It’s bowl season in college football, and the games are set to begin this week. There have been a number of bowl games canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions or concerns, but 11 games are on tap this weekend.
The biggest and best games will take place next week, but there are still some great matchups on the schedule over the next seven days. Here is a look at each of the 11 games, with a betting preview for each of them.
Bowl season will kick off on Monday when Appalachian State takes on North Texas in the Myrtle Beach Bowl in South Carolina. Appalachian State enters this game with a record of 8-3 while North Texas is just 4-5 on the season.
The Mountaineers finished in second place in the Sun Belt Conference, and this team can really score on offense. Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas has thrown for over 2,000 yards this season, and the Mountaineers are scoring 45 points per game.
North Texas will represent Conference USA, and the Mean Green will need to find some defense in this game. This team has allowed more than 41 points per game, and that is going to hurt it in this one.
Appalachian State is a much better team on paper, and it will take control of this one early. Bet the Appalachian State Mountaineers -21.0 over the North Texas Meen Green.
It will be the Mountain West Conference (Nevada) taking on the American Conference (Tulane) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Tulane comes into this game with a 6-5 record, while Nevada is 6-2 on the season.
Tulane is one of the best rushing teams in the country, running for more than 218 yards per game. The Green Wave have won four of their last five games, and they have plenty of momentum entering bowl season.
Nevada has lost two of its last three games, and the Wolf Pack will attack this game through the air. Nevada is averaging more than 325 passing yards per game, and quarterback Carson Strong has thrown 22 touchdown passes through eight games.
Travel is a bit of a concern for Tulane here, and that should give Nevada an edge. Take the Nevada Wolf Pack straight up over the Tulane Green Wave on Tuesday.
The 6-3 UCF Knights will take on the 10-1 BYU Cougars in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday night. Both teams have played some great competition so far this season, and each team can light up the scoreboard.
UCF is averaging 44.3 points per game, and it is fifth in the country in passing yards per game. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel has racked up 3,353 passing yards and 30 touchdowns through nine games.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson also has 30 touchdown passes this season to go along with 3,267 yards. The Cougars are also running for nearly 188 yards per game, and this offense has been hard to stop in 2020.
The Cougars were one win away from playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game, and they are out to prove themselves. Take the BYU Cougars -7.0 over the UCF Knights on Tuesday night.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome will host the 5-4 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs against the 7-5 Georgia Southern Eagles in the New Orleans Bowl. Both teams won’t have to travel far for this matchup, and it could be a very interesting game.
Louisiana Tech suffered a 52-10 loss to TCU in its most recent game, but it was overmatched in that one. The Bulldogs are only scoring 29 points per game, and finding offense will be a huge key in this matchup.
Georgia Southern has lost three of its last four games, and it is also looking to end the year on a high note. The Eagles are running for more than 260 yards per game, and they will try to run the football a ton in this matchup.
Don’t expect a ton of scoring in this one, and that will lead to a close game. Georgia Southern is the better team, and it will cover the six-point spread on Wednesday.
The 7-3 Memphis Tigers will take on the 5-3 Florida Atlantic Owls in the Montgomery Bowl. Memphis features an explosive passing attack, while FAU is one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Memphis quarterback Brady White has thrown for over 3,000 yards this season, and he will look to find holes in a great defense. The Tigers are allowing close to 30 points per game, and the defense needs to step up.
Florida Atlantic wants to win this game with defense, and it is allowing just 16.5 points per game. The offensive numbers for FAU are not good, and it must try to slow this game down on Wednesday.
This game will be close for a while, but Memphis just has too much offense. The Tigers will take control late and cover the 9.5-point spread.
The 4-4 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will take on the 3-4 Houston Cougars on Christmas Eve in the New Mexico Bowl. Both teams have had disappointing seasons, but this is a chance to end with a win.
Hawaii did beat UNLV in its most recent game, and the Rainbow Warriors have played better of late. Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro has thrown for 1,947 yards and also leads the team with 450 rushing yards.
Houston suffered a 30-27 loss to Memphis in its most recent game, and the Cougars have had a number of games canceled due to COVID-19. The Cougars are scoring more than 32 points per game, and they will look to speed this game up.
Houston should win this game, but a 13-point spread is too large for a pair of struggling teams. The best bet is to take the points and bet on the Rainbow Warriors in this one.
The 7-2 Marshall Thundering Herd will be slight underdogs as they take on the 5-1 Buffalo Bulls on Christmas Day. Both teams were upset in conference title games last weekend, and each will be looking for a bounceback.
Marshall is one of the best defensive teams in the country, allowing just 12.6 points per game. The Thundering Herd will need to find some offense in this one after scoring just 13 points in the Conference USA title game.
Buffalo leads the country with 309 rushing yards per game, but that offense sputtered a bit in the MAC Championship Game. The Bulls will want to play quick and look for holes in that great Marshall defense.
Look for Buffalo to take control of this game late as it wears down the Marshall defense. Bet the Buffalo Bulls -3.0 over the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Camellia Bowl.
Liberty and Coastal Carolina will finally meet up after their first game was canceled due to COVID-19. Liberty comes into this game with a 9-1 record, while Coastal Carolina is a perfect 11-0 on the season.
Liberty quarterback Malik Willis has thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season, and he also leads the team with 807 rushing yards. Willis will play well in this one, but he is going to need some help.
Coastal Carolina is averaging 37.5 points per game while allowing just 18.7 points on defense. The Chanticleers have something to prove after being left out of one of the top bowl games.
This should be one of the best games of the week, but Coastal Carolina keeps finding ways to win. Bet the Chanticleers -6.0 over the Liberty Eagles in this matchup.
The 2-8 South Carolina Gamecocks will take on the 6-4 UAB Blazers in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday. South Carolina has had a disappointing season while UAB is coming in with a ton of momentum.
The Gamecocks have lost six straight games, and the offense has been a mess all season. South Carolina is throwing for just 187 yards per game, and that number will have to improve in this one.
UAB wants to run the football, and the Blazers are averaging 200 rushing yards per game. Their defense was dominant in the Conference USA title game, and UAB will look to keep the momentum going.
South Carolina just has too many issues to pick it. Bet the UAB Blazers -4.5 over the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Gasparilla Bowl.
The 9-1 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will take on the 7-4 UTSA Roadrunners in the First Responder Bowl. This game could turn into a defensive struggle as both teams have been solid on that side of the ball.
Louisiana’s lone loss of the season came at the hands of Coastal Carolina, and that was just a three-point loss. The Ragin’ Cajuns are averaging 207.8 rushing yards per game, and that will play a role in this one.
The UTSA Roadrunners are actually a better rushing team than Louisiana, but they are facing a much better defense. UTSA will have to keep this game to a low score to have a chance.
Louisiana is the better team in this matchup, and it will take control in the second half. Bet the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns -13.0 in the First Responder Bowl.
The 5-4 Georgia State Panthers will take on the 5-6 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the LendingTree Bowl. Western Kentucky is riding a three-game winning streak, while Georgia State has won two games in a row.
The Hilltoppers are scoring just 18.8 points per game, and they must find some offense in this game. Western Kentucky can defend, but at some point, they have to find the end zone.
Georgia State is averaging over 190 rushing yards per game, and it can also throw it. The Panthers are a much better offensive team, and they will look to speed things up.
Western Kentucky is on a bit of a roll, but that ends in this game. Take the Georgia State Panthers -4.5 over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
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