Boise State Remains Cactus Bowl Pick Against Disheveled Baylor

Baylor Bears players in action

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, December 22, 2016 6:39 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 6:39 PM UTC

College football handicapping professional Ross Benjamin updates his earlier Cactus Bowl betting preview. Don’t make a move on this game without first reading this article which concludes with one of Ross’ college football bowl predictions.

Cactus Bowl: Baylor Bears vs. Boise State Broncos

I did an early betting preview for this contest on Wednesday 12/7. At that time, the college football betting odds provided by Bookmaker had Boise State as a 7.5-point favorite and there was a posted total of 66.5. Since that writing exactly 2 weeks to the day, Boise State remains as a 7.5-point favorite, and there’s a total of 67.0.


What the Lack of Line Movement Means?

The betting patterns on this game leave little to draw conclusions from. Boise State has received 61% of individual point spread bets thus far. Based on the point spread staying the same, I can safely assume there’s been a tad more money wagered on the underdog in this contest. Cactus Bowl totals wagers have been virtually split right down the middle. Since we’ve seen the number make a small jump from 66.5 to 67.0, it’s fairly easy to conclude there’s been slightly more money being bet on going over the total.


Baylor Hires New Head Coach

Baylor’s interim head coach Jim Grobe will continue in that capacity for this Cactus Bowl game. However, since the time of my original Cactus Bowl betting preview article, Baylor hired Matt Ruhle as their new head coach on Tuesday 12/6. The former Temple head coach to take over full responsibilities immediately following the conclusion of this bowl game. Temple has put together consecutive 10 win seasons under Ruhle, and the Owls were recently crowned 2016 American Athletic Conference champions.


Broncos Comfortable in Favorite Role

Boise State has been a favorite in all 12 of their games this season. Despite going 10-2, the Broncos were a dismal 3-9 ATS in those contests. Part of the reason for their lack of ATS success was being a favorite by 13.0-points or more in 10 of those 12 games. The last time Boise State was an underdog goes way back to 12/31/2014, and it came in a bowl game against Arizona.


Modern Bowl Game First

Baylor opened the season by winning its first 6 games. Since that time, they’ve dropped 6 games in a row and concluded their 2016 regular season campaign with an uninspiring 6-6 record. My college football handicapping software program tracks all results back to 1980. With that in mind, this will be the first time a team enters a bowl game on a 6-game losing streak during that entire 37-year period. There have been 3 teams which have come into a bowl game on a 5-game losing streak, and all those contests took place since 2011. Believe it or not, those teams went a perfect 3-0 SU&ATS in their bowl appearances.


Final Outlook and Prediction

I liked Boise State for one of my college football bowl picks when I wrote my early preview 2 weeks ago, and since then, there’s been nothing causing me to change my opinion. Granted the hiring of Matt Ruhle is a positive sign for a Baylor football program which has been on suicide watch of late. But Ruhle won’t be roaming the sidelines next Tuesday, and there have been reports of a mutiny by assistant coaches against current head man Jim Grobe. This season can’t end quick enough for Baylor, and their performance in this bowl game will be indicative of such.


Free NCAAF Pick: Baylor -7.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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