December 16, 2017
There are two college football picks today.
#1: Take Oregon -7 spread against Boise State for 3% of the bankroll.
College Bowl games often come down to one important factor; motivation, and there is likely no team that has more motivation at the moment than the Oregon Ducks. After a somewhat disappointing season, with the loss of QB Justin Herbert to injury, the Ducks finally got healthy down the stretch and started playing the type of football that we had accustomed to seeing. They built a ton of momentum heading into this Bowl Game and with news of head coach Willie Taggert leaving the program and taking the job at Florida State, we believe the team will rally in support of their new head coach Mario Cristobal who was promoted from within the program.
There may be many that are concerned with the fact that RB Royce Freeman is being held out of this contest in anticipation of him entering the NFL draft this offseason. While Freeman is certainly a loss, the one position that is consistently like a turn style at Oregon is the running back position. Freeman's running mate, Kani Benoit has already shown flashes of brilliance this season racking up 573 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 80 carries this season. Benoit is just as explosive and now that he will receive the lion share of touches, he could certainly impress in this contest.
While the Ducks are healthy, the same can't be said for Boise St who could be without one of their top offensive weapons at Sam Boyd Stadium, with running back Alexander Mattison considered questionable after he suffered an ankle injury in the title game victory over Fresno State. Mattison, who racked up 1,074 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground, left the game in the third quarter and was spotted the next day in a walking boot. Word is that Mattison will likely play in this contest, however, he won't be at 100% which is going to hurt this Broncos offense.
Boise State is a good team; however, they are not as feared as they were in years past. This is a team that has a stout defense, but we don't believe they have the offense to keep pace in this contest. The Ducks have the big play ability that the Broncos are lacking and as the game wears on, the defense starts to open up. Boise may keep this game close in the early going, however, they won't be able to keep pace for all 4 quarters. We believe Oregon's offense will break this game open which should lead to an easy win and cover.
#2: Take Arkansas State -3 spread against Middle Tennessee State for 3% of the bankroll.
The fact Middle Tennessee State is even in a bowl game is quite an accomplishment, considering the team was 3-5 heading into the month of November. Even after winning three of their last four contests the coaching staff still didn't think they had made it and even held a season-ending team meeting prior to receiving word that they had been selected to the Camellia Bowl. The rollercoaster of emotions that must have been felt by both the players and coaching staff to find out that they had to 'get up' for one more game, may not be a positive coming into this contest. They may come into this contest feeling "fortunate" and that is not a good mindset, especially trying to prepare for the one of the best teams in the Sun Belt.
The Arkansas Red Wolves are an offensively explosive team led by the conference offensive player of the year, Justice Hansen. Many casual fans may not be too familiar with Hansen, but he is arguably the best quarterback outside of the Power 5 conferences. The junior threw for 3,630 yards and 34 touchdowns, including six games with three or more passing scores this season and will have a chance to highlight his skills on a huge stage tonight and we believe he will put on a show.
While the Red Wolves' offense is potent behind Hansen, the big name for Arkansas State is defensive end Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, the two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year. Rolland-Jones already is the career sacks leader both at Arkansas State and in the Sun Belt Conference, and his 43.5 career sacks put him one shy of breaking the NCAA FBS record of 44, set by Arizona State's Terrell Suggs. Rolland-Jones is able to take over a game with the pressure he applies, and we believe he'll be looking to make a statement tonight in his final contest as a Red Wolf.
Middle Tennessee is a solid program; however, injuries have ravaged them this season. Simply put, Arkansas State is the better overall team, with the better players at all the skill positions. This game may be close in the early going; however, the Red Wolves offense is too explosive to contain for a full 4 quarters. With this line being set at just a field goal, the value is on the overall better team.
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