College Football Bowls for Monday, December 31, 2018
We have already covered the early bowl games set to go on New Year’s Eve, so now it’s time to complete the deal by looking at the 3 games that come later in the day. There are some very interesting match-ups on the bowl schedule over the next couple of days, which is generally the norm once we get this close to the National Championship Game. There are several teams in here that finished the season ranked, so let’s take a closer look at how things might play out for them.
2018 AutoZone Liberty Bowl - #23 Missouri Tigers vs Oklahoma State Cowboys
If you are a fan of the NFL as well as college football, this is a game that you might just want to pay attention to. The reason for tuning in is that you will get to see Missouri QB Drew Lock play his final game at the college level, as he is sure to be a high draft pick when the NFL draft rolls around.
There is a very good chance that he is going to shine against an Oklahoma State defense that was very leaky at times this season. That said, this is a Cowboys team that is always good on the offensive side of the football. This may help explain why the point total for this one has been set at 72, with the Tigers in as an 8 ½ point favorite. I like Missouri to win and cover, and I also like the point total in this one to creep OVER.
Predicted Score Missouri Tigers 45 | Oklahoma State Cowboys 36
2018 Holiday Bowl - #17 Utah Utes vs #22 Northwestern Wildcats
Both of these teams had similar seasons in that they went all the way to their respective Conference Championship Games before taking the loss. The Northwestern Wildcats were on the receiving end of a beating against an Ohio State team that was finishing the season firing on all cylinders in the Big Ten.
The Utah Utes were forced to start the Pac 12 Championship game without the services of their starting QB and RB, so perhaps no real surprise that they went down 10-3 to the Washington Huskies. That defense may need to come up big again to hold off a Northwestern team in as a 6 ½ point underdog. The point total for the Holiday Bowl has been set at 44. I like The Utes to win and the Wildcats to cover in a low-scoring affair.
Predicted Score Utah Utes 20 | Northwestern Wildcats 17
2018 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - North Carolina State Wolfpack vs #19 Texas A&M Aggies
The Monday night schedule closes out with the Gator Bowl and a match-up that is certainly among the best of the day. The Texas A&M Aggies made some positive strides this season under new head coach Jimbo Fisher, closing things out with an 8-4 record.
They made home field a bit of a fortress, going 6-1 ATS in home games, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they fare as a 7-point favorite in a neutral venue game. The Wolfpack had a solid season at 9-3 SU, but they have been a poor bet versus SEC teams, covering just once in 7 games. The bet here may be the OVER 56 points, as each of the Wolfpack’s last 6 bowl games have gone that route. Let’s go with the upset in this one.
Predicted Score North Carolina State Wolfpack 36 | Texas A&M Aggies 33
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