Bowl Games to Circle: Birmingham, Orange & Rose

wisconsin football

David Schwab

Monday, December 11, 2017 1:57 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 1:57 PM UTC

The extended college bowl season gets underway on Dec. 16 and it runs all the way through Jan. 8 with the College Football Playoff Championship. With 41 games on the slate during this three-week span, now is the time to circle a few of the matchups when it comes to betting on the games.

Dec. 23 Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech vs. South Florida (-2.5)

One of the more interesting pairings in the early bowl games is this matchup between a Power 5 conference and a Mid-Major. The Red Raiders went 3-6 straight-up in the Big 12 this season as part of an overall record of 6-6. They did finish their season on a high note with a 27-23 upset against rival Texas as 7.5-point road underdogs, but overall it was a disappointing stretch run with just two victories either SU or against the spread in their last seven games. Texas Tech went 6-5-1 ATS with an even 3-3 record when closing as an underdog.

South Florida was in contention for the AAC’s East Division title right up until a season-ending 49-42 loss to Central Florida as a 10-point road underdog. The Bulls ended up with a SU record of 9-2 while going 5-6 ATS. The total stayed UNDER in seven of those 11 games. They have gone 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games coming off a SU loss. The loss to Central Florida was the first time South Florida covered ATS in its last five games, and it has failed to cover in four of its last five nonconference games.

Dec. 30 Orange Bowl: No. 6 Wisconsin (-6.5) vs. No. 10 Miami, Fla.

Wisconsin missed out on a golden opportunity to play in the national semifinals thanks to a season-ending 27-21 loss to Ohio State as a 3.5-point underdog in the Big Ten Championship game. The Badgers still went 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as part of a SU record of 12-1 while going 8-5 ATS overall. The total stayed UNDER 51 points against the Buckeyes and it has stayed UNDER in four of their last six games. Wisconsin is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 neutral-site games.

Miami was also in position for a spot in this year’s College Football Playoff, but season-ending losses to Pittsburgh as a 12-point road favorite and to Clemson as a 12.5-point underdog in the ACC title game ended those hopes. This followed a SU 10-game run while going an even 5-5 ATS. The total stayed UNDER in 10 of the Hurricanes’ 12 games this season. They come into this season’s Orange Bowl with a 1-5 record ATS in their last six bowl games.

Jan. 1 Rose Bowl: No. 3 Georgia (-2) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma

Georgia earned a spot in the first CFP semifinal showdown on New Year’s Day with an impressive 28-7 victory against Auburn in the SEC Championship Game as a 2-point favorite. This avenged an earlier 40-17 loss to the Tigers as 2.5-point road favorites in the Bulldogs' only SU loss this season. They covered ATS in their last three games as part of a profitable 9-4 record ATS. The total stayed UNDER in eight of those 13 games. Georgia is 4-1 ATS in its last five bowl games.

Oklahoma had to get past TCU twice this season to lay claim to the Big 12 title as part of its SU record of 12-1 while going 8-5 ATS. The Sooners have gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games and the total has stayed UNDER in four of those contests. Oklahoma has covered in its last four games against the SEC and it 17-5 ATS in its last 22 games against a team with a SU winning record.

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