Greetings and salutations! Hope you’ve all had a safe and happy holiday, with many more to come.
With the season almost over, I’m going to do something a bit different. Every day, I’m going to give you the best analytical play for that day’s bowl games.
There are some good ones today, honestly, but the best one (if the data are to be trusted) is...
The First Responder Bowl (Dallas) Memphis -7 vs. Utah State:
Not all .500 teams are built the same, and that’s especially true of the Tigers, who are in the 50s in overall efficiency vs. the Aggies who are 102nd overall, and in the Bottom 30 in both offense and defense.
Worst, USU turns the ball over with alarming frequency, while Memphis is one of the better teams in the country at snatching away mistakes. As you saw vs. the Tide, USU is undersized throughout the defense, and in particular have a terrible secondary. Offensively, USU may be able to get a little going on the ground, but not enough to compensate for their defense vs. a Top 25 offense. And if, USU turns it over 3.75 times — as they average against teams at or above .500 — they’ll get blown out.
It’s always dicey betting on Memphis away from the cocaine- and liquor-fueled nuttiness of the Liberty Bowl, but USU is somehow worse. The Ags are also 1-5 ATS as a road play, 1-4 as an underdog overall, and have only beat two teams with a winning record — both were having to make the trip to Logan.
This doesn’t even seem particularly close, numbers-wise. And could be one of the better picks of the bowl season. It’s been a bad year for the MWC, and that doesn’t look to improve in this matchup.
Tigers -11.57 to -15.08
Who ya’ got?
This poll is closed
Utah State +7
In football or basketball?
Want some more of these? I crank the data every week, for every single game over at my companion site: (Almost) Giving Away Money. Check it out, and prosper.