It’s the most wonderful time of the year to win some money. If you know how to bet during bowl season, you can make some serious cash and look like a genius in front of your friends. This is the one time of the year where numbers and data mean less than motivation, and a little inside information can go a long way.
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Buffalo -6.5 vs. Charlotte, O/U 51
There has been a ton of action on the under in this game as weather will play a major factor. The forecast is calling for light showers and sustained winds of more than 25 MPH, and that latter report is very significant. While rain and snow don’t have much affect on spreads or totals historically, wind plays a huge part, leading to this total plummeting from 58 to 51.
According to a recent report from BetLabs, the under cashed 62.2 percent of the time when there are sustained winds of at least 20 MPH during a college football game. Wind wreaks havoc on passing games and kicks, and if you need visual evidence, watch the 2005 NFL game between Chicago and San Francisco or any CFL game played in the Maritime Provinces. Both teams run the ball over 60 percent of the time though so this weather won’t affect these two teams as much as it would a team like Washington State or VMI though.
This will be the first bowl game in Charlotte’s history, so they will be plenty motivated on Friday. Will Healy has risen quickly up the coaching ranks, leading Austin Peay out of the wilderness in only three seasons at the FCS level, and he is quickly proving that he is the right man for the job with the 49ers. His team is almost a touchdown underdog against Buffalo, and that’s a bit too much considering what we’ve seen from the Bulls in bowl season.
Buffalo has lost all three of its previous bowl appearances by double digits, and MAC teams tend to underperform in this spot. The conference is 2-3 in this bowl game, and many players enjoy the reprieve from the bitter winter weather a little too much. That makes the 49ers a very live moneyline dog with odds of +185.
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Utah State -6.5 vs. Kent State, O/U 67.5
We haven’t seen nearly as much line movement in the Frisco Bowl, but there has been some sharp action. The Aggies were initially close to a double-digit favorite per the college football betting odds, and the line has moved in favor of the Golden Flashes to where it currently rests. Utah State fell all the way to -4.5 at some online sportsbooks before rising once more, while the total opened at 65 and dipped to 63 before jumping to 67.5.
Kent State is one of the worst bowl teams this year according to the advanced metrics. Bill Connelly’s SP+ has the Golden Flashes rated No. 111 in the country, and they are ahead of just two teams with .500 or better records. Young, energetic head coach Sean Lewis should have his team fired up for this game though as Kent State is playing in just its second bowl game in almost five decades.
The Aggies are probably the more talented team, but Utah State has underachieved all year. Jordan Love was supposed to be a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, and the Aggies were expected to compete
for a Mountain West title. They were hammered by Air Force, BYU, and Boise State over the second half of the season, and their three victories over 4-8 Fresno State, 7-5 Wyoming, and 2-10 New Mexico in the last month of the campaign were by a combined 20 points.
Jordan Love and two other Utah State players were recently charged for marijuana possession, and it appears this team is not fully focused on Kent State after a lackluster season. Teams in this spot typically flounder in these games, so Kent State is also a live dog on Saturday.