Spread Options: College football bowl picks against the spread, part 2

·3-min read

We got our first taste of bowl season over the weekend and now the action will carry on throughout the week.

I went 2-2 in my first bowl picks, losing on two favorites. I'm sure I wasn't the only one. Underdogs have covered the spread in six of the first eight bowl games with four — Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, UAB and Utah State — winning outright.

Will that trend continue? Between Monday through Christmas on Saturday, there are eight more bowl games with at least one game each day. There are some pretty good matchups in there, but also some not-so-good ones.

For this batch of games, I’ve keyed in on three in particular with sides I like.

(All times ET, odds from BetMGM)

Potato Bowl: Wyoming vs. Kent State

Time: 3:30 p.m. (Tuesday) | Line: Wyoming -3.5 | Total: 59.5

Wyoming is a team that wants to win by running the ball and playing sound defense. Kent State’s defense is pretty bad, but it’s got a high-tempo offense that can really stress the defenses it faces.

Kent State faced a similar team (Northern Illinois) in the MAC title game and self-destructed with penalties, turnovers and missed opportunities. I think the Golden Flashes will be motivated to bounce back with a much cleaner performance here to get the second bowl win in program history.

Kent State has one of the best turnover margins (+14) in the country and the fact that Wyoming is so one-dimensional on offense gives me confidence that Sean Lewis’ team can pull off an upset.

Pick: Kent State +3.5

Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. Missouri

Time: 8 p.m. (Wednesday) | Line: Army -4 | Total: 56

Though there were improvements late in the season, Missouri was really bad at stopping the run this season. Army, obviously, runs an option offense and is going to make things really tough for the Missouri defense.

The motivation level is always high for service academies when they get the chance to face Power Five teams and Army will have an added dose of motivation after losing to Navy to close the regular season.

At the same time, Army’s defense gave up 70 points to Wake Forest earlier in the year and couldn’t get off the field vs. Navy. Missouri is creative enough on offense and will put up its fair share of points as well. The Tigers also have Tyler Badie, one of the best backs in the country.

I’m expecting some long touchdown runs in this one.

Pick: Over 56

Missouri running back Tyler Badie (1) runs the ball against Arkansas during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
Missouri running back Tyler Badie (1) runs the ball against Arkansas during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Camellia Bowl: Georgia State vs. Ball State

Time: 2:30 p.m. (Saturday) | Line: Georgia State -4.5 | Total: 50.5

Georgia State won six of its last seven games and that lone loss was a really close game against Sun Belt champion Louisiana. Ball State won the MAC in 2020 but has had a pretty underwhelming year.

The 6-6 Cardinals have a lot of seniors, including quarterback Drew Plitt, but averaged just 5.2 yards per play against MAC competition. The MAC has some of the worst defenses in the country. Georgia State is going to make things difficult and is simply the better team.

Pick: Georgia State -4.5

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