College bowl season is almost here, and we need to get up to speed on some of the best sides of the biggest games this year. I love a lot of the big games this year, which only makes sweating out these games that much better.
Let’s get into the top five teams to bet on during the college football bowl season.
Oklahoma Sooners (+13)
The Sooners are headed to Atlanta to take on LSU in the College Football Playoff semifinals, and they are significant underdogs in this game. I get the hype surrounding the Tigers, but I think that they are the most flawed of the best three teams in the country, and they are by far the most vulnerable to the Sooners in a head-to-head matchup.
I expect LSU to move the ball up and down the field at a high rate as it has all year, but Oklahoma does have a few key playmakers like Kenneth Murray, who can actually cause a stop or two through the game. I am not expecting Oklahoma to hold the Tigers to a number under 40, but that doesn’t mean that it cannot cover.
LSU has struggled vs. the run this season, particularly the QB run, which was showcased heavily in the Ole Miss game. Now, LSU faces one of the best run threats in the country, and I expect Oklahoma to use Jalen Hurts a ton in the rushing game along with some zone-read stuff.
LSU has struggled on run fits all season, and its secondary is not very clean in the run game, which is something that Hurts can really exploit in the open field.
I expect the Sooners to go blow for blow with the Tigers and cover without a ton of doubt.
Ohio State Buckeyes (+2)
Simply put, the Buckeyes are the more complete team, and they are the more trustworthy team in their matchup with Clemson. I know where Ohio State has strengths and weaknesses, and I think that the Tigers have yet to begin to understand theirs due to their weak competition.
Ohio State has stepped up to the plate on every single occasion, and I think this will be no different. The Buckeyes were similarly dominant against a much tougher schedule, and I think that they have fewer athletic weaknesses in this game.
I have major concerns about the Clemson secondary and entire back seven outside of Isaiah Simmons, and I think that the Buckeyes will exploit this talent advantage.
The Buckeyes have also been an elite run-blocking team this season, and Clemson’s defensive line is very similar in size to teams like Michigan, which got absolutely manhandled in the run game at the point of attack. I love the Buckeyes +2 here.
Alabama Crimson Tide (-7.5)
I would hesitate to bet on Alabama today because we are still unsure about draft prep for some players, but I will like them by whatever the line is come kickoff. My favorite play is the over in this game at 56, which seems like the lock of the century to me, but I love the Tide here too.
I think that Michigan should have no issue scoring enough points to be relatively competitive, but Alabama should be able to name its score on the offensive side of the ball. Michigan has struggled with Ohio State’s speed outside for years, and Alabama should be able to get whatever it wants in the run game and through the air.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (+7.5)
I’m not a believer in Auburn whatsoever because of its offensive struggles and lack of playmakers. Auburn’s strength at defensive line, particularly on the interior, should not completely overwhelm a big Minnesota offensive line, and I think that Minnesota is a really good moneyline sprinkle in this game.
Auburn can be hurt in the passing game, and I expect Minnesota to move the ball more than enough to keep this a one-score game.
Baylor Bears (+6.5)
Here is another fade for a couple of reasons. I would not be surprised to see multiple Georgia players sit out after getting embarrassed by LSU, and I think that those possibilities are not baked into the line very well.
I have major concerns about Baylor scoring in this game, but this is a Bears defense that played incredibly well against Oklahoma’s very talented offensive line and run game along with a much more explosive passing game. I think this is a defensive slugfest, and I like the Bears to hang around and cover the number.