Well folks, we’re back. After going 23-22 last year and proving that betting on football is most certainly not a crapshoot, Matt and I are here to give you the content that you definitely do not need. It’s the Inside NU bowl betting special, year TWO. We’ll give your our picks for each bowl game, and if you’re smart, you will choose to fade us. Let’s do it.
This edition will feature more group of five teams and a couple of Power Fives sneak in the contests.
For the most part, we came out unscathed in our first attempt at defeating Vegas. The Tropical Smoothie Cafe (lol) Frisco Bowl was great entertainment, and Arkansas State finished well against a determined FIU team, but outside of that there wasn’t a close game to be found. Hopefully the next batch of games will provide a bit more exciting. Let’s get after it.
- Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: UCF vs. Marshall
Avery: While UCF has much more firepower than the Thundering Herd, its defense has been disappointing this season. Some pretty poor offenses have hung some big numbers on the Knights, and I just can’t trust the elite group of five team this year. This game strikes me as one where UCF comes out flat, but ultimately pulls out the win, similar to the App State script. The Knights win but Marshall covers.
Matt: Blowout city. UCF with ease. The Knights’ passing game is far too prolific for Marshall to stand a chance. The Thundering Herd does have a strong running attack but its defense has been gashed for over 7 yards per pass, compared to UCF’s 5.8. Once UCF takes control, this game could get ugly. Knights’ freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel is the truth.
- Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs BYU
Avery: It’s tough to pick against a team that is playing a home game. There will be points in this game, but Hawaii will dominate on offense and ultimately take the contest. BYU does have offensive skill of its own, and Zach Wilson is a solid quarterback that will be able to dissect the Hawaii defense, but home field gives Hawaii the edge.
Matt: It is unfair that this game is not played at midnight eastern, but this game is the degenerate classic. The Warriors are a force this year and are taking this game outright. Hawaii’s air raid offense matches up very well with the BYU defense, but the Cougar defense is good at picking the ball off. Hawaii should also expect limited pressure on its quarterback, which should allow them time in pocket to make smart passes and win.
- Walk On’s Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami
Avery: I’ve seen enough Miami this year, too much actually, and I have learned a valuable lesson about the Hurricanes in that time. Manny Diaz’s squad has absolutely zero discipline, so I struggle to put faith in Miami. Louisiana Tech also has a history of winning bowl games, coming out victorious in its last five. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, are 1-8 in their last nine. I’ll take the points and go with Louisiana Tech.
Matt: I’m on Miami in this one. The Hurricane’s pass rush will pose issues for the Tech offense. The Bulldogs will struggle in the passing game and Miami also has an effective run defense — giving up less than 100 rushing yards six times. Louisiana Tech has lost three of the four games where they failed to hit that 100 yard rushing mark.
- Quick Lane Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan
Avery: There’s something off about Eastern Michigan going 3-5 in the MAC and making a bowl game. Pitt isn’t much better, and overall this just strikes me as a game that doesn’t need to be watched. But that’s not what we’re here for! Pitt dominates on the ground against a poor EMU run defense and covers the spread.
Matt: While this game has a big line, don’t be afraid to bet on Pitt. The Pitt defense is really strong, and has 49 sacks on the season. Although Pitt isn’t particularly reliant on its running offense, they should change up their playcalling and expose the extremely weak EMU running defense who allowed over 230 yards in four of their last five games.