After getting blasted by Temple and Tyler Tettleton last Saturday, I’m officially considering the MAC bowl trend a thing of the past and a useless statistic. Thankfully, Mark Hudspeth did what he was paid to do so the damage wasn’t that bad. After skipping the Marshall game last night, I’m coming back atcha with 3 picks for the rest of the week. Throw one unit at each and check in with me next week.
Boise State -14 vs Arizona State
Ironically, this is a matchup of gambling lemons, with the two teams having produced a combined 7-16-1 ATS, including an ugly 1-11-1 ATS mark since October 15th. But while the Sun Devils have completely collapsed (straight up losing 5 of 6), the Broncos have still managed to win – just haven’t covered the absurd chalk cast upon them with 4 of the spreads exceeding 30 points. I expect Boise to come out blazing in the last games for seniors Kellen Moore and Doug Martin. If Boise can get up by a few scores, the sinking feeling known as the seasons’ second half will creep back in for the Sun Devils and they may not be able to recover. Erickson’s last game may give them the extra motivation but it won’t be enough as Boise rolls in this one.
Louisiana Tech +10 vs TCU
The first rule of betting bowl games? Don’t bet against a team that’s won and covered 7 straight and getting 10 points. It’s been a magical season for Sonny Dykes and his crew, playing as well as anyone in their domain at the moment and surely having forgotten what it feels like to lose. While betting against Gary Patterson isn’t really a best practice, the Horned Frogs are a step below what they were in ’09 and ’10 and aren’t above losing a game like this. It should be noted that over the last 3 seasons, TCU is only 3-7 ATS as a favorite of 7.5 – 20 points, as compared to 6-2 ATS as a favorite of 7 or less or an underdog. It’s not the kind of stat I often reference but I think it proves that underdogs who are capable of giving them a game often do. This is La Tech’s biggest game in years, I wouldn’t be shocked if they pulled out the win so think about the money line.
Southern Miss -6.5 vs Nevada The spread feels inflated at almost a TD, but I’m leaning Eagles as they head into this game on a high note (upsetting #7 Houston on the road to end the season) and have put together an exceptional at 11-2. Larry Fedora might be leaving, but he’s hanging around for this one as is Austin Davis, USM’s 4-year starter at QB who is sure to play this college game like it’s his last. Southern Miss has one of the few defenses capable of slowing down Chris Ault’s patented pistol, and Ault’s teams generally haven’t done well in bowl games (2-4 straight up and 1-5 ATS). Fedora leaves Southern Miss a winner and the Eagles win their 12th game by at least 7.