Bowl Game Picks and Predictions for December 29th

bowl game picks
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Here’s a look at the Bowl games of December 29th along with some picks and predictions. Unfortunately none of these games are exempt from being impacted by the transfer portal and the NFL draft. Tread lightly.

Syracuse vs. Minnesota UNDER 42.5 – This game moved from an opener of Minnesota -7 to Minnesota -10. Syracuse will be without star RB Sean Tucker who declared for the NFL draft.

Very difficult to get excited about backing a Syracuse team that lost 5 straight down the stretch, 4 by double digits. Especially when the best unit on the field will be the Minnesota defense and the Orange will be without the guy responsible for the bulk of their yards on the ground.

Instead we’ll offer a small recommendation on under the total of 42.5. Here are the results from our model.

Minnesota                 -7.5          21   NEUTRAL 
Syracuse                  42.5          14 full season data
Minnesota                 -7.5          26   NEUTRAL 
Syracuse                  42.5           9 last 4 games data
Minnesota                 -7.5          20   NEUTRAL 
Syracuse                  42.5          14 last 7 games data

Oklahoma +10
vs. Florida State
– This game opened Florida State -6 and there are now -10’s on the board. Oklahoma is the team in this matchup that was hit harder by opt outs and transfers.

So do the Sooners have a chance? Our model suggests they don’t as you’ll see below, however we’re going to disagree.

It’s a Bowl game. The teams have had a month to prepare for each other. None of the constraints of a regular season game exist. The playbook is wide open and let’s face it, a team like the 6-6 Sooners has nothing to lose. That makes them dangerous.

These teams have near identical yards per point numbers. Florida State’s offensive number is 13.1 and the defensive number is 15.4. The Sooners numbers are 14.3 and 15.2. Using those numbers to make a line, The Seminoles would be -1.5 and this is significant because the Sooners played the more difficult schedule by at least 3 points.

The Sooners are a live dog here. What keeps us from getting too excited about the play are the missing players for Oklahoma. They’ll be without RB Eric Gray who declared for the draft as well as a couple of NFL caliber offensive lineman.

Here are the predictions from our model.

Oklahoma                  62.5          25   NEUTRAL 
Florida State             -8.5          36
Oklahoma                  62.5          23   NEUTRAL 
Florida State             -8.5          44
Oklahoma                  62.5          22   NEUTRAL 
Florida State             -8.5          40


Washington +3.5 over Texas – The last game of the day and of course this game is also impacted by the transfer portal and the draft. The team most affected will be the Longhorns who will be without a couple of star RB’s as well as a star linebacker.

One super star who WILL play is Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. Not only will he play but he’ll also return next year and will likely be a Heisman favorite. The kid is an impact player and the main reason we’re going against our model here and backing the Huskies.

We fully expect Penix to be the difference here as he leads the nations #1 passing attack against the 88th ranked pass defense of the Longhorns.

Here are the results from our model, though we do disagree.

Washington                65.0          23   semi-N  
Texas                     -4.0          43 full season data
Washington                65.0          25   semi-N  
Texas                     -4.0          38 last 4 games
Washington                65.0          23   semi-N  
Texas                     -4.0          45 last 7 games
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