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Inside NU’s bowl betting special, Part 4: Playoff edition

In which we discuss the semifinals of the College Football Playoff plus a couple of preludes.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

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.

It’s one of the best sporting days of the year, the two College Football Playoff semifinal matchups. There are plenty of intriguing questions in play, and we’re here to help you find the answers.

Records

Avery: 11-7-0

Matt: 10-8-0

The pre-playoff Friday provided enough football to get us through to the biggest day of the year in college football, giving the world a couple of blowouts and a couple of solid games. While UNC’s demolition of Temple didn’t provide much entertainment, the other three games sure did.

Michigan State was able to fend off Pitt to earn a victory in New York, despite multiple red zone failures. The Spartans’ defense carried the team by shutting out the Panthers in the second half, and MSU will now have some positive momentum as it tries to bounce back in 2020.

Iowa did the Big Ten proud on the other side of America, demolishing a USC team that lost quarterback Kedon Slovis midway through the third quarter. The story of the day, however, was Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who scored a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and return touchdown for the Hawkeyes. He’s a special player, and he was able to show that to the world. Now let’s discuss the thrilling games today.

  • Camping World Bowl: Notre Dame vs Iowa State

ND -3.5

Avery: As much as it pains me to bet on Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish, I have to go with Notre Dame in this contest. His defense will be too much for the Cyclones to overcome, and I trust Ian Book to take care of the ball and do enough to lead Notre Dame to a comfortable victory.

Matt: Notre Dame redshirt junior quarterback Ian Book is one of the best quarterbacks in college football right now. Throwing for nearly 2,800 yards this season, including two five touchdown performances, he leads the nation in touchdown passes thrown, but the Irish defense is just as talented. The Irish lead the nation in fumbles recovered, and have held opponents to under 19 points per game. The Cyclones also have a talented quarterback in Brock Purdy, who has thrown for over 3700 yards. This battle of prolific quarterbacks should be really fun to watch, but I’m on Notre Dame.

  • Cotton Bowl Classic: Memphis vs Penn State

Penn State -6.5

Avery: James Franklin’s squad didn’t end the season how it wanted to, but that won’t stop it from having a field day in Jerry’s World. Sean Clifford will lead an offense that is without offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne, after the latter left for a head coaching job at Old Dominion, and he’ll be able to torch Memphis. On the other side of the ball, Memphis has an impressive offense, but the Nittany Lions match up well with pocket passers, no matter how good they are. I’ll go with Penn State to edge the spread.

Matt: I’m on Penn State in this one. The team who has played Ohio State the closest all season, the Nittany Lion defense is one of the strongest in the country. Despite the fact that Memphis’ quarterback Brady White is one of the best pocket passers in the AAC, the Tigers will run into a brick wall in the Penn State defense. The Nittany Lions will slow down the Tiger offense enough to win and cover.

  • Oklahoma vs LSU

LSU -15

Avery: I do think LSU comes out on top, but I don’t think Oklahoma’s offense is getting enough credit. Sure, Joe Burrow will lead an offense that will go to town on a Sooners group that is hampered by suspensions (though it wouldn’t fare well either way), but Jalen Hurts will be able to have his way with the LSU defense as well. Oklahoma makes it a game and gets the cover.

Matt: Blowout. City. Population: Louisiana State. Joe Burrow continues his dominance. No matter who, what, when, or where, this LSU team knows what they want and have enough to get it. Geaux Tigers.

  • Clemson vs Ohio State

Clemson -2

Avery: I don’t understand why Clemson is getting so much money and respect from both the public and “experts”. The Buckeyes aren’t getting anywhere near the credit they deserve after having a ridiculous season and that will play right into their favor. Clemson hasn’t seen a defense like OSU has, and it will show tonight. Ohio State wins.

Matt: While it may have failed in their quest to trademark “the,” Ohio State has what it takes to make the championship game. This matchup has two of the best quarterbacks in college football, but Ohio State will be too much to handle. Take the Buckeyes.