Betting College Football - Birmingham Bowl - Preview and Prediction

Birmingham Bowl - Dec 23rd

Doug Upstone

Saturday, December 9, 2017 7:41 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 7:41 PM GMT

On December 23rd we have 12:00 EST start for the first of three bowl games, with the Birmingham Bowl. Texas Tech of the Big 12 will duel with South Florida from the American Athletic Conference.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs South Florida Bulls

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Free College Football Picks: South Florida -2.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

The contest will be on ESPN and the latest college football odds have South Florida as 2.5-point favorite with a total of 67.

Here is what to look for from both clubs.

Texas Tech Preview

It has been quiet in Lubbock since the Red Raiders upset Texas 27-23 in Austin as 7.5-point underdogs to become bowl eligible, making one think coach Kliff Kingsbury bought himself another year. Around those parts a 6-6 record (6-5-1 ATS) is hardly acceptable, but beating the Longhorns is not just another victory either.

As for the performance on the field, it was another fairly typical year for Texas Tech, ranked 17th in total offense and listed No.11 in passing at 326.8 yards. Regular quarterback Nic Shamanic had not been playing well and was benched to start Texas game before rallying the Red Raiders to victory. Shimonek has not handled pressure well and he has shown to be strictly a rhythm passer.

Defensively, Texas Tech was 100th in yards allowed and 124th against the pass, in permitting almost 280 yards a game. That could be trouble versus South Florida's big play offense.

South Florida Preview

South Florida (9-2, 5-6 ATS) went toe to toe on the road with unbeaten Central Florida, but were done in by 95-yard kickoff return in the waning moments by a score of 49-42. If you have not seen Quinton Flowers play quarterback, you have to watch.

Flowers runs the No.9 offense in the country that is equally adept at running (265 YPG) as it is at passing (243 YPG). Flowers is a true dual threat and the running backs and receivers have outstanding speed and they do everything in a hurry, averaging 84 plays a game.

South Florida's defensive looked good in allowing 343 YPG, but they did have a harder team with teams more accomplished at throwing the ball, which is Texas Tech's key skill.

Birmingham Bowl Outcome

For college football picks, South Florida has edges they can exploit against a pedestrian Texas Tech defense with their speed. Plus, Flowers gives the Bulls a decided edge at quarterback.

Defensively for both teams, getting a pass rush revved up would help them immensely, however, the Red Raiders will also have to be careful, since Flowers has great escape ability, something Shimonek does not.

With these offenses and the defensive shortcomings, the OVER also should be considered.

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