Analyzing The College Football Bowls Third Round ATS Picks: Cotton And Orange Bowls
2016 Goodyear Cotton BowlWho: Western Michigan Broncos (13-0) at Wisconsin Badgers (10-3)
When: Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
NCAAF Odds: Wisconsin -7.5 / Total: 52.5
Western Michigan (13-0 SU, 9-4 ATS) beat Ohio 29-23 in a hard-fought matchup to win their conference championship despite failing to cover the spread as 16.5-point favorites. The Broncos averages a stellar 43.5 points per game this season while simultaneously limiting their opponents to just 19.5 points per game defensively.
Quarterback Zack Terrell has a stellar season in completing a blistering 70.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,376 yards with 32 TD passes and just three interceptions. Unheralded running back Jarvion Franklin had a banner season in rushing for 1,300 yards and 12 scores while wide receiver Corey Davis caught a team-high 91 passes for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Wisconsin (10-3 SU, 9-3-1 ATS) was on the wrong end of a heartbreaking 38-31 loss to Penn State in their Big Ten championship matchup while failing to cover the college football betting line as a 2.5-point favorite. Backup quarterback Bart Houston has completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 1,086 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions after replacing injured starter Alex Hornibrook.
Running back Corey Clement rushed for a team-high 1,304 yards and 14 touchdowns while wideout Jazz Peavy and tight end Troy Fumagali combined for 74 catches for 1,132 yards and six scores. I’ve been a huge Wisconsin backer all season long, but right now, I like the motivation factor that Western Michigan has and I believe they’re going to stun a lot of folks by giving the Badgers all they can handle and then some.
Wisconsin has won six of their last seven games while going 11-3-1 ATS over their last 15 games, but Western Michigan has compiled a robust 11-4 ATS mark in its last 15 games and has an offense that is very difficult to keep in check, even for an elite defensive team like the Badgers. 60 percent of public bettors likes Wisconsin to win and cover, but I like the Broncos cover the college football ATS spread as a value-packed 7.5-point underdog in a thriller.
Pick: Wisconsin 28 Western Michigan 27
2016 Capital One Orange BowlWho: Michigan Wolverines (10-2) at Florida State Seminoles (9-3)
When: Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
NCAAF Odds: Michigan -7
The Michigan Wolverines (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) will be looking to finish off their season with a big victory after ending up in the wrong end of a heartbreaking 30-27 overtime loss against Ohio State in their regular season finale.
The Wolverines average an impressive 41.0 points per game this season to rank 12th nationally in scoring while limiting the opposition to an equally impressive 12.5 points per game to rank a stupendous second in points allowed behind only top-ranked Alabama. Quarterback Wilton Speight completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 2,375 yards with 17 touchdown passes and a modest six interceptions.
The Florida State Seminoles (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) closed out their regular season by winning four consecutive games including their 31-13 blowout of in-state rival Florida on November 26 while covering the college football betting line that day as a 9-point favorite. Florida State averages a solid 35.2 points per game to rank 32nd in scoring nationally while limiting their opponents to a respectable 24.4 points per contest to rank 43rd in points allowed.
Dual-threat freshman quarterback Deondre Francois completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 3,128 yards with 18 TD passes and just six interceptions while Heisman Trophy contending running back Dalvin Cook rushed for a stellar 1,620 yards and 18 touchdowns. While it would appear that Michigan is the better team when it comes to both sides of the ball, I like Florida State’s more explosive offense and believe the Seminoles will find a way to cover the spread as touchdown underdogs by getting a pair of outstanding efforts from Deondre Francois and Dalvin Cook.
Michigan’s offense could use more playmakers at the skill positions and Florida State has plenty of motivation to cp off their season with a huge win over the higher ranked Wolverines. Michigan has gone 2-4 ATS in its last six games and 0-4 ATS in their last four non-conference games. Conversely, Florida State has gone 4-1 ATS in its last five games and 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win.
Deondre Francois is the type of dual-threat quarterback that should be able to give Jim Harbaugh’s defense problems and I’m also thinking the Noles can also keep Wilton Speight and the Wolverines’ offense in check for the vast majority of this contest.
While 54 percent of the betting public likes Michigan to win and cover the spread, I’m going with Florida State to cover the college football betting line in a narrow loss.
Pick: Michigan 30 Florida State 28