the OSU sideline for a final time before leaving for West Virginia.
However, Arizona has a decent defense – it held Oregon in check for a half before losing, 48-29. That unit ranks No. 32 in the nation in scoring defense in allowing 21.6 ppg. I might recommend taking Arizona at +1000 against that lousy OSU defense. Remember that the Cowboys allowed 47 to Oklahoma in the regular-season finale and gave up 51 to Nebraska. And Arizona can score with anyone at times behind QB Nick Foles.
Next in line for the shortest odds is Nebraska at +500 against Washington in the Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl in San Diego. I really don’t like this bet at all. The Huskies played much better at the end of the year, winning three in a row to get bowl eligible. The Huskers struggled offensively in three of their final four games, losing two of them. No doubt Nebraska is getting such low odds because they already beat Washington, 56-21, earlier this season in Seattle. Frosh QB Taylor Martinez went wild in that one for the Cornhuskers, but he hasn’t been the same player since the start of November.
I think your best bet is either Arizona at +1000 or whomever you think wins what should be a Texas Bowl shootout in Houston between Illinois and Baylor. Behind QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor (+600 to win this prop) averaged nearly 33 points this season and was 12th nationally in total yards per game (478.5). He faces an Illinois defense that allowed 67 points to Michigan and 38 to lowly Minnesota. On the other hand, Illinois (+800) scored at least 34 points in five of its final six games and Baylor allowed 55, 42 and 53 points, respectively, in its final three games.
Yep, the winner of this prop will come from one of those two Texas bowl games.
Most Recent College Football Handicapping
- Potential College Football Start Options During Covid-19 Pandemic
- 2020 Heisman Trophy Predictions
- National Championship Game Picks for Clemson vs. LSU
- Strong Underdogs for Bowl Game Betting: Possible Moneyline Paydays
- Expert College Bowl Game Handicapping: Coaching Uncertainty
- NCAA Bowl Game Wagering: Toughest Games to Handicap
- College Bowl Game Betting Advice: Biggest Mismatches
- NCAA Football Betting Odds: Championship Week Line Movements & Last-Minute News
- Pac 12 Championship Game Picks: Oregon vs. Utah
- College Football Betting Advice: Wagering on Championship Week Games