By The Prophet
Banker: Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois (The Cure Bowl Dec 17)
Bowl Season has arrived, far and away my favorite time of the year to handicap and wager on college football! I want everyone to be extra cautious this year when betting these games as we don’t only have NFL opt outs to contend with, we also will more than likely have some covid positive absentees in many of these games so make sure to stay up to date on the latest information as it could literally cost you money.
For this week’s banker we’re going to sunny Orlando Florida to the Cure Bowl. This game features a matchup of Group of five powerhouse Coastal Carolina & the MAC conference champions Northern Illinois. Coastal comes into this neutral site affair as a 10-point favorite, but we won’t be taking a side here. For this week’s banker I’m expecting points, I’m taking the over 62 (-110). This game sets up nicely for scoring from both sides in my opinion. I like to utilize the Expected points added tool when analyzing games and this game features two top ten offenses in that category.
Also, while Northern Illinois had a nice defensive showing last week in their conference championship game, they have consistently struggled against above average offenses and rank almost dead last in most defensive categories, specifically against the run which happens to be Coastal Carolina’s strong suit. On the other side of things, you may have gotten used to seeing the Chanticleer’s high flying and hard-hitting defense in 2020 when they ran the table in the regular season, that hasn’t been the case so much in 2021 as they rank 79th overall in expected points allowed defensively and have also struggled in step up games. I think both teams have enough success to get up and over the number here. Lock in the following for this week’s banker.
NCAAF Bowl Season Week 1 Parlay
For our first leg of this week’s parlay, I’m going to roll with Appalachian State -2.5 in the Boca Raton Bowl versus the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky and their high-flying air raid attack. This is a matchup spot for me, Appalachian State is 10-3 this year with their only losses coming early in the year at Miami (23-25) in a game they probably should have won and then twice after that on the road to Louisiana Lafayette.
Lafayette seems to have this team’s number, so we’ll chalk those losses up to that. But both Miami and LA Lafayette have many common attributes when it comes to their stylistic approach to the game, running game and fast, physical and athletic defense. That is not WKU’s approach at all, they air it out and try to score more points than the other guys, defensively they’re hardly even there. I think that will work right into the hands of App State, who will probably not only represent the best defense WKU will face this year (#12 EPA defensively and against the pass, #2 in Tackles for loss) but will also represent the best team they’ve played as a whole.
Throw in the undefeated Bowl record for App State head coach Sean Clark and I’m feeling good about the -2.5. This is a business trip once again for the mountaineers and I think they could come out looking a far better side when all is said and done.
Secondly for our parlay, I’m going to back the University of Alabama Birmingham Blazers +7.5 (-110) in the Independence Bowl versus BYU. There is no doubt about the importance of this game when it comes to UAB, they’re going to want this one more than BYU and they have the advantage of being quite a bit closer to home for this one as Birmingham to Shreveport is about a 6-hour drive, I would expect somewhat of a home field advantage on top of the motivation factor being an added bonus for the Blazers.
This is a BYU team that had New Year’s six bowl aspirations, so it’s hard to see them matching UAB’s intensity on Saturday. Statistically, UAB ranks in the top 5 in stopping the run, which is BYU’s strong suit and what they’re offense revolves around. On the other side of things, UAB boasts a top 25 offense and a top 5 rushing attack which I expect to give BYU’s defense issues considering they rank 110th in defensive rushing efficiency. Lock in the following and let’s cash a bowl week parlay!