Perfect and looking to stay that way
December 25, 2018 3:00 AM
by Joe D'Amico
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
It has been an amazing run so far, a perfect 7-0 during the first two weeks of bowl season This week, I am going to throw away the bones and just give you the meat. So, let’s dive right in to more bowl winners.
Music City Bowl – Purdue (+4) vs. Auburn: To be quite honest, the wrong team is favored here. Purdue should be a 1-to 2-point favorite in this matchup.
One of the biggest disappointments this college football season is Auburn. This 7-5 Tigers squad was a preseason CFP hopeful. They just got smoked, 52-21, in their regular season finale to Alabama. O.K, granted, it was Alabama. But finishing a disappointing season with a butt-whooping ain’t gonna’ help morale.
Purdue is healthy, happy to be in a Bowl, love that HC Jeff Brohm is sticking around, and have the best playmaker on the field in Rondale Moore (1,164 yards, 13 TDs). The WR leads a very deep, receiving corps. QB, David Blough (66.6 percent CR, 3,521 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs) is going to move the chains in the air. PURDUE
Camping World Bowl – Syracuse (-1) vs. West Virginia: QB Will Grier and LT Yodny Cajuste will not participate here, as they are preparing for the NFL draft. This is going to drastically impact the third-ranked passing unit of West Virginia as sophomore backup Jack Allison will take the reins.
Reports are that the Miami transfer has problems in the pinch (the guy folds under pressure).Well, Syracuse likes to blitz, and is successful in doing so. The Mountaineers are already depressed after finishing the regular season with back-to-back losses and now must face a Syracuse offense that is a juggernaut, averaging over 40.8 PPG, equally good on the ground and in the air. Dual-threat QB Eric Dungey (2,565 yards 17 TDs in the air, 732 rushing yards, 15 TDs on the ground) . SYRACUSE
Cotton Bowl – Clemson (-13) vs. Notre Dame: The line in this game dropped, which doesn’t surprise me as giving an undefeated Notre Dame squad, which happens to also a fan-favorite, nearly two TD’s, urged both the sharps and the general public to play them. This is a Clemson’s fourth consecutive season in the CFP. They are arguably, the most-complete team in college football (5th offensively, 45.4 PPG and 2nd defensively, 13.7 PPG).
The Tigers are certainly the toughest opponent the Fighting Irish has faced this season and own the better personnel in the trenches. I put a lean on the favorite. CLEMSON
Orange Bowl – Oklahoma (+14) vs. Alabama: I think this is one of the toughest Bowl games to handicap. I am a big Alabama fan, so this is a perfect example in never letting your heart anywhere near your head when it comes to sports betting.
The second College Football Playoff semifinal matches the nation’s top two scoring offenses (Oklahoma 49.5 PPG, Alabama 47.9 PPG). The big difference here is on the defensive side of the ball. The Crimson Tide defense, ranked No. 4 in the nation, allows a mere 14.8 PPG, while the Sooners stop-unit (No. 96), gives up 32.4 PPG.
With all this being said, two TDs is a lot of points to lay in a CFP matchup. OKLAHOMA
Military Bowl – Cincinnati (-5.5) vs. Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech has played the tougher schedule, but their losses to Old Dominion and Georgia Tech are hard to overlook. Cincinnati, one of college football’s most-pleasant surprises (10-2), enter this Bowl contest with a very healthy team, the 7th-ranked defense in the nation (16.1 PPG allowed), and the better QB-RB tandem. Desmond Riddler (62 percent passing, 2,359 yards, 19 TDs, 5 INTs) and Michael Warren II (1,163 yards rushing, 17 TDs) are explosive.
The Bearcats are 5-2 ATS the last seven non-conference games. The Hokies are 2-6 ATS the last eight overall games. CINCINNATI
Redbox Bowl – Oregon (-2.5) vs. Michigan State: The Michigan State offense is lethargic, averaging just, 19.8 PPG. They’ve accounted for a total of 26 points over their last three regular-season outings.
The Spartans are known for their defense, but have had issues when facing well-balanced offensive units. Well, Oregon can score points (18th, 37.2 PPG) in the air as well as on the ground, and finished the season with two big wins.
The Ducks come in here with confidence. QB Justin Herbert (59.6 percent passing 2,985 yards, 28 TDs, 8 INTs) is a better field general and more reliable than either Spartans play-callers, Brian Lewerke or Rocky Lombardi (49.3 percent, 2,606 yards, 11 TDs and 13 INTs combined).
Michigan State is 0-4 ATS the last four meetings vs. Oregon, 2-7 ATS the last nine games vs. the PAC 12, and 1-5 ATS the last six games played following a SU win. OREGON
Last week: 4-0