2021 College Football Bowl Season: Best Underdogs to Bet On
If you are the type of bettor who loves betting on favorites, this article is not for you. Unless you want to fade me, of course. But that’s your prerogative. This article is about me giving you my best underdog bets for the upcoming bowl season. These selections have exactly what I look for in teams during bowl season, and we are getting some pretty great lines to boot. I hope if you tail these selections that we can make some money together and have a very profitable Bowl Season. Good luck.
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Oregon State Beavers vs Utah State Aggies +7, 67
It’s not every day you can get nearly a touchdown with a team that finished the regular season with a 10-3 record. The Utah State Aggies were one of the better stories this season as they were incredible on offense, to the point where they ranked 28th in total yards per game, 24th in passing yards per game and 31st in points scored per game. They were able to navigate a very tricky Mountain West Conference schedule and even went on to pull off the upset in the MWC Championship Game, beating San Diego State 46-13 as +6-point underdogs. The Aggies now get to play in a decent bowl game – The Jimmy Kimmel Bowl, at SoFi Stadium – and the opportunity to post their program’s best-ever record is something that the Aggies are eager to do. Standing in their way are the Oregon State Beavers, who finished the season with a 7-5 record and were, at times, extremely poor on both sides of the football. Oregon State’s game is predicated on the run game, where they rank 21st overall, running for 217.4 yards per game. I’m not sure they’ll be able to run the ball effectively against the Aggies defensive line. And if that’s the case, the Beavers simply don’t have the quarterback or playmakers on the outside to keep up with the Aggies offense. This is far too many points to be getting with the better team, and we are going to be all over it.
Pick: Utah State Aggies +7
Wyoming Cowboys vs Kent State Golden Flashes +2, 59.6
I touched on this game in my Bowl Season Strategies piece. If you want to see my tips for handicapping bowl games, check it out. In that piece (spoiler alert), I wrote that Kent State is 30 hours away from Boise, where this game is being played, while the Cowboys are just 10 hours away in Laramie. Travel matters for bowl games, and it should be handicapped as such. However, that is only a piece of the puzzle. You still have to handicap the game from an Xs and Os perspective. And when you do that, you see that Kent State’s best unit is their offense and Wyoming’s best unit is their defense. So, this game will likely come down to which team gets to dictate the game and win in the trenches. Personally, in Bowl Games, I will always side with the offense as they know exactly which routes to run, and they should be able to get to their spots a little easier than in a normal, meaningful regular-season game. The Golden Flashes average nearly 500 yards of offense (12th), including 242.8 yards on the ground (ninth). They should be able to take advantage of a Cowboys’ defense that ranks 179th in run defense, giving up 169 yards per contest. I know it’s hard to ignore the travel, but Kent State is the better overall team, and I’ll take them at plus money in this one.
Pick: Kent State +2
Memphis Tigers vs Hawaii Warriors +7, 58.5
Remember in the above paragraph when I wrote it’s imperative to handicap travel? Well, this game is one of those games where travel cannot be overlooked for a few reasons. The first reason is that this is essentially a home game for Hawaii as this game takes place in Honolulu. Second, the teams are nearly mirror images of each other on both sides of the ball, ranking out about the same in all major offensive and defensive categories. Hawaii defended the island relatively well this season, posting a 4-2 record, whereas Memphis posted a 1-4 record on the road. I wouldn’t put it past Memphis to show up in Hawaii, soak in a little too much sun and come out flat in this contest. Hawaii has won their last two Bowl games and three of the last four, while Memphis has won just one of its last six appearances in a bowl game. Give me the home side in this one.
Pick: Hawaii +7
Arkansas Razorbacks vs Penn State Nittany Lions -2, 47
This is the first college football game of 2022 as the Outback Bowl sees No. 21 Arkansas take on Penn State at 12 p.m.. I like the Hogs in this contest for a few reasons. The first reason is they are relatively close to where the venue is in Tampa Bay, and Penn State fans don’t travel all that great. From a football perspective, Arkansas had a hell of a season as many of the pundits picked them to finish near the bottom of the SEC. They finished 39th overall in total yards, which included 22nd overall in rushing yards at 213.5 per game. They are better in every offensive category than Penn State besides passing yards, and defensively these two teams are nearly equal. This is a huge game for Arkansas, as this game not only caps off what has been a brilliant season by their standards, but it will serve as a momentum builder into what’s to come next season. Penn State had a very up and down season, and I just don’t see them being sharp enough, or good enough, to win this game on a neutral field.
Pick: Arkansas +2
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