5 College Football Bowl Games Possible Upsets
Mon, Dec 27, 2021
By Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports
As the song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” That’s for sure how we describe the bowl season. Is there too many bowl games, absolutely, but who cares, college football day after day and more betting options than the buffet at the Golden Corral, yummy.
We get ready for a new and complete bowl season this year and here are five potential upsets to consider against the betting odds before the festivities begin.
Dec. 18, 7:30 ET/ LA Bowl: Utah State Aggies (+7) vs. Oregon State Beavers
A Pac-12 vs. Mountain West matchup sounds like a mismatch right from the start. But hold on. This game is drawing a primetime audience on ABC, mostly because the title name is the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. (We’re not joking)
No question Oregon State is a deserving favorite but here's the rub. Among the aspects every bettor should consider for making college football picks for bowls is the opponents' road record. Though the Beavers play in the stronger conference, they were 1-5 SU and ATS on the road. Conversely, Utah State was a perfect 7-0 SU away from and covered the spread in six of those contests. The Aggies arrive in L.A. on a 7-1 SU (5-2 ATS) and are excited to impress.
Dec. 24, 8:00 ET/ Hawai'i Bowl: Memphis Tigers vs. Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (+7)
For many, Christmas Eve is part of a family celebration and for those of us involved in the festivities, we also have a TV on somewhere or are using our phones to get an eye on the Hawai’i Bowl.
Part of the charm of this bowl is seeing the sites of this state and it is one of the rare bowls where you can often enough where you have a home team playing.
Neither Memphis (6-6 SU) nor Hawai’i (6-7) qualifies as impressive, yet the Rainbow Warriors have more going for them. After a 3-0 start, the Tigers were 3-6 and 2-6-1 ATS the rest of the way, which included a 1-4 and 0-5 ATS road record.
Hawai’i was 4-2 SU in the islands, however, they were an impressive 3-0-1 ATS when catching points at Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex (old Aloha Stadium).
Dec. 27, 3:15 ET/ Military Bowl: Boston College Eagles vs. East Carolina Pirates (+3)
As the point spread suggests, this should be a very competitive bowl and given the name, Military, that works.
After an 0-2 start, East Carolina roared back to close the season 7-3, with each loss in the AAC to other bowl participants who they went 2-1 ATS against. The Pirates running game developed and that opened up the pass, which made them a more effective offense. The defense focuses on making negative plays.
Boston College truly missed QB Phil Jurkovec when he got hurt and since his return, he’s not been the same player, seemingly a bit skittish about being knocked around in the pocket. We’ll back the better offense in ECU as the Pirates steal one against the Eagles.
Dec. 28, 3:15 ET/ First Responder Bowl: Air Force Falcons (+1.5) vs. Louisville Cardinals
In Louisville’s last game, they struggled mightily against Kentucky, unable to get off the field on defense, permitting 362 yards rushing in a 52-21 drubbing. If the Cardinals did not like the physical stuff in their rivalry, they won’t be thrilled to take on college football’s top-rushing offense at over 341 yards a game.
The Air Force option offense is about precision and they are more than happy to gain 3.5-yards a play because that keeps the chains moving the opponent becomes frustrated.
None of Louisville’s victories have come against what would be thought of as quality competition and getting up for the Flyboys won’t be an easy task for Cards coach Scott Satterfield to pull off.
Jan. 1, 1:00 ET/ Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State Cowboys (+2) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Though the teams seem fairly well matched on offense and defense, there is one major difference that is typically a strong play to follow.
Head coaches with no bowl experience are usually bad bets and Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman has never coached a single game. If you drill down from that point, if one coach has an edge of 10 or more bowl games coached versus his counterpart, the more experienced coach is 30-13 SU and 29-14 ATS. Oklahoma State headman Mike Gundy has 15 bowlers for the Cowboys.
Enjoy the games!
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 23 Documented No. 1 Titles - 96 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 27 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: MLB Oct. 2021) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.