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NCAAF ♦ "New Year's Day! ♦ Friday 1/1/16

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    Happy New Year!!!

    “Many things are thrown our way in this game of life. It’s how you deal with them that shows your true character. I want all of you to feel the hope, love & passion I feel for the upcoming year & the rest of my life. I want ALL of you to not only go for your dreams, but have a good time doing it!


    Bowl Tech Trends – Week 3
    By Bruce Marshall


    Butch Jones won bowl vs. Iowa LY but that was Vols’ first bowl since 2010, a point when UT had dropped consecutive bowls vs. UNC & VPI. Vols 14-10-1 vs. line last two seasons. Cats were 8-4 vs. number in 2015and covered 4 of 5 away from Evanston in 2015, and Fitzgerald 17-10 vs. spread last 27 away from Ryan Field. Fitz 31-22 as dog since 2008 and 23-10 as dog away from home since 2008.

    ♦Northwestern, based on team trends.

    FLORIDA vs. MICHIGAN (Citrus Bowl)
    Jim McElwain no covers last two this season but was still 8-4-1 vs. line in 2015, upping his spread mark to 29-12-1 since late 2012 at CSU. McElwain also 10-4-1 last 15 as dog. Michigan only 6-6 vs. line this season.

    ♦Florida, based on team trends.

    NOTRE DAME vs. OHIO STATE (Fiesta Bowl)
    First meeting since Fiesta Bowl after 2005 season. Buckeyes have won and covered all three meetings since 1995. Brian Kelly just 1-3 vs. line last four bowls, while Urban Meyer now 9-2 SU and vs. line in bowls (counting title game LY). Brian Kelly 3-0-1 last four as dog but just 2-3-1 vs. spread away from South Bend this season.

    ♦Ohio State, based on Meyer bowl trends.

    IOWA vs. STANFORD (Rose Bowl)
    Hawkeyes covered all six away from Iowa City this season and were 2-0 as dog. Kirk Ferentz 5-2 vs. spread last seven in bowls. Stanford 3-1-1 vs. line last five bowls (2-1-1 for David Shaw) and have covered 12 of last 16 since late 2014.

    ♦Slight to Iowa, based on recent trends.

    Hugh Freeze had won and covered handily in his first two bowls at Ole Miss before debacle LY at Peach vs. TCU. Freeze still 32-18-1 vs. spread since arriving at Ole Miss and 42-20-1 vs. spread in career including 2011 at Ark State. Freeze 12-6-1 vs. line vs. non-SEC since 2012 with Rebs. Gundy just 3-4 vs. line last seven bowls and only 7-8 last 15 as dog.

    ♦Ole Miss, based on Freeze trends.


    College Football Betting Trends – Fri – Jan, 1

    Tennessee at Northwestern, 12:00 ET
    Tennessee: 2-10 ATS on road after covering the spread in 5 or 6 out of last 7
    Northwestern: 46-27 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10

    Florida at Michigan, 1:00 ET
    Florida: 9-1 ATS in road games off 1 or more straight overs
    Michigan: 13-31 ATS off 2 or more consecutive overs

    Notre Dame at Ohio State, 1:00 ET
    Notre Dame: 6-16 ATS on road after having won 8 or more out of their last 10
    Ohio State: 48-27 ATS after having won 5 or 6 out of their last 7

    Iowa at Stanford, 5:00 ET
    Iowa: 28-13 UNDER in road games off 1 or more consecutive unders
    Stanford: 6-0 ATS off 1 or more straight overs

    Mississippi at Oklahoma State, 8:30 ET
    Mississippi: 8-2 UNDER as a favorite
    Oklahoma State: 19-8 ATS after 2 games where 70 total pts or + were scored


    Game of the Day: College football New Year’s Day bowl games

    ‘Outback Bowl’

    (12) Northwestern Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers (-8, 48)

    Game played at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

    1. Tennessee and Northwestern look to end breakout seasons on a high note when they meet in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Tennessee won its last five to reach eight victories for the first time since posting 10 with a win at the Outback Bowl in 2007. The Wildcats finished the regular season with five consecutive victories and go for a school-record 11th in Tampa where they lost 38-35 in overtime Jan. 1, 2010 at the Outback Bowl.

    2. Both teams depend on their rushing attacks with multi-purpose quarterbacks and 1,000-yard sophomore running backs leading the way. Northwestern’s freshman signal caller Clayton Thorson has thrown for seven touchdowns and rushed for another five while Justin Jackson was fourth in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards with 1,491 – 1,344 on the ground with four scores. Jalen Hurd was fourth in the SEC with 1,158 yards rushing to go along with 11 scores for the Volunteers and quarterback Joshua Dobbs accounted for 24 touchdowns – 15 passing and nine rushing.

    3. Special teams could become a major factor as Tennessee boasts six return touchdowns this season – three on punts and three on kickoffs. Evan Berry took three kickoffs back for scores and averaged a national-best 38.3 yards per return while Cameron Sutton (18.7 yards per return, leading the country) scored twice and Alvin Kamara once returning punts for the Volunteers. Tennessee led the nation in kick returns while ranking second behind Texas A&M on punts and Northwestern is 56th and fourth (2.13), respectively, defending them.

    TV: Noon ET, ESPN2.

    Books opened the Vols as 9-point faves, but that has moved to -8. The total is up to 48 from the opening 45.5.

    Temperatures in the high 70s under partly cloudy skies.

    ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-8 O/U):
    The Wildcats’ defense allowed an average of 14 points the last four games, led by sophomore linebacker Anthony Walker and senior defensive lineman Deonte Gibson. Walker, who was named to the Big Ten first team, has 113 tackles – 19.5 for loss – this season and Gibson boasts nine sacks, but All-Big Ten second team cornerback Nick VanHoose (three interceptions) is not expected to play due to a finger injury. Thorson has been intercepted seven times and completed only 51.6 percent of his passes with fullback Dan Vitale (33 catches, 355 yards) as his top target.

    ABOUT TENNESSEE (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    Dobbs has raised his production as a junior with 2,125 yards through the air, a near 60 percent completion rate and just five interceptions. Dobbs, who was picked off 12 times in his first two seasons while throwing fewer passes combined than he did during the 2015 campaign, has found seven different players for at least two scoring strikes, five of whom have 270 receiving yards or more. Josh Malone has 29 receptions for 388 yards to lead the way and Kamara is a key versatile performer for the Volunteers, scoring 10 times and accumulating 1,016 all-purpose yards.


    * Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games.

    * Volunteers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.

    * Under is 16-5 in Wildcats last 21 non-conference games.

    * Over is 5-0 in Volunteers last five neutral site games.

    PREDICTION: Tennessee 31, Northwestern 21


    ‘Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl’

    (17) Michigan Wolverines vs. (18) Florida Gators (+4, 38.5)

    Game played at Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida


    1. Florida coach Jim McElwain and Michigan counterpart Jim Harbaugh resurrected dormant programs in their first year on the sidelines and look to cap off encouraging campaigns with a victory when the Gators and Wolverines meet in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1. McElwain led Florida to the SEC Eastern Division title before losing 29-15 to College Football Playoff participant Alabama in the SEC championship game, while Harbaugh had Michigan in contention for the Big Ten East Division crown heading into the final week of the regular season. Defense has been the catalyst for the dramatic turnaround for both teams as the Gators rank eighth nationally in scoring defense (16.4 points per game) while the Wolverines are fourth in total defense (281.3 yards).

    2. Florida’s offense has sputtered without suspended quarterback Will Grier as the Gators were held to 17 points in their last two games, and couldn’t manage an offensive score in the 27-2 setback to Florida State on Nov. 28. Michigan’s Jake Rudock suffered a shoulder injury in the 42-13 loss to Ohio State, and it was initially feared that he would miss the bowl game, but the senior quarterback will make his final collegiate start on New Year’s Day. Rudock struggled with the command of a new offense after transfering from Iowa before ending the season on a tear by throwing for 1,296 yards and 11 touchdowns in his last four games.

    3. The Wolverines and Gators have meet twice previously in the postseason with Michigan emerging 38-30 victors in the 2003 Outback Bowl before downing Florida 41-35 in Lloyd Carr’s final game as coach in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. The Gators last met a Big Ten team in 2012 when they beat Ohio State in the Gator Bowl and McElwain, who is one of six finalists for the Dodd Trophy – awarded to the top coach in the country – is keen to lead Florida to its third straight win over a Big Ten opponent. “We’re here to win a ballgame,” McElwain told reporters. “We aren’t here just to go on rides.”

    TV: 1 p.m. ET, ABC.

    The Gators opened as 4-point dogs. The total is down to 38.5 from the opening 41.

    Temperatures in the high-70s with a 27 percent chance of rain. Wind will blow across the field at around 4 mph.

    ABOUT MICHIGAN (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS, 7-5 O/U):
    Jake Butt and Jourdan Lewis announced they will return for the senior seasons after the junior tight end caught 48 passes for 620 yards and three touchdowns, while the junior cornerback was ranked third nationally with 19 pass breakups. Safety Jabrill Peppers (two rushing touchdowns, eight receptions), who won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award after making an impact as a three-way player, could miss the bowl game after suffering a suspected hand injury. “He’s working through something,” Harbaugh told reporters. “We’ll see.”

    ABOUT FLORIDA (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS, 5-8 O/U):
    Starting quarterback Treon Harris has struggled to move the ball through the air and has failed to throw for 200 yards in each of his last three games. Vernon Hargreaves III, who is the Gators’ first unanimous All-America pick since 2009, will likely play his last game as the junior cornerback is considered a surefire first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Defensive end Alex McCalister has been sidelined with a foot injury since Nov. 15 and will likely miss the game while wide receiver Brandon Powell is questionable because of a foot problem.


    * Wolverines are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games.

    * Gators are 5-0 ATS in their last five neutral site games.

    * Over is 7-0 in Wolverines last seven games overall.

    * Under is 5-1 in Gators last six games overall.

    PREDICTION: Michigan 21, Florida 20



    (9) Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (-6.5, 57.5)

    Game played at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona


    1. No. 7 Ohio State and No. 8 Notre Dame were each only a few plays away from clinching a spot in the College Football Playoff but instead will have to be content with a New Year’s Six Bowl when they square off in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 1. The defending-champion Buckeyes were in the top four until a 17-14 home loss to Michigan State in the penultimate game of the regular season knocked them out of a spot in the Big Ten title game. The Fighting Irish spent a week in the top four as well but dropped after closing the campaign with a 38-36 setback at Stanford.

    2. Notre Dame’s explosive offense averaged 34.8 points – 31st in the nation – despite making a change at quarterback and losing top rusher C.J. Prosise down the stretch. Prosise (ankle) could be back for the bowl game but will be going against an Ohio State defense that finished second in the nation while allowing opponents an average of 14 points. Buckeyes co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash is set to leave to take the head coaching job at Rutgers after the bowl game, but former NFL and college head coach Greg Schiano was brought in to ease the transition and will serve as the co-defensive coordinator moving forward.

    3. The Fighting Irish and the Buckeyes both switched quarterbacks during the season, though Notre Dame’s change was injury related. Malik Zaire went down in the second game of the season at Virginia and sophomore DeShone Kizer stepped in to throw for 2,600 yards and 19 touchdowns while adding nine scores on the ground. Ohio State went back and forth between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett before settling on Barrett, who will get the starting nod in the Fiesta Bowl.

    TV: 1 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    Books opened Ohio State as a 6.5-point fave, but is now -6. The total is up to 57.5 from the opening 54.


    ABOUT NOTRE DAME (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    The Fighting Irish suffered their two losses by a total of four points on the road at No. 1 Clemson and No. 6 Stanford. “Our scout teams have done a great job all year,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters. “We’re going to lean on them again one more time to provide us with the kind of look necessary to prepare our defense. But no, we know the challenge that Ohio State brings, and we’re going to have to do a great job of preparing our defense.” That defense allowed an average of 22.4 points in the regular season and was at its best against the pass, limiting opponents to 195.9 yards through the air.

    ABOUT OHIO STATE (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS, 3-9 O/U):
    Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 1,672 yards and 19 touchdowns but was critical of his usage after logging just 33 yards on 12 carries in the lone loss to Michigan State. Elliott bounced back with 214 yards and two scores the following week and figures to be a big part of the offense in the bowl game. Elliott is one of several Ohio State stars, including Jones and presumptive top-5 pick defensive lineman Joey Bosa, who could be headed for the NFL draft in the spring.


    * Fighting Irish are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six vs. Big Ten.

    * Buckeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last seven bowl games.

    * Under is 4-1 in Fighting Irish last five neutral site games.

    * Under is 5-1 in Buckeyes last six games overall.

    PREDICTION: Ohio State 28, Notre Dame 27



    (6) Stanford Cardinal vs. (7) Iowa Hawkeyes (+6, 53)

    Game played at Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California


    1. Two teams that barely missed out on a spot in the College Football Playoff meet Jan. 1 as Iowa takes on Stanford in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual in Pasadena, Calif. “If the Rose Bowl is the consolation prize, what a deal for both of us,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters. The Hawkeyes suffered their first loss with a 16-13 defeat to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game, while Stanford earned its third Rose Bowl berth in the last four years with a 41-22 win over USC in the Pac-12 title game.

    2. Iowa began the season unranked after finishing 7-6 a year ago but improved every week to earn its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1991. The Big Ten West Division champions rely heavily on their run defense, which ranks 10th in the nation at fewer than 115 yards per game. The impressive unit will be tested by a powerful Stanford offensive attack led by sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy race after breaking Barry Sanders’ single-season all-purpose yards record with 3,496.

    3. Stanford struggled in its only other meeting against a Big Ten opponent this season as the Cardinal scored their fewest points since 2007 and lost their opener 16-6 at Northwestern. Following that low point, however, coach David Shaw’s squad strung together eight straight wins before losing 38-36 to Oregon on Nov. 14. In addition to McCaffrey, the Cardinal boast a steady hand at quarterback in senior Kevin Hogan, who has thrown for 2,644 yards and 24 touchdowns against seven interceptions while completing 68.6 percent of his passes.

    TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    Books opened Iowa as a 6.5-point dog but is now +6. The total is at the opening number of 53.

    Temperatures in the low-60s under clear skies. Wind will blow toward the north end zone at around 6 mph.

    ABOUT STANFORD (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS, 7-6 O/U):
    The Hawkeyes can expect a heavy dose of McCaffrey, who rushed for 1,847 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 540 receiving yards and four more scores through the air. “He’s the best player in the nation,” coach David Shaw told reporters after McCaffrey recorded 461 yards in total offense in the Pac-12 title game. “I don’t know if that’s even a question. There’s nobody in the nation doing what he’s been doing. It’s not even a debate.” Linebacker Blake Martinez averages a Pac-12-high 10.2 tackles per game to lead the defense, which benefits from a Stanford offense that leads the nation in time of possession.

    ABOUT IOWA (12-1 SU, 7-5-1 ATS, 7-5-1 O/U):
    For the Hawkeyes to win their school-record 13th game and their first Rose Bowl since beating Cal in 1959, they’ll need another solid outing from quarterback C.J. Beathard, who threw 15 touchdowns against three interceptions and rushed for six scores. Beathard could be without the services of leading rusher Jordan Canzeri, who ran for 12 touchdowns but left the Big Ten championship game with a sprained right ankle and is listed as questionable for the Rose Bowl. Iowa’s secondary is led by first team All-American Desmond King, who received the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back after recording eight interceptions while averaging 25.6 yards per kickoff return and 12.7 yards on punts.


    * Cardinal are 5-1 ATS in their last six bowl games.

    * Hawkeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last seven bowl games.

    * Over is 8-3 in Cardinal last 11 games following a straight up win.

    * Under is 8-2 in Hawkeyes last 10 neutral site games.

    PREDICTION: Stanford 27, Iowa 21


    ‘Allstate Sugar Bowl’

    Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebels (-7.5, 67.5)

    Game played at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana


    1. After a humbling defeat a year ago in the postseason, Ole Miss looks to make amends when it takes on Oklahoma State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 1 in New Orleans. The Rebels absorbed a 42-3 loss in last season’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against TCU and now must contend with another talented team from the Big 12. The Cowboys started 10-0 and had hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff before ending the regular season with back-to-back losses.

    2. Ole Miss junior defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche – the team’s best defensive player – fell 15 feet twice from a window in mid-December and had to be hospitalized. The team announced Dec. 20 that Nkemdiche, who was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession following the incident, will be suspended for the bowl game. “I have learned a valuable lesson in the last week, and I look forward to showing NFL personnel that this is not representative of my true character,” said Nkemdiche, who announced he will enter the NFL draft, where he likely will be a top-10 pick. “I want to thank my coaches, my teammates and Rebel Nation for their support these past three years, and I look forward to making them proud for years to come.”

    3. Oklahoma State has some injury issues of its own with quarterback Mason Rudolph employing a walking boot on his right foot with the bowl game less than two weeks away. Still, coach Mike Gundy seems to be unconcerned about the status of Rudolph and two of his weapons, tight end Blake Jarwin (ribs) and fullback Jeremy Seaton (undisclosed). Rudolph led the Big 12 with 57 passes of 20 yards or more and finished his sophomore regular season with 3,591 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    Books opened Ole Miss as a 6.5-point fave but is now -7.5. the total is up a half-point from the opening 67.


    ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS, 8-4 O/U):
    The Cowboys rank in the top 10 nationally in passing yards (seventh) and points per game (ninth). They have tons of weapons on offense, but sophomore wide receiver James Washington (52 catches, 1,077 yards, 10 touchdowns) is the best of the bunch. Oklahoma State’s running game is relatively mediocre with only Chris Carson (504 yards) having amassed more than 300 and the team averaging just 3.7 yards per carry.

    ABOUT OLE MISS (9-3 7-5 ATS, 4-8 O/U):
    The Rebels’ offense is centered around dynamic receiver Laquon Treadwell (76 catches, 1,082 yards, eight TDs), who had found the end zone in six straight games prior to a quiet day against Mississippi State to end the regular season. Chad Kelly threw 27 touchdowns during the year, including three in a signature win against Alabama back in September. A one-point overtime loss to a strong Arkansas team is the only thing separating Ole Miss from entering the postseason on a five-game winning streak.


    * Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games.

    * Rebels are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight neutral site games.

    * Over is 6-0 in Cowboys last six games overall.

    * Under is 5-1 in Rebels last six neutral site games.

    PREDICTION: Ole Miss 33, Oklahoma State 24



    ‘Video selection’
    Iowa 27-24


    DE. BOB

    3* Iowa +7 or more.



    20* Tennessee -8

    20* Iowa +7

    20* Ole Miss -7



    Risked 3 units to win 2.88
    Notre Dame +6.5 -104 vs Ohio State
    Notre Dame comes into this matchup with just two losses on the season, a 2 pt loss to undefeated #1 in the nation Clemson, and a 2 pt loss to the #9 team in the nation Stanford Cardinals. This is part of the reason I am backing the Irish with the points here. The Buckeyes were one win away from having a chance to defend their national championship, but couldn’t beat the Spartans who were playing their backup QB on their homefield. Ohio State swung back and forth with QBs all season, and never really saw great success from either Jones or Barrett, and will be heavily relying on Elliot to carry them to victory. The Irish have had success against some of the best in the nation, holding Stanford star RB McCafrey to just 3.5 yard per rush in their earlier matchup with the Cardinals. Our predictive model scores this 26-22 Ohio State, I’m thinking this will be decided by a late FG, and it could go either way. The smart money here, is on the Irish.

    Risked 5 units to win 4.72
    Michigan -4 -106 vs Florida
    This is another battle of two great defenses, the difference is the Gators don’t have much in the way of offense. The Gators are 86th in the nation in scoring offense, and 114th in the nation in rushing offense. There just aren’t any real playmakers to be scared of here, if you are the Wolverines. Michigan is 5-1 ATS in their last six after an ATS loss. 5-1 ATS in their last six after a straight up loss. 9-3 ATS in their last 12 after giving up more than 200 yards on the ground. The defense could be considered a wash, although Michigan does boast the #3 pass defense in the nation, and seeing as how Florida can’t run the ball, points will be at a premium all day for the Gators. I can’t envision Florida scoring enough to cover this, the Wolverines should win by a TD or more.

    Risked 4 units to win 3.92
    Iowa +6 -102 vs Stanford
    The Hawkeyes were just minutes away from a Big 10 Championship, and a shot at the college football playoff…well, if you are a college football fan, you know that didn’t end up happening, and the Spartans are playing on. This doesn’t take away from what was a great season for Iowa, and they have a chance to end it on a high note playing against #9 Stanford. Looking at this from a perspective of how Stanford played against another Big 10 opponent in Northwestern, the Cardinals could only muster 6 points, and Iowa is a superior defense to the Wildcats. Supporting their rock solid defense, is a QB who has only turned the ball over 3 times all season. Iowa will not beat themselves, so getting them with a 6 pt cushion is a nice spot for us. The Iowa Hawkeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last seven bowl games. 7-2 ATS in their last nine games on grass. 41-20-1 ATS in their last 62 games following a loss. Our scoring model grades this as a 24-20 Cardinals victory, although I won’t be shocked at all if the Hawkeyes win the game outright. A safer bet though, is on Iowa with the 6pts.


    The best New Year’s Day college football bowl betting trends
    By Marc Lawrence

    Let’s take a look at what’s trending this New Year’s Day bowl card.

    Bowling For Dollars

    Here is a look at the most recent trends that have occurred inside each of the six major bowl games on tap New Year’s Day.

    – Outback Bowl: favorites in this bowl are 1-5 ATS the last six years… Big Ten teams are 6-1 ATS, SEC teams are 3-8 ATS

    – Citrus Bowl: favorites are 4-0 ATS in this bowl the last five years (one ‘pick’ game)… Big Ten teams are 0-4 ATS, SEC teams are 4-1 ATS

    – Fiesta Bowl: favorites are 1-3 ATS in this bowl… Ohio State is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in this bowl since 2003

    – Rose Bowl: favorites have cashed 3 of the last 4 Rose Bowls, while the favorite is 6-2 ATS in last eight Big Ten-Pac-12 Rose Bowls

    – Sugar Bowl: the favorite is 0-3-1 ATS the last four Sugar Bowls, but the last 3 SEC favorites have all lost SU in this bowl

    Conference Call: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

    – Good numbers: Big Ten teams off a double-digit win (Northwestern) are 14-5 ATS… SEC dogs off a loss (Florida) are 13-4 ATS vs. opponents off a loss.

    – Bad Numbers: Big Ten favorites off a double-digit loss (Michigan) are 2-8 ATS… Big 12 teams (Oklahoma State) are 11-25 SUATS vs. SEC opponents.

    – Ugly numbers: SEC favorites of more than 4 points (Ole Miss and Tennessee) are 2-9 ATS after scoring 35 or more points in their last game.

    Coach Me Up

    – Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz is 7-3 ATS as a bowl dog.

    – Florida’s Jim McElwain is 5-1-2 ATS off a loss vs. an opponent off a loss.

    – Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS off a double-digit loss vs. an opponent off a loss.

    – Mississippi’s Hugh Freeze is 12-1 ATS as a favorite in non-conference games.

    – Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald is 9-2 ATS as a dog in non-conference games, including 5-0 SUATS the last five.

    – Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly is 14-5 ATS as a dog off a loss.

    – Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is 8-2 SUATS in bowl games.

    – Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy is 10-1 SU and 8-3 ATS vs. non-conference opponents off a SUATS win.

    – Stanford’s David Shaw is 20-2 SU and 16-6 ATS vs. an opponent off a loss.

    – Tennessee’s Butch Jones is 8-2 SUATS with rest off a win.

    Crash And Burn

    New Year’s Day bowl teams off high scoring efforts in their previous game tend to come back to earth in a hurry.

    That’s confirmed by a 47-65 ATS overall mark for teams who put up 35 or more points in their previous game.

    The best role in fading these teams is when they take the field with soft defenses, those allowing 23 or more PPG on the season, where they dip to 5-18 SU and 7-16 ATS – including 0-6 SUATS the last three years.

    Fire extinguishers are ready and standing by for the Stanford Cardinal.

    New Resolution

    New Year’s Day favorites with new coaches (not interims) are 17-31-2 ATS.

    Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh will be put to the task in the Citrus Bowl following the loss of defensive coordinator D. J. Durkin (new Maryland head coach).

    He resolved the defection by promoting 66-year old defensive line coach Greg Mattison as his new DC.

    Stat Of The Day

    Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is 23-1 SU and 18-3-1 ATS in games vs. an opponent off a loss.



    MILLIONAIRE — Notre Dame +


    Perfect Play — Oklahoma State +


    Inner Circle — Iowa +

    The PAC-12 plays home to some strong offensive lines but Iowa will present the Cardinal front seven with its stiffest test in the Rose Bowl. The offensive line and the patience and discipline of the Hawkeyes backfield is a difference maker in this game between Iowa and Stanford. Iowa needs to keep the Cardinal’s high-octane offense on the sideline and eat up the clock.The Hawkeyes should feel good about their chances to rush the ball. The running backs should be able to solve the Cardinal 3-4 defense. As a quick comparison between Iowa and two other similar teams pertaining to rushing the football, Notre Dame and USC maintained a 7.4 yards per carry average with every running back getting a handoff while playing against Stanford. The best part of about effective running really happens on the other side of the ball as the Hawkeyes get to rest their defense. The Hawkeyes may be the more motivated as the Hawkeyes haven’t won a bowl game since the 2010 season. 1958 was the last time they won the Rose Bowl. If that is too basic, then stop Christian McCaffrey and you stopped the whole Stanford team.


    Pinnacle — Florida +
    ***Bowl Game of Year***

    Michigan can not score enough points to cover this spread. They don’t have a difference maker on offense. They can’t run the ball. And even if possible, UF defense allowed just 120.6 yards per game to rank 17th in the nation. The Wolverines have made zero noise other than the defensive side of the ball the entire season. They may not have truly recovered from their “bad beat” against Michigan St. Their final game may be proof that their season is over. Nobody should lose 42-13 at home unless they either had quit which is unlikely or unless they don’t possess the talent. For Florida, this will be the last game for their two best offensive players. Kelvin Taylor and top wide receiver Demarcus Robinson are headed for the NFL draft. This game is another stepping stone to showcase their talents. They really need a big game against Michigan to impress the scouts. Points will be hard to come by which will bring the points into the game. Remember that the total is projected at 40 points scored so the spread Michigan is laying represents 10%. It’s rather easy to make a case for the underdog with Michigan’s lack of scoring.



    6.5 units
    “Bowl Big Dog of The Year”
    Notre Dame

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