Friday College Football Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 3 Best Bets for Bowl Games (December 27, 2019)
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Djimon Colbert
- Our staffers give out their favorite college football betting picks for Friday, December 27.
- They're eying Wake Forest vs. Michigan State and Iowa vs. USC in particular.
- Get our three best bets for Friday bowl games below.
Looking for Saturday best bets? Click here.
Are you ready for college football’s bowl season to hit high gear? You better be. Because the action is coming on Friday.
Five games grace the schedule on Dec. 27, just a day before the College Football Playoff. UNC-Temple kicks off at 12 p.m. ET, and Washington State-Air Force will run until almost 2 a.m. ET.
Our staff has been hard at work hammering out their favorite picks for Friday, and each arrived at one that will hopefully deliver you some cash before the biggest games over the weekend.
Let’s get to it.
College Football Betting Picks, December 27
Odds as of Friday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Steve Petrella: Wake Forest ML +160
What the ACC has shown so far in bowl season has been downright horrific. Pitt needed EMU’s quarterback to punch a ref to clinch a win, and Miami got shut out by Louisiana Tech.
So it brings me no pleasure to put my faith in another ACC team, but I’m backing the Deacons on the moneyline for two simple reasons.
- I trust the team with a better quarterback and better offense.
- I mostly bet underdogs on the moneyline in bowl season because there’s more variance in these games.
So far this bowl season, five underdogs have won outright, five favorites have won and covered, and just two underdogs have lost but covered.
I do think the line is about right at Michigan State -4 from a pure power ratings perspective. But Wake boasts the two most dynamic offensive playmakers in this game in quarterback Jamie Newman and receiver Scotty Washington.
I’ll trust them to get it done when it matters, especially against an offense that’s shown absolutely zero efficiency or explosiveness all season.
Stuckey: Texas A&M 1H Under
All eyes in this one will be on the nation’s leading rusher — Hubbard, who is just 64 yards away from eclipsing 2,000 on the season and is averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
Unlike Hubbard, who decided to participate in this bowl, Texas A&M star defensive tackle Justin Madubuike decided to sit out in preparation of the NFL draft.
Jayden Peevy is a fine backup in the interior of a solid Texas A&M defensive line but the Aggies will no doubt miss their star defender Madubuike, who’s absence will also hurt depth up front. This unit held Georgia to 97 rushing yards on 36 carries.
The A&M defense was rock solid all year, especially considering its gauntlet of a schedule. Mike Elko’s unit did give up a bunch of explosive passing plays but who wouldn’t when you face a schedule that included the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence.
I still like this secondary, which should be able to contain an Oklahoma State passing attack without the dynamic Wallace.
Hubbard should get his yards on the ground but he won’t run wild like he does in the Big 12. And when Oklahoma State gets down into the red zone (an area its struggled in all season), Texas A&M should lock down on defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Texas A&M offense just lacks any real explosiveness both in the passing and run games. However, it’s a very efficient offense that should move the ball methodically down the field against a fairly inefficient Oklahoma State defense. The Pokes can get to the quarterback on passing downs, which could be an issue against a Texas A&M offensive line that has struggled with protection at times.
But ultimately, I think quarterback Kellen Mond can move the sticks on a fairly regular basis — just at a very slow pace.
The spread looks about right to me as I have it right around -6/-7. I don’t think you’ll see too many big plays in this one and both teams should sustain a few long drives that will keep the clock moving. Give me a piece of the first half under 27 and under full game, which I may add to at the half.
Stuckey’s Pick: 1H Under 27, full game Under 54 or better
Collin Wilson: Iowa -2
The Air Raid is not something you come across often in the Big Ten, so this should be an interesting matchup between two very different Power 5 programs.
Clay Helton has yet to cover a bowl game in three attempts at USC. That could be a meaningless trend, but you do wonder about how prepared Helton will have his team. Iowa was able to get in multiple practices since its season-ending win over Nebraska while, as of mid-December, USC was still working on a schedule for practices.
The good news for USC is that wide receiver Michael Pittman will not sit this game out in preparation for the NFL Draft. Iowa, too, will have its soon-to-be-drafted players — defensive end AJ Epenesa and offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs.
The advanced stats show that Iowa may be able to stymie USC’s air raid. The Hawkeyes rank 27th in defensive passing success rate and are terrific in passing-down situations, ranking sixth against explosiveness and 19th in sack rate in passing downs.
This could be the best passing offense that Iowa sees in 2019, but the Hawkeyes have had success against the air raid under Kirk Ferentz in the past. Iowa figures to be the better prepared team in the Holiday Bowl.
Pick: Iowa -2