CFB Bowl Week 2 (Through 12/24)

We kicked off Bowl SznTM with a pedestrian 3-4 showing for -0.5 units. Not the start we were looking for but it’s hard to complain when we are forced to watch and gamble on the likes of North Texas, Southern Miss and Marshall. Q was our saving grace with a 2-1 weekend for nearly a full unit gained. I stumbled out of the Bowl SznTM gates with a 1-3 weekend, but I’m 7-5 in my last 12 CFB picks so it’s not time to panic yet. This weekend’s slate is not much better than last but things will kick up a notch after Christmas. Until then, here’s a handful of winners to stuff in your stockings.

DPJ’s Best Bets (Since Week 15: 24-21 Overall, +1.617 Units)

Baylor vs Air Force (Armed Forces Bowl) – Thursday, 12/22 (7:30 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Under 43.5 (-110) (1 unit)

I’m expecting an absolute classic Armed Forces Bowl with > 400 rushing yards between these two teams and < 44 points. For a Big 12 team Baylor’s passing offense is atrocious, they ended the season averaging just 235 ypg (104th in the FBS). Unsurprisingly, Air Force averaged less than 68 passing ypg (261st in the FBS) which is just comical. Both of these teams are great running the ball and Air Force is the best in the country with 331 ypg on the ground. Even better, their defense is also nasty and they haven’t had a game go over 40 points since October 15th at UNLV. There is no better way to support the troops than taking the under in the Armed Services Bowl. Score Prediction: Air Force 17 – Baylor 13.

Wake Forest vs Missouri (Gasparilla Bowl) – Friday, 12/23 (6:30 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 58.5 (-110) (1 unit)

On the eve of Christmas Eve we are blessed with the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl, played in sunny Tampa, FL. It’s a shame we don’t get this game played in Tropicana Field (home of the Rays) anymore but I guess it’s a win that the kids get to play outdoors on grass instead of indoors on turf. Apparently the name Gasparilla comes from legendary pirate Jose Gaspar who used to terrorize the coastal waters of Western Florida. I can’t think of a better way to honor a pirate than naming a shitty December Florida bowl game after him, I’m sure old Jose would have loved that. This should be quite a showdown as Missouri hasn’t won a bowl game since 2014 and Wake Forest is trying to avoid losing five of their last six games in 2022. Wake has a dynamic offense with Sam Hartman under center and while Missouri’s D has looked good in spots this year I don’t see this defense getting up for the challenge of battling the Demon Deacons on that side of the ball. I’m sensing a lot of points, and getting to 59 total points should not be all that difficult. Score Prediction: Wake Forest 35 – Missouri 38.

Louisiana vs Houston (Independence Bowl)/MTSU vs SDSU (Hawaii Bowl)
Pick: 2 Team Parlay: Houston Moneyline, SDSU Moneyline (-113) (1 unit)

Houston get’s a Christmas Eve-Eve matchup with the Ragin Cajuns in Shreveport, LA. While this may seem like a home game for the Cajuns playing in the state of Louisiana it is a similar travel burden for both teams (about a 3-4 hour drive). Houston is simply the better team, and that’s why they are favored by a touchdown.They have a top 30 offense in total yards, passing yards and points per game. The Ragin Cajuns don’t really do anything well as they sit outside the top 100 in all offensive and defensive metrics. There should be a fair amount of points scored in this one as neither team really likes to play defense but I think Houston wins comfortably. Score Prediction: Houston 31 – Louisiana 24.

SDSU and Middle Tennessee are the lucky winners of meaningless bowl season as they get the treat of flying to Honolulu for a matchup in the Hawaii Bowl. This has to be looked at as more of a vacation than anything for the Blue Raiders as they escape winter in Murfreesboro, TN and get to spend their holidays on the beach. Conversely for SDSU, Hawaii beaches are a step up from San Diego beaches but you have to think the Aztecs will be viewing this as more of a business trip than a vacation. As far as the Xs and Os, Middle Tenn has the better offense and SDSU has the better defense. Both teams beat up on conference opponents in ‘22 but neither did much out of conference, aside from Middle Tenn beating a crappy Miami team in September. I think this one will be relatively low scoring and the Aztecs will grind out a win with their defense leading the charge. Score Prediction: SDSU 23 – Middle Tenn 21.

Q’s Best Bets (Since Week 15: 16-14 Overall, +2.842 Units)

Louisiana vs Houston (Independence Bowl) – Friday, 12/23 (3:00 PM EST)
Pick: 2 Leg Parlay: Total Points Over 50.5, Houston Moneyline (+105) (1 unit)

Originally I had this matchup listed as ULL with a slight edge over Houston but due to recent opt out news on both sides I’m now leaning Houston. Houston’s starting QB Clayton Tune and best WR Nathaniel Dell both decided not to opt out of this bowl game which was somewhat of a surprise. On the flip side, ULL lost their best edge rusher (Andre Jones) and best WR (Michael Jefferson) somewhat unexpectedly yesterday… To DPJ’s point, a game in Shreveport, LA might appear like home field advantage on paper… but in reality it’s a relatively equal drive for both schools and I believe the game venue will help the over more than ULL’s spread. Louisiana does have a solid secondary which should keep this game somewhat close but I don’t think they’re good enough to prevent the Cougars and Tune from pulling away late. Both teams should lean on their passing game to produce on offense and neither side has an elite defense (with the exception of ULL’s secondary… which is solid… but not solid enough to shut down Tune). Houston’s head coach is usually terrible in covering at bowl games but the Cougars will likely be motivated to close out the year in emphatic fashion as they transition into a new conference next season. Score Prediction: Houston 38 – Louisiana 27.

Wake Forest vs Missouri (Gasparilla Bowl) – Friday, 12/23 (6:30 PM EST)
Pick: Wake Forest -2.5 (+115) (1 unit)

Love this spot for the Demon Deacs on Friday. Mizzou will be without several key contributors on both sides of the ball (mostly defensive players but also their best WR Lovett) which should spell trouble against Sam Hartman and a Wake Forest offense that can absolutely pick you apart through the air when Hartman has time to throw. Mizzou’s defense has been atrocious at producing pressure on QBs all season and this final game should be Sam Hartman’s “swan song” of what will likely be considered the greatest QB career in Wake history. Expect Hartman to sling it to Perry & Co at will against a depleted Mizzou team without much to play for. ***note the alternate spread of Wake -2.5 for a little extra juice*** Score Prediction: Wake Forest 31 – Missouri 24.

Baylor vs Air Force (Armed Forces Bowl) – Thursday, 12/22 (7:30 PM EST)
Pick: 2 Leg Parlay: Air Force +7.5, Total Points Under 49.5 (-110) (1 unit)

This take on the total should be pretty obvious… triple option team playing a run heavy offense who also has a solid defensive front, both teams are playing in frigid/windy temperatures and Air Force’s defense is very underrated. 

Not only am I expecting the Falcons to keep this one close/low scoring, but I think there’s a great chance they pull off the upset in Fort Worth. Military academies are always more determined to win the Armed Forces Bowl than their non military opponents, Air Force had an awesome season this year (winning the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy) and their defense honestly matches up very nicely with Baylor’s run-heavy offense. Expect a low scoring affair in which the Falcons give Baylor a massive run for their money. Score Prediction: Baylor 24 – Air Force 20.

Disclaimer: SidehustlebetsMJQ.com is not an online gambling operator or a gambling site of any kind. Our insights about sports/sports betting are purely for entertainment purposes only.

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