The college football season flew by, and here we are with a very enticing card for the final couple of days of Bowl games.
Follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow — for betting analysis throughout both NFL and CFB season. One quick note if you aren’t following on Twitter, you really need to be. In Week 6 we had Penn State (+110) on the moneyline for 1-unit, which looked good up 17-3 early. But it was obvious when the QB got injured that PSU was not going to be able to hang on and win that game. I tweeted out that we’d be switching sides at halftime, locking up some nice profit on Iowa (+165) for 2-units. While the article will give my favorite plays, we need to keep our heads in the game.
Let’s make some money on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Rutgers vs. Wake Forest
This game was slapped together last minute with Texas A&M bowing out due to COVID issues. Rutgers wasn’t even Bowl eligible this season, and hadn’t been preparing for a game. I can’t imagine they will be prepared, and they have to have some COVID cases with all the players thinking the season was over and spending time over the holidays home with family and friends. The red flag here on Wake is that they might be a little letdown not getting the big SEC opponent it wanted. It also had limited time to prep for Rutgers. I still think it’s a blowout but I can’t lay all the points with this growing spread.
My lean: I feel the only way I’m willing to attack this one is playing the over on a growing Wake team total. Wake TT O39.5 or nothing for me here. If you’re building a parlay with some heavy favorites, Wake is safe.
Penn State vs. Arkansas
You’ll notice motivation is a big theme for me in my Bowl plays. I’m not sure how motivated Penn State is for this one. James Franklin should be feeling very comfortable after signing his long-term extension to remain the head coach of PSU. Penn State’s elite WR Jahan Dotson has opted out of the game to prepare for the NFL Draft, taking away a crucial part of the offense. Not to mention, this team really limped to the finish line in the regular season.
Then we have Arkansas, who exceeded all expectations this season. An SEC team that played the most difficult schedule in college football this season, and a hungry team on the come up. I expect the hogs to be the much more prepared team, and win this game.
My play: We’ve seen plenty of movement here. Personally, I’m on ARK +3 and +130 ML. But I gave out a 2-unit play on Twitter at EV when Dotson opted out. If you haven’t bet the game yet, I’m fine playing the Hogs on the ML up to -130 or -2.5 on the spread.
If you follow my college football content, you know I don’t like Notre Dame. Generally, a fraudulent program that lets down in big moments. The Irish generally are much worse than their reputation. However, I absolutely love this spot for them.
Brian Kelly quit on this team, and the senior leadership spoke out about who they wanted as their next coach — an internal hire in Marcus Freeman. They got their guy, and the Irish are going to show up and play for him in this game.
What I don’t like about this game is that two key pieces for ND have opted out. DB Kyle Hamilton and RB Kyren Williams will not play. That hurts, but the Irish still have enough here. Oklahoma State has a very solid and veteran defense, but so do the Irish. OK State just has a dreadful offense, and the end of their season in the Big-12 title game was such a letdown. This is more of a bet on the spot, and the Irish are in a much better spot.
My play: With the ML sitting at just -125 on DK Sportsbook, I’ll get involved for 2-units rather than lay any points.
This isn’t the most exciting game of the day, nor one that I’ll be betting very big. Iowa was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country this season, which is laughable. Iowa has a strong defense, but really struggles to score. Kentucky is pretty solid itself on defense, but the Wildcats can actually score some points. Long story short, Iowa would’ve been a much worse team than Kentucky in the SEC in my judgement. The Wildcats opened a dog here and the line has been on the move since.
My play: When the bowl games opened, I did play Kentucky in a pick’em for 1.25-units. Small play, but I think the Wildcats are the right side. The -145 ML/-3 spread is about the limit I would go to on them, and for no more than a unit. I have much more confidence in other sides in these New Year’s Day games.
Utah vs. Ohio State
This is the game I’ve been pumping up for almost four weeks. We talk about spots and motivation, everything about this Rose Bowl points to Utah winning this game. Utah finished the season 10-3 and PAC-12 champs, but went 9-1 with Cam Rising as the QB. Had the Utes not started the season with Charlie Brewer and gone 1-2, this could be a College Football Playoff team.
Utah plays extremely physical on both sides of the ball, and I can’t imagine Ohio State wants any of that. The Buckeyes had dreams of a National Title, not winding up in a New Year’s Day Bowl. I expect some lack of motivation in this one, while Utah will come ready to play. As expected Ohio State is already seeing some opt outs, including from a pair of potential first-round WRs.
Utah absolutely dominated Oregon twice this season, a Ducks team that won on the road at Ohio State. Buckeyes are overrated and have no reason to care. Don’t be surprised by the Utes winning by double digits.
My play: I’ve been all over Oregon in this one from the jump. I’m already in for 3-units on +7, 0.5-units on +225 ML and 1-unit on +200 ML. The good news for you if you’re not in already is that this game is still very playable. Utah is winning outright, so grab the dog. I honestly believe the Utes should be favored in this game.
Baylor has been a really tough team for me to gage this season, which has left me off this game for the time being. But it looks like Matt Corral is going to play in this game, which means Ole Miss will wind up being the side I’m on. Pretty simple cap on the game, but this Ole Miss offense should be a lot for Baylor to handle, and I don’t think the Bears will be able to keep up. The Rebels can get it done through the air and on the ground, and seem to be motivated to win. As Allan Bell pointed out to me on the Unreasonable Odds podcast, Lane Kiffin receives a $100,000 bonus for each non-conference win. His track record shows he puts the work in for these games, and with good reason.
My lean: I’ll likely get in on the Ole Miss ML before it moves. Anything better than -125 works for me.
College Football Playoff
Cincinnati vs. Alabama
I’m holding a few pretty large tickets for ‘Bama to win it all, so I’m pretty involved in this game. Cincy is an interesting matchup here, as the Crimson Tide can really move the ball through the air, but will be up against a couple of NFL-caliber cornerbacks. We know how Alabama can play in these games, so I can’t lay nearly two touchdowns here. That said, ‘Bama is winning this game — better coached and just too much talent.
My play: I do have Alabama as the last leg of a few parlays, including some posted to twitter. Still time to use them as a piece. But we know the trend that’s been paying us out the last few seasons, and I’m hopping on it in this game for 1-unit — Alabama 1H -7.
I’m hearing a lot about this Michigan team of destiny. They’re playing really well, and I can’t discount that meaningful win over Ohio State. But still, I’m not going to tell you Georgia should be heavily discounted for losing to Alabama. If Michigan had a better passing attack I’d give them a better chance in this game. But the Wolverines are going to try and run the ball, and Georgia is built to stuff the run. In the end, I think Georgia is still too good. While I strongly lean to laying -7.5, I haven’t gotten there yet.
My play: What I have done is gotten involved in plenty of UGA ML in parlays, and UGA -1.5 as a teaser leg. You can use them with your favorite NFL piece this week. We have a play on Twitter from December 5 that gives us 1-unit on Georgia ML at -119.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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