LAS VEGAS — Cynics will say the school soccer bowl season is a stocking full of too many meaningless video games and solely those involving Nick Saban really imply one thing. But it surely’s not all in regards to the playoffs.
Right here’s a tip: Embrace the motion. For bettors and bookmakers, no bowl is meaningless when cash is on the road.
“The bowl season is nice,” William Hill sports activities e book director Nick Bogdanovich mentioned. “As unhealthy as the sport is, if it’s on TV and there’s a line on it, that’s an excellent factor. There aren’t any more true phrases.”
What one sees as rubbish — Florida Worldwide-Toledo within the Bahamas Bowl — one other would possibly see as a finest guess. Sure, even the Camellia Bowl, pitting Jap Michigan towards Georgia Southern in Montgomery, Ala., will matter. With out wagering, would anybody watch?
There are 39 bowls — not counting the nationwide championship sport on Jan. 7 — and two stand head and shoulders above the remainder. The playoff semifinals on Dec. 29 will probably be staged within the Orange Bowl (Alabama vs. Oklahoma) and Cotton Bowl (Clemson vs. Notre Dame).
With out figuring out the standing of Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is predicted to play regardless of an ankle harm, No. 1 Alabama is a 13¹/₂-point favourite over the Sooners and whirlwind quarterback Kyler Murray. Tagovailoa and Murray are the highest two Heisman Trophy candidates. In the meantime, Notre Dame will play the no-respect card. The Irish are 11-point underdogs to the No. 2 Tigers.
“These two matchups will generate a whole lot of betting curiosity,” mentioned Vinny Magliulo, VSiN oddsmaker and Gaughan Gaming sports activities e book director. “These video games are guess as a lot as NFL playoff video games.”
Apart from the playoff video games, these bowls will seize the curiosity of bettors:
Rose: Ohio State (-5) vs. Washington — The Huskies have a stingy protection that may give City Meyer complications. Fortuitously for Meyer, his quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, is pink scorching and rising as an NFL prospect. It’s at all times particular when the Large Ten and Pac-12 champs meet on New 12 months’s Day in Pasadena. Will Meyer be teaching his last sport for the Buckeyes?
Sugar: Georgia (-10½) vs. Texas — If not for Kirby Sensible’s ill-fated name for a pretend punt on fourth-and-11, the Bulldogs may need upset Alabama and made the playoff discipline. The SEC and Large 12 title sport losers should bounce again after falling to their bitter rivals.
Peach: Michigan (-7) vs. Florida — Jim Harbaugh comes out of hiding a few month after the Buckeyes dropped a 62-point bomb on his Wolverines. Harbaugh misplaced his previous two bowls. Michigan’s defeat to South Carolina final 12 months spoiled an ideal bowl season for the Large Ten.
Fiesta: LSU (-7¹/₂) vs. Central Florida — A 12 months after an undefeated UCF workforce upset an SEC workforce (Auburn) in a bowl, the story line might repeat. The Knights are with out injured quarterback McKenzie Milton, however Darriel Mack is a formidable alternative.
“I feel UCF will probably be a public workforce and kind of a sentimental choose,” Magliulo mentioned.
Alamo: Washington State (-4) vs. Iowa State — The Cougars’ 10-win dream season was crashed by Washington. Nonetheless, Mike Leach’s offense, with quarterback Gardner Minshew pulling the set off, is a present price watching. The Cyclones’ Matt Campbell is a training prospect who’s getting too massive for Ames, Iowa.
Tenting World: West Virginia (-7) vs. Syracuse — The Mountaineers fell in two shootouts — 45-41 at Oklahoma State and 59-56 to Oklahoma — to complete the common season 8-3. It is a high-quality quarterback duel between Will Grier and Eric Dungey of the Orange (9-3).
Music Metropolis: Auburn (-4½) vs. Purdue — SEC apologists mentioned the Tigers had been emotionally flat in final season’s bowl loss to UCF. Right here we go once more. Auburn (7-5) faces one other letdown. The Boilermakers (6-6) are driving an emotional excessive after coach Jeff Brohm turned down a proposal from Louisville.
This matchup presents basic handicapping questions, as Magliulo mentioned, “Are groups upset? What’s the motivation for these groups in bowl video games?”
Pinstripe: Miami (-3½) vs. Wisconsin — In August, these groups had been thought of playoff contenders. In December, these groups are 7-5. Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor heads to Yankee Stadium on the point of topping 2,000 speeding yards. It’s additionally a rematch of final season’s Orange Bowl during which the Badgers whipped the Hurricanes.
Las Vegas: Fresno State (-4) vs. Arizona State — The hiring of Herm Edwards was slammed, however he’s received the Solar Devils bowling. The Pac-12 workforce is an underdog to Jeff Tedford and the Bulldogs from the Mountain West.