Bowl odds roundup: Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky among week favorites


The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the Navy Midshipmen couldn’t be more different in how they move the first-down chains, but their common thread is both are smarting from losing their regular-season finale.

Quarterback Ryan Higgins and Lousiana Tech are listed as six-point betting favorites against Navy in the matchup for the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Bulldogs are on a two-loss skid but are 8-3 straight-up in their last 11 games following a loss. Navy, which of course had a 14-year win streak against Army snapped on December 10, is 1-4 against the spread in its last five games against Conference USA teams.

Higgins has the luxury of two big-time receivers, Carlos Henderson and Trent Taylor, who have combined for almost 3,000 receiving yards. Whether Navy can control the tempo with their bruising triple option might count on the decision-making by sophomore QB Zach Abey, who is making only his second career start. Abey struggled mightily in the emotional loss against Army.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are 6.5-point favorites against the Memphis Tigers in the Boca Raton Bowl, which takes place Tuesday. Western Kentucky’s Mike White led his offense to 45 points per game and Memphis’ Riley Ferguson led his to 39.5, but the Tigers also have the more opportunistic defense. That said, WKU is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against the AAC.

The BYU Cougars are favored by 10 points against the Wyoming Cowboys for the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Wednesday. The Cougars, who are 6-4 ATS in the last two seasons when favored by a touchdown or more, could have their way against a Wyoming defense that allows 464 yards per game. The Cougars’ defense gives up 364 yards per outing.

The Colorado State Rams are 13-point favorites against the Idaho Vandals in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise on Thursday. The Rams’ 7-0 ATS streak has been built largely by the combo of QB Nick Stevens and WR Nick Gallup. Idaho is 1-8 SU in their last nine games against Mountain West teams and is 112th in passing yards allowed, but their 15 interceptions attests to a certain peskiness.

The Old Dominion Monarchs are four-point favorites against the Eastern Michigan Eagles in the Bahamas Bowl in Nassau, Bahamas on Friday. Old Dominion QB David Washington has been proficient with a 28-to-4 TD/interception ratio and the Eagles have a shaky defense that allows more than 435 yards per game.

The Troy Trojans are 3.5-point favorites against the Ohio Bobcats in the Dollar General Bowl, which takes place in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday. The Trojans are playing close to home and QB Brandon Silvers’ efficiency could win the day in a matchup between teams with strong offenses and good rush defenses.

And the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and Hawaii Warriors square off in the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu on Saturday. Oddsmakers are waiting for see whether Blue Raiders QB Brent Stockstill (collarbone) will be cleared to play or redshirt freshman John Urzua will have to start. Hawaii is 0-6 SU in their last six games after consecutive wins.

Alabama leads betting favorites for Week 8 of college football campaign


With the way that Jalen Hurts and the Alabama Crimson Tide dominated last week, it’s not surprising to see a big point spread against the Texas A&M Aggies as they go for their 20th consecutive win.

In a matchup of unbeaten teams, Alabama is listed as the 18.5-point favorite against Texas A&M at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Alabama, which crushed Tennessee 49-10 last week, is 11-0 straight-up and 9-2 against the spread in its last 11 games against teams with winning records. Hurts, a true freshman, has added a dynamism to complement a devastating defense led by MLB Shaun Dion Hamilton.

Texas A&M is deep at receiver and QB Trevor Knight has the arm strength to exploit any breakdowns in Alabama’s man-to-man pass coverage. Texas A&M is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games after losing the previous game in a matchup, but could keep it close.

The Auburn Tigers are favored by 9.5 points against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The status of Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson (ankle) is unclear. Tigers QB Sean White and Co. need to fix their red-zone misfires, as they face a suspect Arkansas defense. Arkansas QB Austin Allen and receivers such as TE Gary Sprinkle shred any opponent that doesn’t bring a pass rush.

The Boise State Broncos are favored by seven points against the BYU Cougars. Boise State, which is 7-1 SU in its last eight Thursday games, has a potent attack built around QB Brett Rypien and senior WR Thomas Sperbeck. The Broncos defense nearly fell apart during Week 7 against Colorado State, and will be tested by a veteran BYU attack led by QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams.

The Louisville Cardinals are 19-point favorites against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson will need to be especially slippery against a solid N.C. State pass rush. On the other side of the ball, Louisville, which is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 conference games according to the OddsShark College Football Database, will need to up their intensity to stop RB Matt Dayes.

The LSU Tigers are six-point favorites against the Mississippi Rebels. Tigers defenders such as NT Greg Gilmore and OLB Arden Key will try to hassle Rebels QB Chad Kelly, who is directing a fast-paced offense. The Tigers have won 10 of their last 14 games against their SEC West rival.

Coming off their overtime heartbreaker against Ohio State, the Wisconsin Badgers are a 3.5-point road favorite against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Badgers’ elite defense could get OLB Vince Biegel back from foot surgery. Iowa QB C.J. Beathard, whose team is 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games, might not have his security blanket, TE George Kittle (sprained foot).

The West Virginia Mountainers, who are on a six-win streak, are favored by 6.5 points against the TCU Horned Frogs. West Virginia QB Skyler Howard is more seasoned than TCU’s Kenny Hill. The Mountaineers, with S Kyzir White and S Jarrod Harper as the key links, have the statistically stronger defense.

Notre Dame among heavy favorites in Week 2 college football odds


The upside of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish losing a thriller in their opener against Texas is that they are returning home this week, where they have been covering spreads consistently. Notre Dame is listed as a 28-point favorite against the Nevada Wolf Pack with a total of 60.5 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Notre Dame is 6-0 straight-up and 5-1 against the spread in its last six games at home, according to the OddsShark College Football Database. The Irish are 8-2 SU and 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 September home games. The total went over in nine of those 10 games. Notre Dame is just 3-6-1 ATS in their last 10 outings as a favorite of at least 21 points. Nevada is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games on the road.

The Tennessee Volunteers are 11-point favorites, with a 54.5 total, against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to website PredictionMachine.com the Volunteers win this matchup SU 89.2% of the time at an average score of 35.8-20.8. The total has gone under for bettors in five of Tennessee’s last seven games after a win.

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide are 29-point home favorites against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, with a 61.5-point total. Alabama is 13-0 SU over its last 13 games but only 2-5 ATS during its last seven home games. Western Kentucky is 5-0 ATS in its last five games after a win. The total has gone over in WKU’s last four road games.

The SEC has two conference matchups in Week 2. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 6.5-point favorites against the South Carolina Gamecocks, with a total of 45. The Gamecocks are 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. MSU. Mississippi State is 5-0 SU in its last five games after a loss. The total has gone under in four of South Carolina’s last five games.

The Florida Gators are 16-point favorites against the Kentucky Wildcats with a total of 47.5. Florida is 7-2 SU and ATS in its last nine conference games, and is 13-6-1 ATS vs. Kentucky since 1995. The total has gone under in six of Florida’s last eight games.

The Pittsburgh Panthers are six-point favorites against the Penn State Nittany Lions, with a 48.5-point total. Pittsburgh is 8-1 SU in its last nine games in Week 2. Penn State is also in an 0-9 ATS slump over their last nine road games. The total has gone under in three of Pittsburgh’s last four games against the Big Ten.

The Louisville Cardinals are 14.5-point road favorites against the Syracuse Orange, with a 69.0 total. Louisville is 16-4 SU and 13-7 ATS in their last 20 September games, but that sample includes a 1-4 ATS trend in Week 2 games. Syracuse is 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. The total has gone over in five of Louisville’s last six games.