If you’re looking for some value-packed underdogs for this weekend’s opening slate of bowl games, then you’re in luck!
Thanks to the expert betting picks that you’re about to get on two bowl games that take place this weekend, you’re going to have a great opportunity to strike pay dirt not once, but two times. Now, let’s get started.
A Closer Look At The College Football Betting Odds: Underdogs You Must Bet On This Weekend
Arkansas State (7-5) vs. Central Florida (6-6)
When: 5:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 17, 2016
Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
NCAAF Odds: Central Florida -5.5
Analysis: Central Florida (8-4 ATS) won six games this season just one year after their horrific 0-12 campaign in 2015 while Arkansas State (6-6 ATS) won seven of their last eight games after getting off to a dismal 0-4 start this season. The two teams will both look to record a season-ending victory when they square off in the 2016 AutoNation Cure Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 17.
Central Florida is led by freshman signal-caller McKenzie Milton who played in nine of the last 10 games after taking over for senior Justin Holman. Milton has thrown for 458 yards in his last two games. The Knights have a stingy defense and are led by linebacker Shaquem Griffin (85 tackles, 11 sacks).
Arkansas State has limited the opposition to just 13.7 points over its last seven contests while defensive ends Chris Odom and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones have combined for a stunning 24 sacks. Arkansas State starts a sophomore quarterback in Justice Hansen and he’s responded after not starting in the opener by throwing for 2,514 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Five receivers have accumulated at least 300 receiving yards on the season while running back Warren Wand has rushed for a solid 867 yards and seven scores on the ground for the Red Wolves. 54 percent of public bettors likes Arkansas State to cash in as a 5.5-point underdog and I agree. While Central Florida has gone 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games, the Knights are also just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a winning record.
Conversely, Arkansas State has gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. I like the Red Wolves to cover the college football betting line by getting the outright upset.
Pick: Arkansas State 27 Central Florida 21
UL Lafayette (6-6) vs. Southern Mississippi (6-6)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 17, 2016
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
NCAAF Odds: Southern Miss -3.5
Analysis: The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (8-4 ATS) won its final two games to become bowl eligible while the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (3-9 ATS) stunned Conference USA West champion Louisiana Tech in the regular-season finale to reach the 2016 R+L Carrier Bowl.
The Golden Eagles are making their second consecutive bowl game appearance while Louisiana is back in a bowl game after missing out in 2015. The Ragin’ Cajuns made our straight appearances in this bowl game from 2011-2014 while winning each contest against San Diego State, East Carolina, Tulane and Nevada, although two of the victories were later vacated.
Southern Miss lost to Washington in the Heart of Dallas Bowl last year and also is making its fifth appearance in the New Orleans Bowl after recording victories in 2004, 2005 and 2008 and a loss in 2009. The Golden Eagles are led by senior quarterback Nick Mullens, leads the Golden Eagles and will be back on the field after suffering a concussion in the regular-season finale. Mullens is playing his final game after setting a school record with 85 career touchdown passes.
Southern Miss also has a gifted ball-carrier in running back Ito Smith who rushed for 1,321 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 42 receptions to an offense that put up a healthy 33.4 points per game. Louisiana-Lafayette is led by senior signal-caller Anthony Jennings, but it is running back Elijah McGuire that is the backbone of the Ragin Cajuns’ offense as he rushed for over 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season. Louisiana-Lafayette recorded an impressive three defensive touchdowns in its final two games.
Just 48 percent of the betting public likes Louisiana-Lafayette, but I’m among them and I urge you to back the Ragin Cajuns too. Southern Miss is just 1-3-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games and an uninspiring 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall. While the Golden Eagles have gone 0-3-1 ATS in their last four bowl games, Louisiana-Lafayette has compiled a perfect 4-0 ATS mark in their last four bowl games.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are also 4-0 ATS in their last four neutral site games and a robust 7-2 ATS in their last nine games in the month of December. Louisiana-Lafayette may be underdogs in this matchup, but they’re offering plenty of value.
Pick: Louisiana-Lafayette 28 Southern Miss 27