College Football Betting Odds & Predictions: 3 Over/Unders for Bowl Season, Including Florida vs. Oregon State & More
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Florida’s Noah Keeter (48) and his teammates.
Welcome to bowl season, the best time of the year.
Navigating this season can be a bit challenging with all of the opt-outs, coaching changes and players hitting the transfer portal. I'm here to help sort through the mess and pick out the best totals for bowl games.
Here are the pace numbers as we stand heading into bowl season.
Using those metrics, along with a look at the weather and key injuries, the goal is to hopefully help bettors beat the market.
Now, let's jump right into bowl season.
Fresno State vs. Washington State
|Fresno State Odds
-110o / -110u
|Washington State Odds
-110o / -110u
Washington State meets Mountain West champion Fresno State in the Jimmy Kimmel Los Angeles Bowl on Dec. 17.
Washington State had a roller coaster of a season but ended up with a 7-5 record, which is very fair because it's simply an average college football team.
Cam Ward has been an electric dual-threat quarterback for Washington State, and the Cougars love to air it out by throwing the ball on 59.6% of their offensive snaps.
However, Ward's overall numbers aren't that impressive. He's averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt and owns a 59.2 PFF passing grade with only 10 big-time throws compared to 17 turnover-worthy plays.
Washington State ranks 118th in passing explosiveness and 106th in EPA/Pass. It also struggles to score when crossing the opponent's 40-yard line, ranking 91st in Offensive Finishing Drives.
It'll be going up against a really good secondary, as Fresno State ranks 30th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and owns the 17th-best coverage grade, per PFF.
On the other side, Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener returned from injury in Week 9 against San Diego State and has been on fire. He has a 90.0 PFF passing grade, a 79.5% adjusted completion percentage and has averaged 8.2 yards per attempt.
Much like Ward, Haener will also face a solid secondary in this game, as Washington State sits 39th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
Fresno State hasn't really been that effective running the ball. It ranks 25th in Rushing Success Rate but 125th in rushing explosiveness, which is why it's averaging just 3.7 yards per carry.
Washington State is top-35 in rushing explosiveness allowed, Defensive Line Yards and Stuff Rate. It also owns the seventh-best tackling grade, per PFF.
Wazzu plays at a fast pace, running a play every 23.94 seconds, which is 32nd in the nation. However, despite that fast pace, the under has gone 9-3 in Cougar games this season. Fresno State loves to slow the pace down, running a play every 26.64 seconds, which is 92nd in the nation.
I only have 49.7 points projected for this game, so I like the value on under 57.5.
Florida vs. Oregon State
-110o / -110u
|Oregon State Odds
-110o / -110u
Florida and Oregon State meet in Sin City for the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17.
Florida had a disappointing first season under Billy Napier, going 6-6 and losing its final two games of the season to Vanderbilt and Florida State. The Gators have already had six players hit the portal, and it's up in the air whether or not Anthony Richardson is going to opt out of this game.
Even if Richardson decides to play in this game, the Florida offense has been the definition of boom or bust. The Gators lead in the country in explosiveness but rank just 71st in Success Rate.
Richardson has been brutal as a passer this season, owning a 70.1 PFF passing grade to go with a 63.9% adjusted completion percentage. He's had no time to throw, as he's under pressure on 37.6% of his dropbacks. When throwing from a crowded pocket, he has a 41.9 PFF passing grade with six turnover-worthy plays.
Meanwhile, Oregon State has an outstanding secondary that ranks 14th in passing explosiveness allowed and 10th in EPA/Pass Allowed.
Florida is unsurprisingly No. 1 in the country in explosive rushing but again ranks just 65th in Rushing Success Rate. The Gators are also 75th in Finishing Drives and 115th in Havoc Allowed, so if Florida can't break off big plays, things can easily fall apart.
Oregon State is an extremely rush-heavy offense, with the Beavers carrying the rock on 61.3% of their offensive plays.
They've run the ball successfully, ranking 12th in Rushing Success Rate and Offensive Line Yards. Florida has been terrible against the run this season, ranking outside the top 90 in both of those categories.
However, Ben Gulbranson really hasn't been effective at quarterback, as he's averaging just 7.3 yards per attempt. He owns a 60.3 PFF passing grade to go along with four big-time throws and seven turnover-worthy plays, so Oregon State is going to have to lean on its run game once again.
Florida plays a pretty slow pace at 26.09 seconds per play, which is 78th in the nation. Oregon State plays even slower at 29.95 seconds per play, which puts it at 127th.
I only have 48.9 points projected for this game, so I like the value on under 54.5 points — and it could look even better if Richardson opts out.
South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky
|South Alabama Odds
-105o / -115u
|Western Kentucky Odds
-105o / -115u
I get it — when you see Western Kentucky, your first thought is automatically to take the over. But the Hilltoppers actually haven't been a big over team this season. In fact, six of their last eight games of the season have gone under the total.
A lot of that has to do with the fact that their offense just isn't close to what it was with Baliey Zappe under center last year.
Austin Reed has been an average quarterback for the Hilltoppers, as he's averaging just 7.7 yards per attempt to go along with a PFF passing grade of only 75.8 and 24 turnover-worthy plays.
South Alabama has an outstanding secondary that allowed only 6.4 yards per attempt while ranking 13th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 27th in EPA/Pass Allowed.
Western Kentucky throws the ball on 60.5% of its offensive plays, so if Reed is struggling, the offense is struggling.
When WKU does run the ball, it's averaging 5.0 yards per attempt. However, it ranks 74th in Rushing Success Rate and 48th in EPA/Rush. South Alabama has an incredibly stout front seven that's 31st in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 24th in EPA/Rush Allowed.
Western Kentucky also ranks 85th in Finishing Drives, while South Alabama is 15th in Finishing Drives Allowed.
South Alabama has been pretty solid on offense this season, ranking 23rd in EPA/Play. A lot of that has to do with quarterback Carter Bradley, who has a 77.9 PFF passing grade with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. That has the Jaguars ranking 27th in Passing Success Rate and 23rd in EPA/Pass.
However, they're going up against a really good Western Kentucky secondary that's allowing only 6.5 yards per attempt and ranks eighth in passing explosiveness allowed and 12th in EPA/Pass Allowed.
The Jaguars haven't been very effective running the ball, ranking 63rd in EPA/Rush, 109th in Rushing Success Rate and 69th in Offensive Line Yards. So, they won't be able to exploit Western Kentucky's weakness on defense.
South Alabama's offensive line is also 89th in pass blocking and 99th in run blocking grade, per PFF.
While Western Kentucky likes to play fast and runs a play every 23.14 seconds (18th in FBS), South Alabama likes to play slower and runs a play every 26.18 seconds (81st).
I only have 51.7 points projected for this game, so I think there's a ton of value on under 64.5 points.