|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-07-19||Alabama v. Clemson +6||Top||16-44||Win||100||38 h 52 m||Show|
ASA CFB 10* PLAY ON Clemson (+) over Alabama, Monday at 8:00 PM ET - We have these teams rated nearly even (Bama should be 2.5 point favorite in our ratings) so whoever happened to be getting points in this game, we feel the value is with the dog. Clemson absolutely dominated Notre Dame in the semi’s winning 30-3 and outgaining the Irish by almost 300 yards. That’s nothing new for this team as they outgained every opponent but one by at least 144 yards. Bama beat Oklahoma 45-34 but outgained the Sooners by just 57 yards. The overall numbers of these teams for the season are almost identical. Clemson averaged 531 YPG on 7.3 YPP. Alabama averaged 530 YPG on 7.9 YPP. Defensively the Tigers allowed just 280 YPG on 4.1 YPP. The Tide just 308 YPG on 4.7 YPP. So for the season Clemson was +251 YPG and +3.2 YPP. Bama was +222 YPG and +3.2 YPP. Clemson’s point differential checked in at +32 PPG. The Tide was +31 PPG. You get the point. Pretty much as close as you could be for a full season as far as statistics go. If we break it down vs good teams only (bowl teams) entering the post-season Clemson had faced 10 bowl teams and outgained them by an average of 236 YPG. Alabama had faced 8 bowl teams and outgained them by 212 yards. Again, very close. Many stick to the rhetoric and Saban is simply tough to top in bowl games. However, the facts tell a different story. Saban is just 3-6 ATS his last 7 bowl/playoff games. Clemson head man Dabo Swinney, on the other hand, is a near perfect 8-1 ATS his last 9 post-season games. You say the SEC was much tougher than the ACC? The SEC is currently 6-5 in their bowl games while the ACC is 5-5. While we will agree the SEC is better, the difference isn’t as drastic as most might think. Bama has a tendency to intimidate opponents beating many of them before the game even starts. They are already in the heads of their opponents before the first kick. That’s not the case with Clemson. The Tigers have no fear of the vaunted Tide. They have already proven the can beat this team in big games. They have met twice in the last three years in the National Championship game and both games went to the wire with Bama winning 45-40 in 2016 & Clemson winning 35-31 in 2017. Last year they met in the semi-final and while Bama won 24-6, it was closer than that as the two were separated by 70 total yards and the Tide returned an interception for a TD in the 4th quarter to break the game open. Breaking down the yardage in their 3 meetings over the last 3 seasons, Clemson actually has the advantage with 1250 total yards to 1110 for Alabama. We predict this one comes down to the wire just as their last two National Championship battles did. Taking the points with Clemson is the value play here.
|01-01-19||LSU -7 v. Central Florida||40-32||Win||100||24 h 16 m||Show|
ASA PLAY 9* ON LSU (-) over UCF, Tuesday at 1 PM ET - There is a lot of focus on defensive personnel that are out for this game for LSU. So much focus in fact that many are forgetting about the most important injury situation relating to this game. That of course is the fact that UCF star QB McKenzie Milton is out with that devastating knee injury he suffered in November. The Tigers have played a much tougher schedule than the Knights have this season. Additionally, the few times when Central Florida has stepped up in level of opposition, they have not been overly impressive. The four toughest match-ups that UCF had were facing Memphis twice, Cincinnati once, and Temple once. Note that the Owls put up 670 yards on the Knights! That is the same Temple team that got smoked in the bowls by Duke. As for the win over the Bearcats, the scoreboard showed a 25 point edge but note that UCF only won the yardage battle by 23 yards! Certainly a bit of a phony final and the two games against Memphis saw the Knights have to rally in BOTH games. UCF rallied to beat the Tigers by 1 point in October. Then, in the AAC Championship game, the final score makes it look like the Knights dominated but Central Florida was down huge at the half and the game was still a 1-point game with under 7 minutes to go in the contest. Keep in mind that was against a Memphis team that, like Temple, also lost their bowl game and the Tigers were out-gained by 151 yards by Wake Forest in that bowl defeat. The point is that LSU is, by far, a tougher opponent than UCF has faced all year and this would be true even if the ENTIRE Tigers defense was made up of their 2nd stringers! LSU comes from the powerful SEC of course and the Tigers only losses came against Florida (blasted Michigan in bowl game), Alabama (blasted Oklahoma in CFB Playoff semi-final), and Texas A & M (an epic game decided in 7 overtimes). In our opinion, the Knights (with a back-up) quarterback will struggle to hang around in this game and by the second half the Tigers will wear them down and eventually win this one by a margin of at least two touchdowns. What is the motivation for LSU? UCF is 12-0 on the season. They won't be undefeated after the Tigers are done with them. LSU is the play.
|12-31-18||Northwestern +7 v. Utah||31-20||Win||100||27 h 4 m||Show|
ASA PLAY 9* ON Northwestern (+) over Utah, Monday at 7 PM ET - The Utes are expected to have QB Tyler Huntley (broken collarbone) back for this game but there is certain to be some rust as he has not seen game action since November 3rd. Utah has been held to 147 passing yards or less in 3 of their last 5 games and that is a key concern here because their running game has not been the same since losing running back Zach Moss for the season with an ankle injury. The Utes averaged only 3.4 yards per carry in their last 3 games. Northwestern wrapped up the season with strong running as they totaled over 400 yards in their final two games and averaged 5.9 yards per carry! The Wildcats defense had a poor game versus Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. However, Northwestern entered that game having allowed 17 points or less in 5 of their 6 prior games! Utah lost 10-3 in the PAC-12 Championship and the Utes entered that game having allowed 25 points or more in 4 of their 6 prior games. You can see why we like having the TD underdog here when you see how these teams have performed in the latter half of the season. Speaking of underdog value, if you had played the underdog in all 12 of Northwestern's regular season games (prior to Big Ten Championship) you would not have lost a single bet as the dog was 11-0-1 ATS in the Wildcats dozen regular season games. Northwestern's outright upset wins included defeating Wisconsin and winning at Iowa and at Michigan State this season. We are forecasting another upset here and will gladly grab the points being offered. Northwestern is the play.
|12-31-18||Michigan State +2.5 v. Oregon||6-7||Win||100||21 h 25 m||Show|
ASA 9* CFB PLAY ON Michigan State (+) over Oregon, Monday at 3:00 PM ET - We really like the defensive and coaching advantage in this game. MSU head man Mark Dantonio is a very good coach and with extra time to prepare he has been money. The Spartans are 5-1 both SU & ATS their last 6 bowl games with their only loss & non-cover coming against Alabama. Oregon’s Mario Cristobal is in his 2nd season in Eugene and while he is a very good recruiter, we’re not wild about him as a head coach. He had only 2 winning seasons (8-5 & 7-6) in his 6 seasons as head coach @ Florida International from 2007 to 2012. His two bowl appearances with FIU were not very impressive as the slipped by Toledo 34-32 as a 2-point favorite and the Rockets outgained FIU by 130 yards in that game (FIU had 89 yard kick return for TD by now Indy WR TY Hilton). The following year Cristobal took FIU to another bowl and lost by 10 to Marshall as a 4-point favorite. Last year, his first with Oregon, the Ducks went into their bowl game vs Boise as a 7-point favorite and lost by 10. Cristobal, unlike Dantonio, has not shown the ability to have his team ready for bowl games losing in 2 of his 3 post-season appearances as a favorite. MSU defensively has been great this year. They rank #1 nationally vs the rush allowing just 81 YPG on 2.7 YPC. The Ducks rely very heavily on the run averaging 41 carries per game (35th nationally in rushing attempts per game). Using a successful running game to set up QB Justin Herbert and the passing game probably won’t be an option here for the Ducks. MSU should keep them one dimensional. The Spartan offense definitely had their problems this season. However, injuries had a lot to do with that. QB Brian Lewerke had a shoulder injury down the stretch and was not anywhere near 100% as he split time with Rocky Lombardi. Lewerke has had time to rest his shoulder and it’s much better than it has been as he gets the start here. Starting RB LJ Scott was injured much of the season and he is healthy for this game. Sparty has had a month off to tweak their offense and now with some key contributors back, we expect them to play much better. They are facing an Oregon defense that allowed 31 PPG vs the 6 bowl teams they faced this year. By comparison, the MSU defense allowed 21 points or less in 9 of their 12 games this year. Sparty played the much tougher schedule this year facing the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and even a very good Utah State team in the non-conference slate. The Pac 12 was down again this year and they continue to flame out in bowl games. This year the Pac 12 is already 1-2 SU in bowls but 0-3 ATS. The conference is now 2-14 ATS their last 16 bowl appearances. The Pac 12 is just 2-10 SU their last 12 bowl games dating back to last season. We like Michigan State to take this game outright.
|12-28-18||Iowa State v. Washington State -2.5||Top||26-28||Loss||-110||34 h 36 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* TOP Washington State (-) over Iowa State, Friday at 9 PM ET - These teams have nearly identical stats on the defensive side of the ball but the Cougars hold a large edge on offense. While the Cyclones averaged 26.8 points on only 359 yards per game this season, Washington State piled up 461.8 yards per game leading the way to producing an average of 38.3 points per game. Keep in mind that while the Cougars have had Gardner Minshew at QB all season long, Iowa State is now using a quarterback that was listed 3rd on the depth chart entering this season! The only two losses that Washington State suffered this season were by 3 points at USC in a game in which they outgained the Trojans by nearly 100 yards and then in the Apple Cup battle versus Washington that was played in snowy conditions that didn't allow Minshew to continue his strong late season run. There certainly won't be any concern with weather in this one as it is played indoors at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. This is a big edge for the team with the better offense and that is certainly the Cougars in this match-up. The Cyclones do have some injury concerns in the secondary which could impact their depth in this one and that spells trouble against a passing attack that totaled at least 319 passing yards in every single game this season other than the "snow game" in their season finale. Iowa State is 0-3 ATS this season in non-conference games. The Cougars are 8-3 SU and ATS (including 4-1 SU and ATS this season) in games with a point spread in a range of +3 to -3. With the line move on this game also working in favor of the Cougars this is a fantastic value spot. In our opinion, this is the best team Washington State head coach Mike Leach has had during his time with the Cougars and we like them to bounce back after losing their final regular season game. Certainly it is the best defense Leach has had and we have a feeling the Cyclones will struggle to score points in this game and the Cougars pull away in the 2nd half for a double digit win. Washington State is the play.
|12-28-18||Auburn v. Purdue +3.5||63-14||Loss||-110||40 h 20 m||Show|
#242 ASA 9* CFB PLAY ON Purdue (+) over Auburn, Friday at 1:30 PM ET – MUSIC CITY BOWL - We know Purdue is thrilled to be here. They will be well prepared and very motivated to take on their SEC foe. Head coach Jeff Brohm, who is very well liked by the players, gave this team an extra boost by turning down the Louisville job (Brohm’s alma mater) after the season to stay with the Boilers. Positive energy abounds around this program and we expect them to play very well on Friday. Auburn? Maybe not so much. The Tigers had much higher aspirations this year but struggled to get to a 7-5 record. They were in the Sugar Bowl and Peach Bowl the last 2 seasons and now they are relegated to the Music City Bowl. Their coach Gus Malzahn is just 1-4 SU in bowl games as this team often underachieves in the post-season. On top of that, Malzahn was on the hot seat for much of the season but will now remain as head coach which we’re not sure is a great thing. His offensive coordinator has already left for the same position under Les Miles at Kansas. Their starting QB Jarrett Stidham will play but has already declared for the draft so we’re not sure he’ll be 100% focused on this one. Since the opening weekend when the Tigers slipped by Washington 21-16, this team has beaten a grand total of ONE team that was bowl eligible. That was a 28-24 win over Texas A&M, a game Auburn was outgained by 123 yards AND trailed 24-14 with less than 6:00 remaining in the game. This team was outgained in every SEC game but two this year (outgained Ole Miss by 50 & Tennessee by 37). Purdue has great momentum after starting the season 0-3 and fighting their way back and into a bowl game. Four of their six losses came by 4 points or less and only once this season were they beaten badly and the game was out of reach. Unlike Malzahn, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm has been a very good bowl coach with a perfect 3-0 SU record in his time at Western Kentucky & Purdue. They have impressive wins this year over bowlers Ohio State, Iowa, and Boston College. While the Boilers have hung around in the same neighborhood stat’s wise vs other bowl teams getting outgained by just 10 YPG, the Tigers have been dominated by other good teams getting outgained by 123 YPG vs other bowl teams. We’ll take the rising team as a dog over the team that is likely to go through the motions here.
|12-27-18||Duke +3.5 v. Temple||56-27||Win||100||16 h 23 m||Show|
#235 ASA 9* CFB PLAY ON Duke (+) over Temple, Thursday at 1:30 PM ET – INDEPENDENCE BOWL We feel the coaching mismatch in this game is fairly significant. Duke’s head man David Cutcliffe is a veteran whose been at Duke for 11 years & was the head coach at Ole Miss prior to that. His teams at both schools have performed very well in bowl games with an 9-2 ATS record. He prepares them well with the extra time off and that shows in his 82% ATS bowl mark. His counterpart on Thursday will be interim coach Ed Foley as Temple head coach Geoff Collins has moved on to take the job at Georgia Tech. Foley was the interim coach for Temple in their bowl game 2 years ago and they lost by 8 points to Wake Forest as a 12 point favorite. Temple’s main assistant coaches have remained in place which helps but many will be looking for new jobs (or have been already) as Miami DC Manny Diaz takes over starting on Friday. That has to cause some distraction for this team. We love this situation for the Devils as well. They were absolutely embarrassed in their season finale losing 59-7 to Wake Forest. Not only that, Duke was favored by 9 in that game! It was a bad spot for Duke as they were coming off Clemson a week earlier and took and up and coming Wake team for granted (Wake already beat Memphis in their bowl game). It was Cutcliffe’s worst loss of his career and you can bet his team wants redemption for that terrible and effortless performance. Temple, on the other hand, hasn’t been challenged in a month and a half when they beat Houston on November 11th. They were double digit favorites in their final two games vs USF and UConn and won those games by 10 & 50 points. The Owl defense has impressive numbers, however they did have problems with mobile QB’s allowing Houston to put up 49, Boston College 45, UCF 52, and Buffalo 36 points. Duke’s QB Daniel Jones falls into that category so we expect the Devils to have a solid offensive performance here. The Blue Devils have played the MUCH tougher schedule facing off against 10 teams that made their way into bowl games. They were 5-5 in those games including wins over Army (who blew out Houston in their bowl game), Miami FL, Northwestern (who won the Big Ten West), Georgia Tech, and Baylor. Meanwhile, in the much weaker AAC, Temple faced 6 bowl bound teams and finished with a 3-3 mark with wins over Houston (who was blown out by Army in their bowl game), USF (who was WAY down this season and blown out at home in their bowl game by Marshall), and Cincy in OT. We think Duke has a great shot to win this game outright and we’ll take the points.
|12-26-18||Minnesota v. Georgia Tech -5.5||34-10||Loss||-100||20 h 57 m||Show|
ASA 9* PLAY ON Georgia Tech (-) over Minnesota, Wednesday at 5:15 PM ET This is the Gophers first bowl appearance since PJ Fleck took over as head coach so they might be in “just happy to be here” mode. They already won their biggest game of the year upsetting Wisconsin (Badgers had 4 turnover to 0 for Minnesota) on the road in the season finale taking home Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the first time in 14 yards AND becoming bowl eligible in the process. Going into Wisconsin as a double digit underdog, we’re not sure they even expected to be playing in the post-season. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, will be highly motivated to get this win. Their long time head coach Paul Johnson has informed his team that he will retire after this one. From what we have been told, Johnson is well liked by his players and they REALLY want to win this game for him. “I’m going to try to have my best game, and we’re going to try to send coach Johnson out the right way, with a win,” linebacker and captain Brant Mitchell said. “I think that’s the mindset of everybody on this team.” The Jackets offensive strength plays right into Minnesota’s defensive weakness. Tech leads the nation in rushing at 335 YPG on 5.7 YPC while Minnesota allows 170 YPG on the ground in 5.2 YPC. They had some solid defensive performances vs the rush against lower tier rushing teams. However, against the top running games in the Big Ten they struggled allowing Illinois, Nebraska, and Maryland to all rush for over 300 yards. Against Wisconsin to end the season, Minny jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead due to turnovers and special teams (punt return TD for Gophs) taking the Badgers out of their gameplan. Even with that Wisconsin rushed for 170 yards on 5.5 YPC. The Gophs will also be without their top defensive player and leading tackler LB Blake Cashman along with starting OT Donnell Greene who are both sitting out this game to get ready for the NFL draft. On top of that, head coach PJ Fleck suspended a few other players but he isn’t divulging who they are so we’ll all find out at game time. Either way, not a great sign for Minnesota and their mental readiness for this game. They are also the youngest team in the nation with over 50% of their roster being freshmen so it will be the first bowl game ever for many on this team. Because they were young, the Gophers struggled on the road with their only win coming @ Wisconsin in a game they were actually outgained. Their other games away from home ended in losses by margins of 29, 25, 24, and 16 points. Ga Tech has won 6 of 8 game entering this one but did lose in their season ender to in-state rival Georgia. Johnson has led his team to wins in 3 of their last 4 bowls games and we like them to bounce back after losing their final regular season game. We have a feeling the young Minnesota defense gets worn down in this game and Tech pulls away in the 2nd half for a double digit win. Georgia Tech is the play.
|12-22-18||Buffalo v. Troy +1||Top||32-42||Win||100||27 h 51 m||Show|
#226 ASA CFB 10* TOP PLAY ON Troy (+) over Buffalo, Saturday at 7:00 PM ET – DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL The wrong team is favored here in our opinion. We have these teams rated dead even and this is basically a home game for Troy. This game is being played in Mobile, AL which is 165 miiles from the Troy campus. When the Trojans played here two years ago they beat Ohio (from the MAC) 28-23. They brought 30,000+ fans to the game and a large contingent is expected again on Saturday. The Trojans were 2nd best team in the Sun Belt all season long right behind Appalachian State who already won their bowl game 45-13 despite losing their head coach and much of their coaching staff at the end of the regular season. Our 3rd rated team in the Sun Belt was Georgia Southern who already beat Eastern Michigan from the MAC (same as Buffalo) in their bowl game. Troy beat all of the bowl teams in the Sun Belt with the exception of App State who played host to the Trojans in the final game of the regular season and won 21-10. This team also beat Nebraska on the road earlier in the season. The MAC is again struggling in the bowl season (EMU lost, NIU lost, Toledo lost, Ohio won as of this writing) and the league is just 1-11 SU their last 12 bowl games. Buffalo lost to Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game blowing a 29-10 lead losing 30-29. We think they’ll have a tough time bouncing back from that disappointment. On top of that, the team that beat them, Northern Illinois, was already crushed in their bowl game by UAB. Troy has a decent sized defensive edge here. They have been very good at stopping the run allowing just 3.3 YPC this season. It’s not as if the Sun Belt is a bad rushing conference either as this Troy defense faced 5 of the top 31 rush offenses this season. The Bulls rely heavily on their running game (42 carries per game) and Troy has the ability to shut that down. On the other side of the ball Buffalo allows nearly a full YPC more than Troy. The Trojans should control the trenches here. This is Buffalo’s first bowl game since 2013 while Troy is playing their third straight bowl game (won their bowl game each of the last 2 seasons). Troy has a veteran coach in Neal Brown that has led his team to a 30-19 ATS record over his tenure at the school. This Troy team has won 30 of their last 38 games going back to the start of the 2015 season. This program has a winning tradition while Buffalo is just starting to build theirs with their first winning season since 2013. Troy wins this one.
|12-22-18||Houston v. Army -5||14-70||Win||100||23 h 22 m||Show|
#224 ASA 9* CFB PLAY ON Army (-) over Houston, Saturday at 3:30 PM ET – ARMED FORCES BOWL - We’re not so sure what Houston’s mind set will be entering this game. They had higher aspirations coming into the season but are stuck in the Armed Forces Bowl. Their top player, DT Oliver, is sitting this game out to get ready for the NFL draft. Their starting QB D’Eriq King, who passed for 3000 yards and 36 TD’s along with nearly 700 yards rushing, hurt his knee in the Cougars 2nd to last game of the season and is out. His back up is a true freshman who was 18 of 43 passing in their season ending blowout loss at the hands of Memphis. They will also be without one of the top offensive playmakers, WR & kick returner Bryson Smith. On top of that, head coach Major Applewhite fired his defensive coordinator at the end of the season. This team seems to done with this season and looking ahead to next year. We know that isn’t the case with Army. One thing we know about the service academies is they will show up and play hard in their bowl games (16-8 ATS in bowl games since 2003). Army was easily the best of the academies this year with a 10-2 record. Let’s not forget one of the losses was 28-21 @ Oklahoma in overtime and the Cadets outgained the Sooners! It was easily the lowest point total for the Sooners this season (21 in regulation) as they topped 40 in every game but two (37 vs Iowa State was the other). That speaks volumes on how good this Army defense is. They ended the season ranked in the top 20 nationally in total defense, rush defense, pass defense, AND scoring defense. Houston, on the other hand, struggled to top the run this year allowing just under 200 YPG. And that was WITH All American DT Ed Oliver in the line up and as we stated he is sitting this one out. The Cougs beat Navy this year as the Middies were way down, however they allowed 344 yards rushing in that one. They’ll have big problems again here stopping an Army running attack that ranks #2 nationally averaging 297 YPG. We like Army to win by at least a TD in this one so we’ll lay the points.
|12-21-18||Florida International +7 v. Toledo||35-32||Win||100||18 h 39 m||Show|
#217 ASA 9* CFB PLAY ON Florida International (+) over Toledo, Friday at 12:30 PM ET NOTE - FRIDAY AFTERNOON GAME - Windy conditions expected in the Bahamas Bowl and this absolutely will negate some of the impact of Florida International QB James Morgan being downgraded to "out" for this game. They are expecting 25 to 35 MPH winds in Nassau on Friday which has dropped this total from 67 to 56! We’re not on the total but interesting to note the affect the strong winds will have on this game. The running game will now become more important of this game and FIU back up QB Christian Alexander, a junior is actually the much better runner in comparison with Morgan. Alexander hasn't seen a ton of action this season but he did complete 19 of 29 passes for 218 yards plus he ran for 98 yards on 14 carries for an average of 7 yards per carry. Morgan is a graduate transfer from Bowling Green and his insight into Toledo (both are MAC schools) is also a bonus in this game as he'll pass along plenty in game planning as he helps Alexander with this rare start. Though this will be an unexpected start for Alexander, he did see action in 8 of the Panthers 12 games this season. The Rockets have the more impressive numbers in terms of production on offense but they are also playing with their back up QB Eli Peters who stepped in the final 4 games for injured starter Mitchell Guadagni. Defensively FIU has a solid edge in our opinion. FIU has allowed 386 YPG on the season while Toledo has been rolled for 430 YPG. In road games this season, the Panthers have allowed just 22 points per game. As for Toledo, away from home this season the Rockets have allowed 34.6 points per game! The Rockets allowed only 13 points in their most recent game but that was at home vs Central Michigan who ranks 2nd to last nationally in total offense. Prior to that one, Toledo allowed 31 points or more in 7 of their previous 10 games since the season opener. With FIU's 28-25 loss to Marshall, the Panthers have now allowed 28 points or less in 8 of their last 11 games. Florida International is 9-2-1 ATS in their last dozen games against teams with a winning record. They are also a perfect 3-0 ATS as an underdog this season & 12-4-1 ATS in that role going back a few seasons. FIU’s Butch Davis is a veteran coach and gets the edge over Toledo’s Jason Candle who is in his 2nd year with the Rockets and this is his only head coaching experience. Davis took over a bad FIU program last year and turned them from a 4-8 team into an 8-5 team in one season. This year they sit at 8-4 looking for their first 9 win season ever. The venue also benefits FIU as they are a short hour flight from the Bahamas and definitely used the the warm, humid weather (supposed to be 80 degrees on Friday). The Toledo players may look at this as more of a vacation making the long trip from the cold Ohio weather. Grab the generous points!