By The Prophet
Banker: Western Michigan vs. Nevada (The Cure Bowl Dec 27)
The Holiday season is in full swing & we’ll be looking to cash another banker after last week’s winner. This week I’ll be utilizing one of my favorite methods to find an edge which is the classic “market overreaction”. Nevada opened as a -6.5-point favorite versus the Broncos of Western Michigan, but that line has since completely flipped to Western Michigan -7.0. Almost a 14-point swing, the reason being the departure of head coach Jay Norvell & also star QB Carson Strong, who has opted out of the Quick Lane Bowl in order to prepare for the 2022 NFL draft.
That is a big loss, no doubt. But does it constitute a 14-point swing? I would have to say most definitely not, Nate Cox is my primary reason for that. Cox, the 6 ft 9-inch QB, will step in and start for Nevada in the bowl game. He has limited experience but has shined this year when he has played. This Nevada offense is a finely tuned air raid system, and I don’t see that changing. The offensive coordinator, offensive line and receivers remain the same.
Western Michigan comes in (7-5) and has dropped 3 of their last 5 heading into this one. WMU is a solid MAC program and should be up for this game but should have issues facing the step up in competition versus the Mountain West opponent. Nevada has only lost four games this season, losses versus Kansas State, San Diego State, Air Force and Fresno State. All four losses were decided by 2 points or less. Nevada could hang around and even win this game as a 7-point underdog so go ahead and lock in the following for this week’s banker.
First leg of this week’s parlay is a Christmas Eve matchup in paradise. Memphis travels to Honolulu, Hawaii to play Hawaii in, yes, the Hawaii Bowl. To top it off we’ll be backing the home team, Hawaii +8.5 to keep it close. It’s no secret that away teams have had trouble when traveling to the islands to play a football game.
Combine that with Memphis’s 1-7 against the spread record in recent bowl games and Hawaii 5-1 in their last five bowl games as an underdog, there are some real reasons to back the Warriors in this game. On the matchup front Hawaii is a run-first team, which should fare well against a Memphis defense that rates 110th in defensive rushing EPA. Hawaii keeps this one close. Getting to play a Bowl game in your home stadium is the cherry on top of this one for me.
Secondly, I’ll be taking Georgia State to take care of business on the ML (-210) against the MAC’s Ball State in the Camellia Bowl which will be played much closer to home for Georgia State, in Montgomery Alabama. Georgia State has been great in bowls of late, beating WKU 39-20 last year.
GSU has won 6 of their last 7 games this year with 42-40 win over Coastal Carolina being the highlight of their season. Georgia State has been sneaky good defensively this year, ranking top 25 against the run and top 45 in defensive EPA. That should cause Ball State some issues as their offense have struggled this year. Lock in the following for a 2-team parlay and lets cash!