Welcome to Bowl Cuts, a column here on The Turf where we give you all the quick hits you need to know ahead of each and every college football bowl game this season! Yes, we know there are a lot of bowl games. And you’re probably only tuning in because you’ve run out of Holiday movies to watch, or because you’re avoiding Spiderman: No Way Home spoilers. But if you’re gonna watch something, you might as well enjoy it to the fullest, right?
So let’s jump right into the exciting annual tradition of putting two college football teams on national television in a game sponsored by a corporation that pays the schools to appear! That’s right, Bowl Season is here and it’s time to start the fun!
Myrtle Beach Bowl
Tulsa vs. Old Dominion
Spread: Tulsa -9.5, Over/Under: 52
A matchup between two 6-6 teams can really swing one of two ways. If two 6-6 teams squared off in the NFL, you’d likely miss it, as the national audience would get a better matchup. Who wants to see two mediocre squads wrestle in the mud for four quarters? But then again, there’s a chance these two teams are perfectly matched, and that muddy slugfest turns into a chess game of equals. However, the Myrtle Beach Bowl doesn’t appear to be the latter.
While both teams struggled to make it into Bowl Season, one team had an easier route. Old Dominion’s 2021 season pales in comparison to the difficulty of Tulsa’s, which makes their .500 record a little less comparable to their opponent. Tulsa’s 6-6 includes two close losses, one of those coming in early November against #4 Cincinnati. Records can be deceiving, and in this case, Tulsa has the upper hand in South Carolina.
Tulsa at 9.5 feels high, and we would feel a bit more comfortable if it fell closer to -7. Moneyline is going to be your friend on this one. As for the Over/Under, Tulsa has scored 30+ points in four of their last seven games, and in the other three, they never failed to dip below 17. The Over is a good bet, considering that Old Dominion will get on the board eventually.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Kent State vs. Wyoming
Spread: Wyoming -3.5, Over/Under: 59
Let’s open with this, Wyoming is one of only two teams to defeat two conference champions on the road in 2021. That’s quite the stat. This is also the fourth time in the last six years that Wyoming is heading to a bowl, the first time that’s happened in the school’s 125 year history. Wyoming’s coming in HOT.
Kent State is coming off a season they’d love to redo if given the chance. The Golden Flashes’ chances of winning this bowl game will all depend on which team shows up. In the MAC Championship game, Kent State had all the momentum, and then Nothern Illinois took advantage of sloppy play and took home the MAC trophy. Adding insult to injury, NIU was coming off an abysmal year in 2020, going 0-6. IF Kent State can view this as a redemption game, there’s a chance they can flip the script.
This -3.5 spread is fantastic, as Vegas puts money on both sides of the ball. From where I’m sitting, taking Kent State +3.5 is very interesting, as is the Over.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
#24 UTSA vs. San Diego State
Spread: UTSA -1, Over/Under: 49.5
This is going to be fun.
#24 UTSA is coming off a spectacular season which ended with the Roadrunners on top of Conference USA’s standings, trophy in hand for the first time in program’s history. That success did not come easy, but Sincere McCormick attempted to make it look that way. The Senior running back rushed for 1,479 yards and 15 touchdowns on 298 carries in 2021, all of which are UTSA records. However, with McCormick opting out of the rest of the season to focus on the NFL Draft, Coach Jeff Traylor’s team is going to have to find another way to beat San Diego State.
If there’s a way for UTSA to takedown SDSU it’s with a gamplan similar to the one that Utah State ran against the Aztecs in the Mountain West Championship game. But shutting down the Aztecs air attack, Utah State was able to force SDSU into a ground and pound gameplan. The plan worked, as the Aggies were able to keep SDSU to only one touchdown, while scoring 46 points themselves. To be fair, Utah State played an injury riddled SDSU team, so that could be to the Aztecs advantage.
Either way, this game is going to be one to watch for sure.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Missouri vs. Army
Spread: Army -3.5, Over/Under: 57
Usually in a bowl game scenario it’s easy to pick the SEC team over a non-Power Five one, but that’s not the case here. While Mizzou has the talent and the skill to take Army down in any other year, what Army has shown this season is that they can beat teams by keeping the score close, but the time of possession in their favor. Army has employed a gameplan that keeps the chains moving and their offense on the field. It’s worked a lot this season, and the odds are good that it’ll work against Mizzou, who has one of the worst run defenses in the SEC.
That being said, this game feels like it’s going to come down to Mizzou’s hubris. Will they try to assert their dominance early? Or will they come into to this game with a cool head, looking to change the narrative of a season gone sour? Which Mizzou team shows up in the game, will tell us if it’s going to be a close contest or not.
Hammer the under. This one’s going to be full of close hand-to-hand combat. A game of chess in four quarters.
That’s all for the weekday games in the second week of the 2021-22 College Bowl Season! This weekend, things get even more interesting as we head towards the College Football Playoff on New Year’s Eve! We’re ratcheting things up a notch just for you! You’re welcome!
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